Finding Your Community

Last updated: February 2022

Welcome to the world of lung cancer. It’s a world where no one wants to be and most of us did not expect to be here. Let us help you find your community and those of us that will help you through the bad times and celebrate with you the good.

Support groups come in all shapes and sizes

Support groups can be used for all sorts of conditions and lung cancer is definitely one of them. Before the pandemic, we were able to host in-person support groups and they were often found at your hospital or where you get treatment.

Other options were churches, community centers, or other places of gathering. Once the pandemic hit we found it to not be safe for us to meet in person and so many of us connected online with others through Zoom or another video-facing portal.

Attending events and meeting others

I think that for me the biggest source for myself finding others in my situation was when I attended the Hope Summit hosted by the LUNGevity Foundation. It has been virtual during the pandemic but before that, we would travel to the Washington DC area and stay the weekend. It was full of lectures, panels, and social happenings. Many of the people that I have connected with on Facebook who have lung cancer I have met in person at a hope summit.

Another option is provided by Go2 Foundation. They host an event that is also in Washington DC where you visit your politicians and push for more funding and awareness for lung cancer. Go2 foundation also hosts the lung cancer living room where important topics are discussed with leaders in the field of oncology as well as patient leaders.

Organizations here to support you

Many personal experiences and sharing of support can be found in age-appropriate groups. As a young adult with lung cancer, I have found organizations like Stupid Cancer, Dear Jack, GRYT Health, and Elephants and Tea to be very supportive. I have not found too many young adults with lung cancer in these groups but have been able to connect with many with the shared experience of having a cancer diagnosis. I have found that my experiences with things such as infertility, career, relationships, etc. are seen across all cancers and more specific to the age group.

Reaching out to friends and family

Sometimes the most helpful people in your community can be your friends and family. Your family and most friends have been with you before your diagnosis and can help you to remember that part of you. They may not completely understand your experiences with cancer but they can help you stay grounded and keep you feeling like a person. Remember that cancer is not your identity it is just a chapter in your life story.

At the beginning of my cancer story, I found it so very important to speak with others going through it. Some people will choose to find their community while others will choose to go through it with those closest to them, it is a personal decision.

Please let us know in the comments where you have chosen to find your community and if it has been helpful.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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