Emotional & Spiritual Resources
There are several groups that meet at various locations in the community. Contact Social Work at (757) 953-5861 or Pastoral Care at (757) 953-5550. Please see "More assistance and outside organizations" at the bottom of this page for more support group information.
The diagnosis or recurrence of breast cancer can be a shock. Feeling helpless, powerless or angry is perfectly normal. To combat cancer and ensure a better quality of life it important to reclaim some control. This can be done, in part, by learning all you can about your disease and communicating your needs and feelings to your support system. This support system may include clinicians, family members, support group members, clergy, and friends. Talking about cancer and the threat to life is difficult, but helpful.
Feelings of Loss
Breast cancer patients face a list of possible losses: a sense of well-being, of positive body image because of the disfiguring effect of illness or treatment, potentially even the loss of life. Family members often come together to support the patient, and often face fear of their loved-one dying.
It is helpful for patients to be able to express their feelings and fears to others. Not talking about the cancer and your feelings can be damaging. Trying to suppress your feelings can sap your energy and, many people believe, depress your immune response. You need all of your physical and emotional resources to fight the disease.
Many patients find their faith challenged and tested, many find new ways of approaching their faith in light of their diagnosis. You or other family members may feel angry at God, or feel that in some way you have done something to "deserve" this diagnosis, running "what if" scenarios through your mind. Cancer is an equal-opportunity disease. Although there are often identifiable risk factors, no amount of prayer, moral living, dietary regimen or exercise program can guarantee anyone they will not face cancer in their lives. What a majority of patients say is that their faith is a great source of strength and encouragement to them during this time, and helps them deal with the difficulties and pain that are brought on by disease. Faith can give people added strength to go through difficult times. Participation in a community of faith and exploring areas of spiritual strength are often helpful for patients, and provide added community support to family and patients alike.
All attention seems focused on you, but it may also be a very difficult time for your mate. Your husband may have an expectation from yourself or others to "be strong" for you, but recognize that your mate may be going through shock, numbness, disbelief, confusion, anger and sadness just as you are. You both have been forced to grapple with a dreaded enemy. Use this time for you both to talk about dreams, fears and emotions.
More assistance and outside organizations can be contacted through the links below:
Disclaimer - This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services to any party. The information provided through this site should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should contact your health care provider immediately.