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Day 39: Sometimes warriors retreat… or rather attend retreats

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

Today was a full day at the Harmony Hill cancer retreat.  I can’t say enough good things about this incredible program.  Now… I am going to keep it real.  I had to get rid of some of my own bias and prejudices and to be honest, I had a moments thought about backing out of this.  This is unlike anything I have ever done in my life.  Group sessions, drum circles, meditation and movement… art sessions.  In fact, looking at the schedule you had to wonder… how does all this come together?  All I can say, is that they do.  Mix in the sense of community and support with fellow warriors and it really is incredible.  I feel fortunate that I am able to attend just prior to surgery and so soon in my cancer adventure.

For those who are reading this and are in this battle, whether you are just starting, in the middle, toward the end of treatment or in remission, I highly recommend checking out this no cost retreat for you and your spouse or caregiver.

They say that each of us creates and fights off about 300 cancer cells per day.  That we are all living with it, but typically our immune system recognizes these rogue buggars and gets rid of them before they become anything.  This weekend has me thinking a lot about stress and immune suppression. 

Not that you want to, or should accept “blame” or “shame” in getting cancer, I certainly don’t.  I do see an opportunity to ask myself what I can do better.  It is a learning opportunity.  In fact, the meditation and movement sessions were real eye openers.  I never sit still.  It was amazing to recognize how I felt after that session.

I took care of myself and still do, which is one of those reason I keep saying “how me?”  I am healthy, heck, cancer doctors keep telling me I am healthy.  I exercise, eat mostly organic food, no terrible habits (other than swearing on occasion… don’t hold that against me…).  But something I know about myself is that I find calm in the chaos of activity and quite frankly, I think I am addicted to a certain level of busy… a certain level of activity.  Now, I have a pretty compelling reason to look inward and slow it down a little.  To intentionally breath, to intentionally relax, to intentionally allow myself to find the stillness.

A common theme so far this weekend has really been about attitude.  I choose the word warrior… not survivor.  I have not met a lot of “victims” in my 39 day adventure.  I have met a lot of warriors.  Warriors who understand that the battle is won before it is fought.  Reinforcing that attitude is everything… which is also something my cancer doctors keep telling me.  🙂

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