A couple of weeks ago, I took advantage of an amazing opportunity to go fly fishing with a group of other breast cancer survivors in a program called Casting for Recovery. This program is available in 48 states, and has benefited thousands of women. Thanks to generous donations from individuals and corporate sponsors such as Orvis and Cabela’s, the retreat is completely free. During the weekend, we not only learned about fly fishing, tied our own flies, and went fly fishing under the guidance of experienced fly fishers, we also had time to share our experiences with each other and ask questions of both a medical expert and a mental health expert. There were other activities as well, and the food was delicious. The volunteers were all so kind and made us all feel welcome and cared about.
This time last year I was between surgeries and was experiencing quite a bit of discomfort, but some of the women on this trip had gone through so much more; they’d had several surgeries as well as chemo or radiation or both, and a couple were only in their thirties when they were diagnosed and have children. Some had lost family or friends who couldn’t deal with it. I witnessed some amazingly strong women on this retreat, women who now mentor to others with breast cancer, are traveling to distant places, and caring for other loved ones. When I think of the word strength from now on, I will always think of these wonderful ladies.
I am thankful to Casting for Recovery for empowering me and so many other women over the years, and I hope that many more survivors will be able to experience the healing and sense of peace that I did. Next Tuesday is Giving Tuesday. If you’re looking for a worthwhile organization to contribute to, please consider Casting for Recovery.
In case you’re wondering, I’m in the lower left hand corner of the picture with the puffy blue jacket. It was a little bit cold!