Eastleigh 20 August 2019 – Chill and chat evening at the King Rufus Pub

We don’t usually have a meet up in August as many members are away on holiday, but it was suggested this year that we have a social meet up at a local pub instead.

So after a warm and sunny August day, eight of us gathered at the King Rufus Pub in Chandlers Ford for evening drinks. We consumed glasses of wine, soft drinks, some crisps and even a cup of tea.

The terrace provided a perfect outdoor space for us to enjoy the late evening air, with the twinkling of the pub fairy lights overhead. There was much chatter about holidays, work, childrens’ exam results and decorating as just a few of the topics, aswell as the usual catch-up on hair, wigs, nails, skin, doctors appointments, operations, chemo and rads.

We also welcomed a new member Heather to the group – we are so glad you could join us Heather and we hope to see you again next month.

In September we are back to our usual meeting dates – the first Tuesday evening of the month in Winchester and the third Tuesday evening of the month in Chandlers Ford (Eastleigh). Take a look at our Meeting Dates Calendar on our website for more information – Winchesterbreastcancer.uk > Menu > Members Area > Meeting Dates for 2018-2019

Eastleigh 16 July 2019 – Meeting Summary

We had a very interesting meeting and discussion on Tuesday evening and we would just like to say a huge thank you to the ladies who attended and made our 2 guests – Jane Deary and Marianne Oswell – feel very welcome.

Jane Deary from the NHS CCG was very appreciative of your openness and willingness to share what, in some cases, is or was, a very traumatic experience. These experiences will help to influence the new Cancer Strategy being drafted for 2020-2015. We have also received some comments via email from ladies who weren’t able to attend on Tuesday, so we will forward these to Jane Deary aswell.   

One of the topics that we discussed briefly was the financial pressures that we face(d) whilst having treatment for cancer. Some of these weren’t known to all of the ladies present, so we thought it worth mentioning a couple of things that might be of interest to you, either during treatment or afterwards. Please always do your own research and check out these items first before committing to anything:-

  • Contact Macmillan Cancer Support on the telephone to discuss matters of Employment, Pensions, Benefits, Law. They have experienced advisers and several of us have found them to be very helpful.  https://www.macmillan.org.uk
  • “New Style – Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)” – This could be claimed via DWP once your employer stops paying you Statutory Sick Pay (we think after 28 weeks) and it is based on your National Insurance records prior to your diagnosis (with no consideration as to your current earnings or savings). You will likely need a Doctor’s Sick note / Fit note and there could be other individual factors that may or may not affect your ability to claim this benefit, but if you would like to try, here is the link for the DWP website. Make sure that you state “New Style ESA” as the other ESAs are under the Universal Credit umbrella, which does take your savings into account. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance  (If you get stuck with any part of this process, Macmillan on the telephone should be able to help you)
  • Free Prescriptions card available via your GP which lasts for approximately 5 years.
  • Critical Illness Cover – Depending on your type of Life Assurance cover, you may be able to claim against this Critical Illness part of your policy.  Some have to be claimed within 6 months from diagnosis and some exclude “In Situ” breast cancer so please do read your Policy carefully.

It was lovely to meet Marianne Oswell on Tuesday evening aswell. Marianne is the new Clinical Nurse Specialist for Metastatic Breast Cancer based at Winchester Hospital, and she has an interest in setting up a new Support Group for her patients.  She commented afterwards that some of the open and honest feedback from our members had given her food for thought in the way that she deals with and communicates with her patients. It is really pleasing to hear that our feedback is helping to guide clinicians on the different / best ways to deal with their cancer patients.

We don’t usually have a meeting scheduled for August at Winchester or at Eastleigh (Chandlers Ford), but some of the ladies wanted to meet up next month as usual so if anyone is interested, we have decided to go to the King Rufus Pub in Chandlers Ford on Tuesday 20th August at 7.30pm. Mary and Jackie E will get there early to secure a table. If it’s a nice evening we might sit in the garden, but let’s wait and see what the weather is like.  The address is 135 Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Hants. SO53 2DU


We will send a reminder nearer the time to get an idea on numbers.

