Cancer Connections

Beating Cancer in the Highlands ... This column is brought to you regularly by the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee and is first published in the Lifestyle section of the Southern Highland News. It is designed to inform everybody of matters relating to cancer in our local community and the wider society. We aim to focus on local news, forthcoming events, services and other cancer issues.

Cancer Connections - September 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Relay for Life Southern Highlands 2018
We kick off this year on Moss Vale Showground at 11 am, Saturday October 20. Relay is a chance for the Southern Highlands community to recognise and celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and their carers, to honour and remember loved ones lost to cancer and to raise money to help save more lives. Funds raised at Relays right across the state go towards Cancer Council’s vital research, prevention, information and support services.

The website for our relay is open and operating. Just search for "relay for life southern highlands 2018" and it will come up. Or you can contact the co-ordinator, Kelly Dinnerville, at Kelly.Dinnerville@nswcc.org.au or telephone (02) 42230242. You could join one of the existing teams or start one of your own with some friends or colleagues. Who will you relay for ?


Daffodil Day 2018

Thanks are due to all those many people who stepped up to a stall on Daffodil Day to make a purchase or simply make a donation. Stalls were well-staffed and operating when I called in on August 24. 


Again there were two stalls set up in Bowral. The one inside Springetts Arcade remains a merchandise stall and it had a cosy spot in the air-conditioned arcade. Meanwhile, in the windy conditions that day, the stall outside the Coles store was far less comfortable but was again staffed by the reliable Lauren McDonald (pictured left). Her table concentrated on the new emphasis of an offering of fresh daffodils which were snapped up by generous donors.





Saving Life 2019
As indicated last month, Cancer Council’s “Saving Life 2019” campaign is getting underway to promote their policies before the next state election. The focus will be on three main areas involving junk food advertising; tobacco; and the funding of lymphoedema services. If you are offered a Saving Life 2019 postcard highlighting those policies, please write in the state electorate in which you live, sign it and return to the collector for presentation to your MP. Your support for the campaign can also be shown by going onto Cancer Council’s website.

Movie Night for Can Assist -- Last Chance !
Last reminder of the film night organised by the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist. “Johnny English Strikes Again” will be screened at New Empire Cinemas, Thurs. September 20. There will be light refreshments along with a glass of wine or soft drink to be enjoyed from 6pm before the movie commences at 6.30pm. Tickets $25 at the box office.

What is Blue September ?
Blue September is about raising awareness of all the cancers affecting men : not just prostate and testicular cancer, but also bowel, lung, liver, pancreatic and other cancers. In terms of fundraising, the month of September is an opportunity to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and Australian Prostate Cancer Research.

Coming Events
• Can Assist film night “Johnny English Strikes Again”, New Empire Cinemas, Thurs. Sept 20, 6pm for 6.30pm. Tickets $25 at box office.
• All September is Blue September (see above).
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Sept. 25, RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Sept. 26
• October will be : Dogtober; Ocsober; and Walktober.
• National Carer’s Week will be held Oct. 16 to 22.

• YWCA Encore program, Mittagong, Wednesdays, Oct. 17 to Dec. 5. For details on this website : click on the Local Services tab above.

• Relay for Life Southern Highlands 2018 will be held at Moss Vale Showground from 11am Sat. Oct. 20 to 11am Sun. Oct. 21.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au




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Cancer Connections - August 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Saving Life 2019
A conference of 150 advocates and activists in July saw the launch of Cancer Council’s Saving Life 2019 campaign. This will be aimed at building towards the 2019 NSW state election with a clear ask of all candidates whether they will support and promote some important campaign issues. 
These issues will call on the NSW Government to :
• ensure that people working or socialising in bars and clubs are protected from second-hand smoke;
• encourage retailers to stop selling tobacco by banning tobacco vending machines and introducing a licence fee;
• remove junk food advertising from state-owned property to take action on childhood obesity;
• fund public lymphoedema services to ensure people have timely access to evidence-based care.
If you are offered a Saving Life 2019 postcard, please sign it and return to the collector for presentation to your local state MP.

Donation from Southern Highland News
A donation made this month to the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee by Southern Highland News was gratefully received. The donation arose from the publication of the 2018 issue of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory which focussed on blood cancers and for which the committee provided all the editorial content. This financial help is another generous sign of support for our work for cancer patients.

