Find out more about our meetings. Catch up if you've been unable to attend. Download the group's Newsletters below in pdf format.
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In August 2014 there was a Q&A Session. Here is that newsletter for download. Q&A August 2014
Welcome: We welcomed many of our new & old members. Denise gave an update on Gill’s continuing treatments i.e. she was coping excellently with the chemotherapy.
Strawberry Tea: Val has sold several more tickets to members for her final Strawberry Tea on Saturday 22nd June 2019. Thank you Val and everyone who donated or is helping out.
Nurses & Referral Info: Helen introduced Nurse Claire Hall, who explained referrals are triaged when they arrive into the Breast Dept. from GP’s etc... The old 2 week wait is now approximately a 6 week wait which she acknowledges may create anxiety for new patients, but staff/consultants were doing extra clinic sessions every weekend and that creates a bigger demand for Operating Theatre time which is probably at a premium. They have recruited more nurses; another new Breast Care nurse is due to start soon at PCH. Other staffing requirements need more time to resolve successfully; such as the recruitment of Radiologists & specific Breast Radiographers. Then there is the need to cover extra Clinics at Hinchingbrooke which has joined the Peterborough Hospitals Trust Group. The good news is Screening Services are still recalling ladies every 3 years for their mammograms.
Substitute Speaker: Justin Preston High, Development Worker with the CPLT (CP Learning Trust) came along and helped us to indulge our artistic skills by choosing & threading the beads for and making ourselves Hand Bangles. There was a great buzz & everyone helped those that needed organizing!!
New Event: Linda informed us that on Saturday the 6th July from 11.30-1pm there is to be a Yaxley Coffee “N” Cake morning at St. Beads Hall, Yaxley. This is being organised by a Breast Cancer survivor to raise money to ‘give back’ to PCH’s Breast Unit. Of course we’d like to encourage as many people as possible to go & try out all those home-made cakes & help to raise money for our favourite department at PCH.
Trip: Helen will be contacting people via email about the proposed Summer Trip to Cambridge. Please look out for her email & respond as soon as you are able.
Hello! We were very happy to welcome newcomers to our Group, Marian, her daughter Sarah & Ann. Welcome too, to Sharn who was new to the Group last month and was due to finish her radiotherapy the week after this Meeting. Well done to all of you and best wishes to Gill who starts her treatments later in May-it was great seeing you, Gill.
Breast Nurses: Helen welcomed Nurse Lisa and our new Breast Care Nurse-Mandy, who joined the PCH Breast Care Team in December and worked previously as a District Nurse and in Palliative Care. Lisa told us changes since amalgamation of the Teams with Hinchinbrooke, Stamford and Peterborough was going well. It had to do with uniting the computer systems, logistics, people etc. in all the Units. Our current Consultants are Mr Abdullah, Mr Goh, Mr Mathew, Mr Tafazall & Mr Rezulski.
Hotel Marigold: Sue gave us a wonderful talk following her trip to India, beautifully illustrated with photographs of the places she’d visited and some of the artistic craft items she’s come across in India. Sue’s trip, with her husband, was organised through the ‘Angel Group’ and included some independent travel, work/visiting Charity Workers and Charitable Organisations etc. She stayed within the grounds of the Hotel Marigold in Jaipur, as we saw it on TV.
NHS & Health Watch: Denise brought an NHS / Health Watch questionnaire which stated: ‘The Government is investing an extra £20 Billion by 2023 in the NHS & wants to produce a plan setting out all it wants the Health Services to do for all people across the UK. We were sent one of these as a Breast Cancer Group by the Cambs/Pboro Health Watch. The questionnaire asked us to consider that there are growing pressures on the NHS.
Strawberry Tea: Val thanked Gill for bringing in printed tickets for the Strawberry Tea next month at her house on 22/6/19, between 3 & 5.30 pm, some were sold for £5 each & she thanked everybody that brought in gifts for the
Intro: Denise introduced Helen as their new Coordinator
Breast Care Nurses: Helen welcomed Claire, our Senior Specialist Nurse from Peterborough City Hospital (PCH), whom we hadn’t seen since Christmas & Claire explained to the Group that the Team had been reformed since Huntingdon Hospital (HH) merged with PC, 2 Breast Care Nurse’s (BCN) at HH ad 3 BCN’s at PCH plus a new BCN has just been appointed. She hopes we will see Nurses regularly at our Meetings. Mandy is the newest Nurse to join the PCH Breast Care Team, hopefully will meet her in May.
