These meetings are designed to give you extra support, a chance to meet and share experiences with other people living with secondary breast cancer and to hear from guest speakers who are experts in their field.
‘When I was diagnosed with secondaries I felt so alone. The support I get from everyone at these meetings really helps me. There was so much I needed to know and I didn’t know where to start looking or who to ask”.
The sessions are facilitated by Breast Mates volunteers who have many years of experience of working in cancer support.
Each month we aim to have a guest speaker who is an expert in their field. For example, an oncologist, clinical nurse specialist, dietitian, researcher on clinical trials, benefits advisor.
The second part of the meeting we have an open forum. A chance to offer mutual support and learn from others who are going through similar experiences. People can share tips on how they are coping with the many treatments and side effects.
“We can talk and be totally open about our condition and how we are feeling”.
Attendees have told us that it can be very difficult to talk with family and friends without upsetting them, whereas at the meeting:
“We are all in it together”.
We talk about so many things, for example: keeping fit, having fun, healthy eating. We share hints on hair loss, coping with fatigue, the fear of the unknown, and the endless days of waiting for scan results. Most importantly, we support each other.
Breast Mates volunteers work closely with many professionals in the area and are able to feedback any items that are raised at the sessions.