Social and emotional support is associated with better overall health. Equipping patients and caregivers with information provides the understanding and confidence required to ask important questions about treatments and overall prognosis. Colorectal Cancer Canada is actively creating virtual support communities throughout Canada. Our goal is to ensure patients and caregivers are informed about the disease, empowered by this knowledge and receive the support necessary to be active participants in their care.
Sharing ones own experience in a non judgemental environment is a kind of healing.
Moderated by our Patient Support Specialist, monthly meetings are held where patients, caregivers and their families can learn, share experiences, and support one another.
Initially I wasn’t sure how the virtual format would work, but now that I’m used to it, it hasn’t been an impediment at all. The conversation flows easily, and the meetings go fast. Meeting virtually allows us to meet more frequently and makes it possible to invite guests which wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Michelle and Dave
What you can expect from attending our groups:
- Presentation and discussion of clinical and psychosocial topics related to colorectal cancer care, covering all stages of the disease. We seek to arm patients with up-to-date information on treatments and advances in the field. We believe this encourages thoughtful dialogue between patients and their treating oncologists and helps them to make informed decisions about their cancer care.
- Cancer Care updates Group members are encouraged to share information about their journey, addressing concerns with respect to treatments or side effects, fears, nutrition, post treatment follow-up care or any other issue they feel worthy for discussion. Through shared experiences, moderator and members will assist each patient in exploring their questions and concerns.
- A safe and supportive environment to ask questions and explore both the psychological and emotional impact of the disease
The thought of cancer never goes away and these monthly sessions allow me to process thoughts and come out on the right side. Kind of like a reality check on life.
DID YOU KNOW?
Across Canada, more than two million people are now involved in information/support groups.
People who have social support are more likely to be healthier than those who do not.
BENEFITS REPORTED BY PATIENTS WHO HAVE ATTENDED OUR INFORMATION/SUPPORT GROUPS:
- Learning more about cancer
- Learning more about resources for people with cancer
- Feeling that life is more meaningful
- Being able to cope with illness and medical procedures
- Having a better perspective on illness
- Being more aware of needs
- Being able to talk about cancer
- Being able to talk with family and friends about cancer
- Feeling physically stronger
- Feeling more empowered or able to make decisions
- Being less isolated
- Being more active, socially and physically
The presentations have given a great incite into medical advances and learnings about colorectal cancers. I think the knowledge aspect is key to accepting and understanding what can happen.