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6 Ways to Create a Support Network After a Metastatic Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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Confide in family and friends. If you’ve been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, family and friends can be an important source of support. They can provide comfort, accompany you to appointments, help you with daily tasks, and just be there to listen.

Find an in-person support group. Ask your doctor or social worker if there are metastatic breast cancer support groups in your area. It can be helpful to meet others with metastatic breast cancer and talk openly about fears, worries, and frustrations. Roz Kleban, LCSW-R at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, says, “What these groups do for members is to help each other cope.”

Join online support groups. Online communities such as the Discussion Boards can provide emotional support at any time of the day or night. Members can post messages and receive answers and advice from others going through a similar experience.

Ask your doctor to refer you to an oncology social worker, psychologist, or counselor. Talking with a professional trained in the psychology of cancer can provide valuable support. An expert can help you understand emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, or depression and provide tools for managing your feelings.

Talk to members or leaders of your spiritual community. Many people find comfort in praying or meeting with others in faith-based communities. If you don’t regularly attend a church or meet with a spiritual group, ask if your hospital has a chaplain who can guide you to a faith-based organization.

Let those who care about you help with chores or tasks. Friends can bring prepared meals or help with child care, shopping, and chores. Coworkers and supervisors can help shift your responsibilities or allow you to work from home. Community organizations, religious groups, and cancer advocacy groups often have volunteers who can help with daily tasks.

Up next: Metastatic Breast Cancer Dictionary

Read more about getting support after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.

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