Tuesday 23 December 2014

A time for peace........

A time for peace, quiet reflection and yes, joy. Joy of being here, of time, of loved ones and family. Simple pleasures of waking each day, reflecting on past times and thinking of those ahead.

Wherever you are in your journey through life, be it long, be it short, we are thinking of you. Our heartfelt Christmas wishes are with you. When joining in those Christmas carols, watching the flames of the fire, looking at the glorious tree with its twinkling lights, our minds will turn to thoughts of you; those awaiting treatment, those successful in their treatment, those undergoing treatment, those whose treatment has not been successful and those no longer with us. We are thinking of you - willing you on, thinking of you or simply remembering you. 

Merry Christmas one and all; in our hearts and minds, we are with you.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Recovering from treatment

Recovering from treatment and looking after yourself are fundamental parts of your treatment journey.

If you are recovering from surgery it is worth remembering that bowel surgery is considered a major operation and will take time to get over, however, the length of time will depend on several factors including general health, wellbeing, age and, you, as an individual.  The encouragement from your specialist hospital team will be to get you up and about as early as possible, eating and drinking early and generally getting back to normal as soon as possible. This is good advice and based on a huge amount of research that shows that the sooner you eat and drink, the sooner you are up and about, the better it is for you. It is all with the aim of avoiding post operative complications like chest infections, blood clots, pressure sores, getting your bowels working etc. Indeed, some of this ground breaking research was undertaken at the Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust by members of the colorectal team and published in one of the highest regarded national surgical publications. This research revolutionised the way that patients were cared for post operatively and actively changed the way patients were cared for nationally. This was undertaken as part of a surgical trial that many previous bowel Cancer patients kindly consented to be part of, for which we thank you one and all for this, it has improved care for all patients thereafter.

Chemotherapy or radiotherapy can also take time to get over. Indeed if you have undergone a combination of the various treatments or a single treatment modality, one of the biggest issues people have is the post treatment tiredness, or fatigue, both physical and mental. This is a well recognised and common side effect of the various treatments used in Cancer care. It can be very frustrating, particularly if you generally experience a good level of health and wellbeing. It is worth remembering, however, that surgery is invasive and a trauma for the body to overcome, and chemotherapy or radiotherapy are treatments that effect the cells of the body making it work hard too recover. However, despite this, there is a light at the end of the tunnel; many patients return to normal activities within a short space of time and resume their normal lifestyle. Each and everyone of you, however, will vary in your recovery. Be patient with yourself. Set yourself realistic goals. Enjoy achieving them. Whatever your level of health and wellbeing your specialist team are there to help you; if you need advice they will be happy to try and help or guide you. 

Late effects of treatment such as an altered bowel habit or tingling in the hands and feet, to name a few, are well recognised and worth discussing with your specialist teams who will try and help you manage them. 

Friday 21 November 2014

By jove, a team ....

Oh my, my, I do believe we have a team. Yes, another intrepid individual has joined the Rocksolid challenge so that we now have an Oncologist amongst our numbers.

It has to be said that this  "idea" came about at the suggestion of one of the colorectal nurses who cajolled two of her friends to join her in this endeavour. Discussing it at work she let it be known that she would be requesting sponsorhip for her endeavours in aid of this charity. It has now begun to roll and we will keep you updated. As in the book by Harriet Beecher-Stowe "it grew'd like Topsy". Seven members of the team thus far and counting.

We have no doubt that training will begin in earnest at some vague point between now and March, although quite how one trains for this sort of challenge is beyond the wit of man; never mind, it is a mixed gender team so they should be fine.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Four intrepid professionals!!!

Just a quick update to say that we now have four intrepid professionals signed up to undertake the Rocksolid course in March 2015. Two Colorectal Nurses, a Radiologist and a Surgeon. How very exciting and game of them. If you would like to see what this involves please click on the link below.


Some of you may ask why, and I can only think of the words by John F. Kennedy when he said "We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard" and this will certainly test them but... they do it for the group, to raise the profile and for bowel cancer.

