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.