Peer Support: Many organizations offer Breast Cancer Hotline Telephone numbers where you can speak to a trained volunteer. In addition, you can also request to be matched with a metastatic trained volunteer. Matches can be made based on cancer subtype or a number of other factors, such as type of metastases, whether you have young children, etc. Usually you will then get a call back from the metastatic volunteer within a certain time frame.
SHARE Breast Cancer Helpline can match you with a trained volunteer who is living with metastatic breast cancer. They offer ongoing one-on-one support, matching you with a woman who has had an experience similar to yours. Call 866-891-2392. Hours are 9:30AM to 9:00 PM ET for immediate connection to a trained volunteer. At other hours, you can leave a message and your call is returned within 24 hours. Also available in Spanish: click HERE
Young Survival Coalition SurvivorLink can match you with another young woman who has been through a similar experience. Trained volunteer peer contacts who are living with metastatic disease are available for you to speak with. To request a match, email email@example.com or call 877-YSC-111 during business hours only. (M-F 9-5 EST)
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) can match you with a peer counselor who also has metastatic breast cancer. LBBC volunteers answer the Survivors’ Helpline live on from 9am-9pm. All other calls are answered within 24 hours. The Helpline number is (888) 753-LBBC (5222), or women can request a call online.”
Support Connection, Inc. When you call Support Connection's toll-free cancer information and support hotline, you will speak directly with one of the professional Peer Counselors on their staff. Peer Counselors are breast cancer survivors who are trained and have extensive experience providing counseling and resource information to women with metastatic breast cancer. Call 800-532-4290, Mon.- Fri., 9am-5pm (NY time.)
Telephone Support Groups work well for those who have no local in-person support groups, or those who find it too difficult to get to their local in-person support group, or those who prefer not having face-to-face contact in a support group.
Cancer Care offers a 12 week free telephone support group for those living with mbc nationwide. To register, call 800‑813‑HOPE (4673).
Cancer Connection, a telephone peer support program offered by the Canadian Cancer Society. 1 800 263-6750 M-F 9AM-5PM. Available in French or English.
SHARE has a telephone support program for metastatic women on Mondays from 4-5pm. They also have a metastatic evening group called Living With Uncertainty, which meets on the phone twice a month on Thursday evenings from 6:30-7:30. To register for either program, call 212-382-2111. You will then be supplied with the 800 call-in number. For more info: www.sharecancersupport.org
Sharsheret , a national organization supporting young Jewish women facing breast cancer, offers the Embrace program for women living with MBC. Embrace includes individual counseling sessions by phone with Sharsheret’s Clinical Supervisor, a telephone based support group connecting women with health care professionals and with each other, and resources specific to women living with advanced breast cancer.
To join Embrace, call (866) 474-2774 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Connection Inc. offers an ongoing toll-free telephone support group on the first Monday of each month at 8PM ET. This group is for women living with advanced or metastatic breast cancer, facilitated by a survivor, and is designed to provide an opportunity for women with a common diagnosis to share their concerns and support one another. Participants in the group include women who live locally as well as women from across the country.
Call in advance at 914-962-6402, or toll-free at 800-532-4290, to register and receive instructions on how to participate in this telephone support group. To learn more about this group as well as Support Connection’s other free support services, visit www.supportconnection.org.
Young Survival Coalition offers a telephone and networking support session every 2nd Tuesday of the month from 8:00-9:30 pm (ET) for young women diagnosed before age 40 with metastatic breast cancer.
National call-in number: 877.594.8353
International call-in number: 720.362.6860
Access Code: 0284559#
Remaining 2014 dates: July 8, 2014, August 12, 2014, September 9, 2014, October 14, 2014, November 11, 2014, December 9, 2014.
Message Boards are always there 24/7. It's easy to post your own comments, using a screen name, and read those of others on a variety of topics. Instructions and etiquette for each site are usually included to get you started.
Inspire - the Advanced Breast Cancer Community is a web portal and an online community solely dedicated to advanced/metastatic breast cancer patients, their families, friends and health care providers. www.advancedbreastcancercommunity.com/ or www.inspire.com/groups/advanced-breast-cancer/ (either link takes you to same forum)
The New Closed Metastatic (Advanced) Breast Cancer Support Group on Facebook. As a closed group, only members who join can see what is posted within the group. To request access, click here and then click on "Join Group."
Her2 Support Group offers forum for those with Her2+ breast cancer, but there is no separate thread for just metastatic users. www.Her2support.org
In-Person Support Groups for metastatic breast cancer offer a way to connect face-to-face, and such groups are few and far between. We list the ones our members have told us about. We do not list mixed groups for metastatic breast cancer and primary breast cancer as our members have informed us that such groups are not helpful. The list is alphabetical by state - with Canada at the top.
