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The Trip That Changed My Life (Part 3)

I went on a trip with young adult cancer survivors through a program called First Descents and it was the best trip of my life. I talked a bit about this trip in two previous posts, part 1 and part 2. I wanted to go into just a little more detail about what you can expect if you decide to go for yourself!

A week of special meals

Each day started off with an optional yoga session on the back deck of the house, which had a beautiful view of Mount Hood. After yoga, we would all get together for breakfast, which was cooked for us by experienced chefs. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip because every meal was unbelievable and it was so nice to not worry about cooking for an entire week! We didn’t even have to wash our dishes! The chefs took each of our dietary needs into account and made accommodations for anyone with restrictions. They also encouraged us to step outside our comfort zones and try new foods. There wasn’t a single thing I tried that I didn’t like.

After breakfast, the chefs would lay out a make-your-own lunch spread with so many different options. We would each make a sandwich, wrap, or pack leftovers from a previous meal to eat for lunch later that day while we were on the water. There were so many snacks and fruits available at all times that none of us ever complained of being hungry. After lunch was packed, we would head out for the day and hit the water.

Most days were spent kayaking, but we did get one day of white water rafting. This was my favorite day. It was such a blast and the scenery was unbelievable! Plus, we were able to give our sore muscles a break from paddling all week.

When we got back to the house, we would all shower and unwind a bit before dinner and then eat together when the food was ready.

Survivors really get it

After dinner, we would do a nightly campfire. This was the highlight of the day for all of us. This is where we would all really get to know each other and were able to open up about our experiences. We were never forced to talk about cancer, but for many of us, it was great to have people around who truly understood what each other had been through. This is the time that a lot of tears were shed, there was a lot of laughter, and it really just felt like a giant family.

Being able to open up to people who get it was such a healing experience. Many of us had a lot of emotions bottled up and, each night, it felt like another weight was lifted off my shoulders.

I don’t want to give too much away about this trip because it’s something you really have to experience yourself to fully understand. I promise you won’t regret it and, because it won’t cost you a penny, you really have nothing to lose!

You can check out their website and apply at firstdescents.org and please reach out to me if you have any questions about the trip! You can find me on Instagram.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Blood-Cancer.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Carolyn B
    2 months ago

    I’m envious. I wish they did things like this for older cancer patients. Glad you felt it was worth it.

  • Ann Harper moderator
    2 months ago

    I know first hand how much Crystal enjoyed this trip. She has kept in touch with many of the other people who went and has even tried to put together meeting for other cancer warrior/survivors where they can enjoy some fun, laughter, and each other’s company. If you get a chance, give it a try.

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