Yes - to stand in a group of ladies who are also young and also have breast cancer was just so comforting - and everyone was so lovely and so brave.
Anyone wondering whether a younger women's forum is worth attending - it IS!! Definitely definately. Go, talk to people, and see first hand that you are not the only one.
Thank-you BCC xxx
Yes I had a great time at the YWF. It was great to meet all the lovely ladies and to share experiences. Thank you BCC for arranging such a good weekend
had a fab time on the YWF. . thank for all the hard work by the team to ensure it ran smooth. . and for me it was great to see so many ladies in my age bracket.
Totally agree - lots of information and it was great meeting some really lovely ladies. Roll on the nightout being organised in a few months
(Derbyshire) Karen x
Thanks to the BCC team for a really useful and fun weekend. Thanks also to all the other young ladies there. It was odd being among the older attendees. At 43 I am always the youngest by at least 10 years when getting treated at hospital. Good luck to all x
We've been contacted by our partners at The Haven to make community members aware of an event taking place in Birmingham. They're running an outreach day from the Hereford Haven at The Westmead Hotel, Redditch Road, Hopward Birmingham B48 7AL, on Thurs 3 November from 10 till 4.30pm. They'll be running an “Introduction to The Haven ” day and are trying to get as many people as possible registered to attend.
For more information, call the centre manager, Frankie Devereux on 01432 361 052.
Hey Lizzy - yes I will see you there - and actually my real name is Liz!!
I am going to the YWF at Birmingham so will see you there 🙂
Please note that I don't in any way begrudge the "YW" their special forum but my point is that they are not the only demographic group who have certain personal issues but they seem to be the only ones having them addressed by something other than a leaflet.
All power to the young ladies!
Libralady - not sure if I can name the hotel - but it is a central Birmingham hotel.
I am going and very much looking forward to it.
I'm not going to enter into the discussion above. I agree everyone needs emotional support with breast cancer. But for me I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to hopefully meet just *one person* who is the same age as me. I obviously have lost count of how many times I went to the hospital this year but I never saw anyone who was remotely near my age. I met many lovely lovely people - but no-one who was in the same stage of life as me.
And obviously being younger I don't know if it is any different at my age or not, as I don't have further life experience to compare it to, so I don't know whether having young children makes any difference to the 'cancer experience and emotions' or not. But I do know that some of the things that I am finding the hardest emotionally are related to my young family. And I think it will make a big difference to (hopefully) meet some ladies the same as me so I don't feel so alone.
So - for me - thank-you to BCC for trying to enable this to happen.
Let me second what Ninja has said. I too was quite isolated during chemo, being off work and suffering dizzy spells which made it difficult to go anywhere on my own. It was quite a shock to look in the mirror and see someone who looked like an old man, not even an old woman. And now I am having to come to terms with retiring at the end of sick leave, not even having had a chance to go out for a goodbye drink with close colleagues. I don't consider myself an old woman yet, only at the far end of middle age. Some who haven't reached the far end, or normal retirement age, may still have to consider leaving work permanently or changing jobs--difficult just now--because of BC. That can have an enormous impact socially, psychologically and even physically, as well as financially.
And come to that, don't elderly women ever need support? Don't they deserve support? If there is any around here, I'm not aware of it.
Further, there don't seem to be support groups in Birmingham for cancer in general, never mind for people with breast cancer, and yet there is a large cancer unit here which gets referrals from other areas. If there are any, I haven't seen information to that effect after having spent a good part of a year hanging around hospitals and reading the posters. All I have ever found is leaflets, and sometimes it has been too late to sign up for a course while it was still relevant. No one at the QE ever pointed me towards LGFB, scarf-tying, Moving Forward or anything else. I have rarely seen the same people frequently enough in the Breast clinic at the Women's Hospital, in the oncology waiting area or in the chemo and radiotherapy areas to get to know them.
The BC therapies such as massage offered at some centres are not offered at the QE, so far as I know. By the time I discovered that such a thing as post surgery underarm cushions are available, I didn't really need one anymore. No one there has given me any advice about the risks of lymphoedema or how to avoid it. I'm still not sure whether this is likely to be an ongoing risk for me or not.
I know there is a volunteer-run centre of some sort in Sutton Coldfield, but I don't know what their capacity is, and I understand it is not particularly accessible from other areas, certainly not by public transport. I only found out about this because someone I know who lives in SC mentioned it, after the time when it might have been most beneficial.