Breast Expressive Supportive Therapy (B.E.S.T.) Group. Tom Baker Cancer Center - Holy Cross site, 2202 Second Street SW. In-person group meets every Tuesday at 1:30-3:00 pm. New members are pre-interviewed; group has been in existence since 1993.
CONTACT: Lisa Lamont, MSW, RSW 403-355-3210 or 403-355-3207 (admin. assistant)
Willow Breast Cancer Support lists many metastatic support groups across Canada: http://www.willow.org/metastatic-support
Circle of Help Advanced and Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group is for women with recurrent, advanced or metastatic breast cancer coming together to offer support, resources and encouragement, while sharing experiences and building relationships.
When: meets on the fourth Thursday of every month from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where:John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center, 19646 N. 27th Ave., Suite 205 Phoenix AZ 85027
CONTACT: For more information about this group call 623-780-HOPE (4673) or visit Breast Health and Research Center.
Metastatic Cancer Support Group for individuals living with any metastatic cancer (not just breast cancer)
When: Tuesday or Friday mornings. Call for dates and times.
Where: Comprehensive Cancer Center, Herrick Campus, 2001 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA
CONTACT: Cost is free, pre-registration is required. Call (510) 204-4330 for information.
CALIFORNIA: Mission Viejo
Mission Breast Center at the Women's Wellness Center, 26732 Crown Valley Parkway, Suite 171 Corner of Los Altos & Crown Valley Parkway. In-person facilitated group; 2nd & 4th Tuesday of every month from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm; light refreshments provided.
CONTACT: 949-347-6080 x 7 Facilitators: Lori Ash, LCSW
CALIFORNIA: Palo Alto
Breast Cancer Connections. Cambridge Ave., Palo Alto, CA. In-person facilitated group; every Monday from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Group members include women first diagnosed at Stage IV, Asian-Americanwomen, older (70+) women, young women with children at home.
CONTACT: Marcie Pais, Marriage & Family Licensed at email@example.com or 650-561-9275
CALIFORNIA: Rancho Mirage
Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group at Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center, 39000 Bob Hope Dr, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. Meets the First & Third Monday every month from 12 to 1:30 Lunch is served.
CONTACT: Alison Sachs, MSW, OSW-C at: firstname.lastname@example.org 760-834-3798
CALIFORNIA : Sacramento
Sam Ladies is an informal network for women in the Sacramento area with metastatic breast cancer who were diagnosed under the age of 45. This is a self organized group with no official affiliations or professional facilitators. We are simply a network for connecting socially, typically over lunch, phone and email. The group is targeted for women with the unique needs that come with being diagnosed at a younger age.
Call Susan 916-812-3335 or email: email@example.com
CALIFORNIA: San Diego
Young Women's Metastatic Support Group meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 12-1 pm at The Scripps Polster Breast Care Center and addresses the unique concerns faced by young women with metastatic breast cancer.
CALIFORNIA: Simi Valley
New Hope Support Group. We meet the 2nd Monday of each month at the Aspen Center located at 2750 Sycamore Drive, Simi Valley, 93065
CONTACT: Robin Chibnik at 805-522-7203
Tebo Family Pavilion Community Room 4715 Arapahoe Ave. Metastatic Advanced Cancer Group, All Cancers, Men and Women; 2nd and 4th Mondays 12:00 - 1:15 pm
CONTACT: Advanced registration required: 720-404-6671 Rhonda Block Alstad
FLORIDA: Casselberry (Orlando area)
Surviving & Thriving Casselberry Public Library - 215 N. Oxford Road. In-person peer-support group meeting the 2nd Thursday of the month from 10-11:30 am.
CONTACT: Joan Eskin firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-281-6307 or Laura Goldstein email@example.com
Metastatic Cancer Support Group for Young Women at the Atlanta YSC (Young Survival Coalition) Office, 5825 Glenridge Drive, Bldg 3, Suite 101E. Meets the 4th Tuesday of each month from 7-9 pm.
GEORGIA : Decatur
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, 1365 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322
This patient-only group meets the 1st & 3rd Monday of the month from 11am - 12:30 pm at The Chocolate Coffee Cafe @ 2094 North Decatur Rd. Decatur. RSVP requested.
CONTACT : Rebecca Sizemore, LCSW 404-778-5926 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wellness House at 131 S. Country Line Road offers MANAGING RECURRENT & METASTATIC groups on Fridays from 10-11 am. This group is for mixed types of stage IV cancers. They discuss the many unique issues faced by people with all types of recurrent and/or metastatic cancer. Life experiences, coping strategies and information are exchanged in ways that support all members. Family members and drop-ins are also welcome.
CONTACT: Michael Williams, PsyD at 630-323-5150
LIVING WITH METASTATIC BREAST CANCER is a weekly group specifically for those living with metastatic breast cancer. They meet Tuesdays from 10-11:30am to focuses on the ongoing challenges that arise from dealing with treatment, relationships, and facing the future. Registration is required.
