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In August 2014 there was a Q&A Session. Here is that newsletter for download. Q&A August 2014
Welcome Back! We were delighted to see our annual visitor from the East! Joy lives and worked in New Zealand but hails from Peterborough where her Mum, sisters and families still live, so she pops in to see us when she visits them in the summer. This year she brought along her young niece Alison who was interested in the activities of our group.
The logistics of the PCH merger with Hinchingbrooke hospital and in particular the Breast Units. They see on average 100 breast cancer patients a year as compared to PCH’s 400 breast cancer patients. Also Hinchingbrooke do not undertake screening. Staffing at Hinchingbrooke consists of 2 staff members, one of which is a Nurse Consultant and Peterborough has Specialist Breast Care Nurses.
Around the World: Finally we compared the way breast cancer is diagnosed in the UK and many parts of the world and concluded that in the UK breast cancers were initially diagnosed by Mammography, Ultrasound, and often a follow-up biopsy. There are other methods of diagnosis but the follow-up stages appear to be similar.
Strawberry Tea: Val, our Treasurer, informed us that we had raised a total of £567 at the event broken down into tickets and donations, raffle, hamper donated by Michael (Val’s son) and 2 Reiki Vouchers acquired by Rosemary. The plant stall raised £26 and the Tombola £98. The strawberries were donated by Carole’s daughter and the scones by Sainsbury’s.
New Member: A new member – Aruna and was welcomed by all of us and Denise explained about how the support group operated and additionally one of the Breast Care Nurses usually attended to offer any ongoing support needed. Claire Snowden had come along tonight in case there were any questions or queries
Strawberry Tea:Val reported that ticket sales for this event had gone well, in fact she had sold all the tickets Gill had given her and so was a little fearful it would be oversubscribed. Because of this she was keen to borrow as many chairs and tables as she could to ensure everyone had somewhere to sit down.
Arrangements were finalised with Carol regarding strawberries and decisions on the amounts of scones cream and jam required. Drop off of equipment etc was made for Friday evening. Val also announced that her son had donated a luxury hamper as a raffle prize.
Bushfield Library Outreach Session: Following on from the Herlington outreach session Gill had booked Bushfield Library for 2 sessions in August the 7th and the 14th. The Library has agreed to advertise our sessions.
Mentoring Training: There were still places available on the Macmillan Counselling Skills for Non-Counsellors and Listening and Responding courses. Mauricette was hoping to attend one in July but the 9.00am start in Birmingham and Leicester was felt to be difficult for most of us. Gill suggested we ask the local midlands team to maybe put on a course in Peterborough and we could invite the other cancer support groups to attend.
It was felt it was worthwhile to follow this up.
AOB: Finally we finished with a quiz which Rosemary and Sue won with Eve, Jenny and Val in second place.
Group: Denise welcomed everyone to our May meeting and as an introduction to Charlotte and Sarah, who were attending for the first time, we all said something about ourselves.
Denise also welcomed our Breast Care Specialist Nurse Claire Hall and thanked her for attending tonight to take any questions and asked for her opinion on the group providing mentoring for women going through treatment at the hospital. Rosemary said she had found out quite a lot from other patients when she was going through treatment which had helped her enormously and felt we could play a part in helping other women with their concerns.
Casting for Recovery: Mauricette told us about her trip to the Lake District to learn fly fishing as a means of recovering from Breast Cancer. She would highly recommend others to go. They run 6 sessions a year and provide the accommodation, food, equipment, clothing and one to one tuition. All she had had to do was travel to the venue and take her own wellingtons.
AOB: Bra’s – Sue had found Beales only exempted VAT on some bra’’s, Denise will follow this up. Wellbeing Centre link from our website has now been added on the contact's page. Daytime Drop-in Orton, other suggestion are Hampton and Bretton, Gill to book Orton Session. Mentoring Training – Gill will find out more and email members with info.
Group: Arriving at the Holiday Inn in the daylight for the first time this year resulted in an upbeat feel to our April meeting. It was great to welcome back Jaysee from her travels and Mauricette from her voyager, parcourir. Eve and Sue were attending for the first time and Lisa from the Breast Unit came along to take questions.
Q&A session: Subjects covered were the use of Tamoxifen and its effects on bone density, the drinking of green or white tea and soya products and their effects on breast cancer.
Discussions: We then all told Sue and Eve a little bit about our own experience’s and during this session discovered that a late newcomer – Anna, had never had Breast Cancer, she was in fact our speaker for the night!
Speaker Anna: Anna introduced herself to the group. She is a Beauty Therapist employed by Peterborough College and teaches massage at College in the evening and also baby massage at the Sure Start Centre. Tonight she was going to show us how to massage hand and arms
AOB: Carole said she and Gill were working on the leaflet, and Denise suggested we send out details about the Macmillan training via email, the rest will wait until next meeting and Val reminded everyone about tombola prizes for this year’s Strawberry Tea Fundraiser on 23rd June.
