A Year of Reflection

The New Year presents an opportunity to reflect on the past year. The support group has had many accomplishments in 2017, including:

  • support group established in January
  • a meeting held every month throughout the year
  • group facilitators and members have provided support to many women diagnosed with breast cancer, through all stages: initial diagnosis, throughout treatment, post-treatment, living with metastasis.
  • support has been provided through group meetings and one-on-one phone calls
  • meeting format has been tailored and refined to make the most of the time available

The group has been a great success and it has been evident that a peer support group was needed in Saskatoon. For 2018, we aim to continue this important work by providing an open and welcoming environment, a safe place for members to share their experiences, a place to give and get support. Here’s to another great year!

Happy New Year!

What to Say (or Not to Say) to Someone with Cancer

In an effort to make things easier for people to talk to someone with cancer, here are a few things to keep in mind. We are still people, we are not our cancer. We have heard some things, which although not intentional, can be hurtful, particularly when someone is in the throes of diagnosis and treatment. Here’s a link to a video of some of these examples.

Examples of Things We’ve Heard

So what to say instead? Remember to provide support and comfort rather than raising concerns and worries. Here’s a link to more details on the importance of providing comfort.

Comfort In – Dump Out Concept

Please say something. Don’t avoid us or ignore us because cancer makes you feel uncomfortable. If talking about cancer makes you uneasy, talk about something else. Sometimes we don’t feel like talking about cancer either.

First Annual BRA Day is a Success!

On Thursday, October 19, Saskatoon hosted it’s first annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day.

BRA day is an initiative that promotes education, awareness and access for women considering post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Only 1 in 10 Canadian women opts for post-mastectomy reconstruction. Breast reconstruction may not be the right choice for every woman, but every woman deserves to have access to accurate, unbiased information so that she can make an informed decision. BRA Day is an invaluable opportunity to go beyond the typical before and after photos to gain a realistic expectation of what can be achieved through breast reconstruction.

The planning committee was thrilled with the response to the event! We had over 150 people attend the event so we were packed tight. Our first event has so many highlights:

  • 5  highly qualified physicians speak about various surgery options,
  • over a dozen vendors with valuable information,
  • delicious food (thanks to Caboose Catering and Cupcake Conspiracy),
  • a beautiful event space (thanks to LB Distillers),
  • a witty and humorous master of ceremonies (thanks to Trish Cheveldayoff)
  •  energetic and generous volunteers,
  • great door prizes,
  • Saskatoon Fire and Emergency Services pink fire truck on site, and
  • friendship, camaraderie and support from all those in attendance.

We’d like to thank the Canadian Cancer Society for putting together these events, national sponsors Allergen and Mentor for their financial support and the following local businesses for supporting our event!

Thanks to the planning committee members for all their work in putting together the event!

Please view the following news clip if you’d like to learn a bit more about BRA Day Saskatoon.

https://globalnews.ca/video/3805312/bra-day-looks-at-breast-reconstruction-options

Can’t wait for next year’s event!

CIBC Run for the Cure

Several members of our breast cancer support group participated in the CIBC Run for the Cure on Sunday, October 1. What an amazing experience! It was an emotional day for us all but we are continuing to heal and gain strength. It was a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by other survivors or thrivers who understand our experiences. Hope to see you at next year’s run!

Upcoming Events

There are many great events coming up to support breast cancer patients. Visit the Saskatchewan Breast Cancer Connect events calendar to find out more!

http://www.saskbreastcancerconnect.org/events.html

Resources

Thanks so much to everyone for attending last night’s support group meeting! We had some great discussions about where to find additional information and resources. Here are some of our favourite organizations and their websites:

Saskatchewan Breast Cancer Connect

Canadian Breast Cancer Network

Breast Cancer Foundation

Living Beyond Breast Cancer

ReThink Breast Cancer (for young women)

Canadian Cancer Society (former Willow website)

Saskatchewan Ministry of Health (guide for newly diagnosed)

Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (Breast Treatment Guidelines)

Successful First Meeting

We held our first support group meeting on Wednesday, January 11. It was snowy, windy and cold but there were still many of us that made it to the meeting. Thank you so much to everyone who participated! We are so grateful to serve this community.