Getting Emotional Support After a Recurrent or Metastatic Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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Most people find it helpful to talk openly about any fears, worries, or frustrations they may have while living with breast cancer. While some people choose to confide in friends and family members, others may prefer to talk in a cancer support group setting — either in person or online (visit the Breastcancer.org Discussion Boards). In either setting, you can talk with other women facing similar challenges and get firsthand advice about managing side effects as well as fear and stress.

If support groups don't appeal to you, you may want to talk to an expert in cancer care such as an oncology social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. Your hospital or doctor should be able to give you recommendations.

Many people get emotional support and strength from their faith. You may find comfort in praying and talking to members or leaders of your spiritual community. If you need help finding faith-based support, many hospitals have a chaplain who helps guide people of all faiths to nearby organizations.

You also might need some support at home and at work. Some treatments can make you tired and unable to do some of your usual activities. Let people who care about you help out with daily chores or tasks — it allows them to help you fight cancer:

  • friends can fill your refrigerator with prepared meals for days when your energy is low and can help out with shopping, carpooling, or childcare
  • your coworkers and supervisors may help shift workloads so you can reduce your responsibilities or work from home
  • community organizations, religious groups, and cancer advocacy groups often have volunteers who can help with childcare, meals, or other daily needs

Listen to the Breastcancer.org podcast featuring Holley Kitchen, who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2013. In 2015, Holley made an awareness video that received 50 million hits

Personal Quote

"To tell people what do you say to someone with metastatic cancer, I don’t know that there is a blanket statement. I think you’ve got to know the person. I think, ‘Man, I’m thinking about you,’ or ‘I’m praying for you,’ but really pray… Maybe just reach out and do something kind for them. ‘Hey, can I run to the grocery store for you?’ We are tired. We are tired all the time.”

-- Holley Kitchen


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