Overthe past few years, cancer patients have greatly increased, and theneed to care and support them has grown exponentially (Glosik,2016).Being a cancer patient or having a close person who has it is verystressful hence, there is a need for them to join a support group.Cancer support groups have targeted only cancer patients andsurvivors, but it has attracted all members of the community who areconcerned with the disease. Working together to support cancerpatients is thus essential to give them hope and love becausesegregating them will lead to more devastation due to stress.
Recently,due to the sensitive nature of the disease in the community, I joinedcancer support group . The support group consists of 10 to 15women who range from 30 to 88 years old, who are victims of differenttypes of cancers such as breast, ovarian and skin cancer amongothers. The meetings are held at the YMCA and YWCA, and I physicallyattend them twice a week. We share and learn from our experiences,feelings, and how to cope with emotions and stigmatization in thesociety.
Therampant growth in cancer diagnosis has raised an alarm and now thereare many support groups across the country, not only for cancerpatients, but also for other diseases such as diabetes andhypertension. Most of these groups are effective since they helpvictims to cope with their situations positively and accept theirconditions (Glosik,2016).There are many other cancer groups with the same interest as ,but the difference is that they use websites to communicate amongthemselves.
Despitethis, most people have the challenge of choosing the right group, andwithout a proper advice they may end up not joining any of them.Moreover, they may join a group that is not suitable for their natureas others will like individual counseling, while some are comfortablewhen they are in a group. This may create communication barriers andthus, ineffective counseling. Group counseling is best for those whowant to quit drinking alcohol because every member is given aresponsibility to be each other’s keeper. Hence, one will avoiddrinking to evade a situation he/she will be in during the nextgroup’s meeting.
Cancersupport group, , is one of the most effective groups for cancervictims as they get to share freely with one another. Cancer patientsare also able to travel through the painful moments together and getinspirations and hope from those who survived it. The groups are alsoused in identifying victims who are not bold enough to come out dueto fears of stigmatization and those who cannot afford a propermedical care due to financial constraints.
Despitethe group’s progress, there are many issues that may come up thatbrings a lot of emotional disturbance. Recently, one of our groupmembers died because she was in a more advanced stage of cancerstage 4. As a group, such moments are depressing, some even inadvanced stages may decide to quit, which is a big challenge andhandling such issues may need more focused care for each patient.
Mostof the victims in the group with cancer are in stage 1, 2 or 3 sincethose in stage 4 may be in a critical condition and are not able toattend such groups meetings. Some women who have cancer have goneinto remission because of their deteriorating health while others arestill fighting. On the other hand, women who have finished theirchemotherapy and radiation see their oncologist every 3 to 4 weeksand are on medication. Additionally, others are going on with theirchemotherapy and radiation treatment. Other women have gone to theextent of taking holistic treatment to keep cancer from spreading toother parts of the body and from the side effects of chemotherapy andradiation treatment.
Thetherapy used in cancer support groups is humanistic as it advocatesfor acceptance and growth. Moreover, it focuses on maintaining goodrelationships and in making choices with considerations of personalinterests and those of others. Cancer discovery in a person istraumatizing. People diagnosed with cancer, might not believe theresults and it will take time for them to accept their situation. Cancer support groups help such people to accept their conditions andassist them to grow towards a healthy life, with cancer (Glosik,2016). Their hopes are restored by listening to cancer survivors and areassured of going through the problem with others who have the samedisease.
Weare diverse, and we have different ethical factors therefore weshould be able to handle people’s issues with care and respecttheir choices. Frequent monitoring is needed for all cancer patients,but some see it as irrelevant since they are already sick and havelost hope (Glosik,2016).Therefore, as a group, we help such patients to understand theimportance of check-ups without forcing them. Patients may alsorefuse to undergo chemotherapy because of their perception that theywill never heal or other beliefs and fears. To help them, the membersof the group, especially those undergoing therapy give advice to thisnew patients to encourage them to undergo chemotherapy.
Oursociety is advantaged due to the presence of people with differentcultures and races. Moreover, there are many immigrants in thecountry from different nations across the world. Cancer support group has a challenge in balancing its members since most of themare whites. This has made the group to look as if it is inclinedtowards one race, which is not the case. To ensure that differentcultures and races join the group, the members have been given aresponsibility to identify patients from other diverse backgroundsand invite them to join the group by highlighting its advantages andthe need for them to become members.
Therefore,it is necessary that every individual in the society is sensitized onthe issues of diseases such as cancer. The society should also helpcancer victims to live a healthy life towards recovery despite theirrace, ethnicity or ethical differences. Stress and isolation doesnot make the situation any better, but worse hence, we should comeout and support the patients by showing them love.
Glosik, E. (2016).Abstract C97: Destination Hope: Survivor support to enhance qualityof life. CancerEpidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 25(3Supplement), C97-C97. doi:10.1158/1538-7755.disp15-c97