Open Discussions

Our Open Discussions address specific topics pertaining to living with cancer. Participants share and learn from one another. They also learn that they are not alone.

Open Discussions are not educational forums with presentations by doctors or other experts. They’re a place where people come together to discuss a specific challenge they have in common as a result of their experiences. Read this article about the benefits of Open Discussions.

Some Open Discussions are scheduled for a single session. Others are scheduled for multiple sessions during the year and you can attend as many sessions as you’d like.

Please view this page often to check for new sessions as we add them throughout the year. You can also visit our calendar.


It’s Okay to Grieve, Let’s Talk: An Open Discussion for Men Living With Loss

WHEN: Tuesdays, 1/31/23, 3/28/23, 5/16/23; 7 – 8 p.m. (NY Time)
WHERE: Zoom video conference

Open to men nationwide who have lost a spouse or partner to breast, ovarian, or other gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) Monday the day before the session you wish to attend. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

It is never possible to prepare yourself for the loss of a spouse or partner. Learning how to cope with the grief and the impact on your life is hard to do alone. Speaking with others who have also been through it is an excellent way to learn and feel less alone.

This program is open to all men who have experienced loss, regardless of how much time has gone by. Our facilitator will lead the discussion which will include the following topics:

  • There is no one way to grieve: no right way, and no wrong way.
  • Dealing with unexpected “trigger points” and reminders.
  • Coping with loneliness.
  • Giving yourself permission to move forward.

The open discussion format provides a safe and supportive venue to talk with others coping with similar challenges. Share concerns, experiences and information with others who have been there too.

Discussion Leaders: Alan Bandes and Alan Forst are volunteer facilitators who have personally experienced the loss of their beloved wives to breast cancer.

Download Flyer

For Men Only, Let’s Talk: An Open Discussion For Men With A Spouse Or Partner Going Through Cancer

WHEN: Tuesday, 2/7/2023; 7-8 p.m. (NY time)
WHERE: Zoom video conference

Open to men nationwide who have a spouse or partner living with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) the day before the session you wish to attend.

It may be your spouse or partner who has been diagnosed with cancer, but it also affects you, as well as your family. You want to help and be supportive, but it’s not always easy to know how. Speaking with others who are in the same situation is an excellent way to learn, get ideas, and feel less alone.

This program is open to all men who have a spouse or partner dealing with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer, at any stage from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. Our facilitator will lead the discussion which will include following topics:

  • What it’s like to see your spouse or partner go through cancer, and how it affects you.
  • How cancer can impact you and your spouse or partner, your relationship and your family.
  • Coping strategies for you, your spouse or partner, and your family.
  • Giving yourself permission to take care of your own needs at the same time as you support your loved one.

The open discussion format provides a safe and supportive venue to talk with others coping with similar challenges. Share concerns, experiences and information with others who’ve been there too.

DISCUSSION LEADER: David Tartaglia is a volunteer facilitator who has personally experienced coping with his own wife’s breast cancer journey.

Download Flyer

7 Or More Years Post-Diagnosis: An Open Discussion

WHEN: Tuesdays, 2/28/23, 5/23/23, 9/26/23, 11/28/23; 7 – 8 p.m. NY time
WHERE: Zoom video conference

Open to women nationwide, who are seven or more years post breast, ovarian or any gynecological cancer diagnosis. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) the day before the session you wish to attend. Space is limited.

Many of you call with questions regarding ongoing needs and concerns years after a cancer diagnosis.  This open discussion group provides a venue to connect and talk openly with other women who have the same questions as you.

We invite you to join us for this open discussion where you’ll have a chance to connect with other women coping with questions such as:

  • Have short term side effects become long term?
  • Are you experiencing long-term effects from your surgical procedures?
  • Living with fear of recurrence?
  • Is stress and anxiety thwarting your self-care?
  • What tools and strategies are women employing to support their sense of wellness?
  • All topics of interest are welcome.

This is not an educational forum it is a discussion group where concerns and information will be exchanged. The discussion will be led by a Support Connection Peer Counselor.

The Open Discussion format presents a valuable opportunity to connect with others with similar concerns who understand what you’re going through, and a chance to help one another by sharing information, resources, and coping strategies.

Download Flyer

Young Women’s Open Discussion

WHEN: 3/7/23, 6/6/23, 9/12/23, 12/5/23; 7 – 8 p.m. NY time
WHERE: Zoom video conference

Open to women nationwide, under the age of 50, who have or have had breast, ovarian or any gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Support Connection, 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. Must register no later than 5 pm (NY time) the day before the session you wish to attend.

There is no age discrimination for cancer. Support Connection recognizes that those diagnosed at a young age face unique challenges. We invite you to join us for a chance to connect with other young women and share your concerns and experiences. This discussion will be led by a Support Connection Peer Counselor who was diagnosed at a young age.

From dealing with early menopause, to managing work & personal life, and then contemplating one’s survivorship plan … this can all be very overwhelming. This open discussion is a place to come together and talk about challenges we may have in common, providing an opportunity for young women to share experiences and support as they navigate short and long-term effects of a cancer diagnosis at a young age.

All topics are welcome and here are some that may be discussed:

  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Self-Care
  • Intimacy & Sexual Health
  • Loss of Youthfulness & Body Image
  • Work & Family Life

Please note, this is not an educational program; there will be no professionals speaking about the medical or psychosocial aspects of cancer. Our Open Discussions offers an opportunity to meet others who understand what you are going through and possibly aid one another by sharing resources and coping strategies.

Download Flyer