The Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, 10.30 am at the Red Beach Methodist Church, Whangaparaoa. For more information, contact Barbara ph (09) 422 9045 or call us on 0800 BreaCanSupport (0800 273 222). New members are always welcome.
Latest news: Out to lunch on the Hibiscus Coast
Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends 2010
Out to lunch on the Hibiscus Coast
This report from Barbara McLean
For our Christmas lunch in November 16 of us went to Northridge Country estate and we had a very pleasant meal in beautiful surroundings.
We were very lucky with the weather, it was a hot and sunny 26 degrees, just right for an afternoon in the country.
At the end of the meal we each chose a gift from the pile of small presents we had each contributed, and had a lot of fun discovering what we had got and comparing with each other (Santa would normally have done the distribution, but it was so hot Santa could not bear the thought of a hot red suit and leather boots, and so did not make an appearance!).
We were really pleased that one of our ladies who is having treatment for secondaries was able to join us in time for dessert, after her treatment that morning. That was a big thing for our group
, as she had been seriously ill not very long before, so it was really good for all of us to be able to catch up with her.
The Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends will have an informal get together in January and our formal meeting schedule for 2011 will commence in February.
Pat Donovan inspires with poems and positive attitude!
This report from Group Coordinator Barbara McLean
We had a very full meeting with 20 of us present including Lyn Mourant, our Cancer Society Liaison Nurse. Four ladies were new to our group, although one had previously belonged to the Tauranga Breast Cancer Support Group. She was a welcome addition to our meeting as she had brought along her beautiful baby to cheer us all up. It was good to have several younger women with us.
As there were so many new ladies to the group we opened the meeting to questions before our speaker arrived, discussing the ramifications of bra and prosthesis benefits for non-residents, with some innovative suggestions coming forward when it was explained by one member that no benefit is available to non-residents. We also talked about the moon cushions Zonta have kindly donated to the cause, some of us still using them years after their surgery to help sleep comfortably at night.
A couple of interesting books were mentioned, - Healthy Eating During Chemotherapy, (by Christine Archer MacKenzie and Jose van Mil) and Foods that Fight Pain by Neal Barnard MD. Both give a good range of recipes. Also one of the group has a very good chart to print out and hang on the fridge door listing the healing properties of various fruits and vegetables.
Then Pat Donovan (pictured at left) arrived to talk to us about the book of poems she wrote while undergoing diagnosis and treatment. After explaining how her frustration with scary terminology encouraged her to write her first poem to her surgeon to make him understand how it feels from the patient’s perspective, she read us a variety of the poems covering everything from hook wires to MRI's, and ending with the successful surgery. Her positive attitude was inspiring and infectious, while her wicked sense of humour shone through the difficult topics to have us all laughing along with her. A great speaker, and the proceeds from the sales of her book are all donated to BCS.
We finished the meeting with a brief discussion of the venue for next month's meeting which will be our Christmas luncheon, and one of our group offered her home as venue for the January morning tea which we hold in lieu of a formal meeting.
After the meeting ended several of the newer ladies stayed behind to ask questions, and as Jane Bissell (BCS Support Coordinator) had joined us late in the meeting it was a good opportunity for her to meet up with them and talk with them about what is available from BCS.
Denise Flett visits Hibiscus Coast
This report from Group Coordinator Barbara McLean
It was a miserably wet wintry day and only 14 ladies made it to our meeting but two of them(one new to the group) came all the way from Wellsford which was a great effort.
We started the meeting with a brief catch-up regarding two of our members who are not well, then Dianne read out the apologies and the birthday list and notices regarding the dragon boat team, the performance of An Inspector Calls and Daffodil day were read out. While we waited for our speaker to arrive we had a brief talk about matters of interest to various ladies present.
Our speaker this month was Denise Flett, who gave us a clear and concise talk on Lymphoedema that had us all fascinated. There were lots of interesting and relevant questions and although the talk went slightly over time, nobody wanted it to end and we all learned something new about a topic that is of huge importance to us all.
Chocolate is definitely medicinal!
This July report from Group Coordinator Barbara McLean
Our July meeting today was a smallish gathering with fourteen ladies attending. It was lovely to have former Group Coordinator Jane Bissell with us again.
