Dealing with any cancer diagnosis can be difficult. With so much of the focus on treating your cancer, it’s important to make sure that the rest of you is taken care of as well. From joining a support group to talking with your family and friends, there are many different ways to get the help and support you need.

What is a support group?

Support groups are one of the easiest and most widely available ways to get help. One of the benefits of support groups is that they can take place in a variety of formats. Some meet in-person, while others meet online or even over the phone.

In-person support groups let you meet people that are physically near you. However, this can be difficult if you have trouble with transportation or live in a rural area. Online and phone support groups let you meet people all over the country. Online groups also let you participate at any time of the day, which makes them very convenient.

Why should I go to a support group?

Support groups can help you feel less alone and better about your diagnosis. They let you meet other people who are in a similar situation. They give you a chance to share how you’re feeling with people who understand what you’re going through. They can help you cope with your treatment and any side effects you may be having. Support groups also let you talk through problems related to your cancer, such as balancing your work or family life.

Where can I find a support group?

Finding a support group may be easier than you think. Start by asking your doctor or hospital for options near you. If you aren’t satisfied with these options, you can research online.

Getting connected with a local support group is a great way to meet others who are experiencing something similar. These groups usually occur once or twice a month. They involve a group of people with the same diagnosis getting together at a local place to talk about whatever is on their minds. Sometimes this may involve meeting at a restaurant or an office building. Other times the groups may try to encourage physical wellbeing through activities like dance classes or yoga sessions.

Many national organizations also offer support and education to patients and their families. Here are some organizations known in the United States or around the world that provide cancer support:

The following organizations focus on bringing people together who have, or have had, bladder cancer:

Counseling

It’s normal to grieve and to feel sad or scared after being diagnosed with metastatic cancer. Talking with a trained mental health professional, such as a counselor or a psychologist, can help you come to terms with your diagnosis. It can also help you understand and cope with your emotions.

Seeing a counselor allows you to talk openly about your feelings and problems. Some people prefer talking to someone alone as opposed to speaking aloud in a group setting.

Family & friends

It’s important to have a close network of people you can rely on throughout your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your loved ones will want to help and support you, but they’ll need time to adjust to your diagnosis too. They may want to talk with you about their thoughts and feelings. If you find this overwhelming, ask them to find a support group for loved ones in similar situations.

Sharing your cancer journey with anyone can be difficult, but keeping other people involved can help ease the burden you may feel. It can also give you and your loved ones strength.