In thanking the newspaper, I said : “Rest assured that we shall put these funds to good use. Firstly, it will allow us to pay the annual fees incurred in maintaining our Committee’s website, Southern Highlands Cancer Connect, at www.sh-cancerconnect.com.au. That means we can continue to spread the word about the range of services available locally to help anyone with a cancer diagnosis. Then, the balance of the funds will all go towards the local branch of Can Assist who do so much to provide financial help to cancer patients in the Wingecarribee.”

Movie Night for Can Assist
As their next fundraiser, the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist have organised another film night. Following the great success of their previous screenings, which have all seen a full house, this one promises to be a light-hearted take on spy action movies. “Johnny English Strikes Again” of course has Rowan Atkinson in the title role and he is beautifully matched by his co-star, Olga Kurylenko. It should be great fun. New Empire Cinemas, Thurs. Sept 20, 6pm for 6.30pm. Tickets $25 at the box office. Details are also on our website.










Daffodil Day
Friday, August 24 will be Daffodil Day and we have a chance to make our annual contribution to the ongoing work of Cancer Council. I learned that the emphasis this year will be moving away a little from the traditional merchandise items on sale and starting to turn more towards an offering of fresh daffodils. Or you can just place a straight donation in the box. Volunteers from the Southern Highlands will be out in force, spread across the district, with stalls at Mittagong Highlands Marketplace; inside Springetts Arcade and outside Coles in Bowral; Coles in Moss Vale; and Sallys Corner, each side of the highway.

Coming Events
• Can Assist Annual Branch Meeting at Mittagong RSL Club, not BDCU, 10am August 21 (Note : 3rd Tuesday, not the 2nd. Please note the change of venue as well.)
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Aug. 22
• Daffodil Day this year will be Friday, August 24.
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Aug. 28 RSVP Katie
• Can Assist film night “Johnny English Strikes Again”, New Empire Cinemas, Thurs. Sept 20, 6pm for 6.30pm. Tickets $25 at the box office.

• YWCA Encore program, Mittagong, Wednesdays, Oct. 17 to Dec. 5. For details about YWCA Encore, look under the 'Local Services' tab above.

• Advance Notice : Relay for Life Southern Highlands 2018 will be held at Moss Vale Showground from 11am Sat. Oct. 20 to 11am Sun. Oct. 21.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au




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Cancer Connections - September 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Portacath insertion issue
Our committee has been seeking an improvement in the provision of Portacath devices to uninsured patients so they will no longer have to travel to Concord Hospital for the insertion. We had asked for the brief operation to be performed at Bowral & District Hospital and were advised back in July that the issue was currently under discussion. No definite answer has been received yet, but one possible option is that, if Campbelltown Hospital were to be approved for vascular surgery, then public patients from the Southern Highlands might be able to have the device inserted there. Still a journey, but certainly a shorter one than to Concord and back. More information when it comes to hand.






Pictured at Springetts Arcade (L to R)  : Deb Wrigley, Christine Graham, Jonathon & Miranda Hassett


Daffodil Day well supported
Once again this August the volunteers of the Wingecarribee turned out on Daffodil Day to help collect funds for Cancer Council NSW. There were stalls set up at Mittagong’s Highlands Marketplace and at Springetts Arcade and Coles Supermarket in Bowral, offering a range of merchandise from beautiful bunches of fresh daffodils, to the badges, pens, keyrings and toy bears which carry the brand. At the Springetts stall, I met Team Leader Christine Graham, assisted by Deb Wrigley and Miranda & Jonathon Hassett. Christine had commenced her role last year when she took over from the well-known John Sider. Over at Coles, Lauren McDonald was fully in charge of the table for her 11th year ! Through the generous support of Southern Highlands residents, the contributions raised will go towards the many avenues by which Cancer Council assists those with a cancer diagnosis. The latest form of that help to our own locals is the new car purchased for the sole use by GAPS volunteers to transport Wingecarribee cancer patients.


