Hastings and Bexhill Area Breast Cancer Support Group

Meeting Feedback

This feedback will help members unable to attend a meeting keep up with what's been

happening, and give non-members an idea of what we do at our meetings.

January meeting 2017 

Wow! January meetings are usually some of our quietest - but not tonight! Seven, yes seven, new members and what a wonderful bunch they were Welcome to our group ladies. Sadly several of our regular group members were unable to be there through general illness, coughs, colds etc. but the evening was buzzing as everyone got to know each other, lots of questions were asked - lots of breasts were brought out - well you know what we're like. I have to say, there's a lot of amazing reconstruction surgery going on out there. Our therapists Amanda and Naomi were kept busy with their pedicures and reflexology.and it was good to see that our new members were eager to have some treatments too. Among us, we now have a small group who have been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. It's not what we like to think about, but it can happen, and now that there is more than one in the group, they too can share their thoughts and worries between themselves and help to support each other. One of the things we discussed this evening is a day out/outing - all part of our Macmillan grant - so if you have any ideas bring them along to the next meeting. We're also thinking of having Look Good, Feel Better come along one evening, and contacting Nicola Jane (mastectomy wear) to see if we could arrange something with them . Again all ideas for meetings gratefully accepted. See you next month - on the 8th.

February meeting 2017

I just love the buzz at these meetings now. I really feel that our new(ish) venue helps with that, the layout gives us plenty of space to mix around giving a relaxed atmosphere. Our main topic of conversation this month was the renewal of our Macmillan grant. Although our current grant doesn't end until July this year, we have already been sent forms for renewal, which Gloria and Pam have worked on (as it needed to be in the post this week) and brought to the group this evening. Fingers crossed that we get it renewed. As part of last year’s grant we were given money to "develop our website". Colin has been, and continues to work on this. It is not currently online, but we'd love you to view it and pass comment/come up with suggestions please. You can take a look by going online www.patandcolin.co.uk. One of the main benefits to this site will be that it is mobile friendly - so you can try checking it out on your phones too! A social event is in the planning, afternoon tea was suggested and Suzie is checking out the possibility of securing Courtney's, Bexhill Old Town, exclusively for us for an afternoon - more on that next month. Heather also spoke about the London Fashion Show, which this year is to be held on Thursday 28th September. So as not to miss out, she has booked a table for ten for the group. We're not sure of ticket costs at the moment last year it was £69. If you think you would like to join us for a wonderful day out, Heather Adams is in charge, and would like to know numbers by our May meeting please. We will of course be sponsoring two group members to attend too, so please let her know if you'd like your name added to that list - we will make a draw of names nearer the time. Next month, March 8th:- Nicola Jane, mastectomy/swimwear specialists will be attending our meeting - so you might like to bring along some cash/credit cards. Wishing you all well, try and keep away from those horrid coughs, colds etc., and look forward to seeing you next month.

March Meeting 2017

A slightly smaller meeting last night, but still successful. Melissa, from Nicola Jane, not only brought along a wonderful selection of lingerie, and swimwear, but also gave us some interesting information as to which bras we should be choosing after surgery, for example those recommended by the nurses that help with Lymphodema. There were some wonderful soft fabrics and updates to favourite styles and most of us either bought, ordered or simply had themselves measured up to make sure they were buying the correct size. If you are thinking of buying lingerie or swimwear, we would certainly recommend Nicola Jane, who not only carry their own products, but Amoena, Royce, amongst others, and really understand and can advise the best styles for you. They are also fairly local - with a shop in Chichester, right next to the station too! Don't forget to let Heather know if you want a ticket for the London Fashion Show, on Thursday 28th September, they are £70 this year. We'll also be making a decision on where to go for our afternoon tea at our next meeting, by when we'll have our new style webpage up and running. See you all on April 12th.

