Survivor Support Groups
After treatment is a particularly good time to join a support group because many people experience some degree of anxiety as their medical treatments wind down and they begin to re-enter a life that is not dictated by weekly visits to a medical center. After treatment support groups are often labeled “survivor groups” (although we call them “Looking Ahead”) and are often made up of individuals with no evidence of disease and are no longer having anti-cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgical treatments.
These groups tend to deal with issues related to fear of recurrence, returning to work, adjustments in family life, the “new normal”, energy and rebuilding strength and recovery. These groups are also a place where you can talk about ongoing distress that many people experience intermittently even though their cancer has been treated. Patients often find that when the treatment is over, friends and family are ready to put the experience behind them, talking about cancer less and ready to move back to “normal life.”
For someone who has gone through cancer treatment, you may still have ongoing concerns that need to be discussed with others who have gone through similar experiences or you may just be beginning the process of feeling what all this has meant in your life. After-treatment support groups provide a good place to do that. They often meet infrequently (once a month) and provide a safe haven to address issues as they come up with others who understand.
For more information on our survivor support groups, click here.