Supportive, fun, friendly, informative and helpful – all words used to describe our Rejuvenate Breast Care Programme, which aims to support women after breast cancer treatment.
On Friday, 28 June, the latest group to take part in the programme attended the last session of the five-month survivorship course. Those completing treatment for breast cancer are invited to join the wellbeing programme, at the Louise Hamilton Centre on the James Paget site, which offers a range of activities and relaxation techniques designed to support women as they move forward.
Run by our Breast Care specialist nursing team, the programme includes one meeting a month for five months with each including a talk, a coffee break where there is time for refreshments and the opportunity for a chat with others in the group, and a relaxation session.
Jill Swan, one of the James Paget Breast Care Nurse Specialists who organises Rejuvenate, said; “The programme can be a new start and an opportunity to make new friends who may have been through similar experiences. It’s all about confidence building and we offer the opportunity to try everything from nail care to holistic therapies. We are supported in this by a variety of local businesses who specialise in lifestyle and relaxation treatments and classes and we’re grateful to all of those who help with the programme including East Coast College, who support beauty & nail care and confidence & motivation sessions, Beales/ Palmers department store and Nathan Gray of Samballa Yoga.”
Nathan says; “The programme is a very positive experience from my point of view, with so many of the women taking part not just surviving but thriving post breast cancer and cancer treatment. There is so much going for the programme – it’s great to see everyone smiling and happy, it’s inspiring, and these amazing nurses provide support through the monthly sessions.”
Rachel Bunn, from East Coast College provides the final session in the five month programme – on confidence and motivation. A cancer survivor herself, she says; “There are lots of benefits for the group emotionally and socially as we encourage them to share their experiences and fears. It’s all about getting individuals to see they’re not alone and allows them to express anything they may not feel comfortable sharing with family members. We do this in the last session to allow group members to get to know each other a little first so there’s a sense of community and hopefully they will be more comfortable sharing with other women who have become friends during the programme.”
Hilary from Uggeshall, one of those who completed the course on Friday, said; “It’s just helpful and useful to be able to talk to other people who understand. We all have breast cancer in common and talking about it with others who have had similar experiences to you can really help.”
Her comments were echoed by Vivienne from Lowestoft who said; “When you’re on your own at home thinking about things you’re not quite happy. Coming here and talking about our experiences with other women really helps with that. You can chat about things and see that you’re not alone.”
Women completing breast cancer treatment at the James Paget are invited to attend the sessions and are welcome to take up a place if they feel it might benefit them.