LABRADOR WEST, N.L.
Frances Lynch and Cindy White both know what it’s like to face a health crisis and the importance of having someone to talk to, to listen and to offer comfort.
Lynch was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. White’s breast cancer diagnosis came the next year.
The women — who have known each other for many years — began getting together to talk about their experiences dealing with the disease.
Knowing how important it was for them to have each other to lean on, the two Labrador West women started a support group to help other women on their cancer journey.
While both Lynch and White have had double mastectomies, their cancer battles were different.
“There was just the two of us (getting together),” Lynch said. “I learned things from Cindy that I wished I had known and she learned things from me that helped her.”
White said Lynch has been extremely helpful to her since her diagnosis.
“We sat at my kitchen table, looked at my prosthesis. Frances showed me her prosthesis. We compared what was more comfortable. It’s trial and error,” White said.
It’s that comfort level that these cancer survivors want to share with other women.
“Some of the cancers for women are very personal... and some women aren’t comfortable talking about (their cancer) in support groups for men and women,” Lynch said.
The support group is open to all women who are dealing with or have dealt with not only breast cancer but all types of cancer. Women who are a support to others with cancer are also welcome to attend.
Lynch feels that being surrounded by women who have faced a cancer diagnosis and who are moving on with their lives is empowering.
“That’s great encouragement, to know you’re not alone,” she said.
The goal of the group is to have someone to talk to and/or listen to, Lynch said.
She believes the support group will be particularly helpful to women newly diagnosed with cancer.
Lynch said neither she nor White are medical experts, rather are sharing their personal stories in an effort to reach out to other women.
“Everybody is going to go on a different (cancer) journey. Some people will have harder roads than others. Just to hear other people’s stories is helpful,” Lynch said.
The first support group meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14 in the meeting room at the Labrador City Arena. The town is providing the room free of charge. Other meetings will follow the first Wednesday of every month.
For more information on the group call White at 709-280-1261 or Lynch at 709-280-6975.