Wow. Just now as I sat down here to write this post, and had to figure out a title, I realized I have never, before today, been a part of a support group and now I am. I suppose most people haven't belonged to support groups. But it is nice to be around and talk to other people that can relate to what you're going through and what you're facing.
Today was the first Boise meeting for the local FORCE group. Reminder: FORCE stands for "Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered." which is an organization aimed at woman with a BRCA mutation or other high risk factors. Check it out here : http://www.facingourrisk.org/ They developed the word "Previvor". They have an annual conference in florida where hundreds of women get togther and have seminars and networking functions. I've frequently read and occasionally post on the message boards. I was excited when I learned that a group had been developed locally. I read about these meetings and groups in other parts of the country and wished I had something like here.
There were about 12 people plus the 2 coordinators, all women. There were a diverse selection of women. Seemed a fairly good range of ages. The majority have tested positive for a BRCA mutation. A couple hadn't tested yet but had a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Some were survivors who have already had cancer, some of the previvors had already had a mastectomy, a couple hadn't yet (but were planning to).One neat thing is that you don't necessarily have to be a survivor or previvor to go to these meetings, you can go as a supporter, like someone who has someone close to them who is going through this, such as a woman who was at the meeting today who has a BRCA+ neighbor as well as people in her husbands family with a BRCA mutation.
The agenda was mostly about introductions, meeting eachother, and finding out "what brought us here". The coordinators were really sweet. They had decorated in pink and teal, pink and teal plates, and napkins, and ribbons and even m&ms. They had door prizes - a basket of goodies and pink flowers (roses bushes?). Sandwiches for lunch and chocolate chip cookies with m&ms (pink and teal). The next meeting will be sometime in November, and they're planning to have like a "movie night" where they'll screen a popular documentary on the subject (which I've been wanting to watch!). So that will be cool.
I'm really looking forward to future meetings and getting to know these women better! Yay for support groups!
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