Pictured at Coles Supermarket : Lauren McDonald



















10 years and going strong

Members of the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee were a little surprised when I pointed out recently that we had just passed the 10-year milestone for the volunteer group. Back in 2007 a small band of like-minded people came together to see what could be done to improve services for local cancer patients. A great boost came when Cancer Council NSW used some of the funds from Relay for Life to provide a bus to take patients to Campbelltown and back for their treatment. The bus still runs today, five days a week, manned by volunteer drivers. Since then, the committee has gone on to provide the material for the annual Cancer Services Directory, now in its 9th year, and for this regular monthly column, both supported by Southern Highland News. These two initiatives are to inform people about patient services available in our district : for transport, accommodation, legal and financial help, along with programs to assist after cancer surgery. That led naturally to the committee starting its own website to put all the information online. Which brought about this website : Southern Highlands Cancer Connect, now in its 7th year of operation.


During those 10 years, our committee has called for improved services in palliative care, haematology, and portacatheter insertion, and supported the limits placed on smoking tobacco in public places. We have helped in the formation and operation of the GAPS service. Currently we channel donations through to local cancer charities, promote various fundraisers, and work closely with local Can Assist and numerous cancer support groups. These are achievements of which we can be modestly proud and I thank all committee members, past and present.

Coming Events
• Bright Pink Lipstick Day for awareness of hereditary breast & ovarian cancer, Sept 22
• Blue September is raising awareness of cancers affecting men.
• Can Assist event : A “Secret Garden Party” in Bowral, 3-6pm, Sunday Sept 24
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Sept. 26 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Sept. Sept. 27
• October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
• “Light the Night” for Leukaemia Foundation, Bradman Oval, 5.30-8.30pm Oct. 6
• Can Assist Meeting 10am October 10th at BDCU, Bowral
* YWCA Encore program will be conducted from Oct. 11th to Nov. 29th. Contact Susie 0419 221 433. 
      For details of the program, see the webpage under the "Local Services" tab above.
• National Bandanna Day for CanTeen, Oct 27
• RCA function Sick or Treat Charity Ball, Sydney, Oct. 27.
* Great movie night : "Murder on the Orient Express" - a fundraiser for Can Assist at the New Empire Cinemas, 6 for 5.30pm on Nov. 9th. See all the details in our 'News & Events' column

Grahame Hackett (Chair, Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au




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Cancer Connections - August 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

“The Thing About Cancer”

A new series of podcasts has been launched by Cancer Council NSW and designed for people affected by cancer, including carers, families and friends of those living with cancer. Rather than explain about all the various kinds of cancer – which are already fully covered in their well-established “Understanding” series of booklets – the podcasts focus on 10 key areas for people affected by a cancer diagnosis. Topics include : How to help someone with cancer; Managing cancer fatigue; Appetite loss and nausea; and Explaining cancer to kids. Hosted by radio broadcaster and cancer survivor, Julie McCrossin, the ten informative podcasts can be heard online from the web at https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/podcasts/ or they can be downloaded from iTunes to your computer, tablet or smartphone and listened to at anytime.


Daffodil Day is Friday, August 25th
Volunteers will be out again this Daffodil Day to show that the work of organisations like the Cancer Council gives HOPE to so many. Hope that the causes of this disease will be better understood; hope that improved methods of treatment will result from all the research being undertaken; and hope that flows from knowing how much support there is out there in the community. Purchase a daffodil, a badge, a pen, or other merchandise on the day, or simply make a donation, and you are giving hope to cancer patients across NSW. And if you can spare the time to help out by volunteering to collect on that Friday, please contact Cancer Council on 4223 0200. Every daffodil and every donation grows hope.







Word of a “Secret Garden Party”
The hard-working volunteers at Can Assist Southern Highlands are currently spreading the word about what they have called a Secret Garden Party coming up on Sunday September 24th from 3 to 6 pm. Working on the kind offer of a local resident to make a private garden available, they have put together an inviting event for the spring season. (It’s not really a secret : once you purchase a ticket, the address for the location of the garden will be shown on the ticket.) The entry price of $55 will cover all food, drinks, entertainment, and the tour of the garden. It is important to emphasise that all funds raised from this event will go to the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist. For tickets and further information you can contact Margaret on 4861 2347 or Merrillyn 0403 620 777.

