Why can’t I find a local support group???

Mecaza
Mecaza Member Posts: 2
I live on the Central Coast which everyone is telling me has the second most prevalent cases of breast cancer in Australia.   I was diagnosed with early breast cancer in August and have since undergone 2 surgeries.  Currently have the “Dracula” drain which I hate with a vengeance.  I am lucky enough to have a very loving sister who has come to help me during this trying time but she doesn’t live close by normally.  I am soon to start the radiation/maybe chemo/medication treatments and Iv’e been trying to find a local support group to help me through.  I NEED people who have gone down the exact same track as me, who understand the emotional roller coaster the this experience actually is.  I don’t think anyone who has not been actually through it, including the medical professionals, who can totally understand the impact on your mental state.  I have always prided myself as being a very strong person but this has all brought me down to a feeling of despair.  

Comments

  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,450
    edited October 2023
    So Sorry to see you here, @Mecaza - joining the club that no one wants to join!   This disease actually mucks with your brain even more than it does your body, I reckon xx

    This may be a bit out of date ..... but it appears there is a Gosford Breast Cancer Group  (you can also contact your local member for more info too, as this is from her website!) Some of the other links in the document may help you also :
    https://www.emmamcbride.com.au/media/2hhlqc21/supportgroupsservicedirectory.pdf

    Have you been assigned a Breast Care Nurse?  They may also be able to link you to a support group in your area.  

    If you are feeling distressed or anxious, you can also ring our helpline Mon-Fri on 1800 500 258 for a reassuring chat xx

    Also, check out these other areas in the forum that you may like to join in with comments xx
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/23477/a-big-welcome-to-all-our-new-members#latest

    Charlotte Tottman (a Breast Cancer Psychologist) was diagnosed herself about the same time as me & has some wonderful podcasts to listen to - she is very down to earth & the podcasts are so easy to listen to.

    Start at No 13 (for the first Series) and work your way down, then go back to the top for Season 2 ... (It will take you to another window, away from BCNA.)


    Take care & all the best - we're here to make your road a bit smoother xx
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,328
    Hi @Mecaza

    Have you talked with your medical team or GP about a referral to a counsellor? A support team may help but different people react differently. When I hit my third possibly long term side effect, I asked my chief oncology nurse (a very perceptive woman) about maybe needing a support group. Sure, she said, a group? Or one on one. Smart woman, I needed to talk about me and didn’t feel at that time how supportive I could be of anyone else! The referral was excellent, the counsellor ditto. Knowing what cancer/ treatment is causing, or what cancer/ treatment is shining a light on in the rest of your life can be useful and powerful. I only saw my counsellor for a short time but she taught me some skills that I still use, a decade after cancer. No-one means to do so, but the brain can be overlooked while dealing with the body. Your emotional and mental state is an important part of your recovery. Best wishes. 
  • Abbydog
    Abbydog Member Posts: 472
    Most women seem to need some support, either from a Psychologist or group. I was in an unusual position of knowing at least 6 women at work having breast cancer.  I was well prepared from talking to those women. I had an idea how it was for some. Not all the same. We are all nurses at my work. 
    When I had my cancer, it was 2020, there were no in person support groups. There has been one in Adelaide that I have been to a few times, since in person lunches etc post Covid that have restarted. I haven't had a rollercoaster as most seem to have. I have been very fortunate. My Mastectomy, Chemo and R/T, and reconstruction have all gone well, without major side effects or complications. My family, friends, and work mates who have had BC were all very supportive. All the best with your treatments, hopefully a local group will be found.