How Do I Choose the Best Ovarian Cancer Support Group?
Choosing the best ovarian cancer support group depends on the patient's prognosis, general state of well being, and whether the group is for herself or for her family members. A hospital-based support group not only offers the patient emotional support from other ovarian cancer survivors, it also offers them medical support as well. Typically, a hospital-based ovarian cancer support group invites medical speakers such as doctors and nurses to speak about treatment options and living with the condition.
If the patient with ovarian cancer does not want to join a hospital-based ovarian cancer support group, she can join one offered by a local community center, park district, or church. Sometimes, cancer survivors are hesitant to return to the hospital where they were treated for their cancer, soon after discharge. The hospital setting can provoke anxiety, which can undermine the effects of a support group. After a sufficient amount of time has passed since treatment, patients may be better prepared to re-visit the hospital and join a support group there.
Occasionally, treatment for ovarian cancer may cause the patient to become so debilitated and weak that she cannot attend an outside ovarian cancer support group. In these cases, online support is available. The ovarian cancer survivor can connect online with other survivors and share stories about treatment, recovery, and hope. In addition, another benefit to an online ovarian cancer support group is that survivors can retain their privacy. Sometimes cancer survivors prefer to limit outside socialization until their hair grows back from chemotherapy or until they regain their strength and weight.
Caregivers to patients with ovarian cancer can also benefit from an ovarian cancer support group. There, caregivers can learn about coping strategies and how to offer emotional support to their loved one with cancer. Since caring for a cancer patient can present challenges to the caregiver, emotional support is important for them as well as the patient. Stress-relieving tactics for both the patients and the caregivers are typically discussed at an ovarian cancer support group.
During recovery from ovarian cancer, the woman often feels overwhelmed and anxious. It is important for her to realize she is not alone, and that ovarian cancer help is available and helpful. As the person regains her strength and begins to feel better, she and her support system at home can then attend the support group together. By attending together, both patient and caregiver learn to work cohesively to make living with ovarian cancer less challenging and more positive.
My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year and decided to follow her doctor's advice and join a support group. My mother has always been a bit shy so she decided a group that worked with the entire family would be best for her.
I was amazed at how many of the women and families at the support group we went to had similar struggles. It really helped our family to feel like we weren't alone. It also gave us a lot of hope seeing other people successfully battling something that we didn't know much about at the time.
I am forever grateful for all the brave women and their families for taking part in that support group. It really helped my mother and us to cope with her diagnosis.
My aunt survived ovarian cancer and she found that the support group she joined was a huge part of her recovery. She often told me that the women she met in her support group, and the stories they shared really made her feel like she was capable of overcoming anything for her family.
I think a good idea for those who are looking for a ovarian cancer support group is to ask to be put in touch with one of the group leaders for a bit of a one on one chat before you join. For my aunt this gave her a sense of familiarity when it came time to join the larger group and she also got a good feeling for what would be discussed in advance.
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