(and maybe, just maybe, a little bit because they are either mad or masochistic) but boy, lets hope it is fun!
Anyone wanting to sponsor them in aid of the group can do so by calling 01823 342452.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Preparing you for treatment, both mentally and physically

Did you know that, largely, bowel Cancer is said to be found in the 60-80 age grouping? We know, however, that here in Somerset we have teenagers through to centenarians who undergo treatment for bowel cancer. Somerset is nationally recognised, along with Dorset, as having a larger than average number of people over the age of 60, and predicted to grow. This therefore means that a lot of the people undergoing treatment are over 60. You may ask yourself "what is so important about that?" Well, the answer is actually in the fact that treating bowel Cancer can be very complex particularly when you consider that most people over the age of 60 will be taking some medication for one or another complaint, or in some cases, quite a lot of medication for various complaints. If we focus on surgery alone, which in itself is a highly complex and skilled treatment option, as a surgeon, you would want to make sure that you had a number of salient facts at your fingertips before you considered operating. Not least of these salient facts would be the details about the cancer, but also about the individual and their health. From a patient point of view the "investigatory phase" of a pathway, where the professionals are obtaining all the information they need about you and your cancer, can be exhausting both mentally and physically, not least because once you have been diagnosed as having a cancer, you just want to get rid of it. This phase however is vital; not only will it tell you whether your bowel cancer is amenable to surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, it will also help the professionals gauge whether you are fit enough to withstand this treatment. No professional takes this phase lightly and, indeed, may request the assistance of a Cardiologist, a Respiratory Physician, a Geriatrician and an Anaesthetist to assist you, and them, in deciding what is best for you. In fact, they will include those people deemed necessary to help them, and you, make an informed decision about treatment. Sometimes, and only sometimes, the best option is actually to do nothing bar manage symptoms. This may not be what many of you expect BUT the aim is to give people quality of life for as long as possible; what good is quantity of life if you have no quality at all. Tough decisions are not easy on patients nor professionals alike and these sorts of decisions are not taken lightly. 

The government issued guidelines on timescales for the investigatory and the treatment phases of care for cancer patients which every Trust is governed by. This will also include a discussion of your case at the Multidisciplinary Team Meeting with the aim of getting a consensus of opinion from the multiple professionals present about your individual case. Along your pathway, your case will be discussed a minimum of twice but often many more times than this. Each of you have different sets of requirements to treat your cancer therefore the investigatory phase and the MDT discussion are as vital as the treatment to your care.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Intrepid Fundraisers, one and all.

Well, what an amazing lot of generous people you all are. Generous in time AND funds, that is. We have had people shaking tins and raising hundreds of pounds, we have benefitted hugely from the great teams at EDF Energy Hinkley Point running for us, a Ben Nevis trek, cake sales, Dog Trials, Shooting Days and more.  For 2015 we already have two intrepid people signed up for a Rocksolid Event in March to test their stamina and endurance at the same time as raising money for us through sponsorship. We love to know about what you have done or are planning and happy to promote or applaud your achievements both here on the blog and in the gallery on our website.

If you are planning to take part in something in aid of us, let us know your details, when, where and what you intend to do and we will happily blog in advance of the event to alert people to what you are doing and encourage sponsorship. There is always the possibility that we will send you a T-shirt for the event if you let us know the official details! Then we will post your achievement photos to show people what you have done.

With this in mind, two of our Colorectal Cancer Nurses are the mad individuals who have signed up for the Rocksolid Event in March 2015, along with two other slightly crazy souls. We will keep you posted on how their training is progressing for this very muddy, gruelling event. If you have never heard of Rocksolid, then take a look at the link below and get an idea of what they will be undertaking for the charity - mad or what!! You will see your Colorectal Nurses as perhaps you have never seen them before -now that is truly dedication to the cause!! Let us hope we continue this mild run of autumn/winter weather for their sakes.


If you would like to sponsor them, please ring 01823 342452. We will post photographs of the event once complete, although we are not too sure if the charity logo on the t-shirts will be visible through the mud at the finish!!!

What is this "MDT" you all talk about?