Group: Very few of us were able to come along to our March meeting due to the appalling weather conditions, however four of us did turn up including Mauricette who was planning to set off for France later that night. She also told us that she had been accepted onto the Casting for Recovery project run by the Countryside Alliance at the end of April which is being held at the Coniston Hotel and Spa in Skipton, North Yorkshire.
Beauty & Wellness: There was no Breast Cancer Specialist Nurse available, again due to the weather, so Denise welcomed Julian Roddis from the Beauty and Wellness Centre based at the Queensgate Hotel on Fletton Avenue.
History Project: Our history photo project which would go into a leaflet/booklet to provide more of a picture of who we are and what we do. Denise requested that we bring these to our April meeting.
Mammography: Jenny had highlighted the fact that women over 70 did not get invites to attend for mammography and felt this should be highlighted locally
Mentoring: Rosemary had suggested offering face to face mentoring to women going through treatment but it was agreed that first we should have training on how to talk to patients.
Strawberries: Val asked if we could all start bringing in tombola prizes this year’s Strawberry Tea Fundraiser is 23rd June.
Welcome Back: For our first meeting in 2018 we were delighted to see Mauricette again and welcomed Julie who had been unable to come along to the meeting in Orton and decided to try the Holiday Inn instead.
Breast Care Support Nurse, Claire Snowden, was there to answer our queries and we had a discussion about anti-depressants when going through treatment.
Daytime Meetings: Our experience of holding a daytime meeting at Herlington Centre Orton Malbourne had not been particularly successful.
Institute of Cancer Research are looking for volunteers recently diagnosed or on treatment to raise awareness of the importance of the work they are doing.
PBCSG History: We did say that we would collect photos of our history as a group, which would go into a leaflet/booklet to provide more of a picture of who we are and what we do. Please remember to bring us photos/info from the past.
PBCSG Leaflet: We also discussed our current leaflet feeling it needed updating. Helen suggested we make it simpler, scaling it down to A5 size and it was agreed to also simplify our message and information. Carol said she could provide leaflet printing and Gill said she would carry out the suggested amendments and send on to Carol via email.
Finally Val said the date for this year’s Strawberry Tea Fundraiser is 23rd June.
Overview: It was wonderful to see old members Ruth, Nobbie, Rita, Helen, Chris, Gaynor and Wendy at our annual Christmas Party and the Hotel had come up trumps this year with their buffet, providing a really nice spread which was also gluten free. The party was fun, Val’s quiz was extremely hard this year and won by Ruth.... and we finished with a Secret Santa.
We started by catching up with each other’s news and then letting everyone know what our plans were for 2018:
Our History: PBCSG has been going for many years and seen many changes and we have all gathered a lot of insights and experiences. So next year we plan to see if it would be feasible to set up small local Breast Cancer Support Groups around the Peterborough area. We have formed a partnership with the Community Area Co-ordinator at the City College who will help facilitate a pilot project in the Ortons which starts in January.
Given the length of time the group has been in existence we all have an accumulation of photographs which illustrate our activities and events and provide the history of PBCSG up to the present day. So we have agreed to sort out our photos by February 2018 with the view of putting together our own story and if you have any old photos of the group, can you forward them to us please via Denise or Gill.
Other Ideas: We feel ready to help mentor women going through or after completing treatment by talking about our own experiences both physically and psychologically. And we are also interested in campaigning on raising awareness for mammography for the 70+ age group.
We’d like ideas, comments, suggestions or anybody willing to help provide support and friendship initially in a hospital or Cancer Centre setting.
Overview: The group along with Claire our Breast Care Nurse Specialist discussed how we might help support women going through or after completion of treatment. Rosemary said she had benefitted from talking to other women in the Breast Unit and gained an insight at the time into her treatment. She thought this could be replicated by members if some of us were present at the Unit. Val agreed and said most people just want reassurance from those who have already gone through it.
PBCSG Leaflet: Carol thought that to move forward perhaps we should review our leaflet with more focus on our activities and support. There was general agreement by the group and Carol will look into this when our current leaflets begin to run out.
Our speaker: Jackie Miller: Jackie said she had been in the skin care industry for 30 years and had worked for a number of top brands and was one of the top 460 therapists in the country. She had experience as a film make-up artist and holistic therapist, has a degree in make-up artistry and has done a number of documentaries. She talked to us about skin ageing, using vitamin supplements and the use of good sun protection even in the winter. (read some tips in the full newsletter)
⦁ It was Val’s Birthday - "Thanks for everything you do Val and a very happy birthday from us all".
⦁ Claire apologised for the delay in sending out the October Newsletter as the Trust had recently moved over to NHS Net and as a result this newsletter was misdirected.
