Ever wonder what BCA is all about? Here’s a run down on some of the important things we provide for Ottawa area breast cancer patients/survivors:
Peer support group
At Breast Cancer Action, our motto is “We will meet you wherever you are”.
No truer words were ever spoken when it comes to life altering events, like breast cancer. No one who hasn’t been through it will understand the way someone who has been through it will. Family and friends and the medical system will be huge parts of the breast cancer journey. But when a patient just wants to take off the wig, have a cry or just ask questions, then peer support can often be a huge resource.
Our peer support group meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm. It is peer led. No professionals. Just those diagnosed with breast cancer talking to others about what it’s like to face a breast cancer diagnosis, what it’s like to go through treatment, and what it’s like to face life after treatment.
Peer Support Group Support Meeting:
Location: Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation (ORCF), 1509 Alta Alta Vista Drive
Time: 7 pm
Day: Every 2nd Wednesday of the month
- As one participant put it: “We all speak the same language — cancer. More importantly, we speak the language of mutual understanding, love and above all hope.”
Peer support counselling
Our peer supporters are a group of people, mostly women, who have all had breast cancer in some form or another. We have all attended a two-day counselling workshop led by a professional social worker and psychologist. But most importantly, we have all signed up to do this because we care about those following in our footsteps.
When a patient/survivor calls, we try to match them to a peer supporter who has been through similar procedures or diagnoses or experiences. A phone call is all it takes. Our feeling is that sometimes just knowing that someone ahead of you got through what you are about to face, is just enough to take the edge off – to reassure you that you too will get through this.
We survivors have a lot of joint experience and tips and tricks up our sleeves that we are more than willing to share.
For these and any other peer related questions, please don’t hesitate to email email@example.com. Because we will meet you wherever you are.
Andrea Douglas – Chair, Peer Support
“My journey with breast cancer began in early summer of 2014. I wish I had found BCA then. It was a long lonely summer filled with question marks and fear. Of course, I knew I wasn’t the only one, but I didn’t know how to find the others. Then I started attending the Fitness classes in the fall, as treatment would permit. I found strength and energy. I found others. And I count exercise as the number one factor in my return to health. I want that for all the women who will travel my path. I want to reach out and give back through BCA. My background in politics, writing and decades of volunteer activism will help me help others.” -Andrea
On January 6, I was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time. I had a lumpectomy and radiation in 2018. I knew that this time I would be losing my breast. I was devastated. I could not understand why the cancer came back. My youngest daughter suggested that I get in touch with BCA. I did. It was the right thing to do. Andrea Douglas got in touch with me. We talked on the phone. What a compassionate person! She listened. She let me cry and talk about my fears. In her simple, quiet way, she provided me with the courage to face my new journey. She didn’t have all the answers but she made me feel that it was ok to have good days and bad days. I know that I am not the only one going through this but sometimes you do feel all alone. I have a wonderful family and great friends who have been there for me but they haven’t had breast cancer. Speaking with someone who has gone through a similar journey makes all the difference.
Thank you for being there for me
I wanted to send a short note to thank you for hosting the BCA meeting today. I feel so much better having others to talk to who are going through or have been through breast cancer. I have so many more questions to ask the group and hopefully I can share some of my experience as well. I look forward to the next meeting!
– Group Peer Support Participant
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