HELPING CANCER SURVIVORS HEAL

At Breast Cancer Recovery Retreats
By Livia King

Women recovering from breast cancer need help healing emotionally as well as physically, and the Breast Cancer Recovery organization offers several retreats each year to help. Its Infinite Boundaries Retreats, run by survivors for survivors, help women deal with the barrage of overwhelming statistics, daunting emotions, and uncertainty about what lies ahead.

The four-day retreats allow women to share with other survivors and learn coping mechanisms from guides. They also get to participate in activities such as kayaking, ropes courses, and yoga. Much of the retreats’ cost is subsidized by donors, and locations vary throughout the summer and fall.

“Journaling, guided imagery and guided meditation are the three big things that ladies tend to say they will incorporate into their daily routines” after the retreats, says Breast Cancer Recovery program director Klara Hartfiel. Hartfiel says the knowledge and new coping skills participants learn from survivors, “helps them in speaking with their family, friends, and/or doctors about how they are feeling.”

The group also offers Metastatic Retreats at  Sundara Inn and Spa in Wisconsin Dells. Women learn new creative outlets and practices to decrease stress and overcome difficult feelings.

Hartfiel says women often arrive at the retreats in great need of a healing break.  “They are down, depressed and unsure of how to cope with these emotions,” she says.  “When the women leave the retreat, they are holding their heads up a little higher, are smiling and laughing more.” bcrecovery.org. 

Here’s a list of the remaining 2016 Wisconsin retreats:

Infinite Boundaries Retreats:

June 9-12: Björklunden, Door County

July 28-31: Madeline Island, Lake Superior

Oct. 13-16: Birch Creek, Door County

METASTATIC RETREATS:

Sept. 19-22: Wisconsin Dells

Nov. 14-17: Wisconsin Dells

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