How Can Breast Cancer Support Help Me?

October 26, 2021

Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be one of the scariest things to happen to you. Whatever happens afterward, from the treatments, therapies, and surgeries, to navigating insurance, treatment options, doctors, and care plans, you'll not want to do it all alone.  There are many types of support available within the cancer community. One very special type of support offered is a 1:1 connection with a peer who is further down the road on their cancer journey, at least 6 months to a year post treatment.  Different from support groups, this type of support occurs through being matched with a support survivor who then connects with you through phone, email or in person throughout your cancer journey.

While a loving spouse, family, and friends are important and necessary parts of your support structure in this trying time, they are on their own journey as a person who loves someone with cancer, and it may be difficult for them to truly know what you're going through on your breast cancer journey. You may feel hesitant to share certain feelings or thoughts with family. It is not uncommon for patients and their families to have trouble communicating about certain feelings simply because their loved ones don't know what it's like or they each want to protect the other from uncomfortable feelings.

That's why support from another cancer survivor is so important. Having a survivor by your side is having someone that knows better than anyone, what it's like to deal with cancer, and they can provide hope in a way no one else can. Let's take a look at some of the top benefits of having a breast cancer support survivor through CanCare.

breast cancer survivor support

Reduce Your Isolation with the Camaraderie of a Breast Cancer Survivor

Reaching out for a support survivor means that you will be heard by someone who understands what you're going through and someone you can connect to on a deeper level. Our support survivor volunteers provide a space to share experiences, frustrations, concerns, and triumphs without judgment or misunderstanding, so you can be yourself and share that with them.

Even though your support volunteer may not match your experience exactly, hearing their trials and triumphs can help you through your own. And by sharing yours, you can bond with your support survivor. Even the most caring family members and friends might find it hard to relate to the intense emotions you feel while you undergo treatment, so having a support volunteer who viscerally understands what cancer is like can help you cope.

breast cancer survivors smiling

Improve Coping Skills & Quality of Life

Because your support survivor has experienced a cancer journey also, they'll have come up against similar problems, from the profound, struggles with mortality, pain, and treatment, to the mundane, like navigating through the maze of doctor's visits, insurance bureaucracy, and the like. Since your support survivor has gone through what you're going through, they are a living example of what it means to cope and even thrive through treatment.

This is what embracing the cancer support community is all about. Having a support survivor with whom you can share the good, the bad, and the ugly of cancer can help you better manage your treatment protocol, as well as improve communication with your doctor and family members. The social interaction with your support survivor can give you something to look forward to, lifting your spirits and improving your general mood and outlook. In turn, that can have real positive effects on your overall prognosis. Emotional support is vital during such trying times; that is why emotional  support is so important. Even with online and phone support, you'll notice a difference in your mental and emotional health.

breast cancer support from survivors

A Breast Cancer Support Survivor Is a Great Listener & Resource

Since your support survivor knows what you're going through and has had similar experiences, you don't need to pretend that things are fine when they aren't, or pretend you're not afraid or angry. More likely than not, your support survivor will have been in a similar place as you when you're feeling bad.

Because of this honestly, your support survivor can also be a source for candid conversation about your prognosis and treatment. By pooling your individual experiences around cancer, treatment, and recovery, you can make it through to ring that bell.


How to Find Breast Cancer Support

If you're thinking about finding a support survivor, be aware that there are many different types of breast cancer and many different kinds of support.  Support services can vary and there are different types of support survivors based on many things such as age, stage, sub-type of cancer, life situations and more! What works for some people impacted by cancer doesn't work for others.

Some questions you'll want to ask as you're thinking about a support survivor include:

  • Do you want to receive encouragement, discuss personal issues, or learn about treatment options, or some combination of all three?
  • Would you rather only talk to other breast cancer patients and survivors with your same type of breast cancer or people with different types of breast cancers?
  • Are you more comfortable with in-person meetings, or do you want to meet online? In the age of COVID-19, this question is even more important.  Local support survivors are available in some cities within the United States.

Get Online Cancer Support with CanCare

Whichever support survivor you decide on, you can find the help you need with CanCare. We've been helping people find online cancer support in Texas, especially in the Houston area, for over thirty years. We can match you with a cancer survivor to walk along your side and support you as you navigate the long road to recovery. Wherever you are in your cancer journey, CanCare is committed to connecting you with someone who can give you hope in this trying time. Get matched with a Survivor today!