In a current era where so much of life has turned to online technology to educate students, run companies, and keep connected with family during this COVID-19 change of life, the same is true for breast cancer support groups. Online support groups have always been a ‘thing’ but since COVID, keeping patients safe at home vs. in person support groups has become vital. So what can you expect from an online support group, here are a few key factors…
Sense of Community
Although being in person, able to hug a friend, hold a hand during prayer or just literally see eye to eye can be a blessing, an online community allows for SO many more connections (just without a physical touch). A quick plug, if you haven’t joined the iGoPink Support Community, do so ASAP!
But the beauty of online communities is that you can connect with SO many people in SO many walks of life/locations in the world and more. Locally at a support group you may not have someone that has gone down the exact same treatment plan, faced the same work/family/life impacts from breast cancer or more…but online, you can reach hundreds of thousands of people who probably HAVE gone down a similar road and be able to support you, lend you tips and more.
This one is KEY and such a perk of online support groups. Whether you’re awake at 3am with your mind racing or merely not able to sleep. Or if you’re physically weak but need a shoulder to lean on, online support groups are available 24/7. Sure, 3am may not consist of a Zoom call with your core group, but there are so many support communities you can find that will provide positivity, hope and the inspiration you’re needing at any time of the day.
Set Boundaries for Yourself
Of course, not every support group (in person or online) is perfect for everyone and one of the areas we give most caution is be careful what ALL you believe. You need to set personal boundaries, don’t believe everything you read, and know your limits. Everyone is going to have an opinion. With an online support group, it gives THAT many more people a spot to voice theirs…and quite frankly if they’re not positive/productive, then is that the support you really need?
So be aware of the ‘opinions’ that are more like bullying that we all hear/read about…it can exist online too and you merely need to set your personal boundaries to keep peace and support at the forefront.
Online support groups can also be wonderful for breast cancer patient’s families. There are so many different online support groups like support groups for kids with a family member going through breast cancer; for husband’s and how to support your wife through breast cancer…the list goes on and on. Having access to these additional resources can make a world of difference when it comes to looking for support.