One of the most important gifts you can be given in the post-treatment phase of survivorship is a good understanding what your needs are. Getting the support for those needs is essential to heal your body, mind, and soul, and to move forward. Support from your family, friends, and physician is vital to help you cope with the emotional, practical, and financial obstacles, and the side effects of your treatments. Please talk to your healthcare provider so they can partner with you to find the help and resources you need.
This is a 15-week online support group for people who have completed their cancer treatment. It’s led by an oncology social worker, and participants support each other and share resources and information. You will need to complete an online registration process. Once you have joined the group you can read messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
An international non-profit dedicated to providing support, education and hope to people affected by cancer. They provide online emotional support, education, and a program called Open to Options™ which provides counselors who can help cancer patients organize and prioritize their questions, concerns, goals and values before oncology visits. This program is available in English and Spanish, and helps patients make informed decisions about their care.
CancerCare offers Connect Educational workshops and Podcasts about a variety of topics (scroll to the lower part of the podcast link to see them). These sessions are for people who have completed cancer treatment, and who are in the post-treatment survivorship phase. The topics include managing late and long term side effects from treatment, communicating with your healthcare team, caregiving, fear of recurrence, workplace transitions, chemo brain, managing stress, intimacy, and more.
U-M’s depression toolkit was created by the University of Michigan Depression Center. Talking with a doctor about what’s bothering you is the best way to identify the problem and take steps toward feeling better. Many people feel very frightened to talk about this health problem with their healthcare providers. Use these 13 tips for talking with your your physician about depression.
Here you will find a complete listing of the tools and checklists which can be downloaded from the University of Michigan Depression Center. Many can be used to assess how you are feeling and to communicate those feelings with your healthcare provider. Examples illustrating how each tool can be used are also included. The website is packed with empowering information to help you share your concerns with your healthcare providers.
Helpguide.org is a trusted source of mental, emotional and social help. This guide will help you choose an effective therapist to help you become stronger, more self-aware, and empowered as an active participant in your care.
Though we are a group of small communities, we do have some supportive care programs for individuals who are going through different phases of cancer. Blueprints of Hope’s updated list of support organizations in our region includes support groups for grief and loss, caregivers, fertility, exercise, mentoring for hereditary cancers, and those which are specific to individual types of cancers. Building a community of supportive services for cancer survivors is a work in progress, so if you don’t find something that works for you, let us know.