When you hear the words, you have cancer, you’re world is turned upside down. You’re jettisoned into a whole new reality that shakes up everything that you believed to be true. You quickly realize that in order to survive, you need to take massive leaps of faith by following your medical team’s recommendations. You listen to the potential implications that treatment will have on you long term, but in that moment thinking long term feels like a luxury that you can’t afford.
As the initial crisis settles, you realize that cancer is way more than a medical problem. As you slowly pick up the pieces of your shattered life, you reckon with the wreckage and embrace the gratitude that you’re still alive.
You realize that in order to thrive, you’re going to have to come to terms with what you’ve been through.
You realize that in order to thrive, you’re going to need a way to support yourself through the uncertainty that the future holds.
You realize that in order to thrive, you can’t do that all on your own. You’re going to need a team and a community to lift you up, so that you can find your way back to yourself.
This is why I am so excited to announce the kick off of a 4 part virtual retreat series to support women diagnosed with breast cancer to heal their body, mind, spirit, and self. I’ve joined with Melissa Adams, CYT, Dr. Catlina Lawsin, and Lori Marini, MHS, PA, ICF ACC, and together we’ve created this series that starts February 6th, 2021.
Melissa’s our yoga for cancer expert, she’s the breast cancer survivor who helped us find one another through her podcast, Behind the Pink Ribbon. Catalina’s our sexual health expert, she’s a psychologist who has worked for more than 20 years in the field of psycho-oncology. Lori’s our tumor expert, she’s a cancer coach and breast cancer warrior who specializes in empowering women. And you know me, I’m the art therapy expert and breast cancer survivor who’s been teaching others how to heal emotionally from cancer.
Each time we meet, the 3 hour session will feel like a delicious yoga flow, leaving you feeling resourced and prepared to move forward. We’ll start with a welcoming, setting the intention for the day. Then we’ll move into the strengthening section of the flow, providing the opportunity to express, learn, and practice the tools and mindset we’ve found to be fundamental for thriving. We’ll close each session, feeling the satisfaction that comes with showing up for yourself and your community, leaving with more strength and possibility for the road ahead.
You can learn all about the virtual retreat series and register, by visiting: https://behindthepinkribbon.com/virtual-retreat-series/. We also recorded a podcast to introduce the series and the presenters. On the website, you can read the details about the amazing offerings available to you each day. For example, here’s what to expect on day one, the Body Session:
How and Why is this happening to ME?
A cancer diagnosis is truly life-altering, both emotionally and physically. Many times you are at the effect of your treatments and your limitations. In this session, we will begin to unravel what it means to have cancer and look at the physical and emotional aspects impacting your life. We will also breakdown that dreaded medical terminology and what your diagnosis actually means.
Yoga 4 Cancer- Reconnect with your body
Cancer can sometimes make us feel disconnected or betrayed by our bodies. Yoga is the union of the mind, body, and spirit. It helps us to focus our attention inward and create a deeper connection with ourselves. In addition, yoga has been shown to manage symptoms and side effects related to cancer treatments, and improve the immune system. Our body is one of our greatest gifts and taking care of it is one way to thrive beyond breast cancer. In this session, you will be guided through a gentle Yoga 4 Cancer practice.
Sexual Wellbeing After Cancer:
Reconnecting to your body to reconnect with your sexuality
Sexual changes after cancer can impact 40-100% of cancer survivors. The dynamic interplay between physiological, emotional and social changes all interact during and after cancer treatment. Fortunately, there are psychological and medicinal strategies that can improve sexual wellbeing. Unfortunately, there’s a gap between those who need the support and those who actually receive it. This seminar aims to heighten awareness of physical sexual changes after cancer and offer concrete strategies cancer survivors and their partners can do to improve sexual wellbeing.
Gently reconnecting with your body with art therapy
Thriving following a cancer diagnosis means that you need to reestablish your relationship with your body. Cancer’s impact leaves your body with many physical and emotional needs, and it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. In this experiential workshop, you’ll learn the art therapy practice of cellular meditation. When practiced regularly, it allows you to gently reconnect and take care of your body one cell at a time.
I hope that you’re as excited as I am for this unique retreat series. You can sign up for one day at a time, or all 4 sessions to receive a $50 discount. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out by email.
From my heart to yours, Stephanie
-Stephanie McLeod-Estevez, LCPC, is an art therapist and breast cancer survivor, and a former oncology counselor at the Dempsey Center. She began Creative Transformations to help others who are emotionally healing cancer. Stephanie works with people online and in person, offering individual and group cancer coaching and art. Her #TherapyThursday blogs offer guidance for healing the body, mind, spirit and self after cancer. Sign up today so you’ll never miss a blog and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.