Today brings me and my lovely friend Zoe to a wellness retreat in Bristol! I met Zoe through the Breast Cancer campaign we did last year and now here we are spending the next few days together in a totally different setting away from our busy lives.
We both started with similar stories, travelling on comparable journeys with just this horrible disease in common. Now following different paths but never the less, the same understanding, a strong bond and massive support for each other.
I am exactly 3 weeks following my last chemo. Zoe has been checking in on me every few days to see if I am still ok to make it to the retreat and was kind enough to volunteer to drive us both here! I felt very loved and cared for!
Neither of us really had time to check out the place or do much research on what to expect but knew we needed to take some time out for ourselves. I have not had time to stop and think, to heal, away from being wife, mum and everything that comes along with those roles.
The next few days are just about us and our healing journeys. This will resonate with some and maybe not so much with others but I will share the full experience with you!
Firstly, none of us have heard of Penny Brohn. It is a charity set up for patients with cancer to come and relax for a few days. There are various courses that you can book on and again I did not know much about it but this is the introductory course. I found out about the place through the AMMF charity for Bile Duct Cancer. I found it strange that in all my research and online and offline groups that noone had heard about this little Haven.
We were both a bit apprehensive about what it would be like, who we would meet and what we would gain from the course. What I was sure about is that I don’t need to think for the next few days. I will simply be looked after.
There are 10 of us in our group. We all met over dinner. Everything here is natural. All the food is healthy and only using natural ingredients and there are herbal teas all over the place too! I am quite thrilled with all this. There are no TVs anywhere so a good time to switch off from the daily hussle. Our rooms are comfortable and cosy. Very tranquil.
After dinner, we did half an hour of guided relaxation. This was just a taster.
This was our room. The chairs lie right back and we all have a lovely blanket to cosy up in. I am relaxed, in my happy place. There is an energy here. You can feel it. This is a place of healing and carries that vibe. From our tour this evening and our short meditation practice, I am feeling happy and at peace and excited about what the next few days will bring.
I felt quite spiritual this evening. We were just told to be there. We had nothing else to do, nowhere else to be. For the next few days we just need to be…. in the moment…… so that is what I intend to do. To sit, learn, heal and be at peace.
This place is beautiful and very relaxing. I will bring you a further insight of the place over the next few days. Hopefully we can explore the beautiful gardens tomorrow if weather permits. Regardless of the weather, the gardens are too beautiful to miss……..