Counselling: June wanted to know more about when Counselling Services were offered for breast cancer diagnoses. Claire explained that all breast cancer nurses have been trained in counselling. The Waiting List for Counselling is 12-16+ weeks counsellor covers Women’s Health.
Size & Grades of Cancer: The next discussion about Size and Grade of cancer followed when a member asked ‘could the cancer lie dormant or be ignored/not noticed a while’? Also the different treatments for Oestrogen & progesterone fuelled cancers were discussed as was the time, involvement & diagnosis of axillary lymph node involvement.
Guest Speaker: Indian Head Massage was cancelled - Anna stepped in at very short notice to talk about Reflexology. Reflexology is said to be an ‘Art of stress reduction’ based on the theory that the body is reflected on the feet & less so on the hands. Anna gave us colourful hand & foot Reflexology charts which indicate areas of the body & taught us how to “walk” our fingers along & across specific areas of our hands & feet to ease specific symptoms, pointing out the do’s & dont’s and the grainy or bumpy feelings we may encounter. It was essential to drink 2 litres of water daily to wash out our systems. We thanked Anna for sharing her knowledge & Helen presented her with a card & gift.
Summer Trip: Helen lead a discussion about a summer trip, many were interested in going to Cambridge & enjoying a punt on the River Cam. More information in future Newsletters!
Strawberries: Val said she would be able; after all, to host our Annual & only fundraiser-PBCSG’s Strawberry Tea. This will be her last hosting. It is to be held on Saturday 22nd June, at Val’s house in Downgate, Longthorpe. Tickets will cost £5 & each ticket holder gets a hot beverage, bowl of strawberries & cream and a scone with cream & jam.
Nurses: Sadly our Breast Care Nurses were again unable to attend this Meeting due to not having enough staff to cover holidays, but a question was left on the Attendance Sheet by one member although others may have asked questions if a nurse was present. A short & informal discussion took place about surgical procedures like lumpectomy & mastectomy following a breast cancer diagnosis, treatments offered & things like nipple tattooing etc. which may continue when the Nurses return.
Guest Speaker: Kerry Moore came to demonstrate & explain Oncology Massage to us. Kerry has been a Massage Therapist for 24 years. Her partner underwent serious and aggressive cancer treatments, including Stem cell treatment and now has Cancer all over his bones. Normal massage was not encouraged at the time but Kerry was informed by a woman named Jennifer Young who is also a Biochemist, of an Oncology Massage Training programme, which Kerry completed. The main difference is that Oncology massage is a soothing, relaxing, soft touch massage using long, circular and reverse gentle movements over each area of the body. Kerry uses a Biochemist’s range of products, which are simple and nourishing & non-allergen oils such as grape seed oil, etc. She aptly demonstrated this on Eve, our brave member volunteer who was overcome (in a good way) by the experience and reported feeling many of the benefits listed below. Kerry also explained the benefits reported too her by people who’d experienced her massages as:
- Increased energy
- Reduced nausea
- Less anxiety
- Reduced stress
- Lifting of chemo fog
- Neuropathy lessened
- Better sleep
- Reduced pain. (And Kerry’s favourite...
- ‘To feel Normal’!
Discussion, questions and answers etc. followed. Kerry explained that she had agreed to volunteer to treat patients from a selected Group at the ‘Well Being’ Centre once the normal NHS screening procedures undertaken by the Hospital’s Trust are completed. We then thanked her for her time and expertise.
Quiz: Val sold us the new Macmillan 2019 Summer Quiz ‘Parts of the Human Body’. Good luck to everyone that completes it!
Future Speakers: We had further conversations about Speakers for future meetings this year and many members, including Kerry, our Speaker, who is a member of an active Women’s Group offered to ask people they know if they’d be willing to talk to us at our meetings.
The following are currently the requirements Denise asks of Speakers to our meetings:
- Because we are not a registered charity we do NOT pay any fees or travel expenses to our Speakers but will provide refreshments, water, biscuits & fruit, flip charts and Electrical points for IT/Power Point ‘Talks’, providing we clear this last point with the Holiday Inn first. Speakers are invited to ‘set up’ in the Nurses’ discussion time & leave when they finish.
