The Breast Cancer Survival Center will host a weekend retreat for breast cancer survivors who have completed treatment Oct. 4-6 at Vikingsborg, St. Birgitta’s guest house and retreat center, 4 Runkenhage Rd. in Darien.
The retreat will offer breast cancer survivors a serene and supportive environment set on ten acres overlooking Long Island Sound to explore practices which not only promote health and wellness, but also reduce stress as well.
BCSC’s clinical director Nina Marino, LCSW of Norwalk and assistant clinical director Lee Ann Fallet, of Fairfield, an occupational therapist and rehabilitation therapist, will facilitate the retreat. Together, they have facilitated BCSC retreats for post-treatment survivors the past 13 years.
Marino says, “The diagnosis of cancer is a turning point. The experience of this illness can serve as a catalyst for us to examine our lives and move toward a way of living that better reflects our new priorities, values and dreams.
“The goal of this retreat is to promote self-discovery, nourish body, mind and spirit, and to share the experience with other breast cancer survivors,” says Marino, who, herself, is a breast cancer survivor.
“There is an unspoken understanding among people who share a common experience. The feeling that you are not alone is powerful and healing.”
Retreat activities include mediation, gentle stretching and exercise, written reflection and introspection, self-expression, quiet time and giving and receiving support.
Marino acknowledges that often cancer survivors are apprehensive about spending a weekend or even a day with strangers. “There’s the fear that they may cry, be forced to participate or they may not know what to say. But, as they listen, get involved and talk, they see that their feelings are understood and respected, and that there is no pressure,” Marino says. Through the experience of retreats, Marino says “participants come to realize the importance of connecting with other and being understood. They, especially, realize the importance in never living with your fears in isolation.”
BCSC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 to provide post-treatment education and support for survivors and their families. It is the only program in the state devoted exclusively to post-treatment issues and operates at facilities provided by Norwalk Community College, Soleil Toile in Westport, the Wilton Library in Wilton, and the CT. Challenge Survivorship Center in Southport.
In addition to retreats and support groups, BCSC sponsors speaker series featuring experts in the field of cancer and related topics, a newsletter, and awareness events.
The retreat’s registration fee of $250 includes two-nights lodging in a private room, and all meals and activities. Space is limited.
To register visit www.cancersurvival.org; for more information call 203-857-7304 or e-mail email@example.com.