Last weekend I went to Portland to attend a cancer camp. I was a little hesitant about going to spend a weekend with a bunch of people I didn't know all of which had cancer. The camp was located outside of Portland above the river. It was beautiful, even when it was raining.
Friday we were picked up from the airport and taken to the camp. We were assigned rooms with 2 other people. One of my roommates was currently undergoing treatment for an inoperable brain tumor. The other was 5 years out from breast cancer. This cancer camp was for people between 18-39, yes I just barely met the cut off, even though there were a few people who were 40. Most of the people were around my age. I was surprised at how many people in their 30's who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Others had brain cancer, testicular cancer and lymphoma. We had family style dinner and then played some get to know you games before going to bed.
Saturday we woke early to do Yoga at 6:30, had breakfast and then started our classes. Basically our classes were group discussions. We had classes on Saturday and Sunday on Practical Matters in work and career, Becoming Advocates, relationships after and during cancer, late effects of cancer treatment and creative writing. I also had my first acupuncture. I don't think it really did anything for me though. I really enjoyed the classes and the things that I got from them. We also went on a very nice hike. It was beautiful and I enjoyed the scenery.
Some of the quotes that I liked from my classes are these:
~Don't think about the end goal, think about your first step towards that goal.
~Cancer is an individual experience.
~This is where I am at right now. Quit waiting for what will come.
~Is this what I'm doing getting me to where I want to be?
The one thing I realized from this camp was that I'm in a great place. I'm grateful to have my belief in God, that he hears and answers prayers and that I have a positive attitude. I felt that there was some anger among some of the participants, which I have never experienced. I did meet some great people and came away with more growth and encouragement.