“Light the Night” event
On October 6th from 5.30-8.30pm this Leukaemia Foundation event will be held at Bradman Oval, Bowral. 
Today another 35 people will be told they have blood cancer. Be the light in their darkest hour at this inspiring twilight event.
Now in its tenth year, Light the Night is a unique fundraising event bringing Australia’s blood cancer community together in more than 140 locations to remember and reflect during a moving ceremony and short lantern walk. Those attending raise money beforehand to help give local families facing blood cancer the emotional and practical support that will light the way forward. Light the Night fundraisers all receive a coloured lantern to carry as darkness falls and celebrate what they’ve achieved to help people with blood cancer. Last year, more than 35,000 people from every Australian state and territory attended a Light the Night.

To register or find out more, go to www.lightthenight.org.au or ring 1800 500 088.


Facts do help
With the sudden news of a cancer diagnosis, we don’t always know where we stand. For some people, it soon creates real financial hardship, especially where one cannot continue in paid employment. For others, it may even raise legal or workplace issues : for instance “What exactly are my rights in this situation ?” To provide sound guidance for cancer patients facing questions like these, Cancer Council NSW has a number of booklets and fact sheets available. They cover relevant topics like your finances and your rights, dealing with debts, superannuation, and work-related cancers. You can download any of more than a dozen of these from the website at www.cancercouncil.com.au and just do a search for “Legal and financial issues fact sheets”.

Coming Events

• RCA event : “Passion on the Field” at Randwick Racecourse, Aug 19
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Aug 22 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. Aug 23
• Daffodil Day, Friday August 25
• Blue September is to raise awareness of all cancers affecting men
• Can Assist Meeting, 10am Sept 12 at BDCU, Bowral.
* R U OK Day will be on Thursday, Sept 14
• Can Assist event : A “Secret Garden Party” in Bowral, 3-6pm, Sunday Sept 24
• “Light the Night” for Leukaemia Foundation, Bradman Oval, 5.30-8.30pm Oct. 6.
• RCA function : Sick or Treat Charity Ball, Sydney, Oct. 27. Visit RCA website.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - July 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Travelling for Portacath
Patients requiring the insertion of a Portacath device for the administration of their cancer treatment can have this done easily here in the Southern Highlands - that is, provided they have private health insurance. But you may not know that Highlands patients without health insurance need to travel to either Liverpool or Concord Hospitals to have this done, as public patients. We are told that Liverpool continues to have a 10-week waiting list, so that it usually means a journey to Concord, although the actual operation can be done within about 30 minutes. Quite frequently, these patients require transport to Concord and back by our GAPS service (General and Practical Support) which is staffed by our local volunteers. Obviously it is a lengthy journey for a person undergoing treatment.

If an operating theatre at Bowral & District Hospital were to be made available for those times at which a public patient needed the insertion, we know that there are local doctors who would be willing to perform the operation here in the Highlands. (For this to happen, Bowral & District would need to be accredited for vascular surgery.) We have been advised by the Hospital’s General Manager that the portacath issue is “currently under discussion” and our committee will continue to pursue a solution.


Cancer Council car helps to fill some GAPS

Last month I reported that Cancer Council NSW have provided a new car for the use of those GAPS drivers mentioned above. It means that, each day, one volunteer can leave his own car at home and instead take the Toyota RAV4 with its Cancer Council logo. That car has certainly been at work : already it has covered 3000km in its first 3 weeks of operation. While on the statistics, I can say that, in total during 2016-17, the GAPS volunteer drivers transported 417 passengers over 816 trips covering 37,000 km to treatment, appointments etc. In the same period, our other volunteer service, the Cancer Council Patient Transport Bus - taking cancer patients to Campbelltown for radiation treatment - transported 718 passengers over 1,400 trips and travelled 40,000km. Truly amazing support from local people. Any Southern Highlands men or women interested in volunteering as a driver are asked to contact Sally Lewis at Cancer Council's Wollongong office, 4223 0205.


