Jo O'Farrell

The Stepping Out programme

“Stepping Out” is a safe and structured specialist exercise and education programme for people living with or beyond cancer. The course is run at Bridport Leisure Centre. The exercises are designed for people recovering from cancer. They will be adjusted to an individual’s level of mobility. People can participate irrespective of whether they are still being treated or not. Apart from helping general fitness levels, all participants agree that the course is fun and social as well as educational. So please have a look at the brochure Stepping Out Guide for participants 2019 and contact Jo Perfect for a...

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Our library

The Living Tree owns a number of cancer related factual books (including cookbooks), leaflets, information booklets and novels. Our library is constantly added to. If there is a book you think is worth including into the library or you wish to borrow a book and can’t attend Friday afternoon meetings, please contact Jo; she’ll be pleased to help you. List of books & other items available to borrow from the Living Tree library The majority of books listed are about cancer and cancer-related issues. (R) = review available JM = on loan from Jo M; JoF = on loan from Jo O’F   To view the book list by title please use this link:  LT Book List Jan 2018 by Title . For the list in alphabetical order by author, please click: LT Book List Jan 2018 by Author....

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Transport to hospital

Pathways to Care, which operates the Bridport & District Good Neighbours Scheme, has been awarded a grant to fund transport for cancer patients to hospitals for treatment. Using volunteer drivers covered by insurance, Good Neighbours will help as a support or back-up service for carers, families and friends for journeys to Poole, Bournemouth, Dorchester, Exeter or other specialist hospitals. Contact Good Neighbours on 01308 420483 between 9am-1pm to access this...

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Local support groups

In alphabetical order, disregarding “the”. About Face About Face in Poole offers support at any stage to those with a head and neck cancer diagnosis, and to family members and carers. They are hoping to set up hubs in other parts of the county. The About Face Centre, 111 Longfleet Road, Poole BH15 2HP. 01202 677340, Afterglow A group set up by two Poole radiographers to provide support and information for women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. Meetings with guest speakers but also telephone support in cooperation with health care professionals. The group meets once...

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Other useful links for cancer survivors

anticancerclub. Very useful American site, lots of info on food and all kinds of integrative medicine without being extreme, started by a woman with lymphoma, newsletter you can subscribe to. Cancer-related fatigue. Youtube clip about coping with this with entertaining & useful animated drawings, good info from Canadian Dr Mike Evans. Cancersupportfrance. This is an association of support groups active in France which offer support to English-speaking people touched by cancer in France. cancernet is based on the book Lifestyle and Cancer by oncologist Prof Robert Thomas (which we have in LT library), can subscribe to newsletter. thecancersurvivorsclub. Based on the...

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Resources and links

Please find below links useful to cancer patients. They are in alphabetical order (disregarding “the”). After cancer is a website written by cancer survivor Verite Reily Collins. She shares her experiences and detailed and well-researched information on how cancer affects you during and after treatment and what to do about it. The Breast Radiotherapy Injury Rehabilitation Service (BRIRS) is a nationwide service for breast cancer survivors living with Brachial Plexus Injury after radiotherapy treatment. This type of injury is rare but BRIS offers free NHS treatment to any patient registered with a GP in England. For further information, please...

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Finding information

When I was first diagnosed I found that there was both too much and too little information about my condition. Minutes after being faced with the diagnosis of breast cancer I was whisked off to see the Macmillan nurse. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of information I was faced with. The leaflets I was given were certainly very useful, so I could read up on everything later when my mind was in a better state. The good news is, you can always go back to your clinical nurse specialist and ask again if you didn’t understand the first time. Like a lot of people in this situation I went online to search the Internet for information on my condition. It was very confusing and scary as a lot of what I found was simply not applicable to my specific sort of cancer. If I was to start again, I’d stick to the very knowledgeable and helpful cancer information sites like, and (for breast cancer patients) The NHS also has a very informative website detailing information on conditions and treatment: I found it very useful. If you search online for “medical dictionaries” you’ll find a number of online dictionaries that will explain the – initially baffling –...

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Finding support

When first diagnosed with cancer of any kind, members of the Living Tree agree that one of the top priorities is building a support network that will help the cancer patient and their family through the treatment process and beyond. Start an address book with all the useful contacts: The cancer patient’s first port of call is the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). Usually, when being diagnosed you will be given the name and contact details of the Clinical Nurse Specialist for your particular cancer. The CNS is the most accessible health care professional to you during your cancer journey. She is very knowledgeable: Ask her any question about your condition and if she doesn’t know the answer she’ll find out for you or tell you where to find the information yourself. If you have questions about the general treatment process, surgery or post surgical treatment, she is the person to approach. If you are panicking about symptoms, ask the Clinical Nurse Specialist. She will either reassure you or refer you to the consultant. If you want to find out the results of tests, the CNS has access to your medical file. Another useful phone number to have is that of your consultant’s secretary (to check up on appointments, referral letters, tests etc.). While most of us have family we can rely on to support us, being member of a...

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