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In August 2014 there was a Q&A Session. Here is that newsletter for download. Q&A August 2014
We were pleased to see the return of Psychotherapist Mimi Kilgour. Mimi, who donates her time freely to the group, previously ran a workshop looking at the individual impact of a cancer diagnosis. This time she was looking at how to deal with family emotions.
Mimi used the simple analogy of a boat with everyone close to us in it that is rocked by a sudden wave and the effect that has on everyone aboard. In the same way a cancer diagnosis will at the least cause anxiety and sometimes fear for family, friends and to some extent in the wider environment such as work colleagues and neighbours.
There was a very positive response to Mimi’s workshop providing the opportunity for us to express our feelings and share our experiences. Mimi also provided a comprehensive hand out on Effective Communication Within the Family, giving examples of different ways to communicate. Mimi ended by saying that she offered two free sessions to any member of the Group who wanted it, in memory of her dear friend Carol who was the Groups founder member.
A patient leaflet about a Community Cancer Nursing Pilot was circulated for comment. Vanessa explained that this was a two-year project involving caring for people in the community with a cancer diagnosis.
Denise reported that the Breast Cancer Support Group Leaflet was due for a reprint and that Carole who works at a printers said she'd ask the cost of printing 500 copies.
Our first meeting in 2014 was small due mainly to the weather. Who would have thought it could rain so much and for so long?
This was an open meeting and we talked about a number of issues starting with the problems of using prosthesis after mastectomy and how to stop them falling out of a bra. Some of us had discovered stick on ones, which seemed to do the trick providing we did not get hot enough for them to peel off. You can discuss about stick on prosthesis in the Prosthesis Clinic if/when you require a new prosthesis.
Bras in general are often a problem after breast cancer surgery and there was a mixed reaction to how Marks and Spencers and John Lewis provided their bra fitting service. ‘Eve’ in Oundle had good feedback.
Claire reminded us that in fact John Lewis would be hosting a lingerie evening in conjunction with Breast Cancer Care on 10th April 2014.
We also discovered that a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 32 would mean that not all options of reconstructive breast surgery could be carried out. For those of us wanting to loose weight the City Council run ‘Lets Get Moving’ and ‘Lets Keep Moving’ sessions. Denise, who is currently going to the sessions was feeling the benefit of the exercises and was meeting people with other conditions not just cancer. Sessions can be accessed via a GP referral.
Macmillan Nurses also run ‘Moving Forward’ courses at the Robert Horrell Centre on the Peterborough City Hospital Site, which concentrate on getting life back into focus after a cancer diagnosis/treatment. To attend these contact Breast Care Nurses.
May we wish ALL of you Compliments of the Season and a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Thank you to everybody who came enjoyed and contributed to make our Christmas-month meeting a happy & cheerful occasion. We missed all who were unable to make our festive gathering due to poor health or other commitments.
We learned that there were too many quizzes and no time was given for jokes, rhymes etc. many apologies to all who brought in contributions but were unable to share them. We enjoyed the food especially contributions brought in by members, and we finished up with our Secret Santa gifts.
Gill & I would like to remind you all that there is a Cancer Services Users Group currently requiring any patients who have been affected by any cancer to say what you thought was good, bad or indifferent about the services/treatments you received.
We have had a wonderful offer from our website owners-Davide and Susan for Blue Monkey services and Domain names. Many of us who have been dealing with various parts of the website and the Specialist Nurses, Claire & Vanessa, shared the information and decided to take up their offer to redesign, update & modernise & make our websites interactive. Davide & Susan will donate their services for as long as we need them as a gift following friends & relatives recently being diagnosed with bone & breast cancer & say they will “…take care of annual renewals.”
A good group of us gathered in the large Essex Room of The Holiday inn (West) for this meeting along with Lisa & Jane our Breast Cancer Support Nurses. We thank Rita and Gill for keeping our monthly meetings going at short notice.
Our Guest Speaker Nicola Mulkeen introduced herself & colleague, Gemma, both Physiotherapists working at PCH who see patients after breast surgery. Nicola outlined some of the conditions they help us overcome or cope with. A question and answer session followed. Next Nicola, ably assisted by Gemma, led us through a variety of Pilate’s stretches & exercises. Pilates is a body conditioning routine that is said to help build flexibility, muscle strength & endurance. It puts emphasis on spinal & pelvic alignment, breathing & developing a strong core or centre & improving coordination & balance. Nicola holds classes at Preston’s Independent multi-disciplinary Physiotherapy & Health Centre on Tuesday evenings between 6 & 7pm generally for about 8 people. There is a short waiting list or she says if enough people want to join she is happy to start another regular weekly class.
Our October meeting turned out to be busy despite Psychotherapist Mimi having to cancel because her Mum was ill. Members welcomed Pat, Margaret, Belinda and Lynne to the group.
Val opened the meeting with the news that Denise had been admitted to Hospital with a heart attack, ended up in Papworth having a stent fitted and was now at home. Being Denise she had remained upbeat about it all but it was a shock to everyone who knows her. At the moment she feels very tired and has been referred to Cardiac Rehabilitation sessions for the next month. Val had taken her a bouquet on our behalf and there was a thank you card from Denise who sends her love.
