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I need your help!

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

I have been asked for suggestions about how to increase attendance at the local support group - a group I do not attend...lol.

I did attend a support group when I was first diagnosed, but I found it difficult as there were so many scary stories and I was young and determined to beat this.  Well, I may not have beaten cancer, but I am still going and have had an unexpected very long run...lol.  And I have no intention of stopping. Laughing

So far, here are some of my suggestions:

Make sure there is a mediator to maybe break it up if things go to the Dark Side, maybe have a separate group for Stage 4?

I also suggested maybe some ice-breaking activities, maybe a few visualization and relaxation techniques - something, anything to keep it from dissolving into a pity party.  Some of you, it has not gone unnoticed, are very good at these activities on the message board here. Wink 

Not to say that I am opposed to venting.  We all do it, but I think you guys know what I mean.   It can get bleak and I think that is not good either.

Those were my ideas, but I know you can help more!  Ideas????

GlowMore's picture
GlowMore
Posts: 720
Joined: Feb 2008

I did attend a Support Group which was sponsored by a Hospital and had an RN as the Coordinator.   I will never forget the first meeting...a young man was there who had been diagnosed with Brain Cancer about 6 or 7 years previous... (this was in 2002) and they had only given him 6 months to live at that time.   He said it made him MAD....so he went looking for cutting edge stuff and found the Gamma Knife experiments ....he was the 3rd person in the nation to have the Gamma Knife Laser Surgery........and he had just dropped by that meeting to let us know he was still alive.   He said that he no longer made long term plans and that he LIVED each day fully.    That Support Group was a good place to talk with others who knew what you were dealing with....most were facing Cancer but some were Care Givers also.    It was helpful to me then and I wish they still had it but the Hospital stopped supporting it with the free room for the meeting and the RN.  I do know that there are many support groups around...a lot of them in churches.  They are better than this online board because you have the instant feedback and the personal contact.  However this is a good thing here and I wish more people knew about it.

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2256
Joined: Dec 2010

We have all kinds of cwncer and there are all stages. It is not a pity party at all. It is a group through the Cancer awellness Center. We have interns who sit in each week, and we pretty much facitate each other. There have been a couple of people over the last 3 years who were on a pity trip, but that did not go over well with those of us who are stage iv and doing everything in our power to be here another day, week, month whatever.
I go about 2x a month. We have a potluck on the 4th wed of each month.
I think the attendance is pretty regular8-12, sometimes more, becausr it is for the most part positive. Everyone has a chance to speak if they want or need to. We have lost some, which we all know is hard.
The strongest factor in having a turnout is in accepting all stages, and sharing info on new treatments, meds, wr laugh a lot, have gotten together and gone on trips to hot springs, walks at lakes, and fishing.
So: I would list:
Welcoming all stages
being consistant
making new people feel welcome
Humor
getting the word out to others we meet with cancer that the group is here.

rutzetta's picture
rutzetta
Posts: 162
Joined: Jul 2011

 

I went to a support group when I first was diagnosed, only to find out the group had not really got off the ground. I was the only one attending at the time. It would have been great if I wanted to have the RN all to myself but I was looking for more. I wanted to hear from others on the journey. I really wanted to know everything from all stages of cancer, as we never plan for it to happen but I wanted to know as much as possible.

 

I was very blessed to find this group in 2011. It saved the little sanity I had left at that time, because of the what if’s going on within me, and not to forget many sleepiness nights.  I’ve seen us hold each other up when no one else can understand what is going on within us. I’ve seen all kinds of words on this site, but I know some make us take a step back, and ask..what were they thinking, we all know because we have been there or close to the edge.

 

I really love the list given, especially the humor- Lord knows if you don’t find a way to laugh with this, you just might give up. Yes, We Are Here- No matter what the day may hold for each of us.

 

Warmly,

 

Constance    

 

bonbondidit's picture
bonbondidit
Posts: 65
Joined: Jul 2014

Hello Constance

 

Today is my first visit with my oncologist. I have no idea what stage I am in and I suppose will find out everything at this visit. I am so nervous and my stomach is killing me from anxiety. My husband and I are going together. I am 43 and have Invasive Mammary Carcinoma and High grade DCIS in situ.

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

I am so sorry that you are facing this!  Please know we are here for you.  Together we have the experience and support to get you through this.  Gentle hugs and prayers and please, please keep us posted!

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2014

Bonbondidit, Hope your visit goes well with your ONC. Maybe it is not as worse as you think, but if so their are plenty of different kinds of treatments out there for you. Keep us updated and I pray for the very best for you.

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