Cabrini Hospital Brightways Lunch by Emily Smyth

I have always had a strong interest in helping women who are suffering with breast cancer. My interest was further realised in New Zealand where I worked hand in hand with women who provided rehabilitation and care to women with a recent cancer diagnosis. I saw the benefits of the Pinc and Steel Programs and decided it was an area of Physiotherapy which I wanted to focus on. I was delighted when I moved to Melbourne and started working with Luci Minogue who was the first Pinc and Steel Physio in Melbourne.

Last month we were delighted to be invited to be part of the Brightways Breast Cancer Luncheon. The Lunch was held in the beautiful Sandringham Yacht Club. We greeted the guests and let them know about ways that InnerStrength of Bayside helps those affected by Cancer. It was a great way to meet the different people involved in ensuring a high quality of life for women after a diagnosis. It really highlighted for me that ensuring high quality of life is not just a job for the multi-disciplinary teams but also for those who provide bras for women who have had mastectomies, those who sell sports clothes that allow easy prosthetic breast usage and those who provide wigs after hair loss from the chemotherapy. These seemingly small things give women the confidence to return to doing the sports and hobbies they love doing.

The lunch was held upstairs looking out over the sea. It was a fabulous room filled with people all coming together to support one cause. The day began with a very interesting talk from Dr Michelle White about debunking the myths associated with Cancer. It was fascinating to learn about the different theories on the internet about curing cancer. It was also an eye opening experience to learn that when you are feeling vulnerable it is better not to turn to ‘Dr Google’ or you may end up eating mounds of asparagus (one of the myths which Dr White debunked as a cure for Cancer). At the end of her speech Dr White spent some time discussing what lifestyle factors we know can help with recovery. Exercise was the number one lifestyle factor Dr White spoke about. She discussed how more and more Doctors and Nurses are encouraging their patients to exercise before, during and after a cancer diagnosis. Dr White discussed recent research that shows a reduction in mortality and re-occurrence rates by up to 40% with exercise. It is so great to see a shift in thinking from rest to activity as an aid in recovery.

After lunch there was a Q and A with Psychologist Jane Fletcher and two Cancer patients who discussed their experiences. It was inspiring to hear their stories and how they managed their symptoms. One of the ladies spoke about her love of exercise and how it is helping her through her treatment. She spoke about how she feels it is reducing her side effects from the Chemotherapy but also as a management for her stress. Cancer can be very stressful with days full of medical appointments and tests. Exercise gave her an outlet which she could control and manage.

Overall the day was a great day full of delicious food and inspirational people. It was wonderful to meet so many people who feel so passionately about helping women. It was definitely a worthwhile experience and I look forward to the next Brightways event.

Don’t forget to register for our Move Beyond Cancer 2 hour Pilates/Yoga Challenge and Wellness Seminar on November 18th to help fund someone with financial through the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Programs. Tickets are $35 each. For more information or to register, please email Luci at [email protected].