April Meeting 2017

What a fabulous evening, so many people there, conversations buzzed around, although I did make the mistake of going off to have my feet done, whilst Gloria spoke about the cream tea, and missed giving someone else a chance to speak - sorry. What a delightful lady Miss Shah is, she gave us a little information on tissue matrix used in reconstruction, but then was happy sitting chatting with various groups, answering any questions they had. Gloria is arranging our cream tea at Powdermills Hotel, Battle, Sunday May 21st, so if you are interested please let us know. Heather would also like numbers for the London Fashion Show - which this year’s a break from the norm and will held on Thursday 28th September. We hope to book the early bird tickets for this, but are having a job to get through to the necessary people for info at the moment. Hopefully our new website will be up and running by next month - including photos! Look forward to seeing you next month when our guest is... Debbie Winchester, more info about that later.

May Meeting 2017

We had a very busy and entertaining evening attended by 20 group members. We welcomed Linda Maggs to the group who said she felt welcome and enjoyed the evening. Debbie Winchester (looking gorgeous as ever) gave a very enlightening talk on the virtues of exercise and diet choices, we did a range of exercises that she felt was in everyone's interests to try to maintain even on a reduced scale, depending, of course, on the stage of treatment we could be going through; the bottom line was to do anything that kept mobility and range of arm movement going. We did the draw for the 3 free fashion show tickets and the lucky trio have been informed. To date we have heard no news from the show organisers (watch this space). Janet, our super treasurer, reminded us that if we are not lucky enough to get another grant we will need to do some serious fund raising. Thinking caps on girls! The cream tea is being finalised this week. Details are: Sunday 21st May 2017, at Powder Mills Hotel, Battle from 3.30 to 5.30. No dieting allowed that day!

June Meeting 2017

Sorry, no feedback available for this meeting.

July Meeting 2017

Our meeting last week was well attended by 22 pink ladies, including two new members, we welcomed Sandra Christie and Maggie Sweeney, both ladies were able to enjoy some therapy by Amanda. We learnt some interesting facts re transport to Maidstone, one of the group contacted Maidstone Hospital direct and asked how she could get there, explaining she had no means of getting to appointments. They arranged transport from Hastings to all of her radiotherapy appointments. When she told the Breast Care Nurses they couldn't believe her luck - I think the moral of the story is to try Maidstone instead of our local team. The joy of having so many members means some of the group have to participate in group discussions from behind a pillar! Not very pleasant, especially as it was one of the new members this month. Our intrepid explorer, aka Pam, sussed out an additional room leading off the current one and thought it would make a less cluttered space to begin our meetings when we are all involved, we can then move back to the other room for our small group chats, let's give it a try for the August meeting and see how it goes. The grant money we have been awarded for the coming year means we can afford another therapist, Pam is sorting this out and we hope to have someone in situ in September. We are delighted that Amanda and Naomi have agreed to continue to come along to meetings next year; members who have taken advantage of the therapy have all said it was very beneficial to them. On our information table there now lives a black note book for you to PLEASE comment on the therapy you may have had, any speakers you might like to invite, the good and possible not so good points about our meetings. The group can only survive and grow by input from those using it, I for one always feel a tremendous boost from seeing everyone and while long past my treatment, still have a strong bond with old and new group members. No need to sign your name in the book if you don't want to; just use it as you feel appropriate. One or two of our Ladies are having a tough time at the moment, for various reasons, and it's imperative we support them in any way we can, a phone call is sometimes a tremendous help when it all seems to be going wrong. In September Isabelle is giving us a talk and taster on the value of good nutrition, and the choices we can make to improve our diets. I look forward to that. There are some books the group has purchased from the Haven on the information table, please feel free to borrow them. Someone suggested we get some "alert cards " printed and laminated to carry in our purse that warn of our compromised arm, we have a sample that was provided by the hospital and will use that as our template. Shelia and Pat are running the bottle Tombola stall at Pestalozzi Rural Times Fayre on Sat 12th and Sun 13th August in aid of group funds; please help if you can even for an hour or two. Bring ANY bottles you can donate for the stall to our next meeting, they don't have to be alcoholic, they can be sauce, perfume, vinegar - anything in a bottle. If we can't manage to man a stall both days we'll just do just the one. Sheila will have information at the August meeting. Janet is standing down as our Treasurer at the end of this month and we are fortunate that Diane McBrinn has agreed to take over this thankless task. Janet has asked that if you have any outstanding bills, or cheque's you haven't yet paid into the bank (who's that rich) to please do so as soon as possible Janine is hoping to be included on a trial for a new type of mamogram machine being tried out at the Royal Marsden we hope she will be successful and can keep us informed of its virtues. Anne is going to try and get some up to date information as to when we can expect the Radiotherapy unit to be up and running in Eastbourne... that would make an amazing difference. One of our Ladies is traveling to Pembury for treatment, not financed by East Sussex but by Kent. It's comforting to know that somehow our consultant's manage to get us the appropriate treatments, we are very lucky. I've probably missed vital "stuff” from the meeting and I'm sorry if I have but I've done my best, aided by a glass of wine. Love and health Gloria xxx

