Saturday 17 December 2016

Festive season

It has been a while since we last blogged and for that we apologise. As for many of you, it has been a tough year but we are plodding on. The charity has lost a number of stalwart members of the group/ committee however we are lucky that a few remain. The clinical team who help to support the group have been snowed under for the latter part of the year which has contributed to the lack of noticeable activity.

The festive season is a time to reflect, pause if you like, and look back over the last year. Many of you are celebrating another year of survivorship, some remembering loved ones, and others continuing  that well trodden path of treatment that literally millions have trodden before you. Cancer is a difficult disease that causes all sorts of changes to a life that will never be the same again. Some of these changes are difficult but for many it is the chance to look at life afresh. Over the last year we have spoken to,and supported, many, many people diagnosed or affected by bowel cancer. It is a disease that crosses all boundaries; gender, age, race or creed, rich or poor - we hope we can support you all. In turn we hope that you will all continue to support us in raising the profile of bowel cancer locally, attending the two key events we hold each year to support you and, importantly, supporting our local clinical teams to support us all. 

On a more joyful note, remember to eat your greens, take plenty of fluids (the non alcoholic kind) and to get out and about for some brisk walks over the festive season - rich food can play havoc with those bowels!

May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you over the coming year.

Monday 31 October 2016

๐ŸŽƒ ๐Ÿ‘ป Happy Halloween

 Now, you may be wondering why on earth we would be posting at Halloween but actually there is a good reason. It's pumpkin season and pumpkins are a wonderful food particularly for the bowel. So when you have finished carving all of those pumpkins ๐ŸŽƒ, a really good way to use up the flesh is to eat it (we mean the flesh of the pumpkin only, I know it is Halloween and all that but.... ). Pumpkin is a really good addition to soups, stews, pies and risotto, as well as the all American pumpkin pie ๐ŸŽƒ.

If you like to try new things in your vegetable repatoire, ๐Ÿ  Sweet potato is also worth a try and a good source of  vitamins and nutrients. Plus, pumpkin and sweet potato soup is really delicious and what a glorious colour.

Apple season is here too; the good old apple is another really good source of fibre, amongst its many attributes. So after you have finished your apple bobbing or toffee apple (mind those teeth) don't forget that a good old apple ๐ŸŽ really does help keep the doctor away (or at least the bowel team anyway). 

Happy Halloween

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Event Update

We are really sorry to have to announce that due to a number of problems with dates and speakers we have made the momentous decision to cancel the Autumn Event. We have done this because we could not achieve a suitable quality of speaker due to various problems with dates and availability. This is the first time since the group started but we do not wish to give you a substandard event therefore have made this decision; it is one that has not been taken lightly.

We will keep you up to date with the events programme and hope that you will all bear with us as we move forward. We fully intend to continue the work you, and we, do collectively to keep the group going but cannot compromise on standards. Please watch this space for further announcements.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Save the date!

Our annual Autumn Event is scheduled for Saturday 15th October 2016, so please save the date. Once again we have some exciting speakers for your delectation and are looking forward to seeing you for a catch up. As always, members of our professional team from Musgrove Park will be there on the day. A highlight of the year for our local professionals, to see so many of you, ambassadors for what they do every day. There is no greater joy than seeing so many of you fit and well. 

On a more serious note, the committee, who comprise professionals and patients, are desperately in need of your help. Committee members are now at an all time low and, if new members do not come forward, the future of the group is in jeopardy. We will be discussing this more at the Autumn Event and we hope that some of you may consider stepping up to the mark to help us; we do hope so. 

If you would like to join us, please let us know for catering and number purposes on:
Tel: 01823 352452

Wednesday 10 August 2016

A huge THANK YOU to our supporters

We have great pleasure in informing you that with your kind donations, fund raising efforts, and general support the Somerset Bowel Cancer Support Group has purchased an air seal machine for the Colorectal Cancer Department at Musgrove Park Hospital. This piece of machinery is state of the art and allows for complex rectal surgery to be undertaken through the anus. This amazing piece of machinery creates a stable operating environment whilst ensuring that there are clear views to undertake the procedure and, importantly, decreases the operating time thus making it a much less stressful time for both patient and operating surgeon alike. The machinery is already earning its keep at Musgrove with first cases already undertaken. 

We would like to thank you all, literally one and all, for your continued support. We are a small local charity whose aims are not only to raise the profile of bowel cancer but also to improve the care of local people diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer. One of the ways we achieve this is by enabling new and innovative techniques to be utilised at our local hospital by our skilled local professionals. This machinery has already begun this process and it is all down to you for your support of us. So from the local professional team and the support group committee members please accept our heartfelt gratitude. 

