Survivor Run Support Groups

Survivor Run Support Groups

What is a survivor run support group?

DMO facilitates a survivor centre that is run by our patients, for our patients. Cancer impacts patients and their families profoundly. Here, patients get to soundboard, share with and encourage each other. The group is designed to help patients cope with the emotional issues associated with dealing with cancer, and is a safe space in which people are able to discuss their feelings, experiences and challenges with those who have been in similar situations.

 

Why join a support group?
Dealing with cancer often stirs up a range of emotional responses, and even those with supportive family members and caregivers may need to seek additional support from survivors with whom they can relate.

 

While support groups can provide the opportunity to share experiences, they can also be useful spaces in which to discuss practical information, including what to expect from certain treatments, how to deal with radiation side-effects, and what kinds of questions to raise with one’s healthcare team.

 

You may choose to join a support group at any stage in your experience, including:

 

  • Diagnosis
    At the diagnosis stage, you may have a lot of questions about your illness, and may need support as you make decisions regarding your treatment options.
  • Treatment
    Going through treatment can be very stressful, and some patients find it helpful to share the experience with others. Practical advice about managing pain and side-effects can also be discussed at support groups.
  • After treatment
    It is common to feel different after your treatment is complete, both emotionally and physically. In some cases, certain health issues may arise after treatment. These include changes in sleep patterns, fatigue, pain and nerve damage. It can be helpful to share these experiences.

 

If you are interested in finding a survivor run support group, speak to your healthcare team. Your oncology social worker will be able to give you more information about the best group for your needs, and answer any questions you may have about the benefits of seeking support.