Looking forward to seeing you in August, or if not, we hope you have a lovely summer and we will hopefully see you again in September

Attendance: 9

Collection: £9.00

Donation to Wessex Cancer Trust: £4.50

Longstock Water Gardens and Leckford Farm Cafe Thursday 27th June 2019

On a very hot and sunny Thursday in June, twelve of our members went to the Longstock Water Gardens near Stockbridge and enjoyed two hours strolling around the beautiful gardens which are part of the John Lewis Partnership. The gardens are only open to the public on selected Sundays from May to September but thanks to the generosity of the JL Partnership, our group was allowed a personal visit. The head gardener told us a little of the history of the Gardens, before we were left to explore some of the 7 acre site. “The Gardens were created by the Beddington family in the 1930’s and further developed by John Spedan Lewis in the 1940’s as a place to reflect and relax”. That certainly is a very apt description.

Our group had previously visited the Gardens in August last year on an overcast and somewhat drizzly day, but despite there being only a few flowers, the setting and the plants were stunning. We were hoping for beautiful blooms this year, in the sunshine… and we weren’t disappointed!

The sun was reflecting off the water, and the plants were in full bloom. There were fish in the lakes, swimming among the 40 different varieties of waterlillies. Blue damselflies landed on the huge leaves of the Gunnera plants and we saw many varieties of Hosta, which had somehow avoided being eaten by slugs. A number of garden benches were sited around the lakes, offering the perfect location to soak up the peace and tranquility.

We drove the short distance to the Longstock Park Nursery and Leckford Farm Shop where we wandered among the huge array of plants for sale. The Farm Shop offered fresh produce, where some of us took advantage of the reduced price items including the very delicious “Berry Compote” – perfect with yoghurt for breakfast the next day.

The Nursery also has a beautiful brick and flint walled garden which is home to National Collections of Buddleja and Clematis Viticella. It also houses an historic 80 metre herbaceous border with a fabulous display of colours and textures.

And finally, we had afternoon tea and cream teas at the Leckford Farm Cafe – a feast of sandwiches, scones and cakes. A truly wonderful afternoon of serenity, good company, beautiful weather and good food.

Thank you to Jackie Bugg, Sue Arnold, Linda Bett and Jackie Evans for arranging this trip and thanks also to the John Lewis Partnership for allowing us entry to the Gardens and Leckford Café for the lovely afternoon / cream teas.

4th and 18th September 2018 – A talk by Tasha Ault on Pain and how to deal with it

In September 2018, we welcomed Tasha Ault to both the Winchester and Eastleigh Group meetings on 4th and 18th September to give us a very interesting talk about pain and how to deal with it.

As with any advice, we do recommend doing your research first before embarking on a course of therapy and we don’t recommend you try any of the information provided without careful consideration and consultation with your doctor if required.

Both meetings were very well attended with much debate and discussion.

Tasha told us how she initially had chronic debilitating back pain and an auto-immune condition, but was simply given pills to cope. She had no real quality of life – so she started to look into other options and she became interested in how the body deals with pain. She discovered that what we eat (nutrition) and what we put on our skin, hair and nails (make-up, nail varnish, shampoo lotions, washing powder and liquids etc) could impact our bodies’ set-up and potentially cause pain or inflammation – it all gets into our blood stream.

She told us how the body tells us if it is not happy, by causing pain / inflammation – so pain is created by an imbalance in the body.

When acute pain occurs, pain receptors send messages to the brain, neo-transmitters activate the immune system and send fluid and blood to heal the area, and the body swells to make room for the extra fluids flowing to aid healing.  But we usually take anti-inflammatories for inflammation and painkillers for pain, but this could delay or stop the body healing itself.

Chronic pain therefore occurs when the messages have stopped but the body hasn’t healed itself yet.

