by Tina Powell, Big Fat Pen Communications

Laura McNeill heard the familiar sound of a text message being delivered to her phone. The message from a close friend: “Here’s a cancer retreat you might want to consider going on.” Laura’s curiosity was piqued, so she clicked on the link to the Knight’s Cabin Cancer Retreats website.

“I was pretty much game to do anything, but when I found out that it had to do with healthy living, I thought that sounds fantastic!”

It had been five months since Laura’s last treatment for breast cancer and she was ready to connect with other people who truly understood what she had been through. Knight’s Cabin sounded like the perfect opportunity to do exactly that. Plus, she could bring her husband – her lifeline and support through it all. With four children, Laura’s husband carried a big load while she was ill.

“He took on the entire role of mom and dad, as well as made sure that I was cared for. A lot of the time I was in bed sick and he made sure I was fed and …” Laura’s voice quivers, “He provided support in every way possible.”

Laura pretty much liked everything she did at Knight’s Cabin!

“I really enjoyed the dietician, hearing about good food, and getting on track nutritionally.”

“Probably my favourite part was the social part. Just hanging out with everybody and playing games.”

“I also really enjoyed Lisa encouraging exercise and the importance getting a good night’s sleep.”

Although Laura knew that nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress relief were important, she now has a much clearer understanding of their positive impact on cancer survivors. Best of all, knowledge truly is power. She now eats more vegetables and less takeout. Instead of watching TV at night, Laura now reads or does Sudoku puzzles.

She also exercises more, swims, and joined a dragon boat team. Best of all, she still keeps in contact with quite a few of the fellow survivors she met at Knight’s Cabin.

“One of them even joined the dragon boating team with me! We’re all breast cancer survivors on the team,” she says proudly.

What is Laura’s advice to anyone else who gets a text message about Knight’s Cabin?

“Just go for it and do it! Dive in wholeheartedly!”

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