October was an exciting time for Kidney Cancer UK in South Wales.
On the evening of Thursday 17th of October we were delighted as 20 nurse from around Cardiff came together with our Kidney Cancer UK Health Professional, Susanna, for our first Nurse Education event. We started by having a little something to eat which gave us the opportunity for some networking followed by Susanna giving an update of where we are now in kidney cancer.
Susanna, a nurse in our Health Professional team met with patients, nurses and Maggie centre staff to discuss the formation of a new Cardiff support group. It was a really productive meeting and we decided a date to launch our Cardiff support group; January 23rd, 2020 14:30 – 16:00 at Maggie’s Centre, Cardiff.
Then on Friday 17th, Susanna travelled across to Swansea for our first ‘Living with Kidney Cancer Day’ in the city.
The day was amazing and showcased the great professional and charity support available to patients in Wales.
Susanna opened the day talking about Kidney Cancer UK. We then heard from Sarah Hughes who is the Centre Head for Maggie’s Swansea, she told us how they could provide local support and what a safe haven Maggie’s centres are. She explained how we are expected to be strong when given a cancer diagnosis, but actually the most important thing is to be kind to yourself, find people that can support you and do the things you enjoy.
Carl Ackland, Urology Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist told us a little bit about their service and how they support patients. He explained how nurses are key workers who support patients and can sign post them to other support services.
Over lunch we enjoyed a free shoulder massage from Sarah Clark and the great staff at The Old Mill, helping us to remember we need to look after ourselves. Their centres across South Wales offer complementary therapy, events and courses.
We then listened to updates on the surgical front from Urology surgeon, Mr Fenn and discovered how surgery has changed over the years. We were also delighted to have esteemed Medical Oncologist, Professor Wagstaff continue the afternoon by updating us on the advancements in available medicines for kidney cancer.
Last but not least, Ruth Morris from Tenovus came to tell us about what their charity does and their interesting research into how singing improves health. She said; “Over time, singing for one hour a week puts your immune system in a better position to receive treatment for cancer”. Belwo you can see our video of the choir singing ‘Always On My Mind’ at the day.
No sooner had she said that, she then got us up a few warmup exercises and involved in a little singing. Then, wow, she introduced us to part of the Swansea Tenovus choir, but only 50 of them! We sang along with them, lost for a few minutes in making our own kind of music. It was a great way to end our day, on a high note!
From Susanna’s trip to South Wales, we have two new support groups starting; one in Cardiff on Thursday 23rd January 14:30-16:00, and the other in Swansea launching early February. Also, so as people in North Wales don’t feel left out, a support group will be starting at the North Wales cancer treatment centre in Glan Clwyd on the 6th January. full details to follow.
Kidney Cancer UK really wants to help people in Wales to feel supported, so please feel free to come along and get involved with our support groups and events. We are here to listen, inform and support patients, their family and carers.