Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (also known as advanced breast cancer) can be an emotional time that can lead a person to have many fears, questions and moments of anger and confusion. At a time when a person needs the most support, some people with metastatic cancer can find that it is very hard to find. In order to support women with metastatic cancer, who have their own set of needs separate to other cancer patients, the Marie Keating Foundation run a ‘Positive Living’ programme.
The aim of the ‘Positive Living’ programme is to help women who have metastatic cancer reach an improved quality of life by providing specialised supports and connecting them with both experts in their local community and with other people affected by similar circumstances who they may be able to relate to on a peer-to-peer level.
Dr Carla O’ Neill, Director of Nursing Services, says, “A diagnosis of advanced breast cancer is a very different experience to a primary diagnosis. An advanced diagnosis can be absolutely devastating for a patient, and it brings with it a whole range of more intense psychological, emotional and physical needs. There is a feeling of isolation, fear for the future, and a lack of a network or support structure, as well as problems around communicating with family and friends. The uncertainty that this diagnosis brings means that living with advanced breast cancer is much more challenging and more targeted supports, like our ‘Positive Living’ programme, are needed to ensure these women have a safe space to share their experiences with others.”
The next ‘Positive Living’ meeting will be in the Midlands Park Hotel, Portaloise, Co. Laois on Friday 1st of December from 1-3pm and will focus on ‘How to get the most out of your hospital appointment’. Dr Carla O’ Neill, Director of Nursing Services with the Marie Keating Foundation, will be facilitating the discussion and there will be a chance to meet and talk with other affected by the disease.