Online or in person, a support group can be a safe place for unloading worries, venting, and picking up ideas and techniques for getting what you need from your doctors and your friends and family to feel less anxious. “I have found support groups to be extremely helpful,” says Wendy Ericson, who was diagnosed with stage IVb endometrial cancer in 2012, and whose cancer has come back. “Participants are going through the same kinds of treatment and have similar side effects,” she says.
There’s also something to be said for hearing from people who are further along in treatment, adds Dr. Bradford, and who have gotten through the extra-hard parts of treatment and been OK.
To find a support group, ask your doctor or social worker for ideas, or connect with a local cancer society. Online or in-person is a personal choice. Ericson chose Cancer Care’s online group for gynecological cancer patients.