Treating the disease is one aspect of cancer care. The Peter Mac Men’s Shed is the first shed in a Victorian hospital offering men an opportunity to meet other men undergoing, or caring for someone receiving medical treatment.
The Peter Mac Men’s Shed aims to reduce social isolation, improve wellbeing and provide an environment where men can share experiences and be supported.
We are busy planning our first excursion to the Melbourne Men’s Shed in May! Our date is still to be confirmed, but please email [email protected] and let me know if you are interested in attending. It would help a lot with planning and I can try and find a date to suit most. Everyone welcome!
The outline of the excursion is as follows
11.00am Depart VCCC at 11am via Maxi Taxi
11.30am Tour of Melbourne Men’s Shed Facilities
1.00pm Observation or participation in community project
2.30pm Close. Return transport to VCCC via Maxi Taxi by 3pm
You may organise your own transport to and/or from Federation Square if you prefer to meet us there!
Until we can come together in person, Peter Mac will be running support groups virtually. The group will run monthly and have a guest speaker attend to facilitate different topics of discussion.
These groups essentially give our blokes an opportunity to
- Learn about what's coming up at in the Peter Mac Men's Shed,
- Hear from guest speakers and learn from our experts,
- Meet and connect with other people going through similar cancer experiences,
- Share information, experiences and interests, and seek support or referrals to services and programs if needed.
To register for access to an upcoming support group please contact Daisy Cramer, Prevention and Wellbeing Project Officer via email [email protected] or phone (03) 8559 6260.
The Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre at Peter Mac is hosting a Cancer Wellness program on Friday 23rd of April. This is a free education and support program for people who have completed cancer treatment and are living with and beyond cancer. It is also for carers, partners and family members. Please click here to register to attend.
Access resources and recordings from our previous support groups here.....
To watch the presentation about all the free services available through the Cancer Council Victoria and also listen to John talk about the Reel Recovery reteat that hes running on the 30th of April please click here.
Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) supports and services
Briony from Cancer Council Victoria spoke to us about what CCV achieves as an organisation but more specifically, these services that are available to each and every one of you.
Did you know Cancer Council Victoria provides the following services:
- 13 11 20 The Support Line is staffed by experienced cancer nurses Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm or email [email protected]
- 13 14 50 An Interpreter service is also available to support people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Cancer Council Victoria connects people with over 120 different support groups across the state, and they all cater for different kinds of people
- Cancer Connect is a oneon-one peer support program that matches patients with a trained volunteer who has been through the same or similar cancer and treatment, of similar age, life-style and family circumstances.
- Family connect – for carers
- Gene Connect - for people who’ve discovered they have a higher likelihood of developing cancer due to their genetic makeup.
- Trial Connect - connects people who are considering participation in a clinical trial with a trained volunteer who has been through at least one clinical trial.
- Victorian Cancer Trials Link, can assist people in searching for available clinical trials across Victoria (including rural and regional trials) and provide a source of general information about clinical trials.
- Other resources include a suite of videos, which detail the experiences and advice of four people who have previously participated in a clinical trial.
- Cancer Education Programs (CEP) are group based supportive care and education programs developed for those affected by cancer, their carers, families and friends. The programs run through hospitals all over the state and provide information, education, practical strategies and the opportunity for participants to connect with others affected by cancer.
- The Holiday Break Program provides families with a short break away at no cost so they can share quality time with loved ones, away from the hectic schedule of appointments and cancer treatments. You can also donate the use of your holiday home to this program.
- Cancer Council Victoria offers a free wig service for men and women experiencing cancerrelated hair loss.
- Their financial counselling program provides people affected by cancer with access to a financial counsellor who can provide practical advice and guidance to help manage the cost of cancer. They act as a confidential, independent advocate and coach, to empower people through information, so they can make informed decisions about their health and longterm financial security.