Rare Cancers Australia

At our July meeting, our committee member, Richard Vines, a Director of Rare Cancers Australia, reported on a number of his organisation’s recent achievements. These include successfully applying for a drug to be listed on the PBS for use with rare cancer patients, launching a national database to identify specialist clinicians who have expertise in particular forms of rare and less common cancer, and developing close working relationships with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, pharmaceutical companies and the Peter MacCallum Institute. RCA has also been involved in upgrading their successful app for cancer patients called CAN.recall which has now been translated into Mandarin as well. For this and more information about the work of Rare Cancers Australia, visit their website at www.rarecancers.org.au/


Coming Events
• July is Dry July
• PAWS Pet Therapy function, Centennial Vineyards, July 22, 5-10pm.
PAWS Pet Therapy volunteers needed : ring Sharon Stewart 46810499
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. July 25 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. July 26
• Jeans for Genes Day in aid of Children's Medical Research Institute, August 5
• Dying to Know Day for end-of-life planning, August 8

• RCA CanForum in Canberra, August 9. See RCA website www.rarecancers.org.au/

• Can Assist Annual Branch Meeting, 10am August 8 at BDCU, Bowral.
• RCA event : “Passion on the Field”, Randwick Racecourse, August 19
• Daffodil Day, Friday August 25

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - August 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Haematology hardship

If you are a reader of this column, you will be aware that we have a lack of haematology services in the Southern Highlands. (If you missed the story, go to the Cancer Connections tab above and scroll down to our July column. Further detailed information is available on the LHS of the screen by clicking on the Local Issues link to "Haematology services".) 


An uninsured patient can have a consultation at Bowral and District Hospital with a haematologist who comes from Liverpool. But for their treatment, the uninsured patient must still travel to Liverpool every time. The result, unfortunately, is that uninsured patients with a haematology diagnosis, such as leukaemia, myeloma, or other blood cancers, must make costly, time-consuming and stressful journeys to Liverpool on a regular basis. It is often family members or carers who must share this burden. And if no-one is able to get the patient to their treatment, it is often our volunteer drivers from the GAPS program who have to take them there and back.


Transporting Cancer Patients

Not aware of GAPS ? Our General and Practical Support service provides fully-trained volunteers who transport patients to and from medical appointments and treatment. Sometimes it means going all the way to Liverpool Hospital and return. Sometimes it involves transport to and from a pickup location for the Patient Transport Service. This is the bus (volunteer drivers again) that takes cancer patients to the Cancer Therapy Centre at Campbelltown. Neither service would be possible without the backing of Cancer Council NSW which provides the bus, petrol, etc and which funds the GAPS drivers’ journeys. For all the details on this transport assistance, go to the Quick Links on the LHS of screen and click on SH Patient Transport or General and Practical Support (GAPS). 






Daffodil Day
A reminder that I mentioned last month the date for Daffodil Day this year : Friday, August 26. Cancer Council always has a number of outlets in the Highlands, based on the major shopping centres. In addition, the Coles organisation has long been a strong supporter and their outlets often have Daffodil Day merchandise available in the week of the event. Every little bit helps, so why not stop by where you see the sign of the daffodil, the symbol for hope. I have invited the State MP for Wollondilly, Jai Rowell, to call in at the stall in Springetts Arcade on that morning. He has readily agreed and will be there sometime around 11am. Call by to show your support for improvements in cancer care.

New committee members

Our Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee was delighted to gain two new members in recent months. Carolyn Le Compte, the Nursing Unit Manager at Wingecarribee Community Nursing here in Bowral, has now joined our popular Mira Glavan, the Clinical Nurse Consultant in Palliative Care. I can also now proudly report that the busy editor of Southern Highland News, Jackie Meyers, has somehow found the time to join us at our monthly meetings. We are most pleased to welcome both as valuable new members.

“Push for Palliative”
This is a good time to mention the widespead efforts to improve palliative services. In a nutshell, there are just not enough palliative care doctors and nurses in the NSW health system. So it’s not possible to give every patient with life-limiting cancer who needs specialist palliative care the access to it, when they need it, wherever they live. That means that some people aren’t able to spend their dying days, weeks, or months, comfortable and pain-free, in a place of their choosing. And it means that some people aren’t treated with the dignity that everyone deserves at end of life. There is a current campaign – “Push for Palliative” spearheaded by Dr Yvonne McMaster and Cancer Council NSW – for more palliative care doctors and nurses and culturally-appropriate specialist palliative care services for Aboriginal people. More details to follow.