At the meeting on Saturday 18th October, someone asked "What is this MDT that you all talk about". Well, this is such a good question because it effects anyone going through cancer care. MDT stands for Mutlidisciplinary Team and every cancer site has one. The professionals that make up an MDT are dependent on your cancer site, so for example, a colorectal cancer MDT will have the following people as core members of the MDT; 
  • a minimum of two Colorectal Surgeons
  • Medical Oncologist who takes responsibility for Chemotherapy
  • Clinical Oncologist who takes responsibility for radiotherapy for rectal cancers
  • an imaging specialising (Radiologist)
  • Histopathologist specialising in colon and rectum pathology
  • Colorectal Cancer Nurse Specialist/s
  • An MDT co-ordinator
  • Clinical Trials individual
There should be a single named lead clinician with agreed list of responsibilities for the colorectal MDT who should then be a core team member; here in our local District General Hospital this is a joint lead role between a Colorectal Surgeon and Specialist Nurse to provide a more holistic leadership

These people are not randomly selected but set out in the Manual for Cancer Standards (2014). These standards are monitored annually via a process called the National Cancer Peer Review Programme to ensure compliance.

This is just one of the ways in which cancer care is governed today. Over the coming months we will talk about the various other ways in which cancer care is monitored and reviewed, as well as how you as a patient can have input through feedback of your experience.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Lynda Bellingham

Our thoughts are with the family of Lynda Bellingham, the actress, after the disclosure yesterday about her death from advanced bowel cancer. Like many people in her position, she had fought hard against the disease, undergoing an extensive regime of treatments. She had, however, bravely made a decision that would have been difficult to make but one that was hoped would give her quality time with those she loved. Many of you will have had to make some difficult decisions along your own pathway of care and none more frightening than declining treatment that is offered. Some of you may indeed be in the position whereby your professional team have told you that there is no more treatment available to help slow down or stop the progression of the disease. There is nothing more frightening than looking at ones own mortality sooner than one can ever imagine. True, we are never really ready but then, no-one ever is, are they?

It is hard to imagine leaving those you love but life then becomes about managing any symptoms as quickly as possible so that you can carry on with the important things that you wish to do. It is never more important to build a relationship with your professional team than now. Don't be frightened to ring those numbers you have been given, or to be honest with family and friends about what you need help with, or indeed, what you want from life now. Plan the things you want to do and pace yourself.

The simple things in life become very important as well as those bigger plans, so have some short, medium and long term goals that you can achieve within a realistic time scale. If you achieve all of them, then revel in it and set some more.

We may have said it before, and apologies for doing so again but, every day in every ones life is about sitting up and sniffing the roses, but when you are facing times such as those that Lynda had, then do the most to enjoy all you can. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

Monday 20 October 2014

Oh my goodness!

Well, what can we say! The figures have been tallied from our Annual Autumn Event that was held on Saturday. From fundraisers, box shakers, personal donations, the raffle and more, you raised the amazing sum of just over £1100  !!!

It is a truly unbelievable achievement that is only possible due to your amazing generosity and kindness. What more can we say other than "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you". 

Sunday 19 October 2014

Fundraising, Donations and raffle prizes.

What amazing people you are here in Somerset. Yesterday's event saw a presentation of a cheque from a couple who had spent time collecting money at a local branch of Tesco's in aid of this group. We would like to thank you for this generous donation and for the time you spent standing collecting the donations over several days - no mean feat for which we are truly grateful.

We were also all provided with a free box of smarties for the new fundraising campaign for the group called "Smarty Pants". Each smartie box, once empty, is the perfect size for those 20 pence pieces (or indeed one pound coins) you have jangling in your pockets or taking up space in your purse/wallet. The tube will contain £12.60 worth of 20 pence pieces once full and will be gratefully received as donations if you would like to take part in this fundraising campaign. You are, of course, under no obligation to take part as fundraising is not for everyone and we do understand this.
We will blog more about this in the coming days.

The Cancer Nursing Specialist Team at our local District General Hospital organised our local Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) in to providing the raffle prizes for the day and,oh boy, what gorgeous prizes they were. Three very delectable hampers that included some very nice alcoholic beverages and quality foodstuffs, as well as some single item prizes. This created a flurry of raffle ticket buying and was drawn on the day. Several people left the event with very satisfied smiles on their faces!