CONTACT : Linda Kengott, LPC at 630-654-5109 email@example.com
INDIANA: Fort Wayne
This support group is for anyone living with a cancer that has returned or has spread from one part of the body to another part of the body. Family members are welcome. Meets the 4th Thursday of the month at Lutheran Cancer Resource Center, 7910 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 109.
Living Well with Metastatic Breast Cancer, open support group
Meets 3rd Tuesday of the month from 5:00-6:30PM in
Suite 520 on the 5th floor of Prentice Women’s Hospital,
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center,
Maggie Daley Cancer Center.
Facilitated by Mary Jo Graden, LCSW, OSWC and Gina Uthe, PA from the Lurie Cancer Center
CONTACT: Mary Jo Graden at 312.472.5820
Living Beyond, a metastatic breast cancer support group, sponsored by Baptist Hospital East, Susan G. Komen Foundation and Gilda's Club. In-person; 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 4-5:30 pm at Gilda's Club on Baxter Avenue. Facilitators: JoAnne S. Morris, MDiv., D.Min., MFT Associate and Tara Schapmire, MSSW, CSW, PhD student
Baptist Hospital East's Cancer Resource Center received a grant through Links for Life and is currently able to provide free counseling to patients with breast cancer and those who "love them". Please contact support group facilitator, chaplain and marriage and family therapist, JoAnne Morris for information on either the support group or the free counseling.
CONTACT JoAnne Morris: firstname.lastname@example.org 502/896-7112
METAvivor Research and Support: This national metastatic breast cancer research and awareness program also has local support program in Annapolis MD and a support outreach program. LOCAL: Patients gather for coffee every first Wednesday in Severna Park MD and every third Tuesday in Annapolis MD. They also gather regularly for lunch, dinner or another activity -- time and location changes each month. The program has a variety of additional events including guest speakers on research, pain management, nutrition and other topics of interest. Persons from all over Maryland, Washington DC and Delaware attend. Contact: email@example.com or call 410-491-5760. ELSEWHERE: METAvivor offers worldwide advice to persons wishing to start their own local support programs. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HopeWell Cancer Support, 10628 Falls Rd., Lutherville, MD 21093, 410-832-2719, has a drop-in support group for women with metastatic breast cancer that meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 1-2:30 p.m. Facilitator is Nancy-Bets Hay, LCSW-C. Website is www.hopewellcancersupport.org
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Shapiro 9. In-person group meets Monday mornings from 10:30 - 12:00.
CONTACT: Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, BCD, OSW-C at 617-667-2661; email@example.com
Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group at Mass. General.
This is an ongoing support group for individuals living with metastatic breast cancer. This is a closed group, and requires an intake interview.
CONTACT: Julie A. Berrett, LICSW at 617-643-2355 for an intake interview and information about the start date of the group.
MASSACHUSETTS : Harvard
The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden 145 Bolton Rd
Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer support group, led by Marilyn Brine Gilmour MSW, LICSW MBG1045@verizon.net
1st and 3rd Fridays from 1:30-3:00pm.
Living with Metastatic Cancer (all types) support group, led by Elaine Olmstead, RN, MS, CS
2nd and 4th Tuesdays
CONTACT : Program Registration - Lana Heino Roman at firstname.lastname@example.org
MASSACHUSETTS :North Andover
A welcoming Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer support group for women and men with metastatic breast cancer. Meets every other Wednesday 10am-1130am in a comfortable and accessible North Andover location. Meetings, all activities and retreats are free! Please leave your name and number at 978-352-0204; or contact us by email at email@example.com or visit our website at: http://hopeandfriendship.org/support-group/ to learn more.
Self led support group for women with mbc; meets the second Tuesday of the month at 11:30 for lunch.
CONTACT: Pam Breakey 269-783-1538
MICHIGAN: Royal Oak
Sharing & Caring Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group at:
Beaumont Cancer Center
3577 W. 13 Mile Rd.
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Online registration: click HERE
CONTACT: 248-551-8585 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Metastatic Support Group for Young Women meets for lunch at Valentini's Restaurant, 1400 London Rd, Duluth on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Sponsored by YSC (Young Survivor Coalition)
Support group for women with advanced (Stage 4) breast cancer. It meets the first and third Thursday morning of every month from 10:30 to noon in the conference room off the lobby of Virginia Piper Cancer Institute which is located at 480 Osborne Road NE, Suite 200, Fridley, MN 55432.
No pre-registration is required and women are allowed to bring a female support person if they wish (ie sister, girlfriend, etc.)
