If you’ve been diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer, you’ll benefit from some sort of support. You’ll need people you can lean on for strength, comfort, and even help with daily tasks.
Keep reading to learn about getting support, how to find the right support, as well as suggestions for how to get the care you need.
Having HER2-positive breast cancer can affect your emotional health. Social and emotional support can come from many places, such as family, friends, cancer support groups, church or spirituality groups, online communities, or private counselors.
What works best for you will depend on your personality and situation. Support will allow you to talk about what you’re going through and develop skills for coping with anxiety or other emotional issues that may arise throughout cancer treatment and beyond.
How to Find a Support Group
Support groups or programs are places where you can connect with other women facing similar experiences and talk openly about living with cancer.
Support groups come in many different forms to fit your personal needs. Some groups are informal and social, while others focus on learning about cancer and emotional coping strategies. Some are for people with cancer only, while others may include caregivers, spouses, family, and friends. Support groups can meet in-person, online, or over the phone.
Before joining a support group, you may want to gather information about the group to make sure that it meets your needs.
Think about contacting the group leader or facilitator beforehand to find out what types of patients are in the group and what a typical meeting looks like. If you’re dealing with HER2-positive breast cancer, for instance, you may prefer to meet with women undergoing the same type of treatment as you.
Where to Find a Support Group
If you think you’re interested in a breast cancer support group, ask if your cancer clinic, hospital, or oncology group offers one. Nearby cancer care centers or university hospitals may also have information about whether there’s a support group in your community.
Online support groups may be particularly useful if you have trouble leaving the house or if you’d like to be a little bit more anonymous.
Cancer support resources for HER2-positive breast cancer include:
- HER2 Support Group
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer
- Cancer Survivors Network
- Cancer Hope Network
- Cancer Support Community
Women with HER2-positive breast cancer may feel stressed or anxious about their diagnosis and treatment. Some women benefit from psychological or behavioral counseling with a trained psychotherapist.
Your oncology team may also prescribe medications if you’re experiencing severe emotional distress.
Consider seeking help from a doctor or mental health professional if:
- You experience excessive crying or feel sad and depressed most days for two or more weeks.
- You find you can’t enjoy activities you usually find pleasurable.
- You’re having thoughts about hurting yourself or others.
Ways Breast Cancer Caregivers Can Help
You may feel that your family members or friends want to help you during your treatment, but simply don’t know how. Here are some suggestions or ways they can help:
- Quality Time. Simply ask for them to be there for you. Sometimes all it takes is having someone there to know that you’re being taken care of.
- Education. Learning about your diagnosis and cancer together can help both of you feel empowered.
- Simple Errands. Ask if they can pick up some groceries at the store, drop off library books, or pick up your children from school.
- Shared Activities. Whether it’s watching a movie together or going for a short walk, taking your mind off your cancer can further your friendship.
Don’t think you have to face your HER2-positive breast cancer diagnosis alone. Getting the help and support you need is an important part of treatment.