We started the meeting with a Birthday Rollcall, then moved on to more serious matters as one of our ladies is very unwell in hospital and two more are in the process of undergoing tests. Cards were sent around for everybody to add a small message wishing these ladies well. Fellow Coordinator Dianne then got the meeting back onto a happier footing by reading a delightful blonde joke that had us in fits of laughter.
Jane gave us clear explanations regarding some of the medical procedures one of our ladies is going through and from there the meeting moved to a general discussion of breast cancer treatments, the way they work and side effects. A news item from a magazine regarding trials investigating the beneficial effects oestrogen positive women can obtain by having a bisphosphonate infusion was read out and discussed. Here again Jane's knowledge of drug therapies and medical procedures was invaluable.
Jane also told us about Dr. Susan Love's breast cancer research initiative (in partnership with Avon) the Army of Women, a website where women can register their interest in participating in ongoing breast cancer research for which they might have a suitable profile.
Another item entitled "15 Golden Rules - Diet and cancer" was read out, prompting more discussion. While it was mostly advice we all were aware of there were a few items most of us had never thought much about - e.g. six small meals per day are better than two large meals, due to the imbalance large meals can cause to blood sugar levels, and also some vitamins pass through us very quickly, so it makes sense to "graze" to get the maximum benefit of these during each day. Food for thought.
In conclusion, we all agreed - chocolate is definitely medicinal!
June - The Month for Lunch!
June is the month Hibiscus Coast has its 'mid-winter Christmas luncheon'. Seventeen ladies met at the Warkworth Golf Club cafe for a light lunch. It was a glorious day so the ladies carpooling up from Red Beach had a lovely drive.
After a delicious lunch Dianne organised the handbag game, which was won by Joy who had the most items on the list in her bag. Then all changed places around the table to mix up the group and give everyone the chance to catch up with other ladies.
After a photo session outside on the deck with the stunning Club grounds as a background, followed by a free-spending raid on the Club's trading table, most of the group found a sunny corner of the clubrooms for a general group get together. We discussed various ideas for meetings and some ladies came up with great suggestions which was really helpful for the Coordinators deciding what format and timing will best suit the group as a whole. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day!
May - Traditional Chinese Medicine with Tamarin Pigneguy
23 ladies attended the May meeting of the Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends and began by wishing one of the group members a very happy 70th birthday and congratulations on her 15 years since surgery!
BCS Chair Marie Goudge joined the group and showed members the new BCS brochures, which were of much interest as several of the women who participated in the brochure photo shoot were pictured.
Tamarin Pigneguy (Tamarin has a website too, www.urbanremedy.co.nz) gave a fascinating talk about her field of Chinese medicine which kept everyone spellbound for over an hour. The topic is vast but Tamarin outlined the fundamental principles very succinctly. Her demonstration of how the body's blood (carefully measured water with a realistic colouring of cochineal) copes with the input of a can of fizzy drink was very thought-provoking and will hopefully encourage all to reduce sugar intake! Although she ran over time almost everyone stayed on and afterwards there was quite a queue waiting to purchase her books.
Just before the meeting finished the group took a vote on the venue for next month's luncheon which will be held at the Warkworth Golf Club.
All are welcome to attend the Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends - and to join them for their mid-winter lunch in June!
April - Having a good laugh on the Hibiscus Coast!
The Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends had a jolly good laugh when Laughter Yoga instructor Louise Stevens joined them for their April meeting.
It’s good for you to laugh … and you don't need a reason to do so! When you open the curtains to greet the new day, meet it joyously with a good laugh. When you take those dreadful bills out of the post, laugh, don’t cry! When you’re in a bustling shopping mall, take out your mobile phone, hold it to your ear, pretend you are having the funniest conversation ever and laugh... but be sure your phone is turned off before you do!
Laughter is good medicine – it nurtures the body, soul and spirit. Louise (pictured at left) pointed out that children have over 200 good laughs every day while adults may chuckle only 10 – 20 times. A good laugh, combined with deep breathing, stretching and relaxation can have positive benefits for our immune, respiratory, cardiovascular and lymphatic functions. It also makes us feel good, boosting energy levels and improving overall fitness and stamina.
Louise conducts regular Laughter Yoga sessions on Auckland’s North Shore and can be contacted on email@example.com.