Steph, thanks for your response.
You said, "being diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age can be a very isolating experience as few women in their 20s and 30s will meet anyone of a similar age during their treatment"
I have found that being Dx at any age is very isolating.
At my chemo centre, there isn't much opportunity to speak to anyone; we are all wired into our infusion pumps, people speak to their chemo buddies or read quietly and I always seem to be next to an retired chap or an old lady. I have never heard of, nor managed to find out about, any BC support groups round here. I have been too ill to work since I started chemo in April (plus I work in a hospital so it is contraindicated). So basically, I've been at home on my own for 6 months to brood. This forum has been the only thing to keep me sane as OH gets distressed if I cry when he is in.
How isolated do you think *I* feel??
"Breast Cancer Care offers ... our Moving Forward Courses, taking place around the country".
I found these on your site (after a search) but they seem to get repeated at the same venues. Do they go anywhere else? Are they ever in North Yorkshire, preferably York District Hospital? I'm in a village, no car, and getting to Halifax or Huddersfield would take a military operation, several hours and a lot of money that I don't have.
Despite the images of the old-looking ladies on the front of your publications - their images distressed me as it made *me* feel old, thinking that I had become one of them - BC is not just a disease of grannies. I'm just getting the impression more and more that help with emotional/sexual issues is only for (a) men and (b) women who wish to get pregnant.
Women do not have intimate relations purely to procreate - this is the 21st century, not the Middle Ages!
I watched a video on the Macmillan site yesterday about sexual issues following a Ca Dx, and the psych there did say that there is LOADS of help available for men, but women, if they are lucky(!), just buy lube, which doesn't help with vaginal atrophy, and oestrogen cream which is not suitable for most BC women.
This isn't an issue that is going to go away. Why must the younger (but not "younger" by your classification) women and their partners have to suffer in silence?
May I just ask where the venue for this is please?
Thanks for your feedback. We know that being diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age can be a very isolating experience as few women in their 20s and 30s will meet anyone of a similar age during their treatment. Our Younger Women’s Forums give women aged up to 45 the opportunity to meet others in similar situation and talk about the subjects that matter to them in a setting where they feel comfortable and not like the odd one out. We do appreciate that many of the topics covered are relevant to all ages and Breast Cancer Care offers a number of other opportunities to learn about and discuss these. For example, our Moving Forward Courses, taking place around the country, cover topics such as Menopausal Symptoms, Lymphoedema and healthy eating. A breast care nurse also attends and is there on hand to answer any questions you may have or may not want to ask in an open group.
You may also find it helpful to talk to one our trained volunteers on our one to one support service, just tell us what you’d like to talk about and we can find someone who’s right for you. Our volunteers give you a chance to talk openly away from family and friends with someone who understands what you’re going through.
And of course the Breast Cancer Care Helpline is always there on 0808 800 6000 to listen and support you and help you to access the information and support you need.
If you have any questions on what similar services are available, please do email , and we’ll help you with your query.
Specialist Services Team
As I have remarked on another thread, WHY are only "younger women" given access to these topics/discussions?
Are the rest of us assumed to be bracing ourselves for the death of our personalities / personal lives at 45?
There is a massive demographic group of women with BC who are:
.. who are very much in need of help / discussion groups about "intimacy and relationships, lymphoedema, exercise and more. You can also find out about healthy eating and nutrition in relation to breast cancer"
- everything, in fact except, for most of us, the fertility thing.
Not Dead Yet ... of Acacia Avenue.
Edit to say: you can see from my hair re-growth that you can also add "not yet grey" to the above list of "nots".
I'm not old.
Please do NOT scrap-heap us all.
We have a few places left on the Younger Women's Forum in Birmingham on the 12th and 13th November.
The Younger Women's Forum is a free two day event for women aged 20 -45 who are within 3 years of diagnosis.
There will be guest speakers, workshops, wellbeing sessions and discussion groups that are there to guide you through a wide range of topics specifically related to younger women with breast cancer. The forums provide high-quality information on essentials such as treatment, fertility, intimacy and relationships, lymphoedema, exercise and more. You can also find out about healthy eating and nutrition in relation to breast cancer.
If you would like more information either call 0845 077 1893 or email