Finding a Cancer Tribe to Support Your Post-Cancer Journey.
Updated: Feb 19, 2022
Cancer can be a lonely and socially isolating time, but finding your Cancer Tribe to share the journey with can be a game-changer in your post-cancer recovery.
What is a 'tribe'? Broadly defined, a tribe is a community that has shared interests and provides support to its members. This is exactly what you will find from our Life after Cancer community.
It is entirely possible to be surrounded by family and friends that love and support you, but feel alone and disconnected from the world around you.
Sometimes situations occur, such as a cancer diagnosis, that separate us from our established groups or weaken the friendship bonds that we have created.
When you feel lonely and set apart from your normal support system it is hard to know where to look for help.
It is well acknowledged that there is a lack of signposting to accessible cancer support, and many people feel reluctant to take support when offered as they believe there are others ‘who need it more’. This can make you feel even more isolated. When it feels like there is no one relatable to talk to, where do you turn?
A report by Mental Health Foundation Scotland found “the post-treatment phase was the most volatile time for mental health and the period where people feel the most anxious yet receive the least support.”
It doesn't need to be this way and this is exactly why Life after Cancer peer support groups can play a huge part in your post-cancer recovery.
Cancer is lonely until you find the right group of people you can connect with- this is called your tribe. When you are going through tough times your tribe will be there. The cancer community knows exactly what it is like to have fear of recurrence, scanxiety and the minefield of side effects. The power of community cannot be underestimated, when you feel surrounded by darkness your tribe will help light the way.
By joining our peer support groups, coaching programmes or special events you will have the chance to be part of an amazing community.
Here are some of the benefits of finding your 'Cancer Tribe':
Community of Cheerleaders- Your group will always hold you accountable for the commitment and promises you make on your journey. You can check in on each other and share struggles and successes. With a team cheering you on, you will feel more motivated to stick to your goals and achieving goals feel incredible.
Learning from others- In a support group, you will be surrounded by people who have all experienced different cancer diagnoses and treatments. It is a place to get advice, hear thoughts or just be that listening ear for when you want to vent! Having a place to let your guard down is incredibly freeing, especially being able to voice those thoughts that you dare not say to loved ones for fear of upsetting them.
Automatic support system- You may feel frustrated, misunderstood or isolated from your loved ones who are unable to comprehend what you have been through on your cancer journey. A support group can be a lifeline when helping you work through your issues. A peer support group is an inbuilt community that will want to validate and uplift you without judgement or offering toxic positivity!
Make new connections- As you work through your challenges as a group, you will spend time being emotionally vulnerable and honest with people who start out as strangers and soon become friends. Finding connection and community through a cancer support group could be the missing piece of the puzzle you have been searching for in your recovery.
Gain a new perspective- When you work with multiple people at one time you benefit from group feedback. Through working with those from different ages and backgrounds, you will see different perspectives and learn new ways of managing your emotions.
There is an instant relief in finding people who really get you and it is comforting when you get the acknowledgement of ‘that happened to me too!’ from others within the group.
Finding your Cancer Tribe can be a game-changer in your post-cancer journey. Finding places to meet your tribe can be tough, but to help you find your peer support network, we've created an easy way to meet and connect with new people.
If you want to find your tribe then why not join in with our support groups, special events or coaching sessions. Find out more information now.
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