2018 Participant/Breast Cancer Survivor
September Lake Tahoe, CA
I was in a very low point before our retreat. I was considering quitting my job because I was sad all the time. I was getting up every morning with a depression that almost made me call out all the time. On top of that, my family I grew up with has been in bad shape emotionally. I was fighting with my sisters just before we went. I was emotionally empty and had suicidal thoughts (that weren’t acted on) but were still there. I was holding onto staying alive to be able to go to the retreat and have a reinvigoration of life and happiness before I did something outrageous and scary. This trip turned everything around for me.
The drive up not knowing what to expect was thrilling! We got there and saw nothing but a giving spirit and smiles right away. The home felt like we were living the good life we’ve never had before. From the dinners, the other families, the ctivities- everything was so relaxing, delicious and simple. I never had to worry or wonder if we had the money for it which was the BIGGEST relief. And what’s more is literally, I saw life and my family in a brand new light. I saw what it’s like to let go of stresses and work for a minute and really look at my world around me.
The views of Lake Tahoe were breathtaking everywhere we went. My enjoyment of being alive came back to me! I was actually able to pause long enough to not think about what was going on at home. My husband was happy, my kids were entertained and laughing and I saw myself looking at my husband again in a more loving way. I watched my husband kayak and my son zip line without fear! I watched incredible sunsets and touched the water every chance I got! I loved having everyone laugh at my silly boys and other kids play with them like they’ve known each other forever. It really was like a new family of friends I instantly understood. I knew I had a fight to kill this cancer still progessing right now but I stopped thinking about those infusions that week.
The issue is I am still on a slippery slope right now from previous brain metastasis and my brain is now unprotected due to a medicine not working anymore and my doctors are trying new treatments I feel aren’t working. I am scared for my future right now- BUT I am finding myself wanting to fight for it more than ever after leaving this retreat. I can see that my family really does need me more than ever and I plan to fight for them. I want to see Little Pink get bigger and bigger with more family receiving this beautiful blessing of life! Thanks to Garrett our Volunstar, Trish, Angela and Jeannine our leaders, every one of the Volunstars who also helped us and the Professional Photographer that made our family photos perfect!