August Meeting 2017

Sorry, no feedback available for this meeting.

September Meeting 2017

See our Special Events page

2016

October Meeting 2016

Heather has everything arranged for the London fashion show in November, she has bought tickets in advance and looks forward to meeting all those going at the station at 9.30 ready for the 9.45 train. If you are going and not sure of anything, please contact her - she read through the days itinerary and it sounds great, so I hope you all have a lovely day. Since our last meeting Janet and Pam have met up with Jane Viner from Macmillan, who was able to answer some of our questions re our grant money, and exactly how we might spend it. Sadly, we may be losing Jane as our contact, as she may be moved to work in a different area. One of the items we've been granted money for is an annual "do". How would you like this money to be spent? A meal out, afternoon tea together somewhere, a day out... it's your group and we'd love your ideas, so that we can arrange it. Next month, we'll be welcoming Ash Subramanian and Jennifer Glendenning, new Oncologist at The Conquest, to our meeting, which, if it's like last years meeting, should be very interesting. Our December meeting will be by way of a bit of a Christmas party and Gloria is looking into nibbles for the evening... and so it will be the end of another year, which reminds me that I must make up a list of next year's meeting dates, and update our "contacts list", so, if you have a change of address or telephone number, let me know, before our next meeting please. We will be having a stall again at the Sarah Lee Christmas Fayre on 19th November. The chocolate tombola that Sheila ran in the summer did very well, and she has a few sweets left over, and still in date, so she's looking to do that again, but will obviously need some more sweets for that, so please bring them along to our next meeting. The Fayre runs from 10 - 1pm, so if you're free and would like to lend a hand please contact Sheila.

November Meeting 2016

What an interesting time we had on Wednesday when a large number of us met together and had the opportunity to meet, and talk to Ash Subramanian, Breat Surgeon and Jenny Glendenning, Oncologist, who joined us for the evening. We had a lot of questions to ask, which covered a huge range of subjects, current treatments, drugs (and how long we should take them for), life expectancy, hereditary breast cancer, implants, mastectomies, mammograms, the list goes on.....  They were both very forthcoming with their answers, which was very well received, the feedback was very positive. In the majority of cases breast cancer is a very treatable disease, with an excellent chance of long term cure. Many of us have now finished our treatment, but we know that if you should find yourself in the position of having to speak to either of these lovely people, they will be respectful of your wishes and give you time to discuss all options available to you - they are on your side. Our December meeting (14th) is a bit of a party - so we hope to see you there. Sometimes I meet people who say that they feel embarrassed about coming along again if they haven't been for a while, especially turning up for a Christmas party. Please don't be silly, it's lovely to see old friends again, you are welcome anytime.

December Meeting 2016

How lovely to see so many of you this evening, and to welcome three new members, all of whom said they felt such a warm welcome and were so pleased that they'd come along to join us. Our games were just as dis-organised as usual (let's not mention the CD player - definitely heading for the bin) the food, courtesy of Gloria was lovely and all in all I hope everyone had a good time and look forward to seeing you all again in 2017!
Hastings and Bexhill Area Breast Cancer Support Group

Meeting Feedback

This feedback will help members unable to attend

a meeting keep up with what's been

happening, and give non-members an idea of

what we do at our meetings.