The group also celebrated the birthday of co-coordinator Dianne. Georgea made a delicious cake to honour the occasion. Georgea also made the group’s wonderful scrapbook in which all social occasions are beautifully presented and recorded with photos and colour. The scrapbook is a real treasure for the Breast Friends and recalls fond memories of good times spent together.
The Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends welcomes women from Albany to Wellsford. We are a vibrant, fun and supportive group – please join is. For more information, please call Barbara on (09) 422 9045. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 19 May.
Eighteen ladies attended our meeting today and to celebrate St Patricks Day everybody wore something green, the most interesting items being an Irish football shirt, an extremely elegant green mask with a peacock feather on top, and the general favourite, a huge green "Mad Hatter" style hat which had been bought in Ireland.
We started the meeting with a few Irish jokes and then our Cancer Society Liaison Nurse Lyn Meurant spoke to us about the series of talks being run at Domain Lodge on every Thursday throughout the year.
Dianne spoke about the Relay for Life that was held in February. The group's team had been smaller than hoped but made a valiant effort, raising a good amount of money for the cause.
We then opened a discussion regarding issues the group feel important enough to be raised at the upcoming BCS leaders meeting in May. First, and most strongly felt, was the issue of women being unaware of their entitlement of the subsidy for bras and prostheses. Two ladies present had been unaware of the subsidy until joining the group. (Information about the subsidies can be found on this website
or call BCS on 0800 273 222 for assistance).
The ladies are all interested in finding out about new treatments and drugs as they become available, and various ways of providing this information to the group were discussed. It was a meeting for some fairly serious discussions about breast cancer issues and the group is looking forward to a Laughter Yoga session at our next meeting which should be great fun.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 21 April.
January - February
The Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends met informally in January to exchange summer holiday stories and news.
At the February meeting, women were encouraged to participate in the Cancer Society Relay for Life, the Busting With Life dragon boat team and an upcoming YWCA Encore programme being held in Orewa. Group Coordinators also discussed the Annual Survey of the Breast Friends Groups where members are asked to offer feedback on the running of the group and activities. Cancer Society Liaison Nurse Lyn Meurant spoke about psychosocial services available at Domain Lodge and the meeting concluded with a social discussion and catch up.
Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 17 March at the Red Beach Methodist Church - come join us!
Christmas Lunch, Carpe Diem Restaurant, 18 November
The Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends are well known for their lunches out - and the Christmas/end of year lunch is always something special!
On November 18th, 26 ladies met at the Carpe Diem restaurant, Gulf Harbour (Auckland) to enjoy their festive lunch. The theme of the day was 'Christmas Bling' and many rose to the occasion with their most outrageous jewellery and decorated hats.
Of course no Christmas lunch is complete without a visit from Santa and 'her' helpers. Those ladies who had been good all year (all of them!) received a gift from Santa and a special hug from the group's traditional Christmas Duck who appears only once a year, at the special lunch function.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable time. All the ladies celebrated another year of fellowship, friendship and good company and look forward to meeting again in 2010.
(Posted November 2009)
Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends scrapbook - a wonderful gift ...
The Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends group is fortunate to have Georgea Sharkey as their photographer (pictured).
Not only does she have her camera at the ready to capture precious moments from Christmas parties, lunches, birthday celebrations and other social events but she has been using those photos to create a wonderful gift for the group - a beautiful scrapbook.
Georgea joined the group in 2006 and decided she would make the scrapbook to record the fun times shared but also to say thank you for the support and fellowship she has received. She has selected the best photos from three years of social activities and placed them with creative flair in the pages of this very special book.
The photos capture some great times the group has enjoyed together and pay tribute to the memories of those women who are no longer with them, sad losses the Breast Friends have supported each other through.
The smiling faces, laughter and good times offer a wonderful testament to the spirit and companionship shared by women who have experienced breast cancer and how the support of the group can provide so much enjoyment for ‘life in the moment’ and enduring hope for a bright future.
Georgea has gifted the scrapbook to the Hibiscus Coast Breast Friends and will continue to fill its pages with more photos of fun and frivolity. This group is well known for enjoying plenty of that so there will be many more pages to come!
(Posted October 2009)
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