Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Retreat wrap up

This past weekend I was very fortunate to be able to attend a wonderful Cancer Wellness Retreat in the foothills of NC. From my perspective, they were as much in the mountains as they needed to be. Shannon and Dave, the retreat facilitators have a beautiful home and surroundings that they lovingly shared with us. I came home with many wonderful memories that will stay with me and let me know there's more to life than chaos.

The main house surrounded by nature.

I enjoyed much time sitting by the creek.

This particular retreat was designed for those who have had or those who have cancer. We had a wonderful balance of those being treated and those who have completed treatment. On a funny side note, upon receiving my application request Shannon took a look at my blog...which is always in my email signature. She didn't read much of it and to be honest I wasn't very clear in my email, so she quickly became under the impression that I was the caregiver to Debra and not a cancer patient/survivor myself! She told me she had to figure out how to delicately tell me the retreat wasn't for caregivers, but folks who had cancer. After receiving a very kind email back from her, reminding me the retreat was for cancer patients, I responded and informed her that I had, indeed, had cancer too!! I'm so glad the clarification happened and I was treated to a wonderful weekend in nature.

One of my favorite activities was walking the grounds of their home. Dave had placed thoughtful, funny, encouraging signs for us to encounter on our outings. Sofie had asked where I was going, so I explained that I was going to an adult version of Camp Kesem. She beamed and said, so you get to play all weekend?!? So naturally I thought of her when I encountered this sign:

She was somewhat disappointed when she asked if we'd had a food fight and my answer was "No." I did tell her of my other favorite activity, painting with watercolors while sitting on rocks "in" the creek! I added that we were going to get some paints, head to the Eno River and paint ourselves silly. She was more excited for me after that! I guess I did have fun...in the eyes of a 7 year old.

Another perk that's coming out of the retreat is a possible new play date buddy. One of the attendees actually lives very close to me. She has a son who sounds like is cut from the same cloth as Sofie. We're going to try a play date and see if the kids get along as well as the moms did! We drove to the retreat together and I can honestly say we didn't stop talking until we arrived at our destination. She was amused that I "Googled" her to find out if we'd be compatible to ride 4 hours in the car. I was just making sure she hadn't published some manifesto against homosexuality or the likes. Luckily she hadn't, so we had a fun time driving and chatting. I think the kids will get along great. I'll let you know how it works out!

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