CONTACT: Laurie Kelzenberg, Breast Cancer Nurse Coordinator @ 763-236-5623 email@example.com
Together in Transition- A support group for women living with metastatic breast cancer. Held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from 12-1:30PM in the Piper Breast Center at Abbott Northwesten Hospital. Parking vouchers will be provided.
CONTACT: Megan Tasler at 612-863-4458, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stage IV support group
Second Tuesday each month
At the Hope Lodge, Minneapolis MN
Contact: Susan Pappas-Varco from University of MN Fairview email: SPappas-Varco@umphysicians.umn.edu
NEW JERSEY: Bedminster
Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey. - 3 Crossroads Dr.
In-person meeting of the Advanced Breast Cancer support group meets every other Wednesday from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm.
CONTACT: Ellen Levine , MSW, LCSW, OSW-C at 908-658-5400 X2
NEW JERSEY: Eatontown
Women Living with Chronic Cancer (GROUP IS FOR WOMEN LIVING WITH ANY KIND OF ADVANCED CANCER)
FOURTH THURSDAY OF MONTH FROM 2-3PM. A SECOND GROUP IS OFFERED WEEKLY ON THURSDAY FROM 4:30-5:30. THIS GROUP IS FOR MEN AND WOMEN LIVING WITH CANCER WHO WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND A GROUP WEEKLY. THIS GROUP TENDS TO HAVE SEVERAL MEMBERS WHO HAVE METASTATIC BREAST CANCER.
Cancer Support Community Northern Jersey Shore
The Diney Goldsmith Center
613 Hope Road
Eatontown, NJ 07724
CONTACT:New participants please come 15 minutes early to first session in order to register. More information: Phone: 732-578-9200 Fax: 732-578-9201 email: email@example.com
NEW JERSEY: Neptune
The Metastatic/Recurrent Breast and Ovarian Cancer Support Group, based out of the Family Health Center at the Jersey Shore Medical Center, meets the 3rd Tuesday
of each month from 4:30 - 5:30pm. Pre-registration is required.
CONTACT : Barbara Feurguson, LSW, MSW 732-869-5772.
NEW JERSEY: Paramus
Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group for patients only. Every 3rd Wednesday at Valley Hospital's Luckow Pavilion, 1 Valley Health Plaza (off Winters Ave) Paramus. All participants must register to attend. No fee. Open to all patients living with mbc, regardless of where they are being treated.
CONTACT: Please call Brooke Laster, LSW for more information and to register: 201-634-5787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW JERSEY: Princeton
Advanced Breast Cancer Support Group meetings held at the Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) at Princeton YWCA, Bramwell House Living Room. Open to out-of-state women. Facilitated by social worker Elsje Reiss - Licensed Clinical Social Worker; meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 7:30-9:00 pm.
CONTACT: Laura Martin, BCRC Program Co-ordinator 609-497-2100 X349.
NEW YORK: Buffalo
Metastatic Breast Cancer Social Networking Group
150 Bennet Rd - Cheektowaga
This group is coordinated with the Life Transitions Center.
They meet the 1st Wednesday of the month from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
There is no fee to attend this evening of conversation and social networking for women who have experienced metastatic breast cancer.
CONTACT : Joanne Janicki at 716-845-4432 for more information
NEW YORK: East Hampton
Support group for anyone with recurrent/metastatic diagnosis.
Meets from 2-4pm at East Hampton Healthcare Center, 200 Pantigo Place,Suite M,East Hampton, New York 11937.
Preregister: email@example.com with faciitator Edyle O'Brien, LCSW or call 631-324-8943
NEW YORK: Garden City
Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer support group meets TWICE A MONTH ON THE SECOND AND FOURTH MONDAYS FROM 1:30 - 3:00. Offered by the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer program, the group meets at Adelphi University School of Social Work in Garden City. There is no cost; however preregistration is required.
CONTACT: For information, questions, or to sign up, call Sandi Kafenbaum 516-877-4314 or the Breast Cancer Hotline 800-877-8077.
NEW YORK: Hampton Bays
The metastatic breast cancer group has flexible meeting times to accommodate participants, but generally meets Monday from 2:00-4:00 pm in the Hampton Bays Library. Pre-registration is required.
CONTACT: Edyle O'Brien, LCSW at (631) 329-0520 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK: Kingston
Metastatic support group - Herbert H. & Sofia P. Reuner Cancer Support House, 80 Mary's Ave., Kingston. 2-3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. A support group for people diagnosed with any type of metastatic disease. Open to men and women. Contact Rosie McLaughlin at 845-339-2071, Ext. 100, or email@example.com
NEW YORK: Poughkeepsie
The Breast Cancer Options Metastatic Breast Cancer Group meets at noon on the 2nd Saturday of each month at Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie NY. Pre-registration is required.
CONTACT: Hope Nemiroff- 845-339-4673
NEW YORK: New York
New York University Clinical Cancer Center, 160 E. 34 St. 11th floor. In-person group meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 4:00-5:00 pm.
