Caregivers and patients can both benefit from having people with similar experiences to talk to. Support groups are a wonderful resource for sharing stories and advice about the cancer journey, from diagnosis to treatment and what happens after. Here are some great reasons why support groups can be helpful for caregivers and patients alike:
For cancer patients
If you have received a breast cancer diagnosis, you probably have a lot of questions. Learning about treatment options, payment plans, side effects, and what happens after diagnosis and treatment is important. Many women go to support groups to learn about breast cancer and seek understanding and guidance from other people who are going through similar situations.
Even if you have a loving, helpful network of family and friends to assist you and be with you on your cancer journey, these people cannot fully understand what you are going through. Many patients find that relating with people who are undergoing similar treatments and parts of the cancer process is incredibly helpful. Other patients can give insight on how to handle many aspects of cancer, from ways to deal with the side effects of certain medicines to the best brands of wigs or a great oncologist to check out. They can also be helpful with how to relate to relatives and friends who are with you along the way.
And an extra chance to talk about your feelings with a fresh set of ears present never hurt anyone, so it’s definitely worth a try at least.
Support groups are not just for patients. Many health care facilities offer support groups for people who are caring for individuals with cancer. Supporting someone who is going through treatment is an exhaustive and humbling experience, so having someone to talk to about the trials and tribulations of your caregiving can be really helpful. Other caregivers will have gone through similar experiences and can offer advice on how to better help your loved one and make sure you are taking care of yourself in the process.
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So whether you’re a patient or a caregiver (or maybe even just a friend), you should definitely try out a support group to help you get a new perspective on this difficult situation and gain tips and friends along the way. You may not realize how much you needed the extra support until you’ve actually got it.