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My emotions

Getting help and joining a support group
What kind of support may be available to me?

The emotional impact of the news of a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) does not end when you leave the doctor’s office. 
You may be asking yourself – what now? Your oncologist is looking after your cancer treatment, but what about all the other aspects of your life and well-being?

It is natural to need emotional and psychological support to help you cope with your condition and learn to live with MBC every day. 

Your first step is to ask your healthcare team about who can provide emotional support. This is a critical part of your overall ‘care’ and helps support the treatment your medical team can provide you with.

Your breast cancer nurse may also be able to provide help in coping with some of the physical symptoms of your disease, such as pain and other side effects of the treatment.

Getting professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness – it means you are trying to help yourself. Friends and family can be very supportive, but sometimes they are too close to you to be able to provide you with the help you need.

Should I join a patient support group?

Every woman is different in terms of how she wishes to deal with her condition. You may prefer to deal with it privately, just with your close family and friends. 

But you may also appreciate the help of a self-help or patient support group giving you someone to talk to.

The right breast cancer support group can give you a safe place to talk openly and express and share all your feelings and fears with people who understand.
You won’t need to choose your words as carefully as when you are talking to your family and friends about how you are doing. 

Finding a community of other women with MBC may also help you to feel less alone with your illness, its side effects, and the exhaustion. You can learn from the experiences of other women, draw strength from them and share your own views to help other women.

 

 

How do I know if I have found the right support group?

In looking for the right patient support group, you will find that many are not specifically for women with MBC. If most women in the group have early stage breast cancer, they will find it difficult to relate to what you are going through. This is because your cancer is more advanced than theirs. 

If possible, try to find a patient support group that has a specific group for women with MBC. It may take time to find the right one. 

You can go online to look for support groups for women living with MBC. Many offer chat rooms or one-to-one support. These can be a valuable source of help and assistance.

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