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.


Young Women’s Open Discussion

WHEN: 4/7/22, 6/14/22, 10/18/22, 12/6/22; 7 – 8 p.m. NY time
WHERE: ZOOM video conference

Open to women nationwide, ages 20 – 40 years old, who have or have had 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.

The discussion will be led by two of Support Connection’s Peer Counselors, who were both diagnosed with cancer as young women.

There is no age discrimination for cancer. Support Connection understands there are unique challenges faced by those diagnosed at a young age.

What are the challenges you face as a young woman living with a diagnosis of breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer? What strategies have you found helpful in navigating life after cancer diagnosis? We invite you to join us for this open discussion where you’ll have a chance to connect with other young women coping with issues such as:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Dealing with medically/surgically induced menopause
  • Family and relationships
  • Fertility issues
  • Career
  • Any other topics of interest you would like to discuss

This is not an educational program; there will be no professionals speaking about the medical or psycho-social aspects of cancer. Our Open Discussions present 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.

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

WHEN: Coming Soon – Check back for details!
WHERE: ZOOM video conference

Open to men nationwide who have lost a spouse or partner to breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Pre-registration is required. 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’ve 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 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’ve been there too.

DISCUSSION LEADER: Alan Bandes is a volunteer facilitator who has personally experienced the loss of his beloved wife to breast cancer.

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

WHEN: Tuesdays, 6/7/22, 10/11/22, 12/13/22; 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) on Mon., June 6.

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.

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7 Years Or More Post-Diagnosis: An Open Discussion

WHEN: Tuesdays, 5/24/22, 9/27/22, 11/22/22; 7 – 8 p.m. NY time
WHERE: ZOOM video conference

Open to people nationwide who were diagnosed with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer 7 or more years ago. 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.

Even years after receiving their cancer diagnosis, many people find themselves facing issues, concerns and questions that can be challenging. The issues often are very different from the ones encountered early in the cancer journey.

We invite you to join us for this open discussion where you’ll have a chance to connect with others who are also 7+ years post-diagnosis and are coping with these unique challenges. Talk about questions such as:

  • Have treatment recommendations and follow-up care changed since your diagnosis?
  • Have short term side effects become long term?
  • Are stress and anxiety thwarting your self-care?
  • Do you find yourself wondering what doctors you should still be seeing and why?
  • Do you find telehealth challenging?
  • All topics of interest are welcome.

This is not an educational program; there will be no professionals speaking about the medical or psychosocial aspects of cancer. It is a discussion facilitated by a Support Connection Peer Counselor.

Our Open Discussions present 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