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Fiona Cancer Mindfulness Aupril 2022

Mindfulness for those affected by a cancer diagnosis

  • Apr 08, 2022

Fiona offers an 8-week mindfulness course with one-day retreat for people who have been diagnosed with cancer, and anyone who is supporting them, including family members, friends, carers. She speaks in this article from her own experience.

My meditation practice began when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2005. I had 3 children under the age of 4. My treatment lasted 3 years and involved 2 lumpectomies, a mastectomy and reconstruction, 2 courses of chemotherapy a course of radiotherapy and then a course of Herceptin.

I used the services available to me via the Macmillan Information and Support Centre and Cancer Focus (UCF as it was then). In addition, I researched services offered by the Bristol Cancer Foundation (BCF) now Penny Brohn UK. I began to meditate and use healing visualisation techniques, provided via audio tape by the BCF.

I continued to use these recordings after my treatment ended and began a regular yoga practice to support me in dealing with the ongoing fears triggered during the traumatic cancer journey.

The meditation and yoga practices helped me counterbalance the fear that I was experiencing.

From personal experience I know that life following a cancer diagnosis can be very different. Initially dealing with our own reaction, communicating with our friends and family, and dealing with their reactions, the rush for treatment, the constant appointments, coping with the treatment itself, and coming to terms with the uncertainty of life in a very specific and personal way.

It can also have a huge impact on the people who support a friend or family member during this turbulent time. Supporters however keen to help can be exhausted, stressed, frightened, put their lives on hold and ‘on alert’ during and after this experience.

Once this time of busyness is over and the doctors have sent us and/or the supporters back into our “normal” lives, the removal of this activity and access to regular medical professionals can lead to a challenging time.

This was certainly my experience after my own cancer diagnosis and treatment. I discovered that the words from Dr Peter Harvey, a consultant clinical psychologist, in his article “After the Treatment Finishes- Then What?” summarised the different obstacles I was facing during this time very well. These obstacles included, regaining trust in our bodies, regaining trust in ourselves, living with uncertainty, dealing with the world, and regaining mastery and control.

What is involved in the 8-week mindfulness course plus 1 day retreat?

The programme involves 8 weekly group sessions covering various subjects such as:

our intention, creating a community, kindness, responding, gently being with difficulty, thoughts, looking after ourselves, the future.

We spend 1 day on a mindfulness retreat together, in a beautiful countryside location, to deepen our mindfulness practice.

For more about the course including dates and prices, please view the event here.

For more about Fiona, look at her profile page. You can contact her directly on 07966 203667 or email

Contact Us

Maitri Studio Limited
4 The Mount, Belfast, BT5 4NA

Tel: +44 (0)28 9099 2428

Company number: NI635546