Albury Wodonga Prostate Cancer Support Group is a group of men and their partners who, in one way or another, have all experienced a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer.
We know what you are going through, because we've been there too.
The support group is very informal, and very often all we do is just meet and talk about things. We are not big on tightly controlled meetings. Anyone who wants a say, ask a question or offer suggestions is totally free to do so.
Group Purpose Statement
The Albury Wodonga Prostate Cancer Support Group exists to provide support and friendship for prostate cancer sufferers and their carers/partners. We discuss in confidence where members are at with their treatments. We aim to raise awareness of prostate cancer in our community and we welcome new members.
Our group agreement is a set of guidelines for leaders and members to follow and outlines how the group will operate. It should keep us together and on track. It needs to reflect the wishes of the group as a whole, not just be imposed on members. It is a living document (i.e. it can be changed as needed). It sets the tone, sets boundaries and helps manage challenging behaviour. It helps to create a safe environment.
Confidentiality - keep discussions between group members only. Especially encourage members to regularly share their strengths, skills, insights, successes and hopes.
Respect - let each person speak without interruption. It is important to actively listen and avoid side conversations.
Guest Speakers - keep introductions short, give speaker time limit, add question time
Patience - be patient towards group members, especially those in need.
Constructive discussion - confine group discussions to issues and coping strategies specific to the group, deal with external matters later.
Group ownership - it is your group. Speak out, be respectful and stay on track. We each have the right to ask questions and the right to refuse to answer.
Finish meetings on time, arrive on time.
Health professionals - if discussing individuals, only positive experiences are acceptable.
Information below comes from the Cancer Council NSW website.
Support groups provide a safe place for people affected by cancer to come together to support each other, develop friendships, share ideas and thoughts, obtain information from health professionals and each other, and learn coping skills in a non- judgmental and caring environment.
Why join a support group?
Research shows there are many reasons people choose to join and stay in a support group. These include:
The sense of belonging and of being supported
People can often feel isolated and unsupported when they are diagnosed with cancer. By joining a support group people can develop a sense of belonging and feel comfortable enough to share their feelings with people who have had similar experiences.
Groups develop a sense of community and this can help people cope with the psychological effects of cancer and improve their ability to cope.
Many people who join support groups find that they give as much as they receive, which raises their confidence and their ability to cope. Cancer Council NSW research has shown that people who take part in support groups have lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who don't.
Inside a support group people feel protected and safe to express their feelings. It is often the case that people have to hide their feelings outside of the group to protect others.
"I wanted a place where I could really talk about how I felt and I didn't have to worry about hurting someone or protecting them." (Prostate cancer support group, metropolitan NSW)
People join support groups to not only look for encouragement and optimism but for inspiration, hope for survival and quality of life, and advice on how to get the best outcome. Many support groups provide access to a range of highly qualified speakers. Although many speakers will be health professionals, many other people can contribute to the group such as artists, writers, yoga instructors, welfare workers or massage therapists. By joining a support group people can feel empowered through their increased knowledge and understanding of cancer, research and treatments.
A place to relax
Support groups provide a safe place for people to relax and be at ease with others who understand what they are going through. They can also allow an environment where people can feel comfortable to cry, laugh and joke - and just be themselves!
"Support groups are not only a place for the serious business of cancer - to vent feelings and frustrations - but also a place for laughter and having fun. We need a place to let our hair down and cry. We also need to laugh until we feel good and feel like just another person, not a cancer victim." (Cancer Support Group, rural NSW)
Albury Wodonga Prostate Cancer Support Group meets
Every Second Tuesday of the month 7pm Commercial Club Albury.
Every Second Tuesday of the Month, 7:00pm at the Commercial Club, Dean Street Albury NSW 2640