So What Was It All About?
I had made friends in advance with a couple of girls on Facebook (via a Young Women's Group) and arranged to meet one of them, Nicola, at Brighton station. We grabbed a taxi together to the Old Ship Hotel, and went into the reception room where we were given our name tags which also said our locations on. It was nice to see a few other girls from the Sussex area, and we had a quick chat before moving upstairs to the main room where we would be located for the next 2 days.
One of the women running the forum explained how everything would work and then we went into our first session which entitled "Medical Update - Management of Breast Cancer in Younger Women". It was very interesting and we could ask any questions we wanted. After that we had lunch and I met a lovely girl called Amie.
After lunch there were various Break Out Groups covering the following topics:
- Breast Surgery & Reconstruction
- Menopausal Symptoms
- Relationships & Communication
We then had a refreshment break before moving into a Well-Being Session of either:
- Laughter Yoga
After the Well-Being Sessions there was free time for a couple of hours before we came back to the main room to watch a mini film. The video was celebrating 10 years of the Younger Women's Forum and featured women who had previously attended the forums.
After the film, we went down to the main restaurant for dinner which was followed by drinks and gossiping in the bar :)
The next day we started with a session about the different services provided by Breast Cancer Care (you can find more out about the services by following this link) which was really interesting as there were a fair few I hadn't heard of before.
After that we went into Break Out Groups again. This time the topics covered were:
- Intimacy & Sexuality
- Fertility After Treatment
We had lunch, and then moved onto a session from 3 speakers who had been affected by bc in some way. One was a lady who now volunteers with BCC, one was a man whose wife sadly passed away from bc and as such he is now a prolific fundraiser for BCC, and another was a lady who had been to the Brighton Forum last year and gave us a chat on "Moving On".
After that we had a session on exercise where we were given some information, and then we had to get up and actually do some exercise!
Then the forum was over :( It absolutely flew by and was brilliant. We all exchanged email addresses and have since set up a Facebook group to stay in touch with each other.
Some of the group from the BCC Brighton Forum
If anyone is in a similar position to me and is thinking whether or not to go to the forum, please do. It was fantastic. The whole thing (including the hotel and all meals) is completely free (funded by BCC) and what an amazing lifeline it is.