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Pamela James Segerquist

Episode 164

Resilience: Bay Area Challenges and SGV Triumphs

Pamela James Segerquist grew up in San Gabriel, attended San Gabriel High School, and was actively involved in a YMCA service club during her formative years. Before returning to her hometown, Pamela embarked on a journey that took her to the Bay Area, where she lived with her husband. There, she underwent a significant career change and faced a challenging medical diagnosis. With unwavering support from her loved ones, Pamela courageously battled and triumphed over cancer.

Her return to San Gabriel marks not only a physical homecoming but also a spiritual one, reconnecting with her roots and community. Pamela’s story is a testament to resilience, strength, and the power of community support.

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Pamela James Segerquist Takeaways

Valuing Life’s Fragility:

Pamela’s brush with cancer profoundly altered her outlook on life. She explains that post-diagnosis, she realized how easily life can change and thus made a conscious decision to not let small things bother her anymore. This perspective prompted her to become more present and appreciative of each day, understanding that happiness shouldn’t be postponed for some distant future goal. Her transformation from an anxious over-thinker to a person who actively seeks joy and fulfillment serves as a powerful reminder for others to re-evaluate their lives and focus on what truly matters.

Cancer Diagnosis and Journey:

Pamela’s journey through cancer started with a seemingly routine mammogram, which led to a series of rapid developments. Initially reassured by doctors that it was unlikely to be cancer, Pamela faced a rollercoaster of emotions when it was indeed confirmed. What began as the treatment of a small, non-invasive spot escalated to a mastectomy and chemotherapy after discovering that the cancer was both microscopic and aggressive. This experience was a stark reminder of the uncertainties and complexities associated with cancer diagnoses and treatments, showcasing her strength and resilience in navigating these unforeseen complications.

Support Systems:

Pamela underscores the crucial role of a strong support network in her journey. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, which isolated her from direct contact with loved ones during some of the most vulnerable moments, her family and close friends remained a steadfast source of strength. Whether it was through attending surgeries alone or receiving messages of encouragement, Pamela’s experience highlights the importance of community and familial support in facing life-threatening illnesses. She praises the simple gestures of care, such as text messages, flowers, and meals, which significantly uplifted her spirits.

Life Changes Post-Recovery:

The experience of surviving cancer compelled Pamela to make significant life changes. Moving back to the San Gabriel Valley allowed her to reconnect deeply with her roots and family, nourishing her sense of belonging and happiness. She embraced a career in real estate, finding purpose and fulfillment in helping others achieve their dreams. Her newfound philosophy of living life to its fullest and rejecting anything that does not contribute to her happiness showcases a proactive approach to personal well-being and a commitment to living authentically and joyfully.

Heritage and Generational Connection:

Pamela’s familial ties to the San Gabriel Valley date back to the early 1900s when her great-grandparents settled in the area. Her great-grandfather contributed significantly to the Huntington Gardens, and her great-grandmother was a dedicated volunteer at La Casa community center. These deep roots instilled a strong sense of pride in Pamela for her cultural heritage and the impact her family has had on the community. This generational connection enriches her bond with the area and positions her as a steward of her family’s enduring legacy.

Shifting Perspectives in Medical Treatment:

Pamela discussed the importance of seeking multiple medical opinions and being open to alternative treatments. Her journey emphasizes that while Western medicine was crucial in her treatment plan, integrating holistic approaches can complement and enhance recovery. This takeaway advocates for a balanced and informed approach to dealing with serious health conditions, encouraging patients to actively participate in their treatment choices and explore all available options.

Importance of Mental Health in Disease Recovery:

The pivotal role of mental health in dealing with a major illness is another key takeaway from Pamela’s story. Her oncologist’s insistence on immediate psychological support underlines how mental health care is integral to the overall treatment plan. By attending therapy and involving her family, Pamela managed not just the physical, but also the emotional and psychological impacts of cancer. This comprehensive approach to health stresses the importance of holistic well-being—mental and physical—in coping with serious illnesses.

“Pam, you have such a precious gift now that a lot of people will never understand and that’s understanding how delicate life is and that you don’t sweat the small things anymore.”

“Stop waiting to do the things that are going to make you happy and stop living life where you feel so unsatisfied because life can be so short.”

 “Get more than one opinion. I would encourage anyone that gets sick with anything to get more than one opinion.”

“I just feel like I have PTSD when I have a pain somewhere like, ‘What is that?’”

“If you take care of people, the money will come. Just take care of people.”


Music Credits

Like it Loud, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Scarlet Fire (Sting), Otis McDonald, YouTube Audio Library

Indecision, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Picture of Pamela James Segerquist

Pamela James Segerquist

San Gabriel Playhouse:

Pamela and her sisters attended classes and performed recitals at the San Gabriel Playhouse. It holds nostalgic value due to the various performances and activities they participated in, fostering a deep sense of community engagement. It represents a cherished part of her childhood and family bonding moments.

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour:

Located on Rosemead Boulevard, Farrell’s was known for its fun atmosphere, including the big drum used for birthdays and its candy store. It served as a social gathering spot for Pamela during her childhood. Memorable for its family celebrations and post-sports game gatherings with friends.

Bob’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream:

This place at Santa Anita Mall featured square-shaped ice cream that could be dipped in various chocolates and covered with toppings. Pamela frequently went here and enjoyed customizing her treats. Held significant personal nostalgia and represented simple pleasures from her childhood.