Coming Events
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group meet at private hospital, 10am, August 23. RSVP Jo or Katie on 4862 9470
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, August 24.
• Daffodil Day is Friday, August 26. Stall in Springetts Arcade.
• Can Assist meeting, Thursday, Sept. 8th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Advance Notice : the Southern Highlands Spring Auto Fair is coming to Berrima Public School again on Sunday, Sept. 25, 9am to 2pm. For more information, contact Darren Freer 0439110358 or Phil Walmsley 0438402797 or email: shspringautofair@gmail.com

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - July 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Daffodil Day on Friday, August 26
Probably no event is more associated with Cancer Council than Daffodil Day, a great fundraiser for much needed support of cancer patients and their families. We always have a number of outlets in the Highlands, based on the major shopping centres. If you are interested in volunteering for someone you know, you could help out in co-ordinating a site at Mittagong or Moss Vale. Just call Caitlyn Zalewski on 42230232. Last year, Cancer Council invested $14.9 million in cancer research and received over 12,000 calls to its Information and Support Service on 13 11 20.




Haematology services for the Highlands ?
Readers of this column would know that we have had an ongoing need for improved services in this district for haematology patients. It is now time to set out some detail on what the issue is. If you are a self-insured patient, you can have a consultation and receive your treatment by a haematologist at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. If you are an uninsured patient you can have a consultation at Bowral and District Hospital with a haematologist who comes from Liverpool. But for treatment the uninsured patient must travel to Liverpool every time.

The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee has long believed that, wherever possible, those patients would be far better off if treated closer to home. This treatment could be achieved by a contract agreement between South Western Sydney Local Health District and Southern Highlands Private Hospital, similar to the currently existing agreement for Medical Oncology. It would avoid the need for most patients to make costly, time-consuming and stressful journeys to Liverpool on a regular basis. For well over a year, we had understood that progress was being made on this arrangement.

Contract negotiations broke down, however, when the Bowral and District Hospital’s priorities were reviewed. Haematology was not rated high enough on their list for the service to be funded and so uninsured patients still have to get to Liverpool, no matter what hardship this causes. Our committee continues to believe that it must be possible for the management of Bowral Hospital to see that better outcomes for those patients can be achieved.

Dry July
Is this your cup of tea ? Dry July is a fundraiser that challenges you to go booze-free for a month to support adults living with cancer.
This year, funds raised through Dry July can go towards a range of support projects. It’s your choice. To sign up, visit the Dry July website.

Coming Events
• Dry July to benefit cancer patients and their families.
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group meet at private hospital, 10am, July 26. RSVP Jo or Katie on 4862 9470
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, July 27

• Can Assist Annual Branch meeting, Thursday, August 11th, 10.30 am at the old Bowral Hospital

• Daffodil Day is Friday, August 26.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - August 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Southern Highlands Patient Transport Service
Cancer patients from the Southern Highlands who require transport to the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre for treatment, or to see a doctor or specialist, can access the Southern Highlands Patient Transport Service. This bus is funded by Cancer Council NSW and fully operated by trained volunteers.

The service runs daily, picking up patients and their carers at set locations in the Highlands and returning passengers following treatment. The bus can collect patients who are booked to travel from the designated stops at Moss Vale, Bowral, Mittagong, Braemar, Hill Top & Colo Vale, Bargo, Tahmoor and Picton from 9.00am every weekday. Bookings are made by telephoning the Cancer Council Southern Region office in Wollongong on 4223 0200. Passengers are invited to make a $5 donation per day towards the cost of petrol and servicing.





If you are using the service, please inform the nursing staff at the Centre so that they can schedule your treatment to coincide with the arrival of the bus. The bus is staffed by volunteers; no medical equipment or medical staff are on board. Full details about the bus are also available on this website : click here

Blood Cancer Support Group
It was heartening news that the Southern Highlands Blood Cancer Support Group held another successful meeting in August and have now planned their program for the rest of 2015. I have learned that their next meeting will be on Wednesday, 23rd September. Bookings are essential, so please RSVP to Rachel Seath on (02) 4222 0607 or 0466 491 793. Any patient receiving treatment for a blood cancer condition who is interested in joining this group is advised to telephone direct to Rachel who is the Support Co-ordinator, Illawarra and South West Sydney, for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group
In addition to the successful blood cancer support group mentioned above, I can now report that a local support group, catering for patients (and their carers) with any form of cancer, is soon to be formed. The first meeting of the new Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group will be held on Thursday, 24th September, 10.00 – 11.30am in the conference room of the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. See also the item and flyer in our ‘News and Events’ column. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP (for catering purposes) by telephoning Jo Pearson or Katie Moran on 4862 9470.