- We currently have the Nurses slot from 7-7.30pm.
- Speakers are invited from 7.30-8.30pm, this time must allow for talk, demonstration, questions from members & answers from Speaker.
- 8.30-9pm Any/All Business, discussion or just chat amongst ourselves.
Obviously we aim to start & finish on time so please make every effort to help out as the Nurses time is scarce at the beginning & many are keen to get away at the end.
February Welcome Back: Denise gave a warm welcome to our first meeting of 2019 and an apology about the room set-up, which would have been OK if we were holding a seminar - The Hotel had been confused about our bookings but had kindly offered us one set out for a corporate event the next day. We started off with a discussion about the newsletter; Gill wanted to hand this on due to her commitments at the moment. Denise reminded people that she also had asked if someone would take over chairing meetings on a rotational basis. They both hoped that the group would consider helping them out.
Treasurer’s Report: Val reported that she had the groups audited accounts for 2018 and distributed copies for inspection.
Robert Horrell Macmillan Cancer Centre: Eve and Sue commented that they did a lot of group activities at the Centre such as Art, Tai Chi, and Nordic Walking. Denise commented on the importance of looking after ourselves in the recovery period. Gill suggested that as a group we write to the Chief Executive for NWAFT telling her of the benefits the Robert Horrell Macmillan Centre has brought.
- Eve had attended her 1st mammogram in trepidation since her surgery and it had been all clear, she pointed out that stress can cause problems such as diabetes.
- Gill asked if anyone had seen the report that one of the Cambridge Centres had produced an online questionnaire to indicate the likelihood of developing Breast Cancer.
- Helen was interested in how people change following diagnosis and treatment and how/if it still intrudes into life as we change and get older.
- Anne Marie highlighted the support she had been given since her diagnosis and treatment from her family and friends which had made an enormous difference.
- Denise asked if any members would like to talk about a topic at forthcoming meetings and Sue said as she was off to India soon on holiday would be happy to talk about that when she gets back.
- Aruna thanked the group for the trip to the Christmas Market which they all enjoyed.
- Read the full Newsletter.
Denise gave a warm welcome to our first meeting of 2019 and an apology about the room set-up, which would have been OK if we were holding a seminar. The Hotel had been confused about our bookings but had kindly offered us one set out for a corporate event the next day.
We started off with a discussion about the newsletter; Gill wanted to hand this on due to her commitments at the moment. Denise reminded people that she also had asked if someone would take over chairing meetings on a rotational basis. They both hoped that the group would consider helping them out.
A Happy New Year to Everyone and all the very best for 2019!
Xmas Party: In December we had our Christmas party and it was lovely to see Claire our Breast Care Nurse who took time out from her hectic schedule at the Breast Unit to come and see us. She reported that new staff had started that week, providing the much needed support to both her and Lisa. The party food provided by the hotel was excellent and we had the usual games but with a twist such as pass the parcel and festive gizmo plus Val’s super hard quiz. But most of all it was great to see one another again and we ended the evening with secret Santa gifts.
Consultant Speaker: Denise asked if one of the Consultant Surgeons would be able to come and speak to the group next year. Mr Tafazal was suggested and Claire said she would enquire if he would be willing to come along.
Wellbeing Centre: Gill had spoken to Val about a contribution towards updating some of the rooms in the Wellbeing Centre for proposed new alternative therapy sessions. It was decided to donate £300 with the proviso it was not used on art work for the walls as the Centre already has a thriving art group capable of providing art work themselves.
Lincoln Free Bus Trip: Jaysee said the free bus trip to Lincoln Christmas Market has been fun although she was disappointed so few people had come along.
Speaker: There was no speaker for our November meeting as we were gathered to arrange our annual Christmas party and finalise arrangements for the free Bus trip to Lincoln Christmas market
Newbies & Absences: Denise welcomed Linda to the meeting and apologised on behalf of the Breast Cancer Specialist Nurses for their absence. Staffing is short at the moment in the Breast Unit due to the fact that they now cover two trusts.
Wellbeing Centre: Gill had been talking to Rebecca Hardy at the Wellbeing Centre on their proposal to set up alternative therapy sessions. This was proving difficult as funding was first needed to make the rooms more homely and inviting to their clients.
