Monday, 23 September 2013

Willow Weekend

Rob and I have just got back from our fantastic weekend away at Longleat Center Parcs provided by the amazing Willow Foundation and what a lovely, relaxing treat it was.

Back in April I found out that my request for a "Special Day" had been granted by Willow (you can read my blog post about it here) and over the next few months Zoe (my special day co-ordinator) kept in touch arranging our fab weekend with us. We booked it for September so that we would have something later in the year to look forward to after the summer.
We drove down in Beppe to Longleat on Friday (past Stonehenge - amazing in the mist!),

arriving late afternoon and checked into our perfectly located lodge complete with log fire :)
The whole weekend was spent having nice walks, relaxing, reading in front of our log fire, swimming, going round and round in the rapids and having some lovely food - Willow even paid for us to have a meal out (we went for Tapas!).
I've even discovered a new talent this weekend - I'm a demon at Crazy Golf! I kicked my husband's butt by over 20 points!

Thank Willow, we had a truly wonderful time :)
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Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Today (July 3rd)  I attended the first session of an 8 week course (Wednesday evenings) called The Cancer Survivorship Programme

I'm looking forward to the programme because I, like so many cancer patients felt lost when my treatment plan finished. When you have your diagnosis, your treatment, appointments, check-ups etc, although obviously it's a horrendous time; you are swept up in everything that's happening. Once all that stops, it's a case of stopping and thinking "holy crap, did that really happen to me" and that can be a pretty overwhelming thing. There is also the non-stop fear of thinking that every ache and pain (that you would have ignored or thought nothing of before) is the cancer coming back.

The CSP helps you to deal with these fears, and also teaches about nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, mental imagery and other techniques. Although I realise that I may not agree with everything that is going to be taught, I am going into it with an open mind and looking forward to what I can learn.

Week 1
Tonight's session was just an introduction to the programme, next week is when we'll properly start.

Week 2
Following on from I attended week 2 of 8 tonight. This week it was all about Stress Identification, Assessment and Management.

Week 3
Today's session was all about Mindfulness, is was really useful and I will definitely be putting some of the techniques into practise.

Wiki Link to Mindfulness description

A good phrase I got taught (from someone else not The CSP) which really captures mindfulness for me is: Don't Borrow Tomorrow's Sorrow. Sam said he was going to add that to the next lot of course slides which is fab :)

Week 4
Today's session was all about Mindfulness again. This time about Affirmations and Progressive Muscle Relaxation.

Week 5
Tonight's class was all about guided Mental Imagery and Goal Setting. Both of these are things I do in everyday life anyway so I think for me these will be fairly straightforward to get the hang of.

Week 6
Tonight's class was a continuation of last week, we looked in more depth at Guided Mental Imagery.

Week 7
Tonight we looked at "The Anti-Cancer Lifestyle". So we examined the right foods to eat, what to eliminate from our everyday life, cancer fighting foods that we should be eating in abundance and the things that are best to avoid. This was the session I was perhaps most nervous about as I didn't want to be told, if you eat this you will get cancer. It wasn't at all like that though, Sam taught us that our bodies are like a balance/scale and all we need to do is tip the balance in favour of the anti-cancer. So if we can only add one good thing and eliminate one "bad" thing then the balance is tipped in the right way.

Week 8
Tonight was a the final class. It was a continuation of last week and we also looked at the role of exercise.

If anyone would like any of the workbooks from the course, please drop me an email and I will send them to you xx