We also wanted to say thank you from the heart to all of you who made such generous donations to us either in person on the day or via letter. This is very humbling but very much helps us to reiterate why we are here to raise the profile of bowel cancer and improve the local care of those people with a cancer diagnosis.

We cannot say enough, "Thank you" for your support. The group is committed to our cause and can only continue through the kind support and generosity of it's members.

Once we have the figures tallied, we will of course, let you know how much was raised/donated for and at the Annual Autumn Event.

Saturday 18 October 2014

What an amazing day

Just to say a huge thank you to the people who came to our Annual Autumn Event today at the Somerset County Cricket Ground. Such a lovely group of people (just under 100 in all).

My first comment however has to be an apology to you all for the acoustics and sound system; whilst it was fine at the front of the room, it became evident that those people at the back had a problem hearing everything , so we are truly sorry and plans are already afoot to address this for next year.

We had such a lovely time presenting to you all, listening to what you had to say and hearing from you about your experiences. Thank you for chatting to us over the buffet lunch; we really enjoy these days as it gives us invaluable feed back and helps us plan for future events etc.

Now as promised we intend to put some of the presentations on to this blog and our website; we do however need to take a moment or two to get them from the respective speakers, so bear with us while we do this.

We want to say a heartfelt thank you to Mr Colin Drummond, the newly appointed Trust Chairman for the local District General Hospital, who took time out of his busy schedule to spend some time with us today and, importantly, spend some time talking to you, the "punters". We know that the Professionals from the Trust, who were present at the event today, take away invaluable insights in to what it is like to be a patient and we hope that this was also helpful to Mr Drummond in his new role.  Mr Drummond, it meant a lot to us that you were there today.

Also, to Mr Richard Lloyd, High Sheriff of Somerset, who also came along today and sat amongst us to hear about the treatment of bowel cancer. Thank you for spending the whole event with us, we know that you too have a busy schedule and it was so kind of you to stay for all of it.
This is the kind of support that is so important to us.

There is so much to mention from today that over the coming days we intend to blog about various elements of the day, so keep coming back to let us update you. Needless to say, we are already gearing up for next year's event.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

The Annual Autumn Event

We are delighted to announce that the Annual October Event will take place at the Somerset County Cricket Ground on Saturday 18th of October 2014. We aim to have a packed programme for you with a talk about the latest surgical procedures, an update on the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, GP representation and more, followed by a buffet lunch where you can mingle with members of the group, plus speakers and representatives from the Colorectal Team at our local District General Hospital. At last years event we also had a lively question and answers session with the speakers and professionals, which will be repeated this year.

The Somerset County Cricket Ground is a lovely venue being central and with parking plus being accessible for those who wish to arrive on foot or use public transport. There is also disabled access and facilities

We very much hope that you would like to join us and look forward to seeing you there. Invitations are on their way to many of you but, in the meantime, if you would like to attend please call 01823 342452 for details and to allow for catering,

Saturday 20 September 2014

Fit for treatment

 So you have been told that you have a diagnosis of bowel cancer and you need to have treatment. Your life has been turned upside down and can feel a little bit as though you don't have any control over it but you want to try and do something that will help. "Is there anything I can do to help my treatment?" is a question often asked of professionals. The simple answer to this is yes. There has been a large amount of research undertaken looking at the benefit of fitness during and after treatment. Macmillan Cancer Support has some good general advice about physical activity and have some inspiring stories that may be of help. 

As we all know, bowel cancer, despite being attributed to the over 60's, can and does affect all age groups. Keeping physically active is just as vital for all age groups wether you are 16, in your 20's or 30's or indeed 70, 80 or 90. Something as simple as a ten minute walk or some stretching exercises to keep you supple has been shown to have a definite benefit on both physical as well as mental health. If you are unsure then ask your local professionals for advice or use one of the regulated sites such as Macmillan Cancer Support to guide you. This is something that you can do to help yourself  and assist you to retain the feeling of control in to your everyday life. 

We have added some links to some sites that you may find useful.

