Cancer café to offer support for patients in Nailsea

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 January 2019

Jo Hopkinson is starting a cancer café, at Number 65 Nailsea High Street, after she was diagnosed with cancer.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Jo Hopkinson is starting a cancer café, at Number 65 Nailsea High Street, after she was diagnosed with cancer. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A woman who is battling breast cancer has set up a café to provide support to people going through the same treatment.

Jo Hopkinson is starting a cancer café, at No. 65 Nailsea High Street, after she was diagnosed with cancer.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONJo Hopkinson is starting a cancer café, at No. 65 Nailsea High Street, after she was diagnosed with cancer. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Jo Hopkinson, from Nailsea, received her diagnosis in February last year and went through a full mastectomy and five months of chemotheraphy and radiotherapy to try to beat the disease.

Jo said the support of doctors and nurses was phenomenal, but she was desperate for emotional support during her gruelling treatment.

She said: “I can’t fault the medical side of it at all – the nurses and doctors have been amazing.What was lacking was the emotional support – there isn’t anything.

“I was given a breast cancer nurse when I was under the care of the breast cancer centre, but the worst part was the chemotherapy – that’s the time you really need someone to talk to.

“The best place I found for support was some of the forums.

“Lots of people were talking about anxiety which is very common after a cancer diagnosis.

“The support I found online was great and people sent teddies and virtual hugs, which was really lovely, but actually sometimes you need to be face to face and you want a real hug, not just a virtual one.

“I started to find people in Nailsea going through similar treatment as me and I found there was a huge need for people to talk to each other and support each other.

“If your emotional wellbeing is good then you have a much better chance of recovery.

“I had a vision for a cancer café where people in similar situations can meet and chat – people can talk about how they are feeling and how their treatment is going.

“It’s not medical at all – we go to enough medical appointments. It’s about offering emotional support and companionship.

“I’m very excited about it and I hope it will be supportive to people.”

The first cancer café will take place at Number 65, High Street, on January 17 from 2-5pm.

There will be refreshments, cakes, a book swap and a tombola to pay for the cost of Number 65.

The café will run every third Thursday of the month and it is open to anyone affected by cancer.

For more details, follow the group on Facebook at Cancer Café Nailsea.

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