Pain can be in various forms – physical pain, emotional pain (eg. bereavement), mental pain (eg. stress), nutritional pain (eg. gluten allergy)… and there are 11 body systems that could be affected eg. Respiratory, Heart, Lymphatic system etc.

Tasha likened our bodies to a car, which needs water, oil and petrol to run smoothly. Our bodies need Clean water, Amino acids and Healthy / Nutritional food to run smoothly. We all know what happens to a car if you put Petrol in, instead of Diesel.

We need to drink lots of water to hydrate our bodies. Tap water contains lots of “products” so you could try a Brita water filter or fit a filter to your water system under the sink.

Our bodies also need to rest (physically and mentally) while this healing process happens – no stress! Our body needs to move from a state of “Fight or Flight” (panic) to a state of calmness to help with the healing process.

Eating healthily is important and with so many additives to our food, more people are looking to grow their own and reverting back to local produce so that we know where the food comes from.

Magnesium Oxide drinks can flush our systems through and help to prevent food / sugar cravings eg. Chocolate.

Too much acid in the body could also cause pain. We can try to neutralise this with eg. Apple cider vinegar, Lemon, Drinking plenty of fresh clean Water.

There is an App called “Thinkdirty” where you can enter any products to see how good or bad they are for you.

Vitamin C is important for our bodies – a deficiency manifests itself as Scurvy
Vitamin D is important for our bodies – we know that this deficiency causes Ricketts
Vitamin E is important for skin, nails, hair and Collagen creation.

If we have a positive outlook, we can sometimes influence our body’s ability to heal.

 Meditation and Mindfullness can help – even 5 minutes per day. It uses another part of the brain so it distracts the brain from the pain signals. This is where “attitude can change biology” so concentrating on something other than the pain is a positive step. There are a number of Websites and Apps available – here are some that you might like to research:-



Breathe – App

Headspace – App

Any form of exercise will help – even gentle exercise, as the lymphatic system doesn’t have a “pump” so it relies on our muscles moving to keep the lymphatic system working. This Lymphatic System drains waste from our bodies and is an essential part of our bodily functions. Daily Exercise is good – whatever the level – whether sitting down or standing.

Organic / vegan supplements, not from the high street but from specialist outlets, have a higher % of actual nutrients in them and can therefore provide much more benefit to us.

Sleep is so important for healing, and again, there are a number of Apps available to encourage sleep.

“DREAMMS” helps you remember what the body needs :
-Drink clean water
-Eat nutritious and delicious
-Attitude / beliefs can change biology
-Meditate, breathing exercises / mindfulness can help
-Movement pumping lymphatic system + blood
-Supplements and sleep

Tasha uses Cycloidal Massage (on a Cyclossage bed) to treat patients’ pain. Vibration and Infrared heat is used to promote blood flow and lymphatic system drainage, to reduce pain. It is a passive form of therapy. (The bed was developed by a German company.)

Scenar Therapy was developed for Russian astronauts as a way of promoting and encouraging the body to self-heal whilst in space. It is Micro Current therapy, connecting the body to the brain. It can also be used as another form of pain therapy which transmits signals to tell body to heal itself – especially if the pain triggers have been blocked by taking painkillers or TENS machines. Tasha rents these small hand-held devices for anyone to try before you think of buying one (she thinks they are about £500 to buy)

Tasha also advised that Philip Day is giving a talk on cancer in November in Bournemouth. He has researched cancer and other illnesses, around the world. He has a DVD called “Food Matters” if this might be of interest and a Book called “ABC of diseases”.

The Penny Brohn centre in Bristol offer weekend retreats – all free of charge – for a donation – where all of the above areas are discussed in a calm, relaxing environment.

We would like to thank Tasha very much for attending both of our meetings this month and if you would like to know more about any of the information above, please go to Tasha’s website –  www.alternativepainrelief.co.uk

As with any advice, we do recommend doing your research first before embarking on a course of therapy and we don’t recommend you try any of the information provided without careful consideration and consultation with your doctor if required