Wednesday 23 July 2014


You may, or may not, be aware that we have been raising funds to assist in the purchase of a bowel scope imager for the endoscopy department of our local hospital. This piece of equipment is essentially able to help guide the colonoscopy (fibrotic tube) around the colon and make it both easier for the professional undertaking the procedure and also for the patient undergoing it. We are delighted to inform you that the group has formally presented the bowel scope imager to our local hospital this week. This has only been possible through  YOU and your continued support and for that we would like to thank you. We thank those of you who take a collection box to receive donations, to those of you who undertake various sponsored feats of a physical nature, those who request donations to us in lieu of presents on special occasions, those who choose to make a regular monthly donation, the list goes on. We are truly grateful because it means that we can continue to raise the profile of bowel cancer for our local population but also, through YOUR donations, try and improve the diagnosis, treatment and care of bowel cancer patients in our area. 

We would like to thank each and everyone of you and hope that you are as proud as us to be able to say that we have assisted in purchasing this important piece of equipment.


The pictures show the bowel scope imager (or sat nav) and members of the support group committee presenting the imager to Ros Wyke, Chairman of our local hospital and members of the Endoscopy team, as well as Mr Edwards and Mr Mackey Consultant Colorectal Surgeons at the Trust and Maria Salter, one of the Colorectal Nursing Team.

Upcoming Events for your calendar

We are pleased to be able to inform you about two upcoming events this year.

 We will once again have a stand at the Taunton Flower Show on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd August 2014. Would be delighted to see you all. As with last years stand, we will have a raffle and be available to chat, have some good leaflets and generally catch up with you. Please do pop along and see us.

Plus, our Annual Autumn Event is scheduled for 18th October at the Somerset County Cricket Club. Last year saw talks by various professionals on subjects related to bowel cancer including genetics and surgery, as well as a question and answer session by our local professional team. A buffet lunch is provided where we all like to mingle with you along with our professional colleagues. There is also a market place of stalls related to various subjects. Last year saw some extremely positive feedback from attendees that we would like to build upon. Our aim is to continue to raise the profile of bowel cancer amongst the local population of Somerset, as well as working with our local health care Trust for the continuous improvement of care for patients' diagnosed with bowel cancer through our united patient voice.

If you would like to attend the annual event, please contact the team on 01823 342452  or leave a message on the answer machine including your contact details. We would be delighted to send you further details nearer the time.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Words to live by

“Life isn’t measured by the amount of time you’re here, it’s measured by your achievements”, words by Stephen Sutton, before his early death from bowel cancer.

Now, you can look at this in many ways; you could compare yourself to Stephen's great achievements which, by any standards, were amazing. You could feel daunted or, like we did, ponder on it and think that this is actually a great maxim for life in general. Achievements don't have to be big or considered too small but really about getting through life with a sense of regular satisfaction at what you have achieved. Now, for some people that may indeed be great physical feats but for others it may be just getting through the day and feeling ok. Life, after all, is not a rehearsal.

Thinking about these wise words, it made us think, actually, it is so easy to forget how joyous those simple things in life can be and our sense of achievement in seeing them, feeling them, having them and so on. Of course, it depends on you as an individual; we thought about our simple things and listed them. For each of us, as we expected, it was different, but things that we can so easily take for granted, whether we are fit or not, can mean so much.

We will not forget Stephen and, indeed, thank him for making us stop and appreciate the good things in life, however hard it may seem. Sometimes it is good to stop and sniff the roses when we are endlessly rushing along the treadmill of life. Sadly, a new diagnosis is often the first time we do this.

So, whether you are going through treatment, are newly diagnosed or indeed have come out the other end; take some time to stop and enjoy the little things in life and your achievements - they are so vital to our wellbeing and so easily lost in the rush and tumble of every day.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Food and nutrition

Trying to maintain your appetite through treatment for cancer can be a bit of a struggle at the best of times; the after effects can play havoc with your appetite too. For loved ones struggling to tempt you it can also be a difficult time. That is why it is good to have such a wealth of free information available to try and help guide both patients and carers alike.

