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Support group can help you deal with cancer
Genny Boden said she did a lot of crying the first time she attended a ‘Living With Cancer’ support group meeting as part of the local Cancer Society.
But as much as you’d think this wasn’t a good thing, it was for Boden.
Boden had just been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and given only another two to four years to live. But being comfortable enough to share her experiences and release her emotions was an experience she needed.
Fast forward 12 years and Boden has beat the odds and is now the current chair of the support group, which meets on the last Friday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Cancer Society headquarters on Duncan Street.
“The really important thing is, when you get cancer you all of a sudden think that you’re alone and you don’t have to be,” Boden, 73, said, noting at times it’s nice to reach out to others who aren’t so emotionally affected as family members can be at times.
“It’s about getting comfortable with those people there and being able to share your thoughts.”
Boden says there are 11 or 12 folks who regularly attend the meetings. They also have a phone list of folks wishing to be called rather than visit at group meetings.
Boden became a group leader in 2004. She and two other ladies basically run the group.
“We do our little opening words, light a candle and go over the rules,” she said, Some rules include, no interrupting, and not knocking doctors who aren’t present to defend themselves.
“We also pass an eagle feather around, and that person with the feather it’s their turn to talk,” she said. “Sometimes we have a mom with a son who has cancer who comes, and sometimes grandchildren have come with their grannie with cancer or people bring their spouses, and friends.”
Refreshments are also available.
Anyone interested in attending can call the cancer society at 250-746-4134. Anyone interested in volunteering for the support group —or for the Canadian Cancer Society’s many other hats that need filling — can also call Marg Tames at 250-743-0910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.