Life, strength, love ~ Weekend Retreat at Bon Secours

This weekend I had the privilege of working with an amazing group of people up at the Bon Secures retreat center in Marrotsville Maryland.

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Every year Johns Hopkins sponsors a couples retreat for patients living with metastatic Pancreatic Cancer and their partners. It provides couples an opportunity to share and network with others facing the same challenges and forum for open discussion and questions. It is designed by a fantastic multidisciplinary team to ease the psychological distress for the patient and their spouse and to facilitate interactions in a comfortable and open environment.  The team included physicians, nurses, pain specialists, pharmacists, volunteers, massage therapists, and (yours truly) a physical therapist. My role was to educate the participants on the issues surrounding cancer related fatigue, energy conservation, and the evidence supporting the importance of exercise before, during, and after cancer treatment. We learned about progressive relaxation and some simple exercises to perform regardless of activity level.

Check out the presentation here, now you are missing out on all the sweet animations and “tunage :(OH yeah there is totally some Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone!” and Marvin Gaye in there):

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This was my first official speaking gig representing Hopkins and though I was nervous and ran a little short on time, I was surrounded by such a wonderful group of people and had incredible support and guidance leading up to the event (Thank you Julie and Laurie!!)

Aside from the incredible group that was involved, perhaps the BEST bit about the weekend was the inclusion of the holistic aspect of wellness (something you all know I hold very near and dear!). During the retreat the participants were also offered some additional means for self exploration and expression. Yoga! Labyrinth walking and meditation! and Painting!!

Check out these photos from our painting session:

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Which brings me to my final piece:

The purple ribbon dragon! A symbol of strength and the fight against pancratic cancer. The Japanese Kanji: "Life, strength, love"

The purple ribbon dragon! A symbol of strength and the fight against pancreatic cancer. The Japanese Kanji: “Life, strength, love”

So, obviously no “cup” today (but don’t worry plenty of coffee was consumed this weekend!) However, as a special tribute to the amazing people I worked with this weekend, I’ll be auctioning this painting off this month and all proceeds will go to:

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

A national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

If you are interested in bidding on the painting or wish to simply donate to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network please click on the link below the painting:

Happy bidding, who knows you could have a sweet new dragon hanging in your office soon!

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