Read about a peer supporter’s first Retreat!

July 6, 2011

imageA sunset from Danielle’s first Retreat Yourself

The idea of spending four days with strangers, talking about your cancer in a way you probably haven’t been able to, and confronting some issues you probably didn’t know you had can be intimidating. While we keep telling you we know you’ll be comfortable, we thought you might like to hear it from someone who was once in your shoes, and is coming back as a peer supporter.

My time at Retreat Yourself 2007

By Danielle Wolff

I came to Retreat Yourself 2007 outside of Montreal not quite knowing what to expect. So many young adult cancer survivors together, it was almost like Cancerpalooza! I travelled to Montreal with four other young adult cancer survivors from Vancouver who I knew from the YACN support group based there. But we were soon separated and I was in my room with three other Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivors.

The next few days were a whirlwind of getting connected to a community like no other. It was so awesome to be surrounded by everyone like me. My patchy thin hair from chemo got no stares, nor did my lack of energy raise any eyebrows. My difference was normal there. I shared. I listened. I laughed—A LOT. And I cried a few tears. I also swam, competed to be the World’s Worst Dancer, and sang songs around the campfire. I left with a sun kissed face, fantastic memories, a load off my shoulders, and 30 friends I will always feel connected to in some way.

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