Thursday April 17, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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Sharing the Journey with cancer survivors

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It can be very overwhelming when first being diagnosed with cancer and sharing the journey could help along the way.

The cancer journey is a very scary one and having the support from women who have been through it, or are going through it is what Sharing the Journey is all about.

This month marks the first anniversary of Sharing the Journey, a support group for women from first being diagnosed, those who are fighting and those who have been through it all that meets once a month at the public library to share stories, laughter and tears.

The group is organized by five members, Maria Siourounis, Tammie Morrison, Vickie Betker , Sharon Werstuik and Tanis VanDeSype has also joined the ladies.

Through the Willows Breast Cancer Support Group in Regina, the ladies trained in organizing and running a support group. The Willow group focuses on breast cancer specifically, but Weyburn's group includes all women who have been recently diagnosed with any type of cancer to those who have been living with it for years.

"For me, I found a family outside my family, where I don't have to spell out every little thing," said Maria Siourounis adding there is a certain empathetic support offered through people who have been there and Sharing the Journey offers that support to women in the Weyburn area.

"There are times when I think of something and say 'I'll share that in group,' so I don't have to burden people," said Morrison, adding that not everyone wants to talk to their family members about their cancer all the time.

There's a certain sense of validity in speaking to someone who has been there, done that.

"It's nice to be able to tell others about what had worked for me and what the side effects are," said Betker.

The group is completely confidential and there is no obligation to share anything.

"There is no expectation. They can sit and listen. It's very accommodating," said Werstuik.

The main focus of the group is to be a support system however, they do have information and local contacts if needed.

"We're quite happy with how the year has gone," said Werstuik.

Women who are interested in the support and confidentiality Sharing the Journey offers may join the five on the second Wednesday of every month in the Weyburn Public Library at 6:30 p.m.


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