CONTACT: Lisa Sevanick, LCSW at 212-731-5110
NEW YORK : New York
Memorial Sloan Kettering Breast Center Support Group for Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer - 300 E. 66 St. - 2nd floor
There are two groups: every Wednesday from 1:00 - 2:30pm for those over age 45 and every Friday from 1:00 - 2:30pm for those aged 45 and under.
CONTACT : Roz Kleban, LCSW at 646-888-5271
NEW YORK : New York
SHARE - 1501 Broadway - btw 43 & 44 St. suite 704A
This group is for women with metastatic breast and ovarian cancer, run by a trained psychotherapist who has had breast cancer. The group meets every Thursday 12-1:30 - except for the last week of the month.
CONTACT : SHARE Breast Hotline 212-382-2111 www.sharecancersupport.org
An evening group, Living With Uncertainty, for women with metastatic breast cancer. Share your experiences and learn from each other. You can join at any time. The facilitators are SHARE participants living with metastatic disease. The group meets once a month. Call SHARE for information.
CONTACT : SHARE Breast Hotline 212-382-2111 for specific dates. www.sharecancersupport.org
NEW YORK: Rochester
James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center -601 Elmwood Ave. In-person support group (ADVANCED INSIGHTS) for those living with recurrent or metastatic breast cancer; friends/family members are welcome; the group meets the 4th Thursday of each month from 5:00-6:30 pm.This is a psycho-educational group with member driven topics and guest discussions.
CONTACT: Martha Neubert, LMSW (585) 276-4529 ; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW YORK : Rochester
Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester - 840 University Ave
Common Ground, a time to gather for those living with metastatic breast cancer, meets the 2nd and 4th Thursday mornings of each month from 9:30-11. No need to RSVP - just come when you are able. Facilitator: Peg DeBaise, LMFT.
Local peer support matches are also available through the PALS (Peer Advocates Lending Support) Program.
CONTACT Jean Sobraske (program coordinator) email@example.com (585)473-8177
NEW YORK : Williamsville
The Breast Cancer Network of Western New York funds a Metastatic Support Group that meets every other Tuesday from 12-1:20 pm at 3297 Walden Ave
CONTACT: Chris Bylewski at 716-565-2092
NEW YORK : Yorktown Heights
Support Connection - 40 Triangle Center, suite 100
This group meets the 3rd Friday of each month at 12:30 pm. The group is for women living with recurrent or metastatic breast or ovarian cancer.
Individual counseling with cancer survivors is also available. CONTACT : 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.
NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group is free and open to women diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. The group meets 1:30-3 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at the Presbyterian Novant Health Cancer Support Center, 242 S. Colonial Ave.,Charlotte. www.presbyterian.org/buddykemp
CONTACT: To sign up: 704-384-5223.
NORTH CAROLINA: Durham
Living with Metastatic/Advanced Cancer 1st and 3rd Wednesday, 3 - 4:30 pm. Note: Includes those with any metastatic cancer, not just breast cancer. Facilitated by Sue Schneider PhD, RN, AOCN, Director of Duke Graduate Oncology Nursing Program. It is a place to share conversation and support with people living with metastatic cancer. Common issues include living each day to the fullest, dealing with emotions as they come up, managing symptoms, talking about difficult topics, and making plans in the face of an uncertain future.
Held at Cornucopia Cancer Support Center in Durham, NC, each session begins with a specific topic and concludes with an open discussion on any topics of interest to that day's participants.
CONTACT: for questions and additional information, contact Lois Boynton firstname.lastname@example.org or 919/616-6082 (cell).
The NE Oklahoma Affiliate of Network of Strength at 4606 E. 67 St., suite #314, will start a support group specifically for those living with metastatic breast cancer upon request.
CONTACT: Program Coordinator: Carey Edwards @ 918-494-8808
OREGON : Portland (Tigard)
Making today count: A support group for women living with metastatic cancer. A safe place to discuss difficult issues, coping strategies and ways to enhance quality of life with other women who truly understand. Pre-registration is required; please call Erin Leake, LCSW, at 503-216-2280 or Ann Soule, LCSW, at 503-216-4676 to register or for more information.
Wednesdays from 11 to 12:30 p.m.
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
9135 SW Barnes Road
Portland, OR 97225
Breast Friends has a support group for ‘young’ women with mets.
CONTACT : Sharon Henison 503-598-8048
Breast Friends, a local non-profit organization serving breast cancer survivors along with their immediate family and friends, holds a monthly meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at 14050 S.W. Pacific Highway, Suite 201, Tigard. Breast Friends gives women a chance to talk about issues of living with metastatic breast cancer. Participants are encouraged to bring friends or family members. Free professional child care is available. Free and open to the public.
