three diverse women are connected as their hands morph into chain links that bond them together.

Support Groups and Their Importance

I recently became an online support group facilitator for the NOCC (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition). When I was going through my cancer journey in 2020 and 2021 I reached out to the NOCC to get involved with a support group as I didn’t have any in my area. I live in a small town in Northern New York and the closest NOCC chapter was in Long Island, NY. Over 330 miles away.

The pandemic helped a lot with creating online support groups, which in effect, reached more people just like me. It also solved the problem of a person unable to attend due to feeling unwell and even being immunocompromised.

How do support groups work?

NOCC meetings are 100% free and held once a month for 1 hour. You can sign up for a meeting from anywhere in the United States and a regional manager will call you to find out where you are in your cancer experience.

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You can be newly diagnosed, going through active treatment, going through survivorship issues, and even dealing with a recurrence. It doesn’t matter where you are as an active cancer patient or a survivor.

Another NOCC support group that has also started is one for caregivers. You know the people who are lifting the load and being a superhero taking care of someone who is going through ovarian cancer. Rarely do you find a caregiver support group anywhere that is 100% online.

Reasons to join an ovarian cancer support group

So why should you join a support group?

  1. You will be able to offload your stress to women who know exactly what you are going through.
  2. You will learn from hearing other experiences about what women have been through and what they’re going through right now.
  3. You will feel uplifted when you are finished with the meeting. Sometimes that is really rare in life.
  4. You will have free access to NOCC’s webinars that have guest speakers such as researchers, gynecological oncologists, nutritionists, clinical trial info, and more.
  5. You can easily make friends and maybe make a connection where you can create contact outside of the meeting.
  6. You will realize you are not alone, and sometimes that is enough to get from a meeting.

A space where women can support women

There is a whole world out there. You don’t have to go through cancer by yourself or go through survivorship by yourself. Sometimes I think that the first year or two after treatment are the toughest and sometimes even tougher than treatment.

Many survivors talk about PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) and trying to find their new “normal”.

Probably the most talked about topic during a support group meeting is treatments. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer affects too many women that have recurrences. Maintenance treatments are a hot topic, and dealing with the side effects can be a drag, especially while these women are raising a family and working full-time.

It is such a wonderful thing to witness when a woman shares her current experience and can help someone else who has joined the support group. I hope I inspired you to join a NOCC support group.

100 percent free and 100 percent confidential.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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