A topic that has cropped up a lot of late within the community, are the changes in relationship dynamics and behaviour that can be experienced when caring for someone with cancer.
Thank you to everyone that has been sharing their experiences and supporting others in the forums, it has been fantastic to see!
There are many resources available to Carers that I wanted to bring to your attention. These are suitable for Carers everywhere, no matter where you are in the world!
- Podcasts for Carers: Cancer Council has created several seasons of podcasts that cover topics such as caring for someone in their last months, family dynamics and cancer, explaining cancer to kids, sex and cancer, and cancer affecting the carer too. These podcasts are hosted by Australian identity, Julie McCrossin, who went through her own cancer experience.
- Understanding cancer booklets: Our Caring for Someone with Cancer booklet is a good starting point for anyone caring for someone with cancer. We also recommend reading Emotions and Cancer, Cancer and your Finances, and Changes in thinking and memory. You can review and download all our booklets, here.
- Family, friends and carer forums: You're already a member of the Cancer Council Online Community, did you realise we have a set of forums set up specifically for people caring for someone with cancer?
You don't have to join in
We know that there are thousands of more people viewing the Online Community every month than post, and we know from our recent research with Macquarie University that many of of the people using the Online Community get support and feel better just by reading what many of you share.
So, you don't have to join in if you don't want to, but you're always welcome to if you ever decide you want to. And that's the beauty of our community, you can dip in and out as much or as little as you'd like - the lights are always on.
Here is a post from someone just like you, that recently posted for the first time in the Coping with a loved one's cancer forum:
"Hi I'm new today and have come across your community! Reading some of the posts I can see I'm not alone with some of the things I've been experiencing..."
You can read the rest of the post and view other member's replies, here.
Telephone Support Groups
For our community members based in Australia, Cancer Council runs a free telephone-based support group (TSG) twice a month for people caring for someone with cancer.
There are also telephone support groups for people living with advanced cancer, metastatic breast cancer, brain cancer, multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer and metastatic melanoma. There's also a shorter group for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one to cancer.
These groups have 3-8 members along with two qualified facilitators, and the bi-monthly sessions run for an hour. They are a great way to share your experiences with other carers, as well as to be supported.
If you would like to find out more about our Telephone Support Groups, please call the team directly on 1300 755 632 - messages can be left and they will call you back to chat about whether groups are a good fit for you.
Some recent community posts
There's always something happening in the Online Community, here's some of the good stuff!
There was a little celebration over in the ongoing thread about side effects from head and neck cancer treatment this week, as Mahootna shared that they are now 5.5 years post radiotherapy treatment.
"Hi, it is exactly six years since we discovered cancer on my tongue. The doctors moved that fast I didn't have time to think. So I am five and a half years post radiotherapy treatment.... just take one step at a time, one day at a time."
A fantastic milestone, congratulations Mahootna!
Another thread that will make you smile is a thread that originally started out about Endometrial Cancer, now in its 12th page of posts it's definitely one to check out. Some of our regular and our newer posters are posting about Elton John songs, a discussion about how cheese fixes everything and stupid stuff people say when you're going through treatment. They have also been sharing photos of their kids and grandkids, as well as of their pets.
I know many of you out there would have pet companions or tiny humans, we'd love to see some photos of them! Especially dogs, I love dogs! 🙂
Reclaim Life: call out for young adult survivors
We're seeking interest from Australian young adult survivors who are looking for guidance, strategies, and discussion with their peers.
Reclaim Life is a support program designed for cancer survivors who are aged between 25 and 40 years. The aim is to help participants develop better coping skills in managing their cancer-related concerns in the early survivorship period.
People within this age group can be contemplating new relationships, starting jobs or returning to the workforce. They may be worried about whether they can have their own family and how their future will unfold.
Open discussion between the participants is facilitated by two counsellors who also provide tangible strategies to build resilience and coping skills. The format of the program is via videoconferencing with between 4 and 6 participants attending six, weekly sessions.
It is part of a larger research study developed by Ursula Sansom-Daly, Claire Wakefield and colleagues at the Behavioural Sciences Unit, Kids Cancer Centre, UNSW Sydney. Cancer Council NSW has partnered with the university to deliver the program.
For more details please call Gabrielle on 1800 734 398.
Dates for the Diary
- 3/9: Living with Cancer education program - Albury Wodonga, NSW/VIC
- 5/9: Treatment's finished...What now? - North Lakes, QLD
- 17/10: Learning to relax workshop - Coolum, QLD
- 16/10: Treatment's finished...what now? - Greenslopes, QLD
- 17/10: Living with Cancer education program - Bendigo, VIC
- 25/10: Let’s talk about Head and Neck Cancer - Melbourne, VIC
- 31/10: Women's wellness workshop - Launceston, TAS
Community & lifestyle programs
- Wellness Forums - VIC, various locations.
- Walking Group - QLD, various locations
- Yoga Group - QLD, various locations
- Look Good, Feel Better workshops - WA, various locations
- Book Club - Gold Coast, QLD
- Moving Meditation - Rockdhampton, QLD
- Tai Chi Group - Townsville, QLD
- Coffee & craft group - Launceston, TAS
- Rest & restore gentle yoga program - Hobart, TAS
- Cancer Wellness & Exercise - VIC, various locations
- Movement & relaxation sessions - Devonport, TAS
With kind regards,
Kate and the Online Community team.