As treatment ended and we returned to ‘normal’ life, the enormity of what happened hit us hard. Cam struggled with emotions and needed counselling. Everything had changed, his friends had moved onto university – Cam was left behind. The TYA helped with practical and emotional support, and a bit of fun.
We heard about Penny Brohn UK’s TYA-supported Living Well course for parents of teenagers who had or have cancer. Ten of us attended, all strangers at the start of the weekend, but after sharing experiences, everyone left feeling supported, and with strategies and support systems to help move forward and find ways for our young people to grow, develop and find their way. Some techniques involved mindfulness, breathing exercises and imagery. There were great chances to share experiences and offer others support and advice.
Penny Brohn was beautiful, calming and seemed to soothe us as we arrived. We were nervous to meet new people and expose our emotions, but staff couldn’t have been more helpful, reassuring or supportive. The environment’s ethos to treat mind, body, spirit and emotions was evident in everything we did. Since returning home, we have reflected on our feelings about having a child with cancer and applied the techniques learnt to everyday life. Thanks to the TYA and Penny Brohn, we feel empowered to move forward positively.