PENNSYLVANIA : Allentown
John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center
Cedar Crest Blvd.
Conference Room 1A, every 2nd Monday from 7 - 8:30PM
CONTACT: 610-402-CARE for information.
Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia - Living Well with Advanced Breast Cancer, The Suzanne Morgan Center at Ridgeland, Chamounix Drive, West Fairmount Park. In-person monthly professionally facilitated networking group for women dealing with mbc -meeting the 4th Tuesday of every month from 11:00am -1:00 pm
CONTACT: Karen Neyer 215-879-7733 or www.twcp.org
YSC Greater Philadelphia holds a monthly support group for young women with metastatic Stage IV breast cancer on 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm at Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia in Fairmount Park, 4100 Chamounix Drive, Philadelphia, PA
CONTACT: Eileen Joseph at email@example.com
"Meta Friends" 6:00-7:30pm, 2nd Wednesday of each month
Holy Redeemer Women's HealthCare Center, 45 Second Street Pike, Southampton, PA 18966
This special support group is intended for women & men whose breast cancer is Stage IV. Please feel free to familiarize yourself with our facilitator, Dr. Pam Ginsberg. You can find out more about her on her website http://www.pginsbergphd.com/index.html
SOUTH CAROLINA: Columbia
SHARING HOPE, a support group for women living with metastatic breast cancer. Meets on 2nd Thursday of each month, 5:00pm, at Woman's Imaging, Lexington Medical Center, Medical Park 1
CONTACT: Kelly Jeffcoat, 803-791-2521
TENNESSEE : Memphis
Women with Advanced Cancer Support Group meets at a community location every other Friday. For more information please contact Ellen Eisen, LCSW, OSW-C at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (901-202-7639)
Gilda’s Club at 1707 Division St. hosts weekly support groups for patients and family members - free of charge.
CONTACT: Felice Apolinsky, LCSW at 615-329-1124
Breast Cancer Resource Center (www.bcrc.org) 512-544-0900. Sponsored by IV League; peer run; grass-roots group with approximately 50 members. Location for meetings: Austin group meets Wednesdays at Casa de Luz at 10:45 - 12:30 pm, Williamson County group meets 1st and 3rd Wednesday every month at St. David's Round Rock Medical Center at 6:30-8:00 p.m, and there is a monthly meeting the last Sunday of the month at 2:00 pm at a member's house. We also have potlucks with families once or twice a year. Direct mail to the group at IVLeagueOnline@gmail.com. There is also a Yahoo group and a Facebook group. Email for details. Please confirm meeting times and places before you come the first time.
CONTACT: Rayanne Evans at REvans@bcrc.org or call her at 512-544-0904 or call Jeanne Collins at 512-921-9553
Sponsored by The Rose- Joan Gordon Center (mammography center); affiliated with the American Cancer Society. 3400 Bissonnet, Suite 185. Rosebuds II is for women who have had or are at high risk for recurrence and or metastases. In-person group meets 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month from 5:45 - 7:30 pm.
CONTACT: Jackie 713-661-5410 www.RosebudsSupport.org
MBC Support Group held at MD Anderson Cancer Center the Fourth Tuesday of every month from 11-12 noon. Mary Dev is the social worker coordinating the sessions (email@example.com). Patients outside of MD Anderson are permitted to attend with prior permission.
TEXAS : San Antonio
Cancer Therapy & Research Center - 7979 Wurzback Road
Keep Abreast II meets the first Monday of each month at 6pm.
CONTACT : Suzi Emanuel at 210-365-1321or firstname.lastname@example.org
VIRGINIA : Alexandria
Inova Alexandria Hospital Cancer Ceneter - 4320 Seminary Rd
Life With Cancer offers a closed group for women with metastatic breast cancer every Friday. If interested in joining please contact either Shara Sosa at (703-698-2522) or Maureen Broderick at (703-504-7921)
VIRGINIA : Fairfax
Life with Cancer offers support and education opportunities for women living with advanced disease in the Northern Virginia area. Initial screening and registration required for support group attendance. Please contact the Life with Cancer main office for more information on support group and class offerings 703-698-2526.
We often offer an educational session at least twice a year for women living with advanced bc and we have a couple of different groups they could attend at our various locations.
Sage Bolte, PhD, LCSW, OSW-C, Oncology Counselor
Life with Cancer, INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital
3650 Joseph Siewick Drive, Suite 205 D
Fairfax, VA 22033
VIRGINIA: Newport News
Beyond 'Static, support group for young women (diagnosed before menopause age) with metastatic breast cancer. Meets on the 3rd Monday of the month. There's also a private Facebook group that women can join. The contact is Rene Bowditch at email@example.com
WASHINGTON : Seattle
The Healing Place - Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group
Seattle Breast Center on the Northwest Medical Center Campus
1560 N 115th St # 104
CONTACT : Treesia Kan, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 206-930-7633
Please call Treesia to confirm meeting time.
