How We Help
Our Support Workers are people who have been through breast cancer themselves. There here to help you navigate the many aspects of having breast cancer.
Whether you want practical information like who supplies prosthesis (and what are they anyway??) or more in depth conversations our support workers are here to help you.
Would you like to talk to someone who has had breast cancer?
Breast Cancer Support Service Buddies are all women who have coped with breast cancer. They understand the fears and feelings that come with a breast cancer diagnosis, they've been through it themselves. They are here to help you successfully navigate the journey by offering practical and emotional support, hope and encouragement and information.
Our Buddies do not offer medical or treatment advice and we always recommend in the first instance to seek such information from your medical team but we can listen and have a weatlh of information about resources available to you.
Breast Cancer Support Service Buddys can give you a call, meet for coffee or come to an appointment with you - the amount of contact is really up to you and your Support Buddy to decide.
"aroha ki te tangata"
Get together for support and information
Over lunch or at one of our coffee mornings, exchange stories, information and lots of laughter! We often have a speaker relating either to breast cancer or wellbeing. Come for lunch at our resource centre on the third Wednesday of each month. We also have coffee mornings every 2nd month in Katikati, Papamoa and Te Puke. See "What's On" for further details.
If a daytime support meeting doesn't work for you, from time to time we hold evening groups. These groups will usually have a topic of interest and a speaker. Check out "What's On" for upcoming dates, times and speakers.
What Can Groups Offer?
Groups provide an opportunity for those with a present or past breast cancer diagnosis to meet in an informal environment for mutual support and encouragement. We often have speakers that can share their expertise in various areas, not limited to breast cancer topics. Even if you have great support from family and friends, keeping in touch with a group of people who are also living with breast cancer adds a different perspective and gives you the opportunity to talk openly without feeling like you may upset your loved ones.
Lunchtime Support Groups
Starts 11.30am - 1.30pm
Come along and meet up with others who are living with breast cancer in an informal and supportive environment.
Wednesday 19th February 11.30.am - 1.30.pm @ BCSS 53 Fraser St
Speaker: to be confimed
Wednesday 18th March @ BCSS 56 Fraser St
Speaker: to be confirmed
Join us for conversation and support
RSVP by calling us at 07 5713346
Papamoa Coffee Morning
10.30 - 12 midday @ Pacifica Garden Centre Tara Road Papamoa
Monday 3 February 2020
Te Puke Coffee Morning
10.30 - 12 midday @ The Daily Cafe, 3 Commerce Lane (opposite New World)
Wednesday 4th March 2020
Katikati Coffee Morning
10.30 - 12 midday @ Chrome Cafe
Monday 2 March 2020
Open to anyone from Omokoroa through to Waihi Beach
@ BCSS Lounge, 53 Fraser St, Tauranga
Tuesday 4th Feb 5.30.pm - 7.30.pm
Tuesday 7th April 10.am - 12.noon
Educator: Kath Vickers
gold coin donation please
A complimentary service designed to provide a 'helping hand' for those going through a difficult time.
Please note that the services provided by Helping Hands should not take the place of any services that may qualify for a WINZ allowance. To find out more about Helping Hands call us on 07 571 3346 or email us.
Exploring and understanding what's happening in your life
Counseling offers an opportunity to talk to someone who will listen without criticism, and who will keep what you say confidential. Coming to counselling does not mean that you are 'crazy', rather that you have decided to explore new ways of dealing with what life is offering you.
A counselling session may last up to an hour. Sometimes one session is all that is required, some people come for more regular sessions and sometimes they may have long periods between sessions. You can email the Service Support Team to arrange an appointment or to discuss your support options or call on 07 571 3346.
A donation of $10 per session is requested for this service and there are evening appointments available as well as day time.
Gentle massage can be a good way to help ease stress and anxiety while you are coming to terms with having a breast cancer diagnosis and for some it is an effective way to relieve pain. Hands to Heal delivers oncology massage for our clients on Wednesday and Thursday Mornings. If you would like an appointment just contact us.
A donation of $10 per session is requested for this service.
Rest & Recovery
It can be a challenge just getting through the each day when you're in treatment. Our Rest & Recovery service offers those with breast cancer a chance to take a 3 night break, be with their families and rejuvenate in a peaceful setting.
We have a list of people who generously offer their holiday homes for this purpose and the service is free to our clients. If you would like to use this service please discuss with one of our Support Workers.
Sometimes it's hard to absorb all the information being given at the time of your diagnosis, as you may feel overwhelmed by everything happening.
The comprehensive library features books both informational and inspirational, written by both medical professionals and breast cancer survivors. Books cover a range of topics from diagnosis to recovery, how to tell the kids, how to tell your friends, from complementary therapies to embracing life. Feel free to come along and see if there is something that answers your questions, inspires you or gives you focus.
A sample of the books available:
"Sink or Swim - when life becomes precious, you don't waste a moment" - Shelley Hanna
"Why I wore lipstick to my mastectomy" - Geralyn Lucas
"I am not my Breast Cancer - women talk openly about love and sex, hair loss and weight gain, mothers and daughters, and being a woman with Breast Cancer" - Ruth Peltason
"Healing foods" - Miriam Polunin
"Can I Still Kiss You? - Answering Your Children's Questions About Cancer" - Neil Russell
"My Mum's Got Cancer" - Dr Lucy Blunt
"The Breast Cancer Survivors Fitness Plan" - Carolyn M Kaelin, M.D., M.P.H.
"Fighting For Our Future - How Young Women Find Strength, Hope, and Courage While Taking Control of Breast Cancer" - Beth Murphy
"Your Life In Your Hands - Understanding, Preventing and Overcoming Breast Cancer" - Professor Jane Plant
Our Support Workers know our library well and can help you to find what you are looking for
Andrea Fairbairn is a NZ writer and has had breast cancer twice
When someone you love is diagnosed with breast cancer the most important thing you can do is listen.
The first time you see them after hearing about the cancer is often the most difficult. Don't ignore the illness. Acknowledge it and let them talk about their concerns if they want to. You may find it helps you be more understanding if you know a little about the type of cancer and the treatment involved. People with cancer often have big mood swings. It can take several months to adjust to a diagnosis, so be prepared for changes in behaviour. Don't let their bad days put you off - keep in touch!
- Listen - everyone reacts differently. Some will want to talk about it, some will want to talk about anything but the diagnosis. Listen for what they want and don't be afraid to ask what they'd like to do.
- Attend - offer to go with your friend to appointments or treatments. Often there will be a lot of information for a patient to absorb and it is hard when your head is spinning. A friend focusing on the information may help to pass it on later.
- Chores - Fold the washing, do the vacuuming, mow the lawn, weed the garden, take the children to school, prepare a meal, but do it without making them feel inadequate.
- Be specific - asking for help is not easy. So when a friend says, "Whatever you need, just give me a call", it's hard for someone to make that call. It's better to be specific and ask, When would you like me to come over and help with some of the chores - Tuesday or Thursday?"
- Family - don't forget that the person's family will be going through a lot of emotions and changes in their routines as well. They will need support too.
Will using your services cost me anything?
Will I be dealing with people who have actually experienced breast cancer?
Are you a branch of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation?
Are donations to Breast Cancer Support Tauranga tax deductible?
Do I have to come to your office?
Are you government funded?
What might a support buddy offer?
Breast Cancer Support Service Buddys can give you a call, meet you for coffee or come to an appointment with you - the amount of contact is really up to you and your support buddy to decide.