Haven't posted in a while but I attended a 'Living well with the impact of cancer' course at Penny Brohn a few weeks ago and feel the need to share a bit about my experience.
I was diagnosed with CC in October last year, had a radical trachelectomy back in January followed by 5 weeks of chemoradiation March/April/May (as cancer had spread to lymph nodes). I found out about Penny Brohn through a family member who had used their services years ago. They are based in Bristol and offer support to anyone in the UK living with or beyond cancer and close supporters. They take a holistic approach to dealing with cancer focusing on mind, emotions, body and spirit. They do residential courses but also have non-residential courses at various places across the UK. Once you have attended the introductory course, further courses and professional support are available to you (doctors, nutritional therapists, counsilors etc). All services are completely free.
I really didn't know what to expect with the course, but I went along solo and I can honestly say it was the best thing I have ever done. I feel like I learned so much about myself and the ways that I can help myself to live well through cancer and (hopefully) beyond. It was an inspiring and empowering experience and now that I am back and implementing changes I feel so positive.
The approach is integrated medicine, which basically means that it works alongside traditional medicine not instead of. The approach considers all aspects of lifestyle and teaches lots of self help tools, particularly in relation to relaxation and stress management; with lots of mindfulness, meditation and exploring emotional and spiritual needs. It may sound a bit 'out there' for some, but there is no pressure to do anything you don't want to do and is much more about giving things a try and finding out what works for you.
Throughout my journey so far one of the things that I have really struggled with is 'how did this happen to me?'; I always thought my immune system was strong, because I eat well (vegetarian, mostly wholefoods etc) and was fit (ran a half marathon last year) and rarely get sick. The course helped me to let go of that and realise that I am so much more than just my physical body and that I really need to take care of my whole self. I really would recommend attending a course (particularly the residential one) to anyone.
If anyone is interested then have a look on the website or give them a call.