At the end of each retreat, Healing Odyssey graduates are requested to write a letter thanking the many donors who help make our retreats possible for them. This is an example from HO#47:
I am a 36 year old breast cancer survivor. I am a mother to an amazing 4 yr old little boy and am married to a loving husband. I was diagnosed in July of 2015. It was devastating and heartbreaking to learn that I had cancer, as my husband and I were trying to have a second child at that time. My heart shattered, I felt so scared and so anxious over the unknown. There was no time to wait…we geared up for the war on cancer I was about to encounter – many, many doctors and surgeries, chemotherapy, infusions, medications for 10 years. It has been a long road getting through cancer treatment, and being a mommy and a wife.
My oncologist and nurse navigator told me about a retreat for women cancer survivors. They suggested I try to attend, to help me deal with my anxiety and fears of life after cancer. I was blessed to be able to get assistance so I could attend Healing Odyssey. Going to the retreat I was full of fears and anxiety of the unknown, and how life would be after cancer. Healing Odyssey gave me so much hope, courage to live life in the present, and to be mindful of my blessings. I learned it is OK to have some fears but just don’t unpack there. I was inspired to hear and see all the other survivors and their stories, being that they were mostly older than me, it was empowering. I enjoyed the time I had there bonding and learning to let go of fears and the unknown and appreciate each and every good thing in my life. I loved the yoga and guided meditation. It was my first time to experience that and it was amazing, helping me learn how to decompress stress, fear and anxiety. The ropes were so liberating and I amazed myself. Something else that was priceless was meeting other women like me, surviving cancer. I am to thankful for the opportunity to attend Healing Odyssey 47. I learned so much, and gained 30+ new girlfriends that understand me and my feelings.
I wish every woman cancer survivor could attend a Healing Odyssey retreat. The experience changed me and gave me tools to move forward with my life. It was a huge impact on my life to be able to come home feeling renewed and feeling like I am not alone – now I have tools to deal with my fears.
Your contributions have been such a blessing to me, and also to my family. My son and husband have their mommy and wife back! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” –Jennifer R.