Peer Support

What a lovely weekend at a lovely resort!  I met and have 35 new friends.  I was at a Peer Support Facilitation course run by the Canadian Cancer Society.  The people that ran it were so down to earth and helpful.     Constantly learning and meeting new people!  This keeps me going, it was fun, educational and definitely another adventure.   I just love all these different experiences.    This said, each time I put new information in my head,  I swear something else falls out.  The good news is I don’t even know what that something else is, that is falling out.

In previous posts, I wrote about attending a regular monthly meeting for Breast Cancer Support and I have been regularly attending for a little over a year.  The current facilitator is moving and asked me and another member if we were interested in taking it over and continuing with the group.  I was honoured to be asked to have the role and happy it is shared with someone else.  It is always good to share this kind of role particularly if something comes up, we can tag team.

Peer support is accepting, welcoming and calming! I can certainly attest to it because the group shares their stories and it continually helps educate and enlighten me.   Plus there is an unspoken “I get it” as we all share something in common.  I had to copy this from the material I received this weekend “The experience of cancer is a term of expertise in its own right, with lessons learned and wisdom gained that are valuable to share with others.”

This said, we have some work to do before we facilitate and continue to run the group.  Hearing other facilitators stories this weekend, was quite an eye opener for me!  We were told that leading a support group can be rewarding, somewhat challenging and carries a lot of responsibility.    I wonder what I have got myself into!!   Best practices and challenges were shared and some things that came up, never ever crossed my mind.     The highlight was being connected with some very experienced group leaders and having instant online access to collaborate with these ladies.  Oh plus the pool, hot-tub sauna and other facilities on-site…lol.

All I know is we have to have some transition planning meetings with the current facilitator and put some checks and balances in place.  I am very excited and eager to help the group with it’s mission and want to make sure it continually meets the needs of the community.    For example, we may want to evaluate if the purpose of the group needs to change or whether we just need to market more effectively.    In any event, I will keep you posted and will share more details as they get flushed out.   I encourage anyone to join support groups…it can be social, therapeutic and just downright comforting.  You do have to find the right support group for you…if it doesn’t make you feel good, keep searching to find one that meets your needs.   For me, it should be inviting, feel safe and helps you to share and gain relevant information…

Here is some info that is worth sharing for those of you that have cancer or know someone that has cancer in Canada.

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is a national, community-based organization whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.

Cancer Information for all Canadians:

  1. Information on 100+ types of cancer for every stage of a cancer journey from prevention to diagnosis and treatment to life after cancer
  2. 4000 cancer related services in their searchable database
  3. 1300 terms and definitions in their online glossary
  4. 2300 information pages
  5. 14.3 Million visitors to
  6. 330,000 publications distributed
  7. 50 brochures and booklets
  8. 24,000 downloads
  9. 45,000 inquiries by phone and email
  • There is a helpline for people with cancer, caregivers or anyone who needs help understanding cancer or finding community services.  It is offered bilingually with on demand access to interpreter service in over 200 languages.  WOW!!!  Here is the number 1-888-939-3333 /  (Cancer Information Service)
  • Peer Match program; free, confidential service that provides connection with trained volunteers who have first-hand lived experience  (  /
  •  —a safe and supportive online community for people to share experiences and learn from one another and it is for people with cancer including family and friends


I hope the above info is relevant to some of you Canadians that read this post.   If you are not from Canada, I am sure similar organizations exist in other countries… You may have to reach out to your local healthcare network to get more details, if required.

The people below share something in common…but this is not exactly how a peer group should work.  LOL



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  • When you got back into the writing and involvement you don’t go half way you jump right in. Great you took on the Co facilitator role with your passion you will do a great job. Where did they hold this past session?

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