Macmillan Cancer Support have a really good section on eating well including  some recipes for which I have attached the link;


Beating Bowel Cancer also have a very good section on diet after bowel cancer that is really worth taking a look at;


It was whilst reveiwing various sites that we stumbled across The Chemo Cookery Club website and the free downloadable cookery book called "Around the Kitchen Table". Just click on the link at the bottom of their page that states the title of the book and you can download it.
It has testimonials from a number of leading bowel cancer teams in the U.K.and cancer charities, as well as chefs, nutritionists and many more - we have attached the link here; 


Rarely in life is anything free but this advice is perhaps one of the more important things that are; so if you or a loved one need a little help, take a quick look at some of these sites - they really do offer some very good information to help you.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Thank you....

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to the 70 plus people who attended the AGM today. What a lovely time it was and how lovely to see so many of you. It is always such a joy and a time for us to chat, catch up and generally support each other.

As we discussed at the meeting this morning, it has been a big year for the Somerset Bowel Cancer Support Group with a change of chairperson, a new patron, new logo and the inception of this blog, as well as our own T-shirts, re-usable bags and lapel pins being printed.

Our outgoing Chairperson has held a position as co-founder, committee member as well as latterly, Chairperson, for the group over a number of years. The group, and particularly committee members, are truly grateful for his commitment over the years. He was an eloquent speaker at the Annual Events and AGM, and indeed would make a particularly fine after dinner speaker should you require someone with a vast and knowledgeable wealth of experience and information on the subject of bowel problems and surgical treatments.

We were able to welcome our new chairperson who is taking over from the outgoing chair, who is very much looking forward to his three years of tenure with us.

As well as this, we heard about the opening of the new surgical build at Musgrove Park Hospital with state of the art facilities that include en suite rooms for each patient.

Once again thank you for your attendance and we look forward to seeing you at our next event.

If you were unable to make today's event or indeed would like to be added to our mailing list, then please ring 01823 342452 and speak to the team, Mon-Fri 9-5 pm or leave a message on the answer machine with your name and address; we would be delighted to send you details of further events.

Monday 5 May 2014

Exeter University research

The average age for a bowel cancer diagnosis is said to be over the age of sixty. Here in Somerset the age range for bowel cancer at the local District General Hospital is 16 - 102. Whilst the largest majority are in the older brackets, there are an increasing number under the age of 50. It is with this in mind that the recent news regarding research in to bowel cancer diagnosed in the younger age bracket to be undertaken at Exeter University, in conjunction with Bowel Cancer UK, is so welcome. They have been awarded £120, 000 by the Department of Health to  undertake this research with the aim of improving the pick up of vital symptoms by GP's.

The research is a direct result of Bowel Cancer UK's "Never Too Young" campaign that highlighted serious delays in diagnosis which can, in turn, result in poorer outcomes. This research aims to improve upon pick up rates in this age range. 

We have added the link below for Exeter University should you wish to read more.


Wednesday 30 April 2014

Something to watch.....

Further to our post earlier this week about Stephen Sutton, we have added a link to the Make-A-Wish Foundation film that was released  to share his story. It is very emotive but well worth watching for anyone who has or has had cancer; indeed all of us can learn a thing or two from this short film.


Here is a young man who thinks differently because he has to.

Watch it and see what you think.

It certainly made us.

Tuesday 29 April 2014


You may have seen or heard in the headlines that the ten year survival rate for cancer has doubled since the 1970's. This is really positive news for the UK. Early detection is vital and the screening programmes such as the "poo test" that was rolled out here in Somerset in 2008 has an important part to play in picking up those  early cancers. The next step to catching the disease earlier is the introduction of the "one-off" flexible sigmoidoscopy test offered to people at the age of 55 years. This is in addition to the "poo test" that is currently offered and is said to increase the chances of survival from colorectal cancer. This government has committed to providing this programme by 2016/17; here in Somerset there will be a slow and gradual roll out across the county. This means that from the age of 55 to 75 you are actively being encouraged to be proactive about your own health by attending screening. 

We thoroughly recommend that you take up these offers - they may save your life.

