As a mesothelioma patient, you will likely find it difficult to connect with a support group locally comprised entirely of other mesothelioma patients because mesothelioma accounts for only about one percent of all occurrences of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, there are numerous online support groups and local groups filled with other people who are battling other forms of cancer and who are experiencing similar feelings and challenges. Taking the time to connect with other people who can understand exactly what you are going through can be both comforting and encouraging.
The American Cancer Society provides a detailed list of support options for cancer patients. There is an interactive website that helps patients learn more about the treatment process, access to a survivors’ network, cancer education classes, and resources to help you inform your friends and loved ones of the exact nature of your disease so they can help better support you in your own area.
Cancer Buddies is an online support group that is completely free for members. There are a variety of tools available on the site including a forum for patients to share their thoughts, a mailbox to communicate with other members, and the ability to find a buddy who has been through a similar experience.
The Cancer Support Community is an online community dedicated to supporting those who have been diagnosed with cancer as well as those who are caring for patients. There is information for those who have just been diagnosed, for those who have survived cancer, and an outstanding online support system. The online support groups meet weekly for 90 minutes and are headed by professionals, and there is a discussion board where members can continue the discussion once the meeting has concluded. The community also has private messaging, community posts, instant messaging, and a place for journaling.
Cancer Care offers a variety of in person, online, and telephone support groups. Some of the groups are generalized for a variety of types of cancer while others are specific to the type of cancer or area of the body affected. There are options for cancer patients, loved ones, and healthcare professionals.
Gilda’s Club is a positive outreach program designed to help people living with cancer engage in a cancer support community. They have tools to help facilitate community outreach as well as an online component for those in small or underserved communities.
Regardless of whether you have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, or if the diagnosis was for a loved one, there are support groups available in a variety of settings that will help you cope with the difficult times ahead. Battling cancer may feel like an isolated journey that will never end, but these support groups will show you that others are going through similar trials or have experienced the same types of feelings and were able to persevere.