During your treatment you may have the opportunity to meet other young people who are going through a similar experience. This can give you the chance to talk about things that you might not want to talk about with your other friends, and to ask other people how they coped with side effects that may be affecting you. This kind of support is known as ‘peer support’, and for many people this will form an important part of their coping strategy. However, some people choose not to meet others until the end of their treatment, or may not choose to do so at all.
If you are treated on a Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) ward, you are likely to meet people of a similar age quite by chance, however if you are treated on a Paediatric or Adult ward, you may meet fewer people your age. Your local TYA Team may organise events or activities so that you can meet other young people and these often include opportunities to bring along friends or family members so that they can benefit from peer support too. If this is something you are interested in, speak to your local TYA Team, who will be able to help with this.
If you live in the south west of England, and you are over 16, you can join a social networking site called realshare, which is only for 16-30 year olds who have had cancer. This is a secure, moderated site, where you can join in with discussions on forums and find out about local peer support events.