I have been searching for a BC support group in my area for the last couple of years. I went to one group in my area a couple of times and decided it just wasn’t the right fit for me. It was a new group, and I was very excited to attend.
As the meeting got started, the ladies, each had a chance to share their cancer story and also were asked to share what they were needing and hoping to get out of this new group. They each told their personal cancer story. I heard Stage 1 and 2 over and over again. I was the last person to share.
Can you image the silence and the looks I received when I told them that I am in active treatment and that my cancer had metastasized? One woman then asked what does that mean. The woman who was leading the discussion explained that I am a stage, 4 patient.
Yes, that was uncomfortable. The next day the woman who had formed the new group called me and apologized for the situation. I did not feel that was necessary and explained stage 4 is my life, and I have come to terms with that fact. I asked her if she knew of any other late-stage bc patients. She did not. I went back to the group the next month, but that was the last time I attended.
I’ve been familiar with a national nonprofit group called METAvivor.org. They are their raising money and support for all of us with metastasized cancer. And specifically for breast cancer. I reached out METAvivor recently. I’m excited to announce that I will be organizing the first support group in Utah. METAvivor has a course that I am taking, and I plan to have the first meeting in July of this year.
Where ever you are located in the United States I would suggest that you go to METAvivor.org online. You can see all of the support groups, and hopefully, there will be one near you. If not, they will be very supportive of helping you get one started.
Here is some information from their site.
Are you looking for a Peer to Peer Support Group? Peer to Peer Support Groups are a fantastic way to meet with other MBC patients to share advice, encouragement, and challenges, compare treatment facilitates, learn about local resources and simply enjoy the company of others who are on the same journey.
METAvivor, through an MBC grant from the AVON Foundation, has launched a program called Peer To Peer: METAvivor Training Program For Support Group Leaders to provide training to MBC patients who are interested in becoming Peer Leaders and starting their own support groups. The Peer Leader is the organizer, but also a participant, sharing and receiving like everyone else in the group.
The METAvivor trained, peer-led support program meets in the community rather than in a medical setting. The support group is limited to metastatic breast cancer patients as members and leaders, and is free-flowing, allowing everyone to say what they wish on most any topic. The leader’s role is to coordinate logistics, outreach to recruit members, keep in touch with current members, be there for phone calls, rally support when help is needed, connect the group with resources and be at all gatherings. The leader also provides a comfortable setting and varied activities for MBC patients to share advice, encouragement, and challenges, and even simply relax and chat with friends who truly understand. Peer to Peer training materials is also available in Spanish.