Cancer Support UK – post-cancer support
In this article, Cancer Support UK tell us about how their support groups can help someone who has finished cancer treatment and is struggling to navigate post-cancer life.
At Cancer Support UK, we understand that it’s perfectly normal to be left with anxiety and concerns after treatment – sometimes for a long time – and following discharge, it’s hard to know where to go for help. When cancer treatment finally finishes, family and friends often expect cancer patients to feel better, but for many, it’s when they feel worst of all.
Cancer Support UK’s Cancer Coach support groups can help.
Our Cancer Coach support groups are available to anyone who has completed their physical cancer treatment and is experiencing low mood, anxiety and worry, and doesn’t know how to move forward in their recovery. The course takes participants through a series of weekly facilitated group sessions, run for a six-week period over the telephone or online video. The sessions take participants through a series of strategies, techniques and exercises that aim to furnish them with the tools, support and coping strategies that can help them on their recovery journey.
Our trained group facilitators talk participants through the negative thought patterns that can linger after treatment ends, how to challenge them, as well as how to manage worries. There is also a chance to talk to others in the group, all of whom are recovering following the end of treatment. This ensures everyone can receive and give valuable peer support and encouragement.
The course is free and completely confidential, accessible via the telephone or online video, from the comfort and privacy of home.
When Sharon, 49, was discharged from hospital after being diagnosed with cancer, she initially expected her life to feel the same as it had done before her diagnosis but instead found it more difficult to re-adjust. Due to this Sharon took part in a Cancer Coach telephone group, which significantly improved her emotional outlook. Sharon said
“I would really recommend the Cancer Coach support group sessions. We all had the same shared feelings, concerns, and anxieties based around cancer. It was so nice to open up about your feelings and have people who could nod in recognition and say “Yeah, I understand completely how you feel.” I feel like I’ve met friends for life through Cancer Coach support group sessions and I still have that support that I was lacking before I discovered this organization.”
The programme helps people who have experienced cancer to:
- better understand and manage their own challenging emotions
- build resilience
- begin to reduce feelings of isolation and low mood
- improve their confidence and self-esteem, both during the programme and beyond
Since Cancer Coach takes place over the phone or online video, participants do not have to travel to a physical appointment. They can join their sessions from wherever they feel most comfortable.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Cancer Coach, please submit an application to join a group at cancersupportuk.org/cancercoach and a member of Cancer Support UK will be in touch.
For more information, take a look at www.cancersupportuk.org