Before applying for the retreat, this is how I felt: alone, isolated, unheard and unwanted. Even though I’m married to a wonderful man, I felt like no one understood what I was going through. I have friends but they do not understand my feelings nor do I tell them everything I’m feeling because I know they would not understand.
Guilt was my friend and I could count on her to be there every day.
I felt guilty because I am 5 years cancer free.
I felt guilty because there were other women fighting longer and harder than me that deserved a place at the retreat more than I did.
I felt guilty that there were women younger than me that hadn’t had the opportunities that I have had and I have even thrown some away; they deserve to have opportunities like that and probably won't.
Then there’s the anger. I am angry that cancer goes after everyone. What kills me the most is a young mother that may not see her children grow up. They are tired from the chemo (the poison), you know that venom they call treatment. I spoke with a young mother during my “treatment” that was in tears. She was 32 with a three-year-old daughter; too tired and sick to give her a bath; too sick and weak to sit and watch her perform at her ballet and tumbling classes. My heart broke and ached. Cancer you are a demon and you do not discriminate. I hate you, I despise you! You even attack older women who want to see their grandchildren get married and have a beautiful family and life. You are evil and will never be accepted by anyone! Do you hear me, You Will Not Win! You will be defeated!
I almost talked myself out of going on the retreat because I thought someone needed it more than me. Had it not been for my husband telling me "if you don’t go, I am going to take you myself and drop you off", I would have stayed home. But, if you ever wondered what people do on these retreats, let me fill you in. You just read how I felt before, this is how I feel now. I still hate cancer and I always will.
I now am personally connected with all these beautiful sisters to walk through life with.
If you have ever watched a beautiful butterfly evolve out of those ugly cocoons? That is what I feel like. I was wrapped in an ugly guilt of unworthiness. I felt unappreciated, unwanted, and all alone. I erupted into a beautiful butterfly with so many other beautiful butterflies.
We laughed, we cried, we shared, we listened. When I say listened, I mean you truly know what each other is/was thinking or feeling. All of us truly knew what the other was going through. Because we had been there ourselves.
We connected on a whole new level.
That’s what made this beautiful. It made me feel beautiful and wanted and understood. This was the most therapeutic retreat.
We will be TEAL WARRIORS TOGETHER FOR EVER!!!!
You can apply for the next retreat by clicking here: https://www.tealdiva.org/cancer-survivor-retreat
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