NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2003

Our meeting was held at Noarlunga Health Services Community Hospital on Wednesday 5th November 2003, at 6.30 pm.

Thank you to our Sponsors, Woodcroft Community Health Services, The Cancer Council S.A, and Port Noarlunga Christies Beach R & S. L, for helping with the Photocopying of our Newsletter.

Chair: John Shields.

Guest: Councillor Artie Ferguson.

Present: 17.

Apologies:  Chris and Alice Conway, Trish Garraway, Ann Jones, Dolph and Ann Young, Ron Banks.

New Members: Jim and Kath Blain, Barry Bahnisch, and John Hauxwell.

Welcome to our new Members

Councillor Artie Ferguson talked to us about the Original Open Market and the amount of money that they have donated to the community over the past twenty years, $109,248 to date.

Artie is Patron of the Original Open Market and he asked me to put in writing a request for a donation to help cover our ongoing expenses such as stamps, envelopes, computer / photocopy paper, phone calls, stationery, etc. Artie then sent our request to the Secretary of the Original Open Market, and told our meeting that he felt confident that our request would receive favourable consideration.

Artie is also the Council representative of the Port Noarlunga Rowers and he told us that the Australian Surf Rowers League is holding the Australian Surfboat Open, at South Port Beach, Mid Coast S.A, on February 7th and 8th 2004 and he has asked the Rowers on our behalf, for a Stall to display and hand out information about Prostate Cancer, and our Support Group, and also to help raise some money for us.

The Australian Surfboat Open, will be held near the estuary of the Onkaparinga River, and entry is off Wetherald Tce, and over the footbridge. The path from the bridge to the beach is being prepared to ensure ease of access for all.  We will need a lot of helpers to have someone at the Stall at all times over the two days.  Let’s hope for some sunny days, a lot of enthusiastic helpers and an interested Public.

Artie is clearly demonstrating by his actions that he is our strongest supporter.

He was surprised that we were not given some money to start with.

Thank you Artie for moving so quickly to do something positive about this..

When I get details about the size of the Stall I will make enquiries about getting a sign made for our Group so that people can see clearly from a distance who we are.

Artie also mentioned getting some tins labelled “GOLD COIN DONATION PLEASE.”

It is very heartening to have someone who is a Champion of Men’s issues working so hard to help us get on our feet. If only there were more people like Artie who exudes a strong Community Spirit, and who likes to get things done. I have always believed that actions speak louder than words. Artie is proof that things will get done for our Group in the interests of the Community as a whole when a determined desire to make a success of the Group is demonstrated, not in word but in deed.

Congratulations Artie, we could not wish for a better person to be our Patron too, if Artie will accept the invitation.

Phyllis and myself will be attending the P.S.A Adelaide Group meeting on Monday 10th November, then the Awareness evening at Salisbury on Tuesday 18th November, and The Collaborative Centre for Prostate Health Inc. Annual Dinner on Wednesday 19th November, followed by a BBQ at Chapel Hill near Echunga on Sunday 23rd November and we will be asking for volunteers to help us “Man the Stall” at the Rowers League Open, and I am sure that the Ladies will be happy to help us as well. The more helpers the better, and we can work out a roster so that nobody needs to be at the Stall for too long at any one time.

Some chairs will also be needed. So please start letting me know as soon as possible what date and time that you can be there. This is very important to us and we must make the most of the opportunity that has been given to us by Artie.

Onkaparinga Community Information Centre will have details about our Group in the next edition of Onkaparinga Community Directory.

We are now very much an integral part of our Community and I intend to make sure that everyone in the City of Onkaparinga knows that we are here and why.

For too many years Prostate Cancer was only talked about in private or not even talked about at all. Thankfully the days of being secretive and keeping everyone in the dark (the Mushroom Syndrome) are over, and now we can talk freely and openly in mixed company about Prostate Cancer and the side affects of treatment, gone is the negativity, it has been replaced by a positive attitude and a willingness to share our experiences in the best interests of others.

Having a good sense of humour is essential too.

New Internet Website.

As reported in the P.S.A Adelaide Newsletter last month, there is now a web page for the four P.S.A Support Groups and the Prostate Cancer Support, Onkaparinga Group.

Our thanks to Ian Fisk from the P.S.A Adelaide Group and The Prostate Cancer Action Group (S A) Inc, who have allowed us to use part of their site free of charge.

To view the site, click onto:-

www.communitywebs.org/SAProstateCancer/pages/pssadelaide.htm

The web site for The Prostate Cancer Action Group (SA) Inc is now:-

www.communitywebs.org/SAProstateCancer/

Proposed Association of Prostate Cancer Support Groups (SA) Inc

The meeting to finalise the draft Constitution was held at Gerry and Cynthia McCreanor’s, and it is now ready for submission to the S.A Government for Incorporation.

