Last night I attended an ovarian wellness support group at Gilda's Club in Chicago. The atmosphere of this group was completely different than the last support group I attended. There were a few differences between the two groups.
- In order to attend the group, I had to "commit" to attending the group for 12 weeks.
- The facilitator reached out to me before the meeting last night to chat with me so she could get to know me.
- I found out that she emailed the group's attendees to let them know there was a new person coming.
- The facilitator started the group by asking me to share whatever I was comfortable sharing before anyone else had an opportunity to speak. I think this allowed me to "set the tone" of the night, because I was my usual positive self. 😊
- The other attendees brought snacks!
The majority of the other attendees were older than I and had been diagnosed at a much later stage than I was, much like the previous group I attended. The difference was that these women had much more positive attitudes about their treatment. One of the women was diagnosed at Stage 3C and has been cancer free for 8 years. Another of the women is much younger than me and was diagnosed at stage 1 C because she was undergoing IVF. She and I have a lot in common. Another woman is a pre-school teacher.
We spoke about the different treatments each of us have gone through. Different doctors, and one woman's bad experience at the Mayo Clinic. I brought up how my Reiki master and much of what I have read says there is a very strong connection between cancer and stress. Many of us made a connection between events in our lives and our cancer.
The facilitator told me that there is a contact list for all the group attendees, and she asked if it was ok if she included my information on it. I told her absolutely! The next meeting of the group is April 12. It's definitely on my calendar!