We’re especially proud when our survivors tell us these Spring and Autumn gatherings are one of the most uniquely valuable and beloved OCF activities. In a convivial, relaxed atmosphere away from the clinical surroundings of the hospital, we share the latest updates and advancements in medical research, and you’ll hear from medical professionals, cancer Consultants, fitness experts, dieticians and other guest speakers, too.
Creating a safe and caring environment also gives you the chance to meet other Oesophageal Cancer survivors, exchange learnings and get wellbeing tips from those who’ve been exactly where you are now, and come out the other side.
Our Patient Support Meetings bring people together on a regular basis every year. Here we get the chance to exchange opinions and we learn about the latest advancements in treating this cancer.
We’ve all gone through the same experience, even though every experience is individual to each person, we can take bits of everyone’s experience and apply them to ourselves.
Well, what I get from these gatherings is really to talk to people, because in talking they’re telling you what they’ve done and you can bring it into your own life. And so, it’s really generally about sharing.
After all the treatment is when I found it tough because you don’t want to be burdening yourself or those you love, so if you can go to a Counsellor and get help, get everything out and she’ll listen, and that was it I think, an ear.
The body I think, functions on getting what needs to be repaired repaired, and then the mind kicks in afterwards — which is what happened with me as I actually fell victim to this terrible depression. And with these gatherings, I’d encourage people to share, to bounce ideas off one another, to ask a question and then say okay I can apply this to myself, I feel that’s just answered my question, and I feel comfortable with that.
I think Counselling is something that’s needed, I think it’s something that should be rolled out with the multi-disciplinary-teams’ great medical and dietary / nutritional interventions. Coupled with all of that, a professional Counsellor to advise and support, not just the patient but for the patients’ family…
It’s fantastic to meet the people who are 17 years survivors, 14 years survivors, 10 years beyond diagnosis and treatment. It’s marvelous. And also, to see the problems I have eating; they’re all having them… and we can help each other by sharing tips of what works and what doesn’t. I’m walking away today with new information that’ll change how I combine fluids and solids.
I’m personally delighted to be Patron of this worthy cause which is close to my heart, given that I’ve lost my Dad to it. Everyone should be aware of the early signs; such as difficulty swallowing, persistent indigestion or food coming back up, especially as it’s easier to treat after early detection. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your GP and get checked out.
If you’re eager to speak with someone who’s been where you are, and don’t wish to wait for the next event, hopefully this Autumn, we can also connect you with fellow survivors in your region. Feel free to reach out and contact Noelle on: 087 299 7820 or Anne on: 086 454 2713 and one of our team will be available to talk whenever you need.