A lot of things can go wrong in life. Car accidents, home invasions, and major medical issues typically rank highest on people’s list of things that they don’t want to happen. Unfortunately, sometimes life comes at you fast, and once it does you need to learn how to adapt. For people that are diagnosed with breast cancer, breast cancer support groups are often a tool that is used to try to learn how to adapt to this situation. But how exactly do these support groups help people learn to adapt to such a scary new situation?
There have been a lot of studies done on the subject by professionals that have spent their lives doing research whether through their schooling or their own independent studies. There are also hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of personal testimonials to point to the efficacy of being part of this kind of breast cancer support group. Many people, especially people that recently got their diagnosis or caretakers of people who recently got their diagnosis, have a few questions about these programs. Let’s take a look at what people with experience are saying about the subject so maybe you can have a little more knowledge before making any sort of a commitment.
Find Support with People Going Through the Same Thing as You
What’s harder than dealing with something as scary as cancer? Going through something as scary as cancer while feeling like you have to do it mostly alone. That’s where cancer support groups really shine for most people. When you get into a cancer support group, you’re surrounded by other people dealing with the same thing. Whether they’re people currently fighting cancer, the caretakers of people currently fighting cancer, or even people that have already won their fight and want to give back to the community.
These groups give you an opportunity to air your frustrations around other people that are dealing with the same thing, and there’s something incredibly powerful about that. Many people that go to these meetings report feeling much less alone as they go through their fight against cancer, and that feeling is important. People that don’t feel like they have to do it alone oftentimes feel more ready to deal with all of the medical treatments that come along with having cancer. That readiness can make a huge difference for cancer patients.
These groups also provide resources that are harder to get without attending. You can learn new strategies to cope with your own cancer or the cancer of someone you love, and you can acquire some hope by seeing people that have already been where you are and lived to tell the tale. You aren’t alone in your fight with cancer, but it is a lot easier to feel as if you were without going to any kind of cancer support group. Over a million people in the United States alone are diagnosed with cancer every year, and these groups make things easier for most of them.
Flexible Support with People Oriented Solutions
Do you know what no one likes feeling like? Just a patient. No matter how serious or life-threatening the condition someone has, at the end of the day they’re still a person with hopes and fears and dreams. That being said, being shuttled from doctor’s appointment to doctor’s appointment all day every day can make you feel a lot like you’re viewed as nothing more than a patient. That being said, every patient is still a person and they deserve to feel as such as much as possible.
With that in mind, because every cancer patient is still a person that means that every cancer patient has different needs. Some people are all about talking about their feelings and listening to other people talk about their feelings, other people prefer to figure out solutions for the real-world problems that they face, and others are even more reserved than that. Each of these groups of people has a different set of needs that need different methods taken in order to ensure that they’re getting everything that is required for them to feel supported in the way that works best for them.
The people that put together these groups are well aware of this fact, and as such there are many different types of groups available for different types of people. People that want to talk about their feelings and learn better coping skills can meet in group therapy settings so they can get together and try to find peace. People that prefer to find real-world solutions can get together and do their best to get their estates in order so they can find their peace of mind that way. People that are more reserved than that can even meet online and discuss whatever they need to through that medium.
Some people even go to multiple types of meetings in order to make sure that they’re making the most of the resources that are available to them. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to how you approach cancer support. This is a highly personal journey so finding the configuration that works best for you is crucial for getting the help and support that you need. There are tons of resources available to help you find the right group or groups that fit your preferences for getting support.
Get Help on Your Schedule
Lots of people feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and many people assume that finding a cancer support group would only serve to compound that feeling. Fortunately, it’s actually a lot easier to get the support that you need than you might realize on any schedule, although some schedules might require a bit more flexibility on your end in order to make it happen. That being said, there are tons of cancer support groups available at all sorts of frequencies so you can make sure that you’re getting one that fits your schedule perfectly.
Firstly, there are groups that meet at a variety of frequencies. If you prefer to see the cancer support group once or twice a week, you can find a ton of groups that can make that happen. If you’d rather meet up once a month, you’ve still got options. The people that put these meetings together do their best to ensure that there’s an option available for anyone no matter what frequency works best for them, and that makes a huge difference for patients that want to attend as many or as few meetings as they possibly can.
You can also usually find in-person cancer support groups that meet in the morning, afternoon, or evening. That makes it easy to find groups that generally won’t interfere with your doctors’ appointments, which is important. If you’re a night owl things can be a little trickier, but all you need to do is find online meetings. You’re certainly not the only person who is awake at night that prefers to do these meetings late at night or early in the morning, but it is much easier to find birds of a feather by using the internet as a tool.
In fact, online meetings provide an incredible amount of flexibility so you can get support whenever you need it. Many people use the internet to get further support simply because it’s easy. You can find cancer support forums that almost always have someone online to chat with because the internet is international. If you’re feeling adventurous you could even try to sit in on meetings in other countries so you can see how the international community copes with cancer. That being said, if you do decide to sit in on a foreign meeting, just be prepared for a lot of the conversations to be done in their native tongue.
At the end of the day, knowing that no matter how busy your schedule is or the hours that you prefer to sleep won’t restrict you from getting the support that you’re looking for makes a huge difference. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world are rooting for you and people work tirelessly to ensure that you can find the space that you need to get the right kind of support on your schedule. It’s never been easier to find these groups thanks to the internet, and you could even go find a group that fits you right now.
Getting Some Hope
Cancer is hard. Let’s rephrase that, to say that cancer is objectively hard would be an understatement. People all over the world get devastating cancer diagnoses every single day, and many of them don’t know where to turn. Fortunately, this is not a road that you have to walk alone and there are people around that want to help you as much as they can, no matter what country you come from, religion you practice, or language you speak. There’s something truly lovely about how the cancer support community can band together through such hard times.
***On the Aepios platform, members gain support from peers nationwide by sharing valuable real-world experiences, treatments, and outcomes for an expanding number of medical conditions.***