Dear Fellow Thrivers and Survivors,
My name is Lesley Glenn, I am a 51 year old wife, mother of (3) adult children, hiker, creative, friend, daughter, sister, cancer advocate, and a thriver of stage IV metastatic breast cancer.
This past October, I was able, through a generous donation, to participate in a Healing Odyssey Retreat. I am a very private person (independent) by nature, and rarely do I attend things like this where I am in a large group of people to share my vulnerabilities, especially when it comes to my cancer journey. I often feel like the “elephant in the room”, because I do have a stage IV diagnoses, which means, I am incurable and will likely die from my disease, therefore I often do not feel like I fit in.
This retreat was different…the staff at Healing Odyssey broke down that wall for me from the moment I drove on to the premises. Welcomed and hugged and loved right through my car window before I even parked my car.
The weekend was full of thoughtful experiences that touched on the physical, mental and spiritual way cancer impacts our lives. We were equipped with tools on how to best cope with our fears, and the often non-talked about aspect of the loss of our sexuality. We were encouraged to open up about our feelings through words of empowerment, and taken through a spiritual meditative experience of letter writing and journaling.
For me, one of the favorite highlights was the outdoor invitation to participate in a ropes course. The challenge was different for all, but for me, it was the conquering of my fear of feeling out of control. The fact of the matter was that we were fully supported in every way from the physical to the emotional. Whether one put on the harness to climb or decided to opt out, all were celebrated.
There were also times to just “be”, either alone or with others walking along a trail, and activities meant to encourage laughter and community. The weekend culminated with a ceremony. A personal and yet communal walk of empowerment alongside the other women I retreated with. Tears running down my face, I no longer felt alone in my journey amongst other cancer survivors, and I felt accepted. The weekend has catapulted me into taking more of an assertive stance on my advocacy role in the metastatic breast cancer community.
Healing Odyssey was and is a sacred space.
The next Healing Odyssey retreat is being held in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California in April. You can get all of the information below.
With love and light, Lesley Glenn
Here is the contact information for Healing Odyssey.
Tel (949) 707-1710
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HealingOdyssey/
BIO: Lesley Glenn is a metastatic stage IV thriver. Diagnosed in 2012, she has not let her cancer determine her life’s path. She is an avid hiker and backpacker. She travels with her husband and loves the arts. Lesley was a member of the first Living Beyond Breast Cancer Hear My Voice team in 2015, where she found her voice in cancer advocacy. She is the co-founder of the annual “Climb for a Cure” for MBC that is held every year in October in Southern California. You can follow her blog @ www.livingauthenticallylesley.com