WEST SPRINGFIELD - "There's nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate life. Should be the theme of most parties," says 50-year-old Irvinia Scott-Robbins who describes herself as "kicking cancer since 2016."
Scott-Robbins, a licensed social worker and Agawam resident, was diagnosed last year with salivary gland cancer. Her ongoing supports, besides her husband, faith and an ever-present sense of humor, include Survivor Journeys, which is having a "Summer Party" fund-raiser for its cancer support programs June 15 at Storrowton Tavern in West Springfield.
"Still working on feeling vulnerable or not so much," said Scott-Robbins, who has undergone surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma of the parotid. The parotid is one of the body's major salivary glands which are found in pairs and secrete saliva into the oral cavity that helps with the breakdown of food.
Scott-Robbins faces possible back surgery for issues related to spinal disks and the "terrific pain" she first felt during a coughing-choking fit initiated by dry mouth earlier this year.
She adds her daily mantra is "faith not fear."
"Every day I wake in appreciation and seek joy. No matter the aches, pains, 'ick's or sick's.' I wake blessed," Scott-Robbins said.