January meeting 2017 

Wow! January meetings are usually some of our quietest - but not tonight! Seven, yes seven, new members and what a wonderful bunch they were Welcome to our group ladies. Sadly several of our regular group members were unable to be there through general illness, coughs, colds etc. but the evening was buzzing as everyone got to know each other, lots of questions were asked - lots of breasts were brought out - well you know what we're like. I have to say, there's a lot of amazing reconstruction surgery going on out there. Our therapists Amanda and Naomi were kept busy with their pedicures and reflexology.and it was good to see that our new members were eager to have some treatments too. Among us, we now have a small group who have been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. It's not what we like to think about, but it can happen, and now that there is more than one in the group, they too can share their thoughts and worries between themselves and help to support each other. One of the things we discussed this evening is a day out/outing - all part of our Macmillan grant - so if you have any ideas bring them along to the next meeting. We're also thinking of having Look Good, Feel Better come along one evening, and contacting Nicola Jane (mastectomy wear) to see if we could arrange something with them . Again all ideas for meetings gratefully accepted. See you next month - on the 8th.

February meeting 2017

I just love the buzz at these meetings now. I really feel that our new(ish) venue helps with that, the layout gives us plenty of space to mix around giving a relaxed atmosphere. Our main topic of conversation this month was the renewal of our Macmillan grant. Although our current grant doesn't end until July this year, we have already been sent forms for renewal, which Gloria and Pam have worked on (as it needed to be in the post this week) and brought to the group this evening. Fingers crossed that we get it renewed. As part of last year’s grant we were given money to "develop our website". Colin has been, and continues to work on this. It is not currently online, but we'd love you to view it and pass comment/come up with suggestions please. You can take a look by going online  www.patandcolin.co.uk. One of the main benefits to this site will be that it is mobile friendly - so you can try checking it out on your phones too! A social event is in the planning, afternoon tea was suggested and Suzie is checking out the possibility of securing Courtney's, Bexhill Old Town, exclusively for us for an afternoon - more on that next month. Heather also spoke about the London Fashion Show, which this year is to be held on Thursday 28th September. So as not to miss out, she has booked a table for ten for the group. We're not sure of ticket costs at the moment last year it was £69. If you think you would like to join us for a wonderful day out, Heather Adams is in charge, and would like to know numbers by our May meeting please. We will of course be sponsoring two group members to attend too, so please let her know if you'd like your name added to that list - we will make a draw of names nearer the time. Next month, March 8th:- Nicola Jane, mastectomy/swimwear specialists will be attending our meeting - so you might like to bring along some cash/credit cards. Wishing you all well, try and keep away from those horrid coughs, colds etc., and look forward to seeing you next month.

March Meeting 2017

A slightly smaller meeting last night, but still successful. Melissa, from Nicola Jane, not only brought along a wonderful selection of lingerie, and swimwear, but also gave us some interesting information as to which bras we should be choosing after surgery, for example those recommended by the nurses that help with Lymphodema. There were some wonderful soft fabrics and updates to favourite styles and most of us either bought, ordered or simply had themselves measured up to make sure they were buying the correct size. If you are thinking of buying lingerie or swimwear, we would certainly recommend Nicola Jane, who not only carry their own products, but Amoena, Royce, amongst others, and really understand and can advise the best styles for you. They are also fairly local - with a shop in Chichester, right next to the station too! Don't forget to let Heather know if you want a ticket for the London Fashion Show, on Thursday 28th September, they are £70 this year. We'll also be making a decision on where to go for our afternoon tea at our next meeting, by when we'll have our new style webpage up and running. See you all on April 12th.