- Four pro bono programs are available for those experiencing financial hardship as the result of their cancer diagnosis:
- Legal referral service
- Financial planning referral service
- Workplace advice service
- Small business advice service
- Cancer Council has more than 100 booklets and fact sheets available free to anyone impacted by cancer. The cancer information is developed for patients, carers, health professionals, workplaces, schools and community groups. Many are translated into more than 28 languages and some are provided in plain or easy English for differing levels of education.
- Plain English is the English that is used in good writing and clear communication. It is the level of English fluency that should be achieved by the time people start high school.
- Easy English concentrates on key points, uses simple (or one-clause) sentences, has minimal punctuation and illustrates each point.
- Cancer Council has created a Cancer Services Guide that lists many services available to Victorians affected by cancer. The guide contains 472 services across three main sections:
- Health services and information
- Practical support
- Health and wellbeing
Reel Recovery retreat
John spoke to us about a great fly fishing retreat he is running at the end of April. Mending Casts is a non-profit organisation which promotes the health and well-being benefits of Fly Fishing and Fly Casting to people dealing with cancer. They are running a weekend retreat in Omeo, from 30th April – 2nd May April called ‘Reel Recovery’. Though only a few days in duration, a Reel Recovery retreat can be a life-changing event for men living with cancer. The program blends outdoor activity with directed conversations to create a unique environment conducive to relaxed, open interactions and this weekend will be the first time the program has been run outside of the USA and NZ! Please see the flier attached for more details, space is limited so please contact John via [email protected] ASAP if you are interested.
As always, this information is made available on our Peter Mac Men’s Shed blog. Please let me know if you do not wish to receive my emails.
I hope to see many of you at our next session on Monday 26th of April where we will be hearing from guest speaker Martina Clarke about the Carers Couch, a fantastic organisation created to support the ones that usually do all the supporting!
Click here to access Prues presentation - Excerise Medicine
- Discover the role of Accredited Exercise Physiologists in the Treatment of Cancer? Resource attached at bottom the page
- Hear Exmed Participant stories from people who have benefited from Exercise during their treatment and recovery
- Find a cancer exercise program near you
- Peter Mac exercise services are also available to you
- There are external exercise programs that you can do from the comfort of your own home through the Vic Uni virtual clinical exercise rehab telehealth program. This program is delivered by Master of Clinical Exercise Science and Rehabilitation students under the supervision of accredited exercise physiologists and apparently they are always looking for new patients!
- Speak to your GP about your eligibility for a Chronic disease management plan to receive rebates for certain allied health services.
- Our Wellbeing Program ‘Lets Talk Series’ is resuming in March. Here is the link to our page where you will find all the programs including Lets Talk Exercise
- Carers Couch is a extremely helpful smart phone app for carers and a great resource to have at your fingertips. Visit their website or download the app from your App Store.
We heard from the CEO of Healthy Male, Simon von Saldern. Here is the link to Simons presentation about Spanner in the Works.
Information following our discussion
- Here is an interesting TED talk following on from our chat about stress: Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
- This is the Graham Norton clip that Simon was referring to. The whole interview is here but the specific part is at the 13min:20 sec mark. It just goes to show that sometimes we need a bit of proper medical advice because what we presume about ourselves can be soooo wrong: Patrick Stewart on the Graham Norton Show
A big thank you to Professor Declan Murphy for his time. We’ve recorded Declan’s talk - Click here to listen. For those interested in listening to more of what Declan has to say about the world of Genitourinary Oncology and Urology you can find his podcast here.
In response to some of your questions, here’s some information you might find useful:
- Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre – We have an entire department at Peter Mac dedicated to Survivorship. You can find information about their programs and events via this link Cancer Survivorship. You may also be particularly interested in this page, Life After Treatment. Remember, you can always call the Survivorship department directly if you have more specific requirements (03) 8559 6220.
- Cancer Council have a whole suite of services available to you, particularly Living Well After Cancer and Wellness and Life After Cancer.
- For Peter Mac patients seeking support from our Psychology Team, simply call our Psychology Reception at 03 8559 5220 during office hours or email [email protected]. For non-Peter Mac patients, we suggest speaking with your treating team about a referral to your hospital’s Psychology Team or community services.