West Auckland Breast Friends
The West Auckland Breast Friends meet on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7.00 pm at the Plunket Society, 5 Woodford Ave, Henderson. Please contact Marie ((09) 835 1890), Maureen ((09) 827 2636) or Nola ((09) 834 0208) for details - or call us on 0800BreaCanSupport (0800 273 222). New members are always welcome.
West Auckland Breast Friends 2010
A West Auckland Christmas Celebration!
This report from Marie Goudge
“Pot Luck! This is better than any pot luck meal I could rustle up at home,” laughed one of the women as she eyed the inviting spread laid out on the table.
This was the reaction of one of the twenty four women who, with eight of their men partners, gathered at the home of Stan and Marie Goudge to celebrate another year of Breast Cancer Support meetings in West Auckland.
It was a warm evening and many chose to spend part of the evening relaxing on the terrace and enjoying the tranquility of the trees and flowers.
An observation of one of the men emphasized the true meaning of what the support group is all about. He was overheard to say, “Look at how the women move about talking to and supporting each other.”
One woman was attending for the first time. It was good her husband had the opportunity to meet some other men who understand what he is experiencing. (Usually the meetings are for the women only).
The women were invited to take part in research that Loshni Rogers is doing for her Doctorate. The topic is: “The value of psychological support for women post diagnosis.” Several folk expressed interest in helping with the survey.
An informal get together for morning tea was arranged for December 21st.
At the end of the evening a fly sitting on the wall might have buzzed:
'Those women laugh a lot! Care a lot! And on this occasion unashamedly eat a lot! What nice people!!!!'
Come back when your voice has matured!
This report from Group Coordinator Marie Goudge
When sixteen year old Alice Worsley (pictured at left) telephoned 1ZB and explained she was interested in becoming a radio announcer the cultured English voice on the end of the line said, “Come back when your voice has matured, dear.”
At the October meeting the well loved radio personality, Alice Worsley, who is a member of the West Auckland Breast Friends group entertained her 25 fellow survivors with stories from her varied career in radio.
It was not until Alice had tried her hand at school teaching, completed a lengthy European OE and unsuccessfully applied for a position at an Acting Academy that she remembered that piece of advice given to the starry eyed teenager, “Come back when your voice has matured.”
Alice’s second call to 1ZB was favourably received and she travelled to Wellington for a month’s course of intensive training for work in radio.
“It’s a three year course now,” chuckled Alice.
The small New Plymouth radio station was Alice’s first appointment. “I was sent there because the manager was prepared to have a woman announcer,” smiled Alice.
Women’s voices were considered too high and unsuitable for broadcasting. “Even women don’t like listening to women on the radio,” was the barrier that Alice had to break down.
Later Alice worked for many years with Merv Smith at 1ZB. She loved interviewing people and her relaxed style peppered with humour endeared her to her listeners.
Talk back radio had never appealed to Alice but when she finally took it on she found it both humbling and rewarding. A new immigrant to NZ once said to Alice, “For two years you were the only friend that I had in the entire country.” Thank you, Alice. We are glad to have you as one of our Breast Friends.
A pleasant surprise to end the evening was the distribution of T-shirts promoting the work of Breast Screen Aotearoa. Women from the age of 45 till 69 are eligible for free mammograms. The breast Friends wanted to wear these garments to publicize this service which could result in lives saved. They know the importance of vigilant self care.
The number to ring to enquire about a free mamogram is: 0800 270 200.
Fiery Pink Dragons Issue Tempting Invitation!
When Lynn, Robin and Lorraine from the “Pink Dragons” Dragon Boat Team visited the West Auckland breast cancer group in September it was almost impossible to resist their infectious enthusiasm for their sport.
They told of the camaraderie formed within the team and the emotional healing that came from regularly meeting with other women who had experienced a breast cancer diagnosis. But the women were quick to say that breast cancer did not dominate the thoughts of the “Pink Dragons.” The paddling takes over and the challenge of working as a team becomes the goal.
