When you have been diagnosed with cancer you often feel like you have instantly been transported to another planet. All of a sudden you feel like an alien in a world that just the day before you knew so well. Somewhere during that process you may feel the need to connect with others who have also arrived from that planet and understand the new language you speak, the feelings you have and the new way of life you have had to adopt. This is where support groups can be so helpful. Not only can they normalise your life again by hearing other peoples' stories but, research shows those people who attend support groups statistically have better treatment outcomes and longer survival times.
On Tuesday I was once again inspired by the power of these gatherings when I attended the Sunny Coast Sisters support group for women with gynecological cancers. You can't help but feel empowered when you hear their stories of survival and feel the love that is shared amongst the members. You feel normal when words such as carboplatin and PET scans are used. Because they have become a major part of your lexicon. If you have been on a cancer journey I encourage you to find a support group you can attend. It may just be you find that communing with the other aliens from this strange planet called cancer you truly feel 'normal' again.
Please share with us any experiences you may have had with support groups and how they helped or hindered your journey.