Retreat Yourself West yes I do, no I don’t?

August 7, 2009

September 3-7, 2009 in Vancouver…Did you register yet?

If you are on the fence about registering. Here is a testimonial from one of our retreaters from our last Retreat Yourself weekend. Hope it inspires you.

“Can I get a hey hey!”

By the time I arrived at the retreat on Thursday afternoon, I wanted to leave. I’d talked more about cancer in that afternoon than I had in the last eight years since I was diagnosed. It was all around me. Every time I turned around, I was faced with it. Little did I know at the time that because of that, I would leave on Monday a new, happier person. Over the course of the weekend we laughed a lot, and we also cried, a lot. We talked about self-identity, relationships, sex, fear of recurrence, and getting back into life after treatment. Hard discussions, all of them. But my God, were they worth it. I shared so much shit during the weekend, and I can’t tell you how cathartic it was to finally get that stuff out of my head and into the open. What really made the weekend was the support. Not just of the facilitators and peer supporters, which was great, but the support of other cancer survivors. We were all so open and honest with each other. People were sharing intimate details of their lives that would never ordinarily be discussed with someone you just met. But it was different here. The love that flowed around the rooms was palpable. It made it possible to begin to heal from over 8 years of heartache and sadness.

And the best part? I wasn’t alone anymore. I was sitting in a room with 20 other people who knew what chemo felt like, who knew what it was like to feel so incredibly isolated, who really, truly got it. Of course, we also had time for lots of laughs. We played a 40 person game of Pictionary one night that left me having to draw “erectile dysfunction.” Have you ever had to draw that? Ha, it was hilarious. Another night we sang Pearl Jam songs around a bonfire, and on our last night we did a talent show. I have videos of the talent show, but you can’t hear what anyone is saying because all you can hear is me laughing so hard I nearly fell off my chair about a dozen times. By the time Monday morning came around and we all found ourselves back at the airport, I didn’t want to leave. There were more tears, and lots of exchanging of e-mail addresses and Facebook account info. I truly feel like I’ve made friends that will last me a life time. I feel like I can’t even put into words what a truly positive and life-changing experience this was for me, but there’s my best attempt anyways.

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