Our meeting on May 31st was one of our best to date. To have men and their partners tell us they "enjoyed" the evening is indeed gratifying, as a "Prostate Cancer Support Group Meeting" and "enjoy" are not exactly words you would think to link together. The thirteen new attendees were very much made to feel welcome. Alvan Pope, our Consultant Urologist, was his usual brilliant self, and certainly had a very busy evening dealing with so many questions, but somehow managed to address each new person and deal with their particular concerns. The letter below we received a few days after the meeting perhaps says it all.
I thought that I should write to you following my first visit to your excellent Support Group. The people at the meeting were so friendly, the FOPS team so welcoming and your Urologist so approachable and understanding, that I felt very relaxed being there. I had kept my thoughts to myself, as I now realise so many men do, for several years since I was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, and I would like to say that the relief I felt after my first FOPS meeting was wonderful.
Sharing in the experiences of others and talking through my own concerns immediately lifted my morale.
I am so glad that I attended a FOPS meeting and will be returning.
With thanks to everybody involved in FOPS,
The FOPS response:
Dear Charles, The Support Group will no doubt benefit greatly from your personal letter of endorsement following your first visit on May 31st, but more importantly men and their partners may just take comfort from knowing we exist and be brave enough to take that most difficult first step through our doors. We assure you they will be made welcome.
Over the past five years of existence, we have learned that the open door policy of these gatherings has been one of the main contributing factors to its success. Greeting so many new people at our last meeting was a privilege, and indeed encouragement to keep going should our age-related enthusiasm and energy start to wane. Thank you Charles, for helping to raise the FOPS support group flag that little bit higher, so others may see it.
Gabrielle, Dennis, Aiden, Marie, Jim, Shirley Support Group Organisers
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