A bountiful supply of nibbles was provided, and these were very much appreciated by us all.

NEWSLETTER

We still need some input from our Members for the Newsletter. It would be good to have a small team to help share the workload. Sending our Newsletter to other Groups, and receiving theirs is a good way to share information. Sometimes there are interesting articles with useful information in them that we may not otherwise find out about, so having some help to put together an interesting and informative Newsletter of our own that we can share with other Prostate Cancer Support Groups will be greatly appreciated.

AWARENESS  EVENING at Salisbury. on Tuesday 18th November 2003.

The Prostate Cancer Action Group (SA) Inc, is holding this meeting in the

John Harvey Gallery, City of Salisbury, from 7.00pm to 9. 30pm.

The main Speaker is Dr Agnelo De Sousa (Urologist), who will give a talk on Prostate Cancer. Everyone is welcome and it would pay to phone the Salisbury West Community Health Centre on 82817644 A.S.A.P to register your interest in attending. There is seating for 150 and even if you cannot attend, you may know someone who lives in the Salisbury area who would benefit from this meeting.

This is the kind of event that we can plan for next year to raise awareness about Prostate Cancer here in the City of Onkaparinga, and I am sure that the Prostate Cancer Action Group will be only too happy to oblige.

Barry`s Book.                  LIFE`S IN THE PINK

Barry Oakley, who is a member of the P.S.A Adelaide Group, has written this book, his second, and it makes very good reading.

I congratulate Barry for producing this book as I believe that it is something that every Support Group should do for their own benefit. ( Please refer to my pamphlet dated 31.7.2003.)

Barry`s book is not too large yet it contains good information about maintaining a quality of life after an operation and the strategies that he and his wife, Margaret, have used over the past nine years.

The very low cost of the book is just $5.00 and Barry will kindly donate a portion of the proceeds from their sale, to our Group. Thank you Barry.

We have bought fifteen of these books to sell to our members and I will have them at our next meeting. You will support Barry and our Group when you buy one.

Sharon Beckmann from Abbott Australasia has kindly donated some books for our library. They are written by Dr Prem Rashid Consultant Urologist, and are:-

One copy.          YOUR GUIDE TO PROSTATE CANCER

Two copies,       YOUR PROSTATE – QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Two copies,       BLADDER CARE – YOUR SELF HELP GUIDE

         Part of this book is written by Vicki Hibbard Continence Care Consultant

All of these books are excellent and will enhance our Library.

Sharon is also looking into getting some funding for our Group and this will help our Education program.

On behalf of the Prostate Cancer Support - Onkaparinga Group, I would like to say thank you very much Sharon, we really do appreciate your kind assistance.            

PLANNING FOR NEXT YEAR

We will devote some time at our December meeting to planning for next year.

We need to make arrangements with Speakers well in advance as they all have a busy Schedule and their contribution is so valuable to us that we do not want to miss out on having any one of them addressing our meetings.

Phyllis Shields is Treasurer for the remainder of this year, and John Shields is Chairperson, Secretary, Second signature for our bank account that needs to be opened soon, and everything else.

We love what we do but we want you to get involved for your own benefit, after all    I founded our Group for you as well as for us, and the reason why I was motivated to start our Group here in the City of Onkaparinga—which, in my humble opinion is the best place to live in Adelaide, we have all of the best things here.

We are close to the Beach, close to the Wine District of Mc Laren Vale, close to the Hills and Country, as everyone who lives around here will attest, we can see most of   these attractions – in part- from where we live, and we are only one Kilometre from Colonnades, need I say more.

However, the reason why I was motivated to start our Group was because for the past twelve years both Phyllis and I have been working closely with the Carers of people who suffered from Alzheimers Disease or a related Dementing illness and we saw the value to Carers of meeting together on a regular basis to talk about their own personal experiences and the strategies that they used to help them through each day.

Both Phyllis and myself worked with the people who had Alzheimers Disease or a related Dementing illness and we know first hand how they are being slowly robbed of their personality until the person who they once were, no longer exists.   They do not recognise family and friends later in the disease and this is particularly distressing to family members who have known and loved them for a lifetime.

 

Incontinence is a constant unwelcome companion to many of them

We know from personal experience how valuable Sharing the Caring is and bringing together people who have the same illness or disease plus those who care for them with the common purpose of working through problems that arise on a daily basis or even, in some cases only occasionally.

I helped to start a Caring for Carers Support Group at work some fourteen years ago as part of my job, this Group eventually moved out into the Community.