Monday 28 April 2014

An amazing young man

There is no doubt that the story that has created a huge amount of media interest over the last week is that of Stephen Sutton; a young man who was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the very young age of 15. At just nineteen he is facing incurable cancer in a way that it hugely inspiring. If you have not read his story then here is the link;


As part of a "bucket list" to achieve before he died Stephen aimed to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. He has smashed this target by raising in excess of 3 million to date.

There is no question that Stephen is an amazing young man, bearing his disease with fortitude. He shows the world courage in the face of adversity as well as tenacity.

We are thinking of you and willing you on; in the words of Shakespeare
" Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon 'em". Stephen, you are one of those rare people that perhaps embody all three sentiments. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Long may you be great.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Thinking of you

We would like to add our thoughts and sympathies to the newsreader Mr George Alagiah, who has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Whilst it is a difficult time for you and your family with a need for privacy, please take heart from the many who have also walked this road and are here to add their voices to the wishes for your speedy recovery; you do not walk this road alone. Make use of those professionals who are there to help you, do not be too proud to accept those offers of help, however simple they may be. In the words of George Eliot
" What do we not live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other."
We are thinking of you.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Sporting folk

We have had a number of enquiries from people who wish to raise the profile of our charity by undertaking a sporting event or challenge for which they are sponsored. Firstly, can we just say a big "THANK YOU" for thinking of us; we are a small charity and this is such a welcome response. We are always delighted should anyone wish to do this and, now that we have our new logo, we would be happy to provide you with a T-shirt for the event and our official sponsorship forms.

Please contact the team on 01823 342452, Monday-Friday or leave a message on the 24 hour answermachine should you wish to discuss your forthcoming event.

Plus, if during the event your efforts are photographically recorded, we would be delighted and proud to publish them on our website with you wearing your Somerset Bowel Cancer Support Group T-shirt.

Over the last few years we have had someone who was sponsored to scale Ben Nevis, a cake sale, a  Gun Dog Show and many more. We are always delighted to hear about  and see the many ways in which you raise awareness of bowel cancer.

Saturday 12 April 2014

Annual General Meeting

We are due to hold our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 10th May at the Monkton Heathfield Village Hall, Nr. Taunton between 10 am - 2pm. We have today sent out invites to those that we know would like to come. If you would like to attend and hear what we have been doing over the last year then you are very welcome. We do however ask that you let us know that you will be coming for catering and venue size purposes. As with any venue there is always a limit to the number we can accommodate. 

We will be welcoming in a new Chairperson and announcing a new patron for the group. As well as this we will be giving details of our annual Autumn event for which we have some interesting speakers lined up. We will also be detailing how as a fundraising charity we are supporting our local District General Hospital.

It is good to meet you all and have the chance to chat with like minded people.

Please ring 01823 342452 and speak to the team, Mon-Fri 9-5 pm or leave a message on the answer machine to let us know the number of attendees in you party.

We do hope you can join us and very much look forward to seeing you all there.

Wednesday 9 April 2014


Welcome to the new Somerset Bowel Cancer Support Group blog.

We are delighted to announce this new venture in to the world of technology. This is a first for us, so please bear with us during any teething problems.

You may ask why we have chosen to start a blog and the honest answer to that is that we simply want to reach as many of you as we can. Technology is featuring more and more in everyday life so we thought we would, in the words of Neil Armstrong, make that "one giant leap for mankind" and go live.

Some of you may already be aware of us and already attend some of our events, undertake fundraising or simply have in common the fact that you or a relative has had a diagnosis of bowel cancer. We wish you all a warm welcome and hope that you will follow us and keep up to date with what we are doing. Some of you may even want to contribute to our group in any way that you can and we are always grateful for any help, whatever you choose to do.

We are also in the process of updating our website:
www.somersetbowelcancer.org.uk. The eagle eyed amongst our current followers may spot that we have a new logo designed for us by a local artist  who contributed his services and artistic talent pro bono to produce a logo that is recognisable as something that says "Somerset" at a glance. For the health conscious, there could also be a subliminal message in using fruit as our logo! We think it is redolent of Somerset and hope you agree.

We will aim to keep you up to date with news and events via this blog.