Dragon boating is a sport in which 20 paddlers, sitting in pairs, paddle a 12 metre long narrow boat over a 350 – 500 metre water course. Although a physically demanding sport it is extremely satisfying and most importantly great fun.
The “Pink Dragons” are a dynamic team of survivors, from all walks of life and ages. They compete nationally and internationally against other breast cancer teams and in open events. They enjoy a friendly rivalry with the other Auckland based dragon boat team, “Busting with Life.”
A tempting challenge/invitation was issued to the eighteen women attending the September meeting of the West Auckland, Breast Friends. COME PADDLING!! You will get fit and have fun.
I think there is a very good chance that Robin (09) 630 6423 will be receiving some calls from prospective “dragons.”
For more information about dragon boating, visit the special page on our site.
The Breast Cancer Forum, 10 August
Fifteen women attended the August Breast Friends meeting in West Auckland.Mary Forbes and Rosemary Geard, two members of the group, were our guest speakers and they gave an overview of the Breast Cancer Forum (organised by the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation) they had attended in Auckland on the 10thAugust. The public forum was part of the activities of a weekend set aside for the annual meeting of the Australasian Society for Breast Disease.
A panel discussion at the Forum with plenty of time for questions and answers was particularly valuable.
Topics discussed were:
Dare to Hope and Thrive!
Twenty three women attended the West Auckland gathering on 20thJuly. One woman was attending for the first time having heard about the group after receiving the BCS brochure from Nth Shore Hospital.
The women have decided to celebrate each member’s birthday so a special Birthday Book has been purchased in which these special days can be recorded.
Misha Crosbie, a member of the group, was the speaker. She chose "A Journey of Hope” as the title for her talk. Misha spent 18 years working with teenagers who had been in serious trouble with the law. The underlying theme of all their stories seemed to be the lack of hope in their lives. From this experience Misha learned that hope is crucial for a satisfying life.
When she was diagnosed with breast cancer she realized that hope was essential to her recovery.
She finished by saying her greatest hope now after two brushes with breast cancer was that her grandchildren would never have to face the possibility of breast cancer. Her hope is for a preventative that will eliminate the disease from the planet.
“My hope,” says Misha, “ is not to survive breast cancer, but to THRIVE!”
How to Enhance your Beauty!
Caring 'support' in May
“I love Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen loves me,
Together we are working
To make me cancer free!"
“That’s the little ditty I sing to help me through the side effects of my treatments,” Alice shared with the women of the West Auckland Breast Friends. “You can use it for all the other treatments too:
‘I love Chemo, Chemo loves me’, or ‘I love radiotherapy, radiotherapy loves me.’ It puts a positive slant onto my thinking and helps me deal with any negative aspects.”
Negative thinking was certainly not present at the May meeting of 21 West Auckland women.
Trish Spencer (pictured in pink with two West members) from Anita Unique Body Wear had the women excitedly looking at a selection of practical but attractive bras specially designed for women who have had breast surgery. There were soft silk models for those experiencing radiotherapy, sporting bras with firm support for those with active lives and pretty lace creations that met the need to preserve femininity. All had that important pocket included.
And what a selection of prostheses! There seemed to be one for every possible scenario.
Trish also brought along a selection of gorgeous swimwear. Although not covered by the Government subsidy, the swimsuits are designed to accomodate a prosthesis.
The activities of the evening helped the women grow in confidence.
They met for encouragement and support.
Their breasts were promised caring “support” as well!
April - Going, going gone!
Tension rose as the bids climbed higher and higher for a beautiful quilt, some attractive aprons and the much sought after bottles of wine.
At the end of the evening the West Auckland Breast Friends had raised $250.00 which they donated to Breast Cancer Support to help maintain the BCS website.
March - West women 'looking good in a social mood'!
When twenty women turned up at the monthly meeting in March and only eighteen chairs could be found, the sprightly ones amongst us took turns to sit on the floor. In truth volunteers scrambled to claim the youthful position so as to prove their positive states of health!
Locked out - but certainly not knocked out!