Later on I was asked by Management to start another Caring for Carers Support Group, based at work, again as part of my job, so I am no stranger to the dynamics of Support Groups

I mentioned at our meeting that I place great value on the Ladies and emphasised how important our Wives or Partners are to us, so from what I have just told you, it will come as no surprise to you that I hold our Ladies in very high esteem.

Our Wives or Partners are our number one source of Support, and they need our Support too. (I am sure that I am not an orphan in believing that).

Prostate Cancer is a chronic disease regardless of some peoples desire to push it into the background. This fact is always recognised by our Wives or Partners who very often do not know who to turn to when they try to rationalise the situation that they are faced with when they first learn that impotency has become a definite reality.

Most Women seem to find ways to cope with this and the other problems associated with the after affects of “treatment”- however, meeting together as a Group is 100% better.

I have heard the word duplication and other synonyms mentioned, however Prostate Cancer is unique in the affects that it can have on relationships and that is why a Prostate Cancer Specific Carers Group is best.

I have received a lot of information that I requested from The Carers Association of (SA) Inc. and I will present this to the Ladies at our December meeting.

Taking time out from the Group and having a meeting of your own is the best way to get started and the most positive thing to do is look after number one you.

Prostate Cancer may rob us of our Potency and the ability to live a sexually fulfilling life but it can never rob us of the ability to help and Support each other to have a positive attitude and get the best out of the life that we now have and make the most of the opportunity that Prostate Cancer has presented to us.

The meeting was opened up for members to talk about anything that had made them feel happy over the previous Month. There were a lot of good experiences to share, this included the ladies, and will be a regular “starter” for our meetings.

The men also told us about their experiences with Prostate Cancer, and where they are at with it right now. I thank them for sharing that with us and I was greatly encouraged, knowing that I have not had treatment of any kind, and, after having a bone scan and a C.T scan I am waiting to hear from Dr Ian Stapleton about when I will be having that Radical Prostatectomy. I can’t wait !!!

I just found out that it will be on the 16th of December, at R.G.H. Happy Xmas John.

Treasurers Report:
Collection from November meeting  28.00
Plus b / fwd from October  24.00
Total $52.00
   
Expenditure  
Stamps and Stationery   28.00
Cards    1.55
Floppy Discs    8.95
Plus b / fwd from October 132.25 Total Expenditure
  $170.75
Less Income (Collections)  52.00
Balance of Expenditure $118.75
Stamps on hand  $2.50

Phyllis Shields Treasure

“Dangerous food”

A Dietician was once addressing a large audience in Chicago.

The material that we put in our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode the stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with M.S.G.  Vegetables can be disastrous, and none of us realises the long term harm caused by germs in our drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all, and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone tell me what food causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?

A 75 year old man in the front row stood up and replied, Wedding cake!!!

OUR NEXT MEETING is on Wednesday 3rd December 2003 at 6.30 pm.

Lindy Tipple The R.D.N.S will talk to us about Prostate Cancer Specific Continence Management

We will then have a break until Wednesday 4th February 2004.

Please let me know the Subject that you would like a Guest Speaker to talk to us about at this meeting.

The meeting closed at 8.40pm.

Note to all other Prostate Cancer Support Groups

Please feel free to reprint any article that is in a Prostate Cancer Support – Onkaparinga Group, Newsletter that may be of interest to your members.

Disclaimer:

Information and suggestions made in printed, audio or visual form presented by Guest Speakers, or as part of our Displays, or in our Library or Newsletters, is not the responsibility of the Prostate Cancer Support-- Onkaparinga Group.

We do not give Medical advice. Your G.P, your Urologist and Allied Health Professionals are the only people who are legally qualified to give Medical advice.

WE DO HOWEVER GIVE YOU OUR WHOLEHEARTED SUPPORT

On a sad note

Phyllis and myself attended the funeral of Brian Newell who passed away on Nov 7th

The service was held at St Josephs Catholic Church, Willunga, on Wednesday   12th Nov, and was attended by a very large number of people.

By all reports, Brian was a popular person and slides were shown of some of his excellent work as a photographer.

Brian produced a book on the Old Ghan Railway and profits from the sale of this book went to the Maxine and Brian Newell Foundation for research into Prostate Cancer.

On behalf of the Members of the Prostate Cancer Support—Onkaparinga Group,

We wish to extend our sincere condolences to Maxine and the Newell family for their sad loss.

A donation can be made in Brian`s memory to the Newell Foundation,

“Putting Prostate Cancer in the Picture”, level one, 121 Greenhill Road, Unley, South Australia, 5061

Vale: Brian Newell.