Quick reminder of three events :

• Daffodil Day, 
a major fundraiser for Cancer Council, is on Friday, 28th August this year. Buy a badge, a pen or other merchandise on that day, or simply make a donation, at stalls staffed by volunteers. Also some local stores and outlets will have material available in the week prior.
* "Bounce Forward" Program 
will be held again at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital on Sat. & Sun., September 12 & 13. You will find all the details and flyer already under our "News & Events" tab above.
• Southern Highlands Spring Auto Fair

is at Berrima Public School on September 27th, 9am - 2pm. Organised by the Highland Cruisers, this event showcases vintage and veteran cars, hot rods, muscle cars and motorcycles. Contact : Darren Freer 0439 110 358, Phil Walmsley 0438 402 797, or email shspringautofair@gmail.com. All proceeds are going to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre, a most worthy cause.


Coming Events
• Daffodil Day supporting Cancer Council NSW will be Friday, August 28

• August is a month for “Cook for a Cure”, a Research Australia initiative to educate about the importance of health and medical research. Visit http://cookforacure.com.au/

• Annual Branch meeting of Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist will be held on Sept. 10, 10am in the Lecture Room of the old Bowral Hospital, followed by light refreshments
* "Bounce Forward" Program at the SH Private Hospital, Sept. 12 & 13 : see all the details under our "News & Events" tab above
• September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - 600 Australian children are diagnosed with cancer every year
• September is also Prostate Cancer Awareness Month - in 2012 there were over 3,000 deaths caused by prostate cancer
• Spring Auto Fair, Berrima Public School, Sept. 27, 9am-2pm
• Home & Garden Show will be at Bong Bong Racecourse, Oct. 10th-11th

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au





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Cancer Connections - July 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

Blood Cancer Support Group
Members of the Southern Highlands Blood Cancer Support Group will be continuing to meet since the group has been most worthwhile for its members. The next gathering will be on Tuesday, August 4th from 10am to 12 noon. Any patient receiving treatment for a blood cancer condition who is interested in joining the group is advised to contact the Leukaemia Foundation by telephoning Rachel Seath, Support Co-ordinator, on (02) 4222 0607.

Spring Auto Fair
Have you heard ? The Southern Highlands Spring Auto Fair is coming to Berrima Public School on September 27th, 9am to 2pm. Organised by the Highland Cruisers, this event is to showcase vintage and veteran cars, hot rods, muscle cars and motorcycles – both for those who want to display their vehicles and for families to come and admire them. Contact : Darren Freer 0439 110 358, Phil Walmsley 0438 402 797, or email shspringautofair@gmail.com. All proceeds are going to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre, a most worthy cause.

Donation from BDCU
Another great example of support from our local community : I found that the BDCU (now the BDCU Alliance Bank) recently held a Facebook page competition in which members nominated their favourite local charity. The winning charity was drawn from the hat and awarded the $250 prize. However, when the bank saw just how many had nominated Can Assist as their favourite, they decided to donate an additional $250 to them as well ! Congratulations to Can Assist for being preferred by so many people and well done to BDCU Alliance Bank for their continued support of our community.



Tulip Time 2015
The 2015 Tulip Time Charity Partner is the Garvan Research Foundation. Tulip Time Ambassadors will be Samuel Johnson and his sister Connie, both of whom have been energetically spreading the message about breast cancer awareness through the “Love Your Sister” campaign. Proceeds from this year’s event will be going to improve audio visual capabilities at Garvan's Moss Vale facility and the establishment of the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Fellowship, as well as contributing to training programs in the Wingecarribee community. 

Smoke-free outdoor dining
Readers of this column will remember that it was reported here that the commencement date for the NSW Government’s policy on smoke-free environments in dining areas across the state was July 6th this year. As foreshadowed, further details were made available about this program to reduce the incidence of secondhand tobacco smoke affecting people in outdoor café and dining locations. To find out more about the smoke-free laws, you can visit the website of NSW Health at www.health.nsw.gov.au/tobacco where the state’s health care policy to create a cleaner environment is fully outlined. It is expected that, in a short while, the law will be understood and complied with. Anyway, why would any coffee shop proprietor risk fines of up to $5,500 by allowing people to smoke next to his other customers ?

