Finding out a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, or suffering from the loss of a loved one to breast cancer, are excruciatingly difficult things to deal with. It’s important to know that there are other people out there who have gone through and are going through the exact same thing. Talking to those who have experienced this type of pain or loss can be an incredibly helpful thing to help you better handle your situation. These people will talk to you, care about you, and most importantly, understand you in a way that many others can’t. Luckily, online communities have made it easier to connect with other individuals who are affected by breast cancer, across the country and around the world. Here are some great places to meet people and get the emotional support you need.
Cancer Support Community (www.cancersupportcommunity.org)
While this online community is not focused specifically on breast cancer, there are many areas on the site which do discuss breast cancer. You can sign up for their Online Cancer Support tool, “The Living Room,” for free. Their online groups meet for 90 minutes each week and are facilitated by professionals. This is a great resource for people with cancer, caregivers and those grieving over the loss of a loved one. You can also create your own personal webpage to share your story and connect with others.
Association of Online Cancer Resources (www.acor.org)
While you need to create a free account to access the resources on this site, they have great online communities for dealing with many aspects of breast cancer, including ‘Current Advances in Breast Cancer Treatments’, ‘Inflammatory Breast Cancer’, and ‘Metatstatic Breast Cancer’. They also have a group for partners of breast cancer patients, as well as one for breast cancer in men. Each group has more than one hundred members, some groups nearly 1,000.
DailyStrength uses a forum approach that enables members to post any questions or discussion topics they have to a discussion forum or to an expert answers forum. Many of the members on the site are currently dealing with breast cancer, but there are also many who are family members of those who have been recently diagnosed. You must be a member to post but membership is free and there are around five topics discussed per week.
The Breast Cancer Mailing List (www.bclist.org)
This is a listserv site for anyone who is connected with breast cancer – patients, survivors, family members, doctors and researchers, and others. Members on the site write about treatment and disease information, practical information, and personal experiences, as well as giving emotional support. It is free to join and you will receive all messages posted to the list through your e-mail, and can also send your questions and responses to the list for other members to read.
Local Support Groups ww5.komen.org
The Susan G. Komen website has a tool that can help you find a local affiliate in your area. Contact a local branch can provide you information about in-person support groups in your area. Meeting people in person is often a much surer way of getting the support you need!