Metastatic support group for young women with stageIV breast cancer. Sponsored by YSC Young Survivor Coalition. Meets last Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm in North Seattle.
CONTACT: Katie Hogan at email@example.com
Instant Sisters is an in-person support group for women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer; meets the 1st Tuesday of each month, 11:30-1:30 pm, at Gilda's Club of Madison, 7907 UW Health Ct., Middleton, WI
Facilitated by a psychologist.
CONTACT: The Integral Psychology Center - Lauren Cunningham, PhD at 608-255-9330 x2 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WISCONSIN: Milwaukee Area
If you have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, please join us for an opportunity to network with other patients with a metastatic diagnosis and benefit from the support and encouragement this group provides. Registration is required for this group. Meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 4-5:30 p.m. Please call 414-805-3666 to register or for more information. Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital, Clinical Cancer Center, 3rd floor, Room O, 9200 W. Wisconsin Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53226
CONTACT: https://www.froedtert.com/CREG/ClassDetails.aspx?id=296&sid=1&ClassID=2527 or call 414-805-3666
Offers professional counseling (in person or over the telephone), support groups, educational programs (past programs can be heard on their website) and practical help. Call (800) 813-HOPE to learn more or order their pamphlet "Caregiving for your Loved One with Cancer".
Caring Bridge Personalized Web Page
Free internet service with a personalized web page for you to post your info and provide updates for friends without having to make phone calls or send individual emails. It is available 24/7.
For Customer support, M-F 8-5pm CST. 651-789-2300
Lotsa Helping Hands - Aid for all who ask How Can I Help?
Free, private, web-based communities for organizing friends, family, and colleagues - your ‘circles of community' - during times of need. Easily coordinate activities and manage volunteers with an intuitive group calendar. Answers the question: What can I do to help? Contact: email@example.com
For husbands and partners, information on coping and emotional support including an article on what to do in the first 48 hours after learning the diagnosis.
Helpful articles on caregiver challenges and financial and legal planning.
Guide for Teens: When your parent has cancer (from National Cancer Institute)
Blog review of children's book The Cancer That Wouldn't Go Away by Hadassa Field
Family Medical Leave Act
The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
Articles of interest:
Free Cleaning Service
Yes... they really will clean your house for free - once a month for 4 months! You must submit proof of medical diagnosis.
The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation helps you create travel memories for families with children.
Personalized Web Page
www.caringbridge.org / 651-789-2300
Free internet service with a personalized web page for you to post your info and provide updates for friends without having to make phone calls or send individual emails. It is available 24/7.
www.lotsahelpinghands.com/ Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Free, private, web-based communities for organizing friends, family, and colleagues - your ‘circles of community' - during times of need. Easily coordinate activities and manage volunteers with our intuitive group calendar. Answers the question: What can I do to help?
Breast Cancer Options www.breastcanceroptions.org
ph: 845/339-HOPE (4673)
Contact: Hope Nemiroff
Metastatic Breast Cancer Retreat: Breast Cancer Options began this free retreat because there are few resources and services for women with advanced breast cancer. Participants are in a welcoming supportive environment where they find understanding and support. The retreat offers an opportunity to look at the issues surrounding their breast cancer, gather information, and move beyond an intellectual understanding of the disease. It is usually offered in the Fall.
Breast Cancer Recovery www.bcrecovery.org
call (888) 821-1140 or email Breast Cancer Recovery today at email@example.com .
The Infinite Boundaries metastatic breast cancer retreats are held at Sundara Inn and Spa in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Participants enjoy guided discussions about issues specific to women with metastatic breast cancer, including dealing with difficult feelings, communicating with friends and family and living with advanced breast cancer. Women learn practices to decrease stress and explore new creative outlets. Retreaats usually offered in May, September and November. See 2015 schedule
The holidays can be fun, family-filled times of good cheer and happiness, but they can also be very stressful, especially for those of us with metastatic breast cancer. MBCN posed the question on Facebook and also had a discussion group explore the topic.
The first issue is how you want to be treated during the holidays.
Do you want people to acknowledge your cancer and your day to day struggle or do you prefer to blend into the background and just be one of the crowd? One of our members put it this way:
"The first year with mets I kept thinking --What if this is my last Christmas? Why aren't people realizing that? I kind of wished the holidays away. People you see once a year and telling your story over and over, feeling like everything has to be perfect and normal just like it always was. Well, this year I have done a total turn around. Why in the world would I want people to think that? Why would I want doom and gloom? It's a good thing that everyone celebrates and does NOT have that on their mind. It's still on my mind-but I don't want to be treated differently."
