Spalding breast cancer patient plans to launch support group

Francine and Louie Paluch, of Spalding, who are hoping to start up a new breast cancer support group in the town.  Photo supplied.
Francine and Louie Paluch, of Spalding, who are hoping to start up a new breast cancer support group in the town. Photo supplied.
  • Retired businesswoman aims to lift fears on ‘horrible disease’

A retired businesswoman living with breast cancer wants to share her experience with others by starting a new support group in Spalding.

Francine Paluch, of Churchill Drive, Spalding, wants to set up a forum where herself and other patients can exchange information and organise events that can help to lift the isolation that can be brought on by breast cancer.

I spoke to someone at the Johnson Community Hospital in Pinchbeck who said there was a gap in Spalding and had I thought about starting a group

Francine Paluch, of Spalding

The idea came to Francine after having treatment at Peterborough City Hospital and discovering that the nearest breast cancer support group to her home was one based in Tallington, near Market Deeping.

Francine, who is married to husband Louie, said: “We moved to Spalding in December last year after selling our business and retiring here.

“Unfortunately, in June of this year, I had a recurrence of breast cancer and when I looked for a group I could go to and talk about what I was going through, I couldn’t find one.

“I spoke to someone at the Johnson Community Hospital in Pinchbeck who said there was a gap in Spalding and had I thought about starting a group.

“As time went on, I found that there was very little appreciation of what women with breast cancer needed.”

According to the Lincolnshire Local and National Cancer Support Group Directory, published in June 2016, the only breast cancer support groups across the county are in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln and Louth.

Louie said: “What people don’t realise is the huge psychological impact breast cancer has on the person who has treatment, their family and friends.

“Yet there’s no information, support or after-care available after an operation for patients, their partners and carers.

“For example, we previously lived in Rutland and my wife had her first treatment for breast cancer at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

“Francine had 25 courses of breast cancer treatment and she was chauffered from her home to the hospital by volunteer drivers on a one-to-one basis.

“But we wouldn’t have known about the voluntary wheels scheme without our friends and social media groups.

“If there had been a group to tell us about care services available, things would have been better.”

Anyone interested in being part of the group should call Francine on 07497 706460.

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