While promoting his group at a recent Health and Wellness Fair in Qualicum Beach, Court Brooker wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words: Prostate cancer survivor. Ask me anything.
What he gets asked most frequently, he said, involves the chance of survival, once a man has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The second most common question, he said, involves sex.
“I’ve been doing this for five years and survival is number one and number two involves sexuality,” he said. “Many men have that concern.”
What Brooker really wants to talk about though — besides these nuts and bolts issues — is the fact that there is lots of help and support available to those suffering from all forms of cancer.
“I’m trying to get across to anyone with cancer that there are support groups within the community that are available to them to attend and learn how to deal with their cancer,” the facilitator with the Prostate Support Group in Qualicum Beach said. “It’s not just for people with cancer, but for their family as well.”
The group is part of a combined effort with the Breast Cancer Support Group and the Living with Cancer support group.
Brooker stressed his group does not give specific advice, but rather focuses on linking people with the groups and agencies that can answer any questions they have.
What’s really valuable about these support groups however, he said, is their sense of fellowship and inspiration.
It’s one resource of information for people living with cancer and a valuable one,” he said. “When I first went to a support group I was feeling quite low and I would look at the people in the support group who were 20 years out from where I was and doing quite well,” he said. “It was very inspiring.
The prostate group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in different locations. Call 250-752-7489 for more information. The Breast Cancer Support Group meets on the first Tuesday of every month at the Canadian Cancer Society office on Second Ave. in Qualicum Beach. The Living with Cancer group meets on the first Thursday of the month at The Gardens in Qualicum Beach from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.