Thinking of joining an online cancer support group but not sure if you are ready?0
No one is ever ready for cancer to come into their life. It can be a long journey but the friendships you can make through cancer support groups online can help to make things so much easier. Canteen Connect members are there for each other, offering advice and sharing stories – sometimes not even saying much online at all. That’s the beauty of it. You can get involved in your own time and at your own pace.
It is so easy to join. You just sign up via the website or app and after you enter your details, it will connect you with other young people that are a similar age, or have gone through the same type of experience.
Once you join Cancer Connect, you don’t have to tell your story or get involved in online discussion boards straight away, or even if you don’t feel like it. Sometimes it’s enough just to hear from others about how they are doing, and to read advice from afar. But after a while online, many users start to notice how inclusive and helpful everyone is, so it’s easy to feel comfortable.
While everyone has a different story and situation, it’s comforting to know others are out there going through similar things that friends from school, and even family, can’t always understand.
The online cancer support group is a great opportunity to talk about how your life has been impacted by cancer, how you cope, what you are looking forward to, or what you are doing now to make yourself feel good! If you’re struggling, it’s okay to share that too. Others get it and have been through it a lot as well and are always happy to share what’s helped them on their cancer journey.
Of course, members talk about all sorts of things, not just cancer! That’s important too. Sometimes it’s just good to share the songs that make you feel good or movies that make you cry. It’s great to see the different pets that help get other members through.
There are counsellors online as well. They are there to add their voices of support and care, and to direct us to any extra resources that might help your situation. Anyone that sounds like they are having a really hard time will be contacted directly.
You also have the option to jump on the “Call a Counsellor” button and speak to one. They work late at night but if it’s after hours, you can always call the kids helpline number and speak to someone there straight away too.
It’s great to make a difference and show support for other people in the online cancer support group.
There are lots of fun events to get involved with too, that are all part of the support experience. Some are online and regular, like the monthly 18+ patient/survivor drop-in group. This is a social group for anyone over 18 who is undergoing treatment at the moment or has recently gone into remission. It’s a great chance to jump onto Zoom and have a chat, tell stories and experiences, or just listen to others. It’s just a safe space to be with people who get you.
There are other fun things you can join in too in person, like the SQLD CanGames for those in Brisbane wanting to kick a footy around on a Sunday afternoon. Or Art fun in Tasmania or bowling and nibbles in New Zealand. Jump on Canteen Connect to see what events are in your area and get involved.