CancerCare Manitoba
Peer Support

Our Voice Newsletter

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Peer Support is what happens when someone new to an experience talks with someone who has already "been there." In this case, the "experience" has to do with breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Unofficial "peer support" happens in many places, but here at the CCMB Breast & Gyne Cancer Centre of Hope, we have a supervised team of "survivor" volunteers who have taken special training in order to offer support and information effectively and well.

Questions posed to Peer Supporters vary widely but may include the following:

  • How do you feel about your surgery choice?
  • How long does it take to recover from the surgery itself?
  • What was it like for you in treatment?
  • How did you cope?
  • What did you tell your kids?
  • What can I do to make the treatment phase better?
  • How come I'm feeling so depressed all the time?
  • I can't seem to settle on one feeling. Am I going crazy?
  • What about being sexual afterwards?
  • How do you feel about (not) having had reconstruction?
  • Is there anything I can do to lessen the chances of recurrence?
  • What should I do if I can't talk to my doctor?
  • My partner just doesn't seem to understand what I'm going through. What's the matter?
  • How long since your diagnosis?

Whatever your questions, they will be received with compassion and without judgment.

Peer Supporters are neither medical doctors nor therapists. They are, however, experts on their own experience ? something they are prepared to share with you.

If your questions exceed their knowledge or experience, they will refer you back to your health care team (including the Nurse at BCCH) or to another resource.

BCCH blue bullet

Other agencies, notably the Canadian Cancer Society and the Willow Breast Cancer Resource Services, also provide trained volunteer Peer Support. We work collaboratively with these agencies to ensure a "good match", as often as possible.

BCCH blue bullet Learn more about the Peer Support Team

BCCH blue bullet Learn more about becoming a peer support volunteer