⦁ The PBCSG stand in the Hospital atrium had been disappointing very few people had stopped to talk to us
Overview: The October meeting was reserved for the group to catch up on business matters especially how we were going to raise awareness of our existence to the many women newly diagnosed with breast cancer that needed support and friendship through their treatments and beyond.
Calendar Girls: Denise had brought along an impressive calendar produced by the Market Deeping Breast Cancer Group which certainly highlighted their presence to other women and families in the local area and asked if we felt we could do something similar for 2019? Instead we thought given the length of time the group has been in existence we all have an accumulation of photographs which illustrate what we do and the activities and events we have and are involved in. These could provide the story of PBCSG up to the present day and highlight how we work together and with others to give support and friendship. We agreed to sort out our photos by the February 2018 meeting and to contact old members to ask if they would also forward their old photo’s to us by that date. See the newsletter for all the details...
Community Radio: Gill said she had contacted the Community Radio Station who made us so welcome in the summer to find it had ceased operating. We were hopeful of arranging with them to return on a regular basis to spread the word about PBCSG.
Hospital Stand: Gill suggested as October is Breast Cancer awareness month that PBCSG have a stand in the hospital to promote the group.
Xmas Party: Finally we discussed our annual Christmas Party.
Breast Cancer Nurse Specialist: Claire brought along some copies of ‘Woman’s Own’ magazine with relevant articles about Breast Cancer and other health issues and braved her first solo meeting taking questions from members.
Psychology: Debbie Williams arrived straight from her work in Birmingham as a Clinical Psychologist. We introduced ourselves and Debbie started with a resume of what we talked about on her previous visit in April 2017; our deepest fears often around our lives, our expectations of ourselves and others and our mortality. Debbie explained she has a set of Russian Dolls in her office and she uses them to help patients to understand we all have several layers of self and by recognising and peeling each layer off we reveal more of ourselves. She suggested we begin our sessions with Ground rules of confidentiality and complete trust with what is said in our room stays in our room!
- The Crokus Group’s AGM is on Sunday 17th September; their speaker will be talking about Animals for Friendship followed by a social gathering with refreshments provided, family and friends are welcome.
- Peterborough City Council have issued an invitation to Voluntary Sector organisations to contribute to their Market Shaping Event
- Thanks goes to Carol for printing and delivering PBCSG leaflets to Claire at the meeting.
New member: We welcomed Deirdre to her first meeting. Deirdre had been an active member of Boston Breast Cancer Group and has now moved to Peterborough and had come along to see what we get up to.
Breast Cancer Nurse Specialist: Lisa was available for queries: it was highlighted that there is a need for women over seventy to continue to have regular mammograms. Lisa advised to contact the Breast Unit Screening team on 01733 673068 or 673069.
Community Radio: Denise had been very impressed with Peterborough Community Radio who had been kind enough to promote the group when Val, Denise and Gill visited them and thought this was something we could do regularly.
Group Awareness: We need to use our PBCSG Facebook page to promote ourselves more productively. Gill then handed out info about creating strap lines to the main name Peterborough Breast Cancer Support Group rather than changing it totally, for members to think about.
AOB: Denise had written to Kathy Dickinson, Wellbeing Project Lead for the Robert Horrell Cancer Centre asking if they could promote us when patients have completed their activities at the Centre. The Krocus Club have invited us to their AGM on 17th September - Contact Denise if you are going. Jenny had been contacted by Sue Shaw who runs ‘Casting for Recovery’ and now works with the Country Side Alliance, asking if those who took part last year would like to say something about it. Travelling to the venue would be involved and the event takes place on 9th September. Denise had been contacted by the Hospital Radio Guide asking if we would like to advertise in their publication. Cost £166.
The meeting finished early to give us time to head for the Woodman for a meal and social evening.
Breast Care Nurse Specialist: Breast Care Nurse Specialist Claire Hall attended the meeting and introduced Claire Snowden, Breast Care Support Nurse to the group.
Group Advertising/Awareness: Denise had written to Kathy Dickinson in the hope that the Cancer Wellbeing Centre would highlight the Groups existence to local women with a Breast Cancer diagnosis after they have completed the courses running at the centre.
Group's Posters: Gill had produced two different posters advertising the Group and after discussion one was chosen for display in GP surgeries and at the Cancer Wellbeing Centre.
Strawberry Tea: Val reported that the total raised at the Strawberry Tea event was £510.00. The event was well attended and thanks should go to Val’s son and the volunteers who had done a great job in coordinating the event on the day. £350 from tickets and donations, £165 from the tombola, £48.50 from the plant stall and £19 from Name the Teddy.
Donations: Denise reminded members that at present this money was being used to provide psychological therapy sessions with Mimi and asked Claire if the Breast Unit was in need of any particular equipment.