Festivities: We decided on the Festive Buffet for our Christmas bash the cost of which will be met by our funds, and proposals for games including Val’s famous quiz, not to forget a secret Santa £5.00 present. If you are going to attend please let Denise know by 22nd November.
Headstrong: Jaysee put in a plea for volunteers for Headstrong as they were struggling to cover the sessions. She explained that since Breast Cancer Care had stopped funding for Headstrong it was being managed directly by the Wellbeing Centre, this involves a 2 hour session and training is provided. If you want to get involved with this very worthwhile service or need more information first, contact Rebecca or Lisa on Tel: 01733 678564.
Lincoln Trip: Denise said that to date 10 people had reserved seats for the free bus trip to Lincoln Christmas Market and if anyone else wanted to book a seat to let her know also by 22nd November.
Speaker: Denise welcomed back Debbie Williams our speaker for the evening. Debbie is a Clinical Psychologist at Birmingham and Soulihull Mental Health Trust but works mainly as a psychotherapist. She is also a great supporter of PBCSG and this is the third visit to the group. This session covered our experiences of breast cancer on those around us and how we have adopted ‘different faces’ to deal with this. All of us knew what she meant. Our own ways of dealing with family and friends tended to change depending on who it was we were talking to.
After some discussion Debbie asked us what we thought the compassionate self is? We came up with a whole list:- Empathy, non-judgemental, understanding, caring, accepting, noticing the pain in others in the broadest sense to displaying kindness, awareness, thoughtfulness, being good at listening and observing on an individual level.
Lincoln Christmas Market: There are sufficient members for the free bus trip to Lincoln Christmas Market on Friday 7/12/18 to go ahead. The Bus will leave from the Pyramid Bretton where parking is free at 10.00am. For any members who have not had an opportunity to put their name down yet ring Denise 01733 341491.
Headstrong: Denise also asked members if anyone was interested in volunteering for Headstrong as they are short of volunteers. This would involve a 2 hour session every 2 weeks and training is provided. For more information contact Jaysee on Tel: 01733 576245. Mob 07810 513559.
Members: It was great seeing many of our regular members, and some who had not been for awhile and couple of new members
Speaker: Our Speaker this month was Anna, a tutor at Peterborough Regional College Beauty Department who described the purpose and use of hand massage and hot wax treatment for skin care and painful joints. While the wax was heated up Anna demonstrated the best way to put on hand cream and brought some for all of us to use.
Crocus Club: Denise passed on an invitation from Jackie of the Head and Neck Cancer Support Group (the Crocus Club) to attend their meeting on Sunday 7th October 2018 at 2.30pm – if you want to listen to their guest speaker Jamie Rae (founder) or Gordon Dow from the Throat Cancer Foundation. Val and Denise plan to attend from 3.00- 5.00pm for mingling and afternoon tea. The event is being held at the Woodman, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough. PE3 6SQ and we hope to see some of you there. Jackie would like to know how many of us are joining them for catering purposes so please inform Gill or Denise by 25th September 2018 if you want to go.
Lincoln Christmas Market: Our date for the free bus trip to Lincoln Christmas Market was decided for Friday 7/12/18, meeting at the Pyramid Bretton where parking is free all day at 10.00am. Jayshee is going to arrange a 12 – 15 seat bus, as so far about 9 people have expressed an interest. For any members who have not had an opportunity to put their name down yet ring Denise 01733 341491, Val 01733 267005
Q&A session: Claire Snowden was our Breast Care Nurse for the evening and it was her last visit before she moves on to her new job in clinical trials. Does anastrozole caused weight gain? Yes, up exercise rates. Can you get replacement breast implants? Breast implants are replaced if shape alters or feels tight. otherwise they are left as nowadays these are guaranteed for life.
Costa's Chatty Cafe Scheme: this scheme which reserves a table (chatter and natter table) for community groups and others to meet and chat - talk to Costa's manager to put their name down.
Treasurer: Recently received a generous donation of £225 from the Market Deeping Inner Wheel.
PBCSG Bushfield Library visit: A drop-in session took place on Tuesday 21st August at the library for Orton residents.
Message from Joy (New Zealand) - niece Alison is all fine and well as the lump is only glandular.
Proposed Christmas Market Bus Trip: If you would like to come along on the trip, please contact Jayshee on Tel: 01733 576245 / Mob 07810 513559
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.