Counseling/Support Information- desperate to talk - while I try to put my life back together

JSN Member Posts: 34
edited February 2018 in Health and wellbeing
Hi all
I am on the north side of Brisbane looking for a centre that provides support, particularly counseling, diet advice, physiotherapy, acupuncture, other natural therapies etc would be a bonus.

I have tried the following avenues:

(Name removed  as per Community Guidelines) - I went here for a massage and the service was rushed and insensitive. The therapist talked the whole time and spoke about cancer like it was a common cold telling me that since having chemo I could never have a deep tissue massage again? Booked appointment was 45 mins, it ran for only 30 minutes.  Although advertised on the website that there is specialised counseling there is no counseling available. The physiokey (like a tens massage) therapist introduced herself to me who was very friendly offered to provide support and counseling- she has no qualifications at all.

(Name removed) -I made an appointment during my AC treatment (last October) which in hindsight I could not go to, and I missed.  I recently rang to re-organise an appointment for exercise advice.  The exercise physiologist was very surly and said she would call back later that day, she remembered me.  She rang me back and was still rather jaded but did give me the information I required.  I felt very judged despite apologizing for missing appointments last year.

(Name removed) - They advertise a breast care package that includes massage, diet advice, acupuncture, exercise advice and counseling.  When I called them to inquire about this they had no idea of this and advised I should come and see what they have available.  This is primarily a sports medicine facility but was recommended because of the breast care package, which they knew nothing about when I called.

(Name removed) - I am on the north side of Brisbane and was hoping to avoid a long drive. 
(Name removed) - Again on the North side and was hoping to avoid the drive. 

Is there any advice, or any suggestions, anyone has about counseling and support services such as 'diet, physio, acupuncture, exercise, massage etc, etc'. Counseling post cancer diagnosis and treatment is a specialised area and I stunned to find limited services.  I had considered phone counseling but I am 'face to face' type for counseling to be beneficial.

Primarily I need some counseling but I also want some comfort for my body which had been through so much since diagnosis July 2017.

I may sound whingey but BC has changed me and I want what I want now.  Underneath the surface I feel extremely vulnerable and I just want some support (body and soul) while I put my life back together.

What positive experiences have people had? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,374

    I've got a 'pity pass' to the YMCA through their Open Door program. It's given  me access to the pool (love it) Gym (not so much so) and exercise classes. It's not exactly a supportive environment. Don't get me wrong, everyone is really pleasant--but you are pretty much left to your own devices. I'm an old gym junky from way back so I know what to do and I'm turning up two or three days a week.

    I've found Body Balances classes are the best value for me. It's a combination of yoga, tai chi and pilates. The classes attract older ladies and it's a really good workout that you can tailor to suit yourself. I do a lot of falling over and face planting--I'm the class clown--but it is making a difference. It has to. Today I found myself actually feeling like my body belonged to me for half an hour or so. Most of the time lately it refuses to obey even the simplest instructions so there is a real sense of achievement when I can manage to stand on one leg for a few seconds. OK, that sounds pathetic, but take the wins when they come your way ;)

    I had a recurrence in late 2016 and have really struggled to get back on my feet. Literally. There are no dedicated cancer recovery services here and an exercise physiologist costs $80 per visit which is absolutely out of the question for me. The lymphedema physio  at the community health centre is a friend of mine so she has managed to give me a few extra massage sessions by calling me when she has a late cancellation. If I can get there in time, she will see me, it costs about $9 so is doable. I've got a long term relationship with a psychologist (That Poor Woman) which was very valuable when I was up to my nostrils in shit, but my mental health plan only gave me a certain number of subsidized visits, so I've pretty much cut myself loose from that too. I know she is there if I need her, but once again the cost is an issue.

    If you have/had a breast care nurse, ring them and ask if they have heard any positive reports about massage/exercise providers. They are generally a bit reluctant to make recommendations, but it is worth a shot. It a very personal relationship so what suits one person won't suit another, but you do want an ethical provider with a bit of experience. Good luck. Marg

  • Giovanna_BCNA
    Giovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hello @SamJgS
    You may like to call our helpline 1800 500 258 as we may be able to provide some community contacts for you.
  • Romla
    Romla Member Posts: 2,092
    @SamJgS I found the YWCA free 8 week Encore invaluable for many reasons not the least for meeting others and discussing issues.Its 2 hours per week - 1 hour hydrotherapy with remainder a weekly guest speaker on topics on interest like lymphoedema, the OTIS foundation , clothing post surgery eg bras , bathers and a bit of exercises.If you ring YWCA in Brisbane they may be able to help - also the Cancer Council has a Cancer Connect service which within 3 days resulted in a phone call from a lady who had the same type of bc as me and also treatment but had gotten thru it all - it was a lifesaver at a very low moment for me to hear this lively voice enjoying life at the end of the phone.There are also local support groups I found online which you could look up.Meanwhile we are all hear ready to chat and help if we can.
  • Romla
    Romla Member Posts: 2,092

    Metro North Breast Cancer Support Group

    The Metro North Breast Cancer Support Group is for women and men who have experienced breast cancer in the Brisbane Northside area. The group is supported by BreastScreen Queensland Brisbane Northside Service, the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and community volunteers.

    You can join the group for an afternoon tea, to share concerns, meet new friends, and learn from each other as well as guest speakers.
    Meets: 3rd Wednesday of the month
    Time: 1.00pm-3.00pm (afternoon refreshments provided)
    Location: Chermside Community Health Centre, 490 Hamilton Road, Chermside (parking available onsite)

    Doreen Orchard Ph: (07) 3049 1436  Email:
    Nadja Ibrahim Ph: (07) 3049 1411  Email:

    @SamJgS I found this local support group online - hope it helps

  • Romla
    Romla Member Posts: 2,092
    If you are on aromatase inhibitors and bone density is a concern Griffith Uni and The Bone Clinic have been doing some interesting work @Deanne may be able to advise you
  • JSN
    JSN Member Posts: 34
    Apologies for using business's names.
    Thank you to admin for removing them.
  • JSN
    JSN Member Posts: 34
    Thank you to @Romla and @Zoffiel very helpful and very much appreciated xxxooo
  • onemargie
    onemargie Member Posts: 1,264
    Hi love I’m brisbane Northside I’ll PM you.  Margie x
  • Sunshine0206
    Sunshine0206 Member Posts: 146
    I can’t give you the name of excellent cancer support service on Sunshine Coast. Mostly Free of charge. Many ppl drive from Brisbane to attend. 

    Msg me if interested. 
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    I've always enjoyed a massage so asked my breast care nurse if she coukd recommend someone. She went away, did some resesrch, which included talking to the masseur, and got back to me with a name. Do you have a breast care nurse that you can ask for advice on these services?

    The stuff about not being able to have deep tissue massage is outdated, long disproved nonsense.