A Night Off

I had a night away with other younger women with secondary breast cancer

11/8/20232 min read

Friday and Saturday were spent at the Park Inn Hotel in Manchester with about 40 other (younger) women with secondary breast cancer. It was run by Breast Cancer Now and it was my first night away from Boy 3.

I was expecting a lazy sort of time away, lounging in my hotel room and maybe learning a couple of things but it was so much more than this. We had a session with an Oncologist and one with a Clinical Trial Research Nurse. We had workshops which we could choose - I went to one on Relationships and Communication (I cried) and one on Talking to Children (everyone cried) - despite the sob fest they were really useful and I got a lot from them. The facilitators was brilliant and were very much part of the group but also on hand for emotional support (hugs and tissues) for anyone that needed it.

We did a laughter workshop which for me was the absolute highlight. I should have hated absolutely everything about it. It was a cringe fest and for 45 minutes I feel as though I’d entered some sort of parallel universe. I can’t even describe what the workshop was but it involved chucking newspaper balls, making strange noises and just a general atmosphere of absolute chaos. Wonderful!

We got lots of lovely food - which was all halal just as an added bonus - and as much good coffee as a Mum of 3 can manage. Talking to other women who just “get it” was the most important part for me. Not all had children but we all had the same thing in common: this diagnosis is a shit show, but it’s a different kind of shit show when you are younger. I laughed more than I have laughed in ages. I sort of gravitated to the women who had a similar positive mind set to me but also who seem intent on just getting on with living a great life. I try not to say anything morbid to my family (Mr B does not find these comments amusing) and I tend to save any particularly shocking comments for people that really annoy me or for one special friend at work because her reaction is always hilarious. But we could all say anything we liked, we were all in a similar boat and it was brilliant.

I felt that the emotions of the two days were best off portrayed by an artist. Unfortunately that isn’t possible so I have drawn a picture.