Thursday 14 July 2016

Recent sponsored walk along the Bridgwater to Taunton canal to raise money for the Somerset           
                                                    Bowel Cancer Support Group

A sponsored walk, to raise funds for the Somerset Bowel Cancer Support Group,  was organised by Marion Maddison, a patient of Musgrove Park Hospital, on Saturday 21st May 2016. She was ably assisted by her colleagues and friends from Quantock Medical Centre, Nether Stowey, and several colleagues from Yeovil Hospital including Matt Sephton (Medical Oncologist), Matt Woolgar (Paramedic) and Beth Phillips (Sister, Oncology Department).

These intrepid walkers raised £1320 with the aim of assisting in the purchase of a piece of equipment known as a the Surgical Air Seal machine, to assist in complex rectal surgery, which is now on order thanks to the generosity of this group and many others who have raised funds to assist the Somerset Bowel Cancer Support Group. 

Excusing the pun, we can only thank you from the "bottom" of our hearts for your time, efforts and generosity. Thank you so much, each and every one of you.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Blog to watch

We have been alerted to a blog that may resonate with some of you, particular the male members amongst you. Meandmycolon is a blog written by a local man detailing his experiences of being diagnosed with bowel cancer and his subsequent treatment; and what a read it is. This blog does not shy away from those vital aspects of life that are important to us all. It is a powerful and evocative blog written with first hand experience, a great sense of humour and amazing style. We do applaud the author for his openness and great gift for sharing. Do have a read if you can. There is no more powerful a story than one written by those with first hand experience. At a time when it can feel as though you are the only one, and are too uncertain to talk to others, something like this may help to know you are not alone and are experiencing similar. You are all different and, of course, there may be similarities with your experience, maybe not, but we applaud the willingness to share. Thank you meandmycolon author.


Please accept our sincere apologies for the gap in blogging; we have had what we believe to be are called "technical difficulties" with a capital T. Never fear however, we are back and will resume full speed blogging hereonin. So please watch this space for up dates over the coming days and weeks. Thank you for your patience during the blip.

Monday 18 April 2016

Two year blog anniversary

๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿพ๐ŸพUnbelievable but, yes, the blog has celebrated its two year anniversary๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‰

How amazing is that, indeed, where did that time go!! We hope you still find it interesting and informative. We find it a quick and easy way to update you and let you know about up and coming events both locally and nationally. So please do keep coming back to see what we are up to and here is to many more years of blogging ๐Ÿ˜„

Thank you

A huge thank you to all of you who attended our AGM on Saturday. It was lovely to see you all and to give you a roundup of the year's business detailed by our Chairperson. We really enjoy these days which give us the opportunity to catch up with so many of you and hear how you are doing. Seeing so many of you fit and well after treatment means an awful lot to us, so thank you for your time.

The Chairperson was delighted to report that we are now one step nearer to purchasing the Air Seal that will be utilised when undertaking precision bowel surgery. We will of course keep you up to date with news on progress. Thank you so much for supporting us and for your generous donations which have made purchases, such as this one, possible.

The group also heard about the importance of patient feedback and how this very much forms part of how your local Trust's cancer care is monitored each year. The National Cancer Patient Survey is utilised by each Trust to assist in improving your care; it fits in with The National Cancer Peer Review programme and forms part of the measures by which Trusts are reviewed. Information is available on line regarding both of these. Here in Somerset, your local Trust takes this a step further by holding local Patient Experience Groups too. So your feedback is really important to the Trust, and us, alike.

The Autumn Annual Event is scheduled for Saturday 8th October, at The County Cricket Ground, and already promises some interesting speakers and stalls. If you would like to be invited, please do let us know by ringing 01823 342452 and asking for your name to be added to the list of invitees. 

Once again we would like to thank our committee members for the work both our patient and professional members undertake for you. A group such as this, and the two events, take quite some organising. If you would like to become more involved, we are always looking for new committee members. Please let us know if you are interested, on the number above.

Thursday 11 February 2016

Two exciting events for you

We are delighted to tell you about two exciting events on the horizon, one local and one in London.

The first is The Living Well Exhibition, An event for people living with and beyond cancer. This is the second of these events following on from last year's successful event. It is being held on Saturday 12th March 2016, from 10am - 1:30pm at Somerset College, Wellington Road, Taunton, TA1 5AX. It is a drop in event to aid health & wellbeing for anyone who has been affected by cancer. 

The second is further afield in London and is Patient Day 2016 being organised by the charity, Beating Bowel Cancer. It is a free event for bowel cancer patients. You can meet people like yourselves and glean all sorts of information and practical guidance. For further information log on to the website to read more and register for the day. 
Even if you cannot attend the event, Beating Bowel Cancer has a very good website that is worth visiting for all sorts of advice and guidance.

Both of these events are aimed at you, the patient, and we do hope that you can attend one or the other.