The Retreat for women with metastatic breast cancer is held annually at the Omega Institute, Rhinebeck NY. It is free to the women who attend. There are very few services and resources, besides drugs, for women with advanced breast cancer. "Pink messages" in October DO NOT include these women. Breast Cancer Options (BCO) began holding breast cancer retreats to serve this forgotten population. 
Participants enjoy guided discussions about issues specific to women with advanced breast cancer, including dealing with difficult feelings, family night and managing stress. Women share stories with - and learn from - other women like themselves. We also bring in special speakers, physicians, and others who offer unique services and information. BCO also offers ongoing metastatic support groups. We need your help so we can continue to help these women. Open first to women from the Hudson Valley/NY area.
Omega Institute Rhinebeck NY
 Sponsors: Omega Institute. Walmart/Sam's Club  United Breast Cancer Foundation, Musa Mayer

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Retreats have  been held at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY since 2012.  Special programs on dealing with treatment side effects, nutrition and dealing with pain and clinical trials, have been presented. There was also an opportunity to hold family night at 3 retreats.

Breast Cancer Option began the retreat because there are few resources and services for women with advanced breast cancer and although we are all inundated with "pink messages" each October, they do not include this forgotten population and many survivors feel that such messages have trivialized a serious disease.

It has truly been an honor for Breast Cancer Options hold these events and meet the women who attend. Our thanks to Omega for their ongoing support and to all of our donors. Without their support we could not hold this event.  We have also begun a monthly metastatic breast cancer support group.

Participants are in a welcoming supportive environment where they can find understanding and support. The retreat offers an opportunity to look at the issues surrounding their breast cancer, gather information, and move beyond an intellectual understanding of the disease. Exploring feelings and fears is an essential part of the healing process.  They enjoyd guided discussions about issues specific to women with metastatic breast cancer, including dealing with difficult feelings, living with advanced breast cancer, decreasing stress. There are discussion groups, writing workshops, low-impact yoga, acupuncture sessions and much more.        

Here are some of the comments from the women who attended: 

"Omega institute is a beautiful space in the woods of up state NY and we were treated wonderfully. The program was a nice mix of educational talks, yoga and breathing exercises, meditation, healing, and group interaction. We had time to talk with other participants and form new friendships. The retreat left me changed.....I went in not sleeping, feeling tired, isolated, and depressed, and left lighter......hard to explain but being around these women, in a tranquil setting, sharing our condition but laughing and talking like "normal" people....made me feel human again."

To have this chance and experience without the money issue really helps. I hope the retreat will become an ongoing thing. We need it to combat the isolation that comes with the territory.

I didn't want to attend the BCO retreat for metastatic breast cancer......I felt bad from a round of chemo, and the thought of being around a group of other women in the same sinking boat did not appeal to me. Taking seminars on how to relax, what to eat, how to cope, from women who don't wake up every morning thinking "oh yeah, I have metastatic breast cancer" seemed pointless. Hearing about treatment options starts the doubt in my I following the right "plan"? I did not want to sit around and compare treatment side effects, or see the reality of women whose options are running out. Going was officially joining the club I would dearly like to deny. I forced myself to go......and I'm glad I did.   During Pink Oct. we are bombarded with Pink fundraising, a constant reminder of our condition, but WE are not the smiling brave pink warriors who will "beat"  cancer... ...sadly, many of those women will also metastasize and join our dreadful club. How thoughtful and empowering of BCO to consider us and plan a retreat for just us, a group of women who know what it's like.......who you can be real with.

When BCO first sent out the message in the newsletter that there would be a retreat specifically for women with metastatic breast cancer at the Omega Institute, I immediately signed up!  I was so excited!  I had heard of the Omega Institute and knew it was a beautiful place that focuses on holistic health and healing through daily classes in yoga, tai chi, movement and meditation. In addition, there would be other women in the Hudson Valley who also have metastatic breast cancer, like me!  Nancy Plumer, who ran the retreat, was good energy from the start.  The program included an educational talk with Musa Mayer, a renowned breast cancer expert advocate, was a highlight for me.  My gratitude to Breast Cancer Options for sponsoring this retreat at no cost knows no bounds.  Treating this disease takes ~40% of our monthly income and we are considering bankruptcy.  To know that Breast Cancer Options is there for free advice at any time and sponsors retreats like this is invaluable to me.  The retreat itself reminded me that there are many ways to fight this disease and live with it with an open heart. This experience is a highlight of my year.

Going to this outing was really wonderful for me and I'm certain anyone else would say the same.  Having advanced breast cancer is so unlike the commonly-held notion that BC, while a devastating life-changing experience, is something that one can overcome, often improved from the experience.  celebrities that are BC survivors love to give that message.    Few people can understand truly what I am dealing with.   It was so wonderful to spend time with people who truly "get it" because they are living it. I know that BCO deserves accolades for recognizing such a need for an undeserved community.      

The retreat was facilitated by Nancy Plumer, M.S., a certified Kripalu yoga teacher and a certified One Light Healing Touch Practitioner and Instructor.  Nancy has led many retreats.  She was assisted by Karen Suppies, Karen Rapaport, RN and Beverly Canin, vice president of Breast Cancer Options.

The women took this opportunity  to look at the issues surrounding their breast cancer, gather information, and move beyond an intellectual understanding of the disease. Exploring feelings and fears is an essential part of the healing process and participants enjoyed guided discussions about issues specific to women with metastatic breast cancer, including dealing with difficult feelings, living with advanced breast cancer, decreasing stress.