Another noted the "elephant in the room" question among some of her "less than loving" relatives. "Why is Mary still here? I thought she had an incurable disease." Do you try to enlighten them about metastatic disease or just ignore it?
How many times have friends or relatives greeted you with:
"So, you're feeling good?"
And you would love to reply:
"Um, not really, but I'll play that game if that's what you want to believe today.
I'm tired just thinking about it."
"I try to just accept people on the terms they set and follow their lead," said one participant. "At Thanksgiving, only one of my relatives, my sister-in-law's mother, hugged me and said she kept me in her prayers and she was so inspired how I'm living so well every day, just moving forward, despite the diagnosis and the day to day coping. This made me so happy, but I also realized the rest felt the same thing, but just didn't want to articulate it. At least that's what I prefer to think!"
"I try to keep my mind off of me," stated one woman. "I watch my grandson really enjoy; I watch my newly married daughter and son-in-law and think thoughts about how perfect they are together. I even try to find the better qualities in my mother-in-law. I listen more intently to conversations and really try to be present and it keeps me out of my head. But I do tell myself over and over--how lucky I am to feel good this year."
But what about the feeling that everything has to be perfect, that this has to be the most memorable Thanksgiving or Christmas or Hanukkah ever?
"I think that my offer to make six dishes for Thanksgiving was really my attempt to show myself that I was still capable of doing "more" than my able bodied relatives...I am gradually learning that I don't have to place so much pressure on myself"
"I was upset the first holiday after my diagnosis when our big family gathering had its usual portion of mini-dramas, arguments and misunderstandings. I thought this holiday should be like a Hallmark card or that Norman Rockwell painting, but then I realized we were never that way, so why should I have these unrealistic expectations?"
"For me the biggest stress is trying to please everyone. While I have always struggled with this, the intensity with which I feel this is much stronger now that I am living with mbc. It is an effort to remember that it is truly impossible to please all, all the time. I am trying to remember what it is that I like - this often gets muddled for me. I am still a work in progress."
"I am bothered and saddened by the thought that this might be my last Christmas. It makes everything so much more emotional and stressful--like your gifts to people have to be more meaningful and your interactions with relatives you barely see more intense."
Some commented that thinking about meaningful, more personalized gifts was comforting. One woman started a tradition of giving everyone very personalized ornaments. "I'll be part of their Christmases in the future," she said.
One thing all participants agreed on was the need to simplify that to-do list of activities for the "perfect" holiday.
"I had a scare the other day because I could not get out of bed because of severe pain in my knee-mets related? I don't know, but it was only 4 days until Thanksgiving. It was a good wake-up call. I said to myself--What if I can't get out of bed for the next 4 days? I realized I am trying to please everyone and have a million things on the list to make Thanksgiving just like it always was in my mom's and grandma's day. But, if you really couldn't do the list, what would happen? How important really is every item on that list? Someone else could make the potatoes or my husband could run out to a caterer and order in missing items. The tablecloth might be wrinkled, the silver unpolished, store bought pies instead of homemade. Someone else could buy flowers or candles or turkey cookies for the kids. Hey, you could always eat out or even have pizza! But people pitch in and want to help and you don't need to take on as much as you do. You just need to ask for help."
One woman on Facebook suggested: "For me, it was time to move to another family member's house for Thanksgiving so when the time comes it will be one less thing to get emotional about."
"I know personally, I have to prioritize and realize that I can't do everything I want. So I have to buy cookies instead of make them and use gift bags instead of wrap. I do try as hard as I can to keep family traditions going and I am not above asking for help. It was tough the first few years giving up that idea of the perfect Holiday, but honestly everyone seemed fine with it."
"I do almost all my shopping online--much easier and I don't get worn out."
Many of us agreed that limiting contacts to close family and supportive friends was critical.
You don't need to waste time and energy on unhelpful, unthoughtful relatives or friends who bring you down. One woman noted: "I went to our annual holiday lunch with a friend and felt worse after it, so I said to myself. That's the last time. I don't need this."
Another Facebook poster noted: "I find that being around my family helps me to be more thankful for having made it through yet another year. To see how the little ones are growing up and that there is hope for a bright future...within those little arms that hold me tight."
Another woman agreed: "Holding an infant reminds me to celebrate life around us instead of being so aware of death in our lives."
Simplify, Focus on What's Important to You, and Ask for Help!
This holiday season seek out those who truly support you and drop the rest. Simplify and focus on what really matters to you. And know that there are 155,000 people in the US alone in your shoes facing this same challenge and working out the solution that works for them. Also, you may find it helpful to read through our Support section below for suggestions on ways you can connect with others who have metastatic breast cancer.
Happy Holidays from all of us at MBCN!
Although MBCN offers this information, we are not endorsing or recommending any particular type of support or any particular group. We are passing along information that has been shared with us.