April Meeting 2017

What a fabulous evening, so many people there, conversations buzzed around, although I did make the mistake of going off to have my feet done, whilst Gloria spoke about the cream tea, and missed giving someone else a chance to speak - sorry. What a delightful lady Miss Shah is, she gave us a little information on tissue matrix used in reconstruction, but then was happy sitting chatting with various groups, answering any questions they had. Gloria is arranging our cream tea at Powdermills Hotel, Battle, Sunday May 21st, so if you are interested please let us know. Heather would also like numbers for the London Fashion Show -which this year’s a break from the norm and will held on Thursday 28th September. We hope to book the early bird tickets for this, but are having a job to get through to the necessary people for info at the moment. Hopefully our new website will be up and running by next month - including photos! Look forward to seeing you next month when our guest is... Debbie Winchester, more info about that later.

May Meeting 2017

We had a very busy and entertaining evening attended by 20 group members. We welcomed Linda Maggs to the group who said she felt welcome and enjoyed the evening. Debbie Winchester (looking gorgeous as ever) gave a very enlightening talk on the virtues of exercise and diet choices, we did a range of exercises that she felt was in everyone's interests to try to maintain even on a reduced scale, depending, of course, on the stage of treatment we could be going through; the bottom line was to do anything that kept mobility and range of arm movement going. We did the draw for the 3 free fashion show tickets and the lucky trio have been informed. To date we have heard no news from the show organisers (watch this space). Janet, our super treasurer, reminded us that if we are not lucky enough to get another grant we will need to do some serious fund raising. Thinking caps on girls! The cream tea is being finalised this week. Details are: Sunday 21st May 2017, at Powder Mills Hotel, Battle from 3.30 to 5.30. No dieting allowed that day!

June Meeting 2017

Sorry, no feedback available for this meeting.

July Meeting 2017

Our meeting last week was well attended by 22 pink ladies, including two new members, we welcomed Sandra Christie and Maggie Sweeney, both ladies were able to enjoy some therapy by Amanda. We learnt some interesting facts re transport to Maidstone, one of the group contacted Maidstone Hospital direct and asked how she could get there, explaining she had no means of getting to appointments. They arranged transport from Hastings to all of her radiotherapy appointments. When she told the Breast Care Nurses they couldn't believe her luck - I think the moral of the story is to try Maidstone instead of our local team. The joy of having so many members means some of the group have to participate in group discussions from behind a pillar! Not very pleasant, especially as it was one of the new members this month. Our intrepid explorer, aka Pam, sussed out an additional room leading off the current one and thought it would make a less cluttered space to begin our meetings when we are all involved, we can then move back to the other room for our small group chats, let's give it a try for the August meeting and see how it goes. The grant money we have been awarded for the coming year means we can afford another therapist, Pam is sorting this out and we hope to have someone in situ in September. We are delighted that Amanda and Naomi have agreed to continue to come along to meetings next year; members who have taken advantage of the therapy have all said it was very beneficial to them. On our information table there now lives a black note book for you to PLEASE comment on the therapy you may have had, any speakers you might like to invite, the good and possible not so good points about our meetings. The group can only survive and grow by input from those using it, I for one always feel a tremendous boost from seeing everyone and while long past my treatment, still have a strong bond with old and new group members. No need to sign your name in the book if you don't want to; just use it as you feel appropriate. One or two of our Ladies are having a tough time at the moment, for various reasons, and it's imperative we support them in any way we can, a phone call is sometimes a tremendous help when it all seems to be going wrong. In September Isabelle is giving us a talk and taster on the value of good nutrition, and the choices we can make to improve our diets. I look forward to that. There are some books the group has purchased from the Haven on the information table, please feel free to borrow them. Someone suggested we get some "alert cards " printed and laminated to carry in our purse that warn of our compromised arm, we have a sample that was provided by the hospital and will use that as our template. Shelia and Pat are running the bottle Tombola stall at Pestalozzi Rural Times Fayre on Sat 12th and Sun 13th August in aid of group funds; please help if you can even for an hour or two. Bring ANY bottles you can donate for the stall to our next meeting, they don't have to be alcoholic, they can be sauce, perfume, vinegar - anything in a bottle. If we can't manage to man a stall both days we'll just do just the one. Sheila will have information at the August meeting. Janet is standing down as our Treasurer at the end of this month and we are fortunate that Diane McBrinn has agreed to take over this thankless task. Janet has asked that if you have any outstanding bills, or cheque's you haven't yet paid into the bank (who's that rich) to please do so as soon as possible Janine is hoping to be included on a trial for a new type of mamogram machine being tried out at the Royal Marsden we hope she will be successful and can keep us informed of its virtues. Anne is going to try and get some up to date information as to when we can expect the Radiotherapy unit to be up and running in Eastbourne... that would make an amazing difference. One of our Ladies is traveling to Pembury for treatment, not financed by East Sussex but by Kent. It's comforting to know that somehow our consultant's manage to get us the appropriate treatments, we are very lucky. I've probably missed vital "stuff” from the meeting and I'm sorry if I have but I've done my best, aided by a glass of wine. Love and health Gloria xxx

