Being diagnosed with breast cancer can change your entire world. Lunch meetings and dinner dates are suddenly replaced with hospital visits and endless doctor appointments. The side effects of cancer treatments can also wreak havoc on your social life, removing any energy you once had to spend time with friends. Dealing with the physical symptoms and the emotional stress of a cancer diagnosis can turn out to be an incredibly isolating experience, despite the best interests of your loved ones. Finding a breast cancer support group online can help you find a community filled with people who know what you are going through.
Benefits of Going Online for Support
The benefits of attending support group meetings have been well-documented. Getting to know others in a similar position as yourself is incredibly helpful. Not only can you benefit from their knowledge, you can vent to someone who truly understands what it is that you are going through.
Not everyone is able to attend in-person meetings. Perhaps you and your family live in a remote area, where no such meetings exist. In other cases, these support groups may get together at times that do not work for you, either because of medical appointments or due to other commitments. Alternatively, you may simply be too tired from the treatments themselves to leave the house once more to attend a group. Whatever the cause, online support groups are there to fill the void.
How to Find an Online Support Group
Start your search by asking your medical team for recommendations. There is a good chance that another patient may have mentioned a forum or group that was particularly helpful. You can also look on Facebook and conduct a Google search. Make sure the group you join is active and that you feel comfortable participating in discussions. If possible, spend some time browsing around the site, group, or forum to get a feel for the tone and type of support offered. Finally, look for a group that is aligned with your own beliefs. For example, a Christian-themed support group may not be ideal for those who are atheists.
Joining a support group is a research-proven way to manage your new life. These benefits are seen both in cancer patients and their family members who attend in-person meetings or join online groups. Living with cancer, or watching a family member do so, can be traumatic, difficult, and isolating. Joining a group filled with those who have lived through or are currently going through a similar experience is one of the best ways to cope, strategize your recovery, and heal.