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The power of breast cancer support groups

Krystin Sorich

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

The power of breast cancer support groups

CREATED Oct. 28, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - For many of those battling Breast Cancer, treatment is filled with doctor's appointments and never ending worries.

Leaning on family and friends gives them strength to continue the fight and move forward.
 
These women are definitely resilient, but the need for guidance and support is on-going, even after the cancer is treated. 
 
That's where Breast Cancer support groups come into play and are often times a breath of fresh air for many members, such as Ellen Gibbons. 
 
"For me, it's like having a whole group of sisters...right here," says Gibbons.
 
Not only is cancer a whole new experience in people's lives, but the thought of joining a support group can be frightening and intimidating. 
 
"They may walk in here not sure about their treatment options or how would it feel to have a mastectomy, or what is it going to feel like to wake up without a breast or both breasts," says Marsha Drozedoff, support group instructor.
 
Such thoughts are normal, so reach out, because these groups are full of open ears. 
 
"It's totally non-threatening. You're not asked to share anything that you don't want to share. You can come in and cry all you want to, which I did for weeks and weeks and weeks...and sometimes still do," says Doris Haynes. 
 
This particular support group has been running for 17 years at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, intertwining education, support and even some peaceful meditation.
 
The members, who sometimes bring along their needle and thread to the meetings, say many times the word "cancer" is not even mentioned.  
 
"It's about everything in your life that we talk about and it just helps tremendously," says Barb Savard. 
 
Ellen, Doris and Barb are just a few members who have not only educated themselves of their unknowns and voiced their fears, but they've also created life-long friendships in the process. 
 
"We go backpacking together...you know wonderful friends that I would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise,"says Haynes.
 
"Winning Together" support group meets every Friday at 10:30AM in room 3978 at the UA Cancer Center-University Campus.
 
If any questions, please contact Marsha Drozdoff at Marsha.Drozdoff@uahealth.com.  

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