Coming Events
• Blood Cancer Support Group will meet at 10am on August 4
• Can Assist meeting August 13, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Daffodil Day supporting Cancer Council NSW will be Friday, August 28
• Annual Branch meeting of Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist will be held on Sept. 10, 10am in the Lecture Room of the old Bowral Hospital, followed by light refreshments
• Tulip Time Southern Highlands is Sept. 15 - 27
• Spring Auto Fair, Berrima Public School, Sept. 27, 9am-2pm
• Advance Notice : Relay For Life 2016 will be April 2-3 at Moss Vale Showground.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au




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Cancer Connections - August 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cancer Council grant for the Southern Highlands
It is important to support breast cancer patients by monitoring for the early detection of lymphoedema following treatment. The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee has just been awarded a grant of $7,150 which will fund the software required for two years’ operation of an apparatus to monitor for lymphoedema. A Breast Care nurse and a lymphoedema specialist trained in using the monitor are available at the Cancer Centre. Early detection of this condition post-operation leads to better outcomes and may reduce the long term effects caused by a late diagnosis. Following the great result of the 2014 Relay For Life held in the Southern Highlands, our committee had applied for the grant from Cancer Council NSW and we were delighted to be successful.

Cancer Centre Information Session

On Tuesday September 16th staff at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital will provide a valuable presentation for any cancer patient or future patient, their family members, and also carers. This instructive presentation, running from 10.30am til noon, will give insight into the treatment process, what to expect, and introduces the trained professionals who make up the support team. All the services available to assist patients will be outlined. Anyone interested in attending should ring Jo Pearson, Nurse Unit Manager, on 4862 9470. Full details are shown on this website under the “News and Events” tab.

Pictured after the Information Session held in July (L to R) : Richard Vines, who spoke to the meeting about Rare Cancers Australia; Jo Pearson; Peter Coupland, who helped present the session.

Daffodil Day, Friday, August 22nd
The golden daffodil, so well-identified with Cancer Council, was chosen as the symbol of hope for all affected by cancer because of its reputation as a hardy annual flower, pushing its way through the earth after a long winter to herald the return of spring, new life, vitality and growth. As one of the first flowers of an approaching spring, the daffodil symbolises rebirth and new beginnings. To Cancer Council, the daffodil represents hope for a cancer-free future. This year the wonderful band of volunteers will be out in our community raising funds on Daffodil Day, Friday, August 22nd. Some collections may take place on nearby days.

New Blood Cancer Support Group
A support group for patients and carers affected by blood cancer will be commencing this September. If you are interested, please contact Emily Barry at the Leukaemia Foundation by telephoning 4222 0602. It is anticipated that the group’s inaugural meeting will be held at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital on Wednesday, 17th September.

Community Hospice forum
Do you have questions you would like answered about death and dying, but you've never known who to ask ? An information forum organised by Southern Highlands Community Hospice Inc. called the “Dying To Know Day” will be held at the Mittagong RSL Club, 10am to 3pm on Saturday, August 23rd. Admission is free. For full details, see the item under the “News and Events” tab on this website or visit the hospice website at http://shchospice.org.au

Changes to Medicare Local
What is going to happen in 2015 to South West Sydney Medicare Local which covers our district ? A session entitled “Future of Medicare Local” will be held at Mittagong RSL, 11am-12.30pm, Tuesday, August 26th. Telephone Amy Humphries 1300 179 765.

Coming Events
• Daffodil Day raising funds for Cancer Council, Friday, August 22
• Community Hospice “Dying To Know Day”, Mittagong RSL, 10am-3pm Aug. 23
• “Future of Medicare Local”, Mittagong RSL, 11am-12.30pm, Aug. 26
• Can Assist Annual Branch meeting, Thurs. Sept. 11th, 10.30am at Pepperfield
• Cancer Centre Information Session at SH Private Hospital, Sept 16
• Blood Cancer Support Group at SH Private Hospital, September 17
• “Bounce Forward” program at SH Private Hospital, Sept. 20-21
• YWCA Encore program commences at Henley Brae, Wed. October 15. Contact Mandy Lawson on 4868 3246 or 0438 68 3246.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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