Common Ground Partners
A group for partners and spouses of those living with metastatic breast cancer or progressive gynecologic disease.
By Theo Munson, Group Facilitator
Once a month, partners and spouses join in a conversation of support and information as they care for and about their loved ones on an intense cancer journey. Being a caregiver is complicated and is too often an unrecognized and unappreciated job – even a lonely one. Our participants validate the simple need to have people to talk to who understand what they are going through.
Some have expressed the sensation of life lived in an aquarium – looking out on a world going about its business seemingly without a thought to other peoples’ struggles. They have developed increased compassion for others in similar circumstances.
COVID concerns have exacerbated feelings of isolation and uncertainty for many. During the pandemic, our sessions have continued virtually. At these monthly networking meetings, practical ideas are exchanged. We discuss how cancer has invaded the family and navigate issues such as: how much to be involved in treatment decisions, understanding side effects and their partner’s needs, as well as managing practical household tasks that continue to require attention. All this is woven with good humor. The many challenges and rewards of daily life – work, play, family relationships, friendships, vacations, and travel decisions – are also shared.
Facilitators are Theo Munson (who also facilitates the weekly Common Ground group for those living with metastatic disease) and Stephen Munson, retired psychiatrist. Theo treasures words from Steve – her main supporter when she had breast cancer in 2008: “Nothing is too small to talk about… or too big,” – a good mantra for these meetings.
If you have metastatic breast or gyn cancer – learn more about about our Common Ground meetings here.