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by Shanu K.

Last year was 2017 and it started out great. My little sister was engaged to be married and we were planning a huge wedding. What happened after her engagement party was a difficult turn however. I went in for a mammogram and didn’t ever think that there was going to be an issue. However, when I got that email and “call back for more tests” I knew I should brace myself.

The spring turned out to be me sitting in the hospital for a million tests, scans and biopsy’s while at the same time we decided on centerpieces and invitations. The first chemo was me at the hospital for 6 hours and the next day flying home to be with my family and prepare for the wedding. That was my chemo summer of last year. My sister got married in the fall and it was an amazing weekend. I was running on a “high” and didn’t let myself rest. At the same time, I was wearing a wig, having bone pain, feeling drained. I knew after her wedding I should start to pay more attention to my recovery. Radiation treatment was a time for me to be in my city and start doing things like acupuncture, yoga, walking and reading. I enjoyed the autumn, but radiation took a toll. I couldn’t fight anymore. I just needed to rest.

The winter was a lot of me watching TV and reading. I wanted to get out and try to fight my fatigue. I then found a perfect opportunity. I started researching yoga retreats and found myself thinking “where in the world should I go”? Am I ok going by myself? What do I want out of it? These questions led me to find Colleen Cannon with Women’s Quest. I emailed her and asked about the retreat in Costa Rica. She asked me about my health and we discussed in length whether a surf and yoga retreat would be the best thing for me at this time. We agreed that I should come and do as much or little as I’d like. I left the snowy blistery city and arrived in beautiful peaceful Costa Rica in February. I packed a mastectomy swimsuit and coverups, dresses that best suited my one boob look. I arrived and immediately felt relaxed.

The retreat to me was not only for my health and meeting the most amazing women, but I didn’t realize how much cancer had affected my self image and confidence. Every day we set intentions out to the universe and my focus started to be on having me being OK with my new self.
Upon the end of the retreat, I found myself feeling stronger, mentally and physically. The retreat was a perfect spot to help me with my recovery.

Colleen and I have been discussing a recovery retreat specifically for Wellness and anyone recovering from all of life’s Ups and Downs. This retreat will be April 21-26th.  Get a jumpstart to better health and fitness this Spring by balancing your Body, Mind and Spirit.  For the Body (road cycling, hiking in the redwoods and kayaking) with a special Spring diet featuring nutritional and cleansing foods, Yoga and foundational strong balance exercises, Meditation and Mindfulness practices, journaling and FUN.  This retreat will allow everyone to come together, meet, talk, learn, laugh, and build our renewed energy as a community of STRONG AND POWERFUL WOMEN!  For more information, click here!