Survivors falling through cracks: counsellor

Dee Page is setting up a forum for long-term cancer survivors in Cottesloe in April.
Dee Page is setting up a forum for long-term cancer survivors in Cottesloe in April.

‘Although nowadays follow-up care for cancer survivors has improved, only a few years ago many people had to face the physical and mental after-effects of cancer on their own,’ Ms Page said.

She said long-term survivors who beat cancer seven or more years ago would benefit from the free Cancer Survivor Voices forum on April 15.

‘With inspiring guest speakers followed by an informal group discussion, the event will be a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and gain support,’ she said.

From 1986 to 1990, Ms Page survived three different cancer malignancies.

‘Doctors told me the last two times that I should prepare to die,’ she said.

During her medical treatment, she sought out others who had got through cancer against the odds and found their stories inspired her.

She said people often experienced grief and sorrow about the way cancer had changed them.

‘It is empowering to remember that there are many ways to overcome feelings of hopelessness or isolation,’ she said.

‘For those with after effects of treatment, we can foster happiness by accepting a different, new kind of normal.’

Cancer Support Voices will be held from 10am to noon at the Cancer Support Association, 80 Railways Parade, Cottesloe.

For more information, email cansurvivors@gmail.com.