Besøg på excalicare cool camps for hhv. kræftramte unge og deres søskende
by Gitte Bowman Bak
13/01/2021

Jeg ankom en sommerdag til ExcaliCare’s Cool Camp og fandt over 20 kræftramte 12-17-årige unge i livlig aktivitet. En del var uden hår og et par manglede en arm eller et ben, og jeg fik at vide, at nogle af de unge stadig var i behandling. Da jeg ankom om formiddagen, blev de unge delt i to hold med ca. 10 på hver (og ca. ligeså mange frivillige medhjælpere). Det ene hold skulle have to timers mindfulness sammen med mig, mens de andre lavede lækre tærter og salater til frokost. De unge skulle ellers ikke lave mad på campen, men dette modul var et samarbejde med MitKokkeri, hvor børn og unge inddrages i madlavning. Dagen før havde en kort opklaring i vejret muliggjort, at alle kom ud at sejle i kano, og de havde tidligere været på klatrevæg. Salen, vi skulle være i, var gjort klar med stole, madrasser og tæpper til alle. Inden vi gik i gang, fjernede vi en stor mængde balloner, som stammede fra en disco-fest i lokalet aftenen før.

Efter første gruppes mindfulness-modul, spiste vi den lækre frokost sammen, og holdene byttede, så første hold forberedte aftensmad, mens det andet hold havde mindfulness med mig. Efter mindfulness var der orienteringsløb, og om aftenen stod der wellness på programmet. Derudover var der på den ugelange camp blandt andet bueskydning, drama og musikterapi (sidstnævnte i samarbejde medAalborg Universitet).

Campen blev afholdt i naturskønne omgivelser lidt udenfor Ribe. Foruden fælleslokalerne var der en række små hytter, hvor de unge boede i mindre grupper. Imellem de mange forskellige aktiviteter var indlagt hvilepauser i hytterne, for det var et aktivt program, der kunne tære på kræfterne.

Arrangørerne havde kontaktet Mindfulnessforeningen for at høre, om der kunne sammensættes et kort mindfulnessprogram for de unge. Birthe Moksha og jeg udviklede et afvekslende program hovedsageligt baseret på elementer fra MBSR. Øvelserne var dog kortere (15 minutters kropsscanning og 10 minutters åndedrætsmeditation), idet de var tilpasset den yngre aldersgruppe. De unge var spændte på, hvad mindfulness var for noget, og alle deltog i samtlige øvelser. De fandt generelt øvelserne afslappende og rare, selv om nogle også oplevede, at opmærksomheden dansede rundt. Men mest mærkede de fleste vist hvor trætte, de var – men på en klar måde, som én af dem forklarede. De unge i formiddagsgruppen talte lidt mere end eftermiddagsgruppen, når de efter øvelserne delte deres oplevelser. Det er ikke ualmindeligt at unge i den alder er tilbageholdne med at dele – der er i de år en naturlig blufærdighed og måske også en udfordring i at sætte ord på det, de mærker.Og så denne tydelige træthed.

Jeg optog instruktionen af kropsscanningen på min telefon og sendte lydfilen til arrangørerne, så den kunne afspilles ved sengetid i hytterne. Før de vidste, at jeg optog instruktionen, foreslog flere af de unge, at jeg kom hver aften, når de skulle sove! Selv om jeg havde forklaret, at formålet med kropsscanningen ikke var afslapning, fortale én af de unge mig efter modulet, at den var det mest afslappende og behagelige, han nogensinde havde oplevet.

Nogle uger senere var jeg tilbage på campen, der denne gang var for søskende til børn, der havde eller havde haft kræft (nogle af deres søskende var døde af deres kræftsygdom). De unge var 12- 17 år gamle og kom gennem stort set samme program som på den forrige camp. Jeg oplevede ikke forskel på, hvordan denne smagsprøve på mindfulness blev modtaget på de to camps. Dog var de raske søskende mærkbart mindre trætte end de kræftsyge unge, men flere raske søskende rapporterede rastløshed. Jeg kunne se, at et par af dem gik lidt ud og ind af øvelserne. På begge camps guidede jeg i en taknemmelighedsmeditation adapteret efter Paul Bedford, hvor man forstiller sig og takker forskellige typer af materielle ting og personer, der f.eks. har hjulpet, støttet, inspireret eller har budt på sjov eller kærlighed. Til sidst ser de også sig selv i forskellige aldre og takker sig selv. Vi havde inden søskendecampen været lidt spændte på, om nogle af de raske søskende ville reagere med vrede eller tristhed over netop ikke at have følt sig støttet af personer i én eller flere af de grupper, der nævnes undervejs. Da der kun blev delt positive oplevelser efter øvelsen, spurgte jeg gruppen direkte, om nogen havde haft svært ved at forestille sig nogle af disse personer eller havde følt sig vrede eller kede af ikke at være blevet støttet. Det var der ingen, der meldte ind med oplevelser af. Men i løbet af dagen gav flere udtryk for, at det var svært at vende opmærksomheden indad i så lang tid (dvs. under den to timer lange session).

Alle deltagerne på begge camps fik en folder med hjem, hvor der stod lidt om, hvad mindfulness er, og hvordan de konkret kan bruge det i dagligdagen derhjemme, og der var også trykt to historier, som var blevet fortalt undervejs – den ene om bondemanden, der oplever forandringer, som han ikke vil bedømme som værende gode eller dårlige, og den anden historie var om to munke, der hjælper en uhøflig kvinde, og hvor en ene slæber videre på grublerier over frustrationen, og den anden slipper begivenhederne (begge fra Sabrina Justesen Leoni: ’Mindfulness for Børn og Unge’). Når alle campens indtryk efterhånden bundfælder sig derhjemme, er det vores håb, at folderen kan minde dem om det møde, de havde med mindfulness.

Det er planen også at inddrage mindfulness på fremtidige ExcaliCare camps.

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