Woman A: When the doctor said, “It’s positive, you have cancer,” I looked around to see who he’s talking to. He just did a biopsy and it was my husband in the room, so I was astounded.
Woman B: Shocked. I was just shocked. Totally shocked that this could happen to me. I was a water aerobics instructor. I’ve always been very athletic. I taught aerobics for years. I like to run. I like to do all kinds of sports.
Woman C: Oh, I thought I was going to die. I mean, I had no idea. I thought, you know, cancer is a death sentence and that’s how I felt at that moment.
Woman D: My children were in college and I thought I’d never see them graduate from college and never be a grandmother. I was looking forward to being a grandmother. And I would never be able to do my profession.
Woman B: I just wanted to be around to see them grow, and to grow up. They needed their mommy. And so I was in the hospital and I was out of commission for about a month.
Woman C: And that was really devastating at that moment, but it was also really renewing because it realized what’s most important in your life. All the other stuff just flew right out of the door. I don’t think I could have gone through what I went through without my husband. I remember one time I just felt so sick after the chemo and I just went into my room and I just lay down and said, “You know what, I’m done. I’m just done. I don’t want to go through this anymore.” And in his own way, he said, “You will get up and you will go put your shoes on. And I don’t care how sick you are. I don’t care if you throw up. We’re going to go outside and we’re going to walk around this beautiful place we live, and you’re going to realize why you’re not giving up.”
Woman E: I came out of it and was told, “OK.” And that’s when I went, “OK. Now what?’
Woman F: And all of a sudden they say, “Great, you’re done. You’re fine, you’re not sick. Get out of here.” What do you do? You know, what do you do? You can’t go back to the way you lived before. You’re a whole different person. But you have to redefine who you are and figure that out.
Woman G: Kara is one of many who’ve discovered the Image Reborn Breast Cancer Retreat in Park City. It’s a new concept, a philosophy of total mind and body healing. The weekend begins with an orientation and a chance to share your story with the other women there. The rest of the retreat will be spent healing the spirit. Hikes to hilltop gazebo, yoga, and massage sessions. And there’s the food coach, a gourmet chef donating his time to cook for the group and teach them how to prepare easy, healthy meals at home. The women will all sleep in the bunk room, a bonding tactic that’s core to the program.
Woman H: There were ten women experiencing art therapy, yoga, meditation, journaling. We learned about diet and nutrition. Ten women, laughing and crying. It was ten women, sharing the experience of cancer, sharing stories of chemo treatment, radiation, surgeries. It was ten women sharing their fears. But I did come home from that retreat renewed, encouraged, and ready to go on and manage breast cancer.
Woman F: There was nothing else, that camp feeling of being with those feeling. You leave here a different person.
Woman G: Pam Coffer can relate. A nurse and a breast cancer survivor herself, she attended a similar retreat in Montana. She’s responsible for bringing the idea to Utah.
Woman I: And you don’t have time when you’re fighting the physical cancer to really deal with the emotions or the spiritual issues. So I went to Montana and realized that I had healing left to do, came back, and I was a changed person.
Woman G: Pam shared her Montana experience with the surgeon who performed her breast reconstruction, Salt Lake plastic surgeon, Dr. Renato Saltz.
Woman J: I think for many physicians like myself, we’re kind of frustrated because you do everything you can do medically, and then how do you throw these women back to their lives?
Woman G: Now, together, the two of them run the Image Reborn Foundation. After two successful breast cancer retreats, they say they’re making a difference, one woman at a time.
Woman H: I’m not a public speaker, but I am a three time cancer survivor, and that’s why they’ve asked me to speak to you tonight.
Woman K: You know, I’m happy to see so many men here this evening. You know, we men don’t really, fully grasp the emotional meaning of breast cancer and what it means to a woman.
Woman H: And I’d like to share with you the most important thing I’ve learned at Image Reborn Foundation, and that is that cancer is a disease of the body, not of the spirit. Thank you.