Gill distributed a draft survey from Healthwatch Peterborough who hopes in time to develop more cancer support services for patients and is currently working with staff from the Robert Horrell Centre on the feasibility of using the centre’s facilities.
Member’s provided some useful insights into wording and layout of questions as well as feedback on types of activities.
The meeting was very well attended and additional chairs had to be brought in, all four Breast Care Nurses attended and were able to clarify issues as well as the doctors, we also appreciate their time.
Welcome to any new members, sorry I don’t know your names at this point to give you an individual welcome but that information is with Denise but we do hope you will join us again and look forward to seeing you at future meetings.
Our next meeting on 3rd October was supposed to be attended my Mimi Kilgour a psychotherapist who some of you will remember her very informative talk she gave earlier this year. Unfortunately she won’t be attending as her mother is ill.
Instead Gill Metcalf would like to share a survey that will soon be going out to cancer groups and carers. The survey is asking about what activities in your experience would be most useful at diagnosis, through treatment and recovery.
We welcomed Carol who came after a recent routine mammogram. We did our best to support and reassure her and she felt she benefitted from attending the group. Thank you too to a few regular members who came to this meeting.
We discussed our activities at the stall at Bretton Festival and the money we made-approximately £112. Treasurer Pat will give us the final figure when she returns in a few weeks. Will as many people as possible including members who helped out on the day please let us know whether you think it is worth repeating.
May we take this opportunity to gratefully thank all members and their families who supported this event by donating, buying, helping on the day, handling customers, neighbouring stall holders etc. and lending and transporting tables, chairs, sales items and gazebo? We are such a good united band as was shown at this event and the Strawberry Tea! Again thank you all.
We welcomed Angela, Jackie, Kanta and Tracey who were all new to the Group this month. We hope you found something you liked and return at some time, ladies, as it was great meeting you all!
We are very pleased to announce that Pat and Val made just over £250 at their Strawberry Tea. Thank you Val and Pat and your families for all your tireless work to ensure everything ran smoothly on the day. They too would like to thank everyone who came, sold tickets, donated raffle prizes, furniture etc. for the day as it was a wonderful sunny day and the food, company and atmosphere was relaxed-a perfect English Summer Strawberry Tea!!!
A big thank you to Chris Norman who brought in the remains of her stock to sell to us at heavily reduced prices. Chris said she had a good evening. Most of us bought clothing we wanted, guided by Chris’ expertise. Also thanks to Gaynor who helped Chris throughout.
Our meeting this month was well attended by members and led by our colleague & friend Linda who helped us complete making our cards which we began at the March meeting.
Jane brought along some paper craft too. Linda very kindly offered to teach anyone interested in learning more on any form of paper craft. She brought in a few pieces with written instructions, templates etc which were taken by some of the ladies to make up for our stall at the Bretton Festival.
Strawberry Tea on Saturday 29th June. A reminder that Pat and Val are organising & hosting this event between 2.30pm and 5.30pm at 9, Downgate; Longthorpe. All the tickets have now been sold.
Welcome to Carol who attended our group for the first time and thank you to all other members who came to this meeting, it was great seeing you all.
Our Guest Speaker was Gaynor who began by telling us that Colour Analysis started in America where the Fashion Industry used it in photo-shoots to help make models look their best; this then came to the UK in the 1980’s. Gaynor showed us her colour wheel which indicated the Light, Bright & Warm colours of Spring; the Cool, Light & Muted colours of Summer; the Warm, Deep & Muted tones of Autumn and Winter’s Bright, Deep and Cool colours. She explained that when you know and wear colours that are most flattering to you, you look your best and feel more confident. She then demonstrated how some of the colours suited or clashed with certain others & checked out the colours which suited some members. Gaynor recommended the Kettlewell Colours catalogue for clothes, which we all got the chance to view. She quoted a statistic that 70% of clothes sold in the UK were black-what does that say about us?
Once again 15 members battled their way through the non spring like weather as did our new Breast Care Support Nurse Jane Farrar and Wendy, a new member.
Rita has not heard back from people who took cancer books away at one of our autumn meetings in 2012 to review. It was suggested that one of our members who was undergoing treatment at the time may have offered to review the book. If you have not found the time or had the inclination it is fine to just return the book to the usual ‘book table’ just inside the door of our meeting room.
Val, Jayshree & Rita very kindly represented our Group at Brantano’s Shoe shop on the Maskew Avenue Retail Park on Thursday 21st March. A donation of £50 was made to our Group thanks to their time, leaflets, banners, display & presence.
On another cold and wet wintry day we welcomed 15 members and thank them all for making the effort. Sadly our Speaker Gaynor sent apologies via Denise as she’d undergone minor surgery and recovery had been slower than anticipated. Her talk on Colour Analysis is now in May. We wish you a complete recovery, Gaynor.
Our wonderful friend Linda Woods helped us occupy our time with some card making which we can sell amongst ourselves, family & friends or on the stall in July-Thank you, Linda.
Did anyone get to the John Lewis Lingerie evening & if so will you be able to tell the rest of us about it.
Urgent will the people who agreed to review the cancer books written by local authors please return the books (and their reviews) to Rita ASAP.
Val informed us that our member Joan Staggs sent apologies as she was still an in patient at the Intermediate Care Centre (ICC) as she had succumbed to the Norovirus and been seriously ill. She is now on the mend & we send her our best wishes for a speedy recovery.