The Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society provides support for a huge number of cancer patients across the Waikato, including former Goodwood School principal, Jack Reid.
Finding blood in his urine, Jack was diagnosed with bladder cancer in July 2016, just a year after he retired from 32 years as Goodwood’s principal. It was the start of a journey for Jack and his wife Glen and their family, one that saw him lose 22kg and undergo major surgery. Shortly after that, a scan picked up another tumour and a third has since cropped up in his right shoulder blade, leading to more radiation treatment. Throughout all of this, Jack said it has been the Cancer Society that has been a “lifeline”, providing practical tips as well as support and guidance. Attending Cancer Society support groups since the diagnosis, Jack said it’s been the advice from other cancer patients that has given him the reassurance and confirmation that he is not on his own – there are many others like him. He also said the regular visits and support from the Cancer Society’s liaison nurses have been tremendous. “The nurses visiting was just a godsend, because once you leave the hospital there’s absolutely no follow up whatsoever,” he explained.
The cancer has given him a number of new challenges, Jack said, and it’s been that real-life input from others who have been there that has made all the difference.
The Cancer Society also runs wellbeing and mindfulness classes, as well as helping patients deal with their anger. “At the time when you’re going through all of this, the biggest battle is controlling your mind…you have ‘two to three years’ (prognosis) sitting in your head.”
Jack will be walking the Survivor’s Circuit at the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at the Cambridge Raceway on March 10 and he hopes that the Cambridge Community will get behind the event to ensure that the Cancer Society can continue its vital work in the community.
Because with one in three New Zealanders impacted in some way by cancer, it’s a cause that affects everyone.
Visit www.relayforlife.org.nz for more information
Cancer Society at work
In the year to April 2017:
• Support nurses were there nearly 10,000 times to offer expert advice, practical support and a listening ear to people with cancer and their families
• Volunteer drivers drove 77,631 kilometres, transporting people to much-needed cancer treatment and medical appointments
• More than 26,000 nutritious meals were served at the Cancer Society’s Lions Lodge, which offers a home away from home and a range of support services for people who need to travel long distances for cancer treatment at Waikato Hospital
• 69% of schools in our region became or maintained their SunSmart accreditation ensuring that our tamariki are learning life-long SunSmart behaviours at a young age
• The Waikato/Bay of Plenty division alone contributed more than $408,000 to national research into the causes and treatment of cancer.