I've found that many people who are in cancer treatment have all they can handle dealing with their treatment schedule, side effects, etc. and just don't have the time or energy to also attend support groups. In some cases, people feel their illness is a private matter and they are uncomfortable sharing with "strangers". Often, once people finish active treatment they feel very behind in their lives and need what time and energy they have to "catch up". Others don't want to be reminded of having had cancer. 50,000 is a pretty small service area. And within that, most of those people don't have a need to use the service, and of the remaining that do, a majority will probably choose not to. So 8 sounds like a reasonable number and it may be better to focus on the quality of support for those 8 than on increasing the quantity.
Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma (EOPPC) Questions
Asked by SpunkyS on Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The patient navigator at my cancer care center has been trying to get a support group established again. We get about 8 participants. The center has varied the times, days, topics, etc. Sent out newsletters, posted dates, and even the MD will mention it to pts. before the next meeting.
If there are enough participants they will even divide between caregiver and survivors.
The service area is about 50,000 peeps. There is only 1 other support group locally for Breast cancer survivors. Any insight as to what might attract more participants OR what might keep people from wanting to attend? Thanks for any insight you have.
2 Answers from the Community
Some of us are very tired during chemo. Others are very shy. I never found another cancer patient to be a stranger. Once the word is mentioned an instant bond of 'family' occurs. Many whom I've shared this with agreed. I headed out on my journey one person... shy ... It took such a short time to find my voice... I'd suggest that when you've had a very stimulating meeting... that when you're there getting treatment you and another start chatting about... talk about the subject that most interested you... get others to join in the 'treatment recap of the support group'. I'm betting word of mouth will get you more members for the support group.