How Important is Emotional Support During Colon Cancer?

Robin McGee talks about seeking emotional support during colon cancer

support during colon cancerIt goes without saying that going through colon cancer is difficult. It always helps to hear from someone who has been there. There are countless places for colon cancer patients to find support from people who have either been there or are fighting the disease. There are countless organizations that want to make sure that you are never going through colon cancer alone.

Robin McGee is a colon cancer survivor and advocate. In this video, she discusses the importance of seeking emotional support and offers a few organizations that patients can turn to. For more, watch Robin in the video below:

Robin McGee:  The only thing I would like to encourage people to do is to consider getting emotional support and there are some couple of venues by way you can do that where the American Cancer Society and the Canadian Cancer Society offer peer support programs. 

These are mentorship programs that enable cancer patients who are newly diagnosed to be matched with a cancer survivor who has undergone, who has gone down that path that you are looking down and there is no substitute for talking to a survivor who has been down the road not only in an emotional way, a spiritual way, family coping way, all the guidance that they provide. 

It is inspirational of course to talk to someone who has made it, has survived, who has gone on to thrive but the other thing is that these patients can give a quite practical advice around little things that surgeons, doctors, nurses won’t think to tell you, so for example my peer mentor when I found her say, be sure to get a haircut before you go for surgery because you won’t be leaving the house for another six weeks and I had even thought it of, that was something I would never would have occurred to me, certainly not guidance I would have gotten from anyone else. 

So, that is a small example, there are much more powerful examples in terms of the medications or foods, the creams, things that might benefit you that patients are often aware of in a way that even healthcare providers are not aware of.  So, consider support.  I would like to also suggest that there is also online support methods, so in Canada, we have something called Cancer Chat Canada, I know there is Colon Cancer Alliance, Colon Town on Facebook, there are many, many, many venues for people to seek support through an online method if for some reason or for any reason, you are hesitant to talk to an individual one on one.

Robin McGee
Dr. Robin McGee is a Registered Clinical Psychologist, mother, wife, educator and friend. Living in Port Williams, Nova Scotia, she has been a dedicated clinician in health and education settings for over 25 years. Since entering remission, she has been very active in patient advocacy, serving as the patient representative on several provincial and national initiatives aimed at improving standards of cancer care.‏ Her book "The Cancer Olympics" details her journey with colon cancer, her search for justice with the College of Physicians, and her advocacy for fair drug policy with her government.

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