HIGH POINT, N.C. -- For many women, High Point Regional’s breast cancer support group represents a circle of hope.
"I came here... I cried, I laughed and sometimes I was just quiet,” breast cancer survivor Patra Holland said.
The Hayworth Cancer Center has become an outlet for people who have experienced the journey of breast cancer to receive the additional emotional support they often need.
Holland, a hospice nurse accustomed to caring for others, needed that “extra” for herself.
"My church family was there and my co-workers were there, but it seemed like I wasn’t getting enough,” she said.
She continued, "I felt like being around people who knew my journey.”
"It's like giving birth. You can talk about it, but until you actually go through it, that's when you really can connect and understand,” breast cancer survivor Glennett Morning said.
Morning was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of this year and attended the support group for the first time this month.
"It's not really like a gloomy [setting]. You can have that moment, but they also back it up with laughter and that's the type of thing you need when you're going through,” she said.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Marissa Cangin facilitates the breast cancer support group and has a background in psychosocial oncology. She says the group provides a safe place to express a variety of emotions.
"There can be laughter among tears and they don't have to be mutually exclusive,” Cangin said.
"They've taught me that through a struggle there can be incredible growth and kinship and faith development."
You don’t have to be a cancer patient to participate. The group welcomes all stages of survivorship and men as well.
The support group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the Hayworth Cancer Center.