Hearing the words “you have cancer” is a life changing event that for many people causes stress, fear and loneliness. Although life will almost certainly change dramatically, for many people this can bring some positive changes. A diagnosis of cancer can be a chance to try to understand the greater purpose or reason behind your life. This search for meaning can often lead to a greater understanding of yourself and others and clarify for you what really matters. People report feeling a greater sense of inner peace and satisfaction with life. While no one is happy to receive a diagnosis of cancer, many people have used the experience to identify things in their lives that they would like to change. Finding meaning and purpose is not a constant search and for each person the process will be different. Many people find that that their perspective and what is meaningful will change over time depending on their unique situation.
“How can I start a support group?” is a question I am often asked. For people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones, there is increasing evidence that support groups can be beneficial in improving not only the day-to-day quality of life but also on your chances of survival. For some it is relatively easy to find a local group, and there are also telephone and online support groups available. However, for those of you unable to locate a group that fits your needs, here are some suggestions on how to start a support group—but look before you leap!
CSC welcomes Robyn Stoller, founder of CancerHawk and tireless patient advocate as a guest blogger. We’re thrilled to be working with her and look forward to additional informative and insightful posts in the coming months.