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You may have found your way to this site on recommendation of a health care professional, friend or colleague who thought that the site may help you cope with the diagnosis of advanced/metastatic breast cancer. This may be your first diagnosis, or it may be a recurrence or a progression of a previous breast cancer.
Although thousands of women each year receive the same diagnosis, the impact that this has on each woman’s life can be very different.
When you received your diagnosis, you may have felt overwhelmed with the road that lies ahead of you, and all the decisions that need to be made.
As you manage different aspects of your metastatic breast cancer treatment, the Finding My Way-Advanced program can assist you in coping with many of the challenges faced during this time
About the program
Finding My Way-Advanced is an interactive web-based coping program developed in collaboration with women living with advanced/metastatic breast cancer, breast cancer experts, and health care professionals.
This program is designed to help you manage some of the major physical, emotional and social challenges that may arise.
Research has shown that learning new skills to manage these issues is very important in helping you adjust to your diagnosis, and can have long-term benefits for your quality of life, while reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.
Finding My Way around the program
The program is organised into six modules which cover different parts of your treatment pathway from diagnosis through to deciding whether or not to finish treatment.
Each week a new module will be available for you to access. Please keep in mind that the order that you complete these modules is up to you; one of the first things we encourage you do is to have a look at the different topics we cover, and then put the modules in order according to your current priorities.
This program will not discuss the medical side of your diagnosis as we realise that you have been given a large amount of information from your treatment team.
The six modules in this program will provide you with some information and strategies on how to:
- Communicate with your medical team and make decisions about your treatment
- Cope with the unique challenges of having an advanced/metastatic diagnosis
- Cope with your physical symptoms and side effects
- Cope with emotional distress
- Cope with changes to your body image and identity, and
- Address social issues that may occur with your family and friends
What each module contains
Each module contains:
- Information about the types of difficulties that women experience;
- Video clips from women with advanced/metastatic breast cancer, told from their perspective, and from two health care cancer professionals about the issues you may experience.
- Written stories and quotes from women.
- A number of suggestions and worksheets that you can complete online, or print off if you prefer.
- A ‘Favourites’ feature. This can be used in two ways. First, if you find a page that you want to be able to come back to quickly, you can bookmark or save it and it will be added to your ‘favourites’ section, for easy quick reference later. Second, on any page within the modules, if you want to jot down a note about something you have read, you can click on the ‘add note’ button, and the note will be saved to that page. All the pages you have bookmarked and made notes about will appear in your ‘favourites’ section, which can be accessed from your homescreen.
- Relaxation and meditation exercises, and quizzes/tasks to complete so you can track your own progress.
At the end of each module, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback on how helpful you found it.
There is also a resources section which you can access at any stage throughout the program. This section can be easily accessed through the Resources link located on the bottom of every page, and contains links to other websites, recommended books, and other organisations.
How to use Finding My Way-Advanced
Each week we will send you an email and/or a text message to let you know that the latest module is available for you to look at. When working through each module, remember that there are no right or wrong answers or feelings. You are welcome to share this program with your loved ones.
The program may be most useful to you if you read through it, bit by bit, in the next 6 weeks to 3 months. Within this time frame, you should feel free to work through it at your own pace and do as many of the tasks that suit you.
Remember that you can set your own order for the modules, and you can change this order at any time, if one of the remaining modules becomes more of a priority.
You can refer back to the modules that you have completed at any time. This may be if or when you feel they become more relevant. You won’t be ‘locked out’ of the program, so you can keep referring back to it at any time.
We recommend starting with the Diagnosis module, as this covers issues that arise immediately after diagnosis, such as making decisions and communicating with your treatment team.
We hope that you will find this program helpful during your treatment for advanced/metastatic breast cancer.