August Meeting 2017

Sorry, no feedback available for this meeting.

September Meeting 2017

See our Special Events page

2016

October Meeting 2016

Heather has everything arranged for the London fashion show in November, she has bought tickets in advance and looks forward to meeting all those going at the station at 9.30 ready for the 9.45 train. If you are going and not sure of anything, please contact her - she read through the days itinerary and it sounds great, so I hope you all have a lovely day. Since our last meeting Janet and Pam have met up with Jane Viner from Macmillan, who was able to answer some of our questions re our grant money, and exactly how we might spend it. Sadly, we may be losing Jane as our contact, as she may be moved to work in a different area. One of the items we've been granted money for is an annual "do". How would you like this money to be spent? A meal out, afternoon tea together somewhere, a day out... it's your group and we'd love your ideas, so that we can arrange it. Next month, we'll be welcoming Ash Subramanian and Jennifer Glendenning, new Oncologist at The Conquest, to our meeting, which, if it's like last years meeting, should be very interesting. Our December meeting will be by way of a bit of a Christmas party and Gloria is looking into nibbles for the evening... and so it will be the end of another year, which reminds me that I must make up a list of next year's meeting dates, and update our "contacts list", so, if you have a change of address or telephone number, let me know, before our next meeting please. We will be having a stall again at the Sarah Lee Christmas Fayre on 19th November. The chocolate tombola that Sheila ran in the summer did very well, and she has a few sweets left over, and still in date, so she's looking to do that again, but will obviously need some more sweets for that, so please bring them along to our next meeting. The Fayre runs from 10 - 1pm, so if you're free and would like to lend a hand please contact Sheila.

November Meeting 2016

What an interesting time we had on Wednesday when a large number of us met together and had the opportunity to meet, and talk to Ash Subramanian, Breat Surgeon and Jenny Glendenning, Oncologist, who joined us for the evening. We had a lot of questions to ask, which covered a huge range of subjects, current treatments, drugs (and how long we should take them for), life expectancy, hereditary breast cancer, implants, mastectomies, mammograms, the list goes on.....  They were both very forthcoming with their answers, which was very well received, the feedback was very positive. In the majority of cases breast cancer is a very treatable disease, with an excellent chance of long term cure. Many of us have now finished our treatment, but we know that if you should find yourself in the position of having to speak to either of these lovely people, they will be respectful of your wishes and give you time to discuss all options available to you - they are on your side. Our December meeting (14th) is a bit of a party - so we hope to see you there. Sometimes I meet people who say that they feel embarrassed about coming along again if they haven't been for a while, especially turning up for a Christmas party. Please don't be silly, it's lovely to see old friends again, you are welcome anytime.

December Meeting 2016

How lovely to see so many of you this evening, and to welcome three new members, all of whom said they felt such a warm welcome and were so pleased that they'd come along to join us. Our games were just as dis-organised as usual (let's not mention the CD player - definitely heading for the bin) the food, courtesy of Gloria was lovely and all in all I hope everyone had a good time and look forward to seeing you all again in 2017!