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Finding Strength and Support: The Breslow Center’s Breast Cancer Support Groups
Feb 8, 2024

In the journey through breast cancer, finding a supportive community can make all the difference. At The Breslow Center for Plastic Surgery, we understand the importance of emotional well-being during this challenging time. That’s why we are proud to offer Breast Cancer Support Groups led by our Patient Care Coordinator and breast cancer survivor, Cheri Montalto.

 

Creating a Safe Haven:

Our support groups provide a safe space for breast cancer survivors at any stage of their journey. Cheri Montalto, with her firsthand experience, leads these sessions, ensuring a compassionate and understanding environment. The positive feedback we’ve received reflects the impact of sharing experiences and struggles with those who truly understand.

 

Building Connections:

Participants in our support groups often express how inspiring and helpful it is to connect with individuals who have faced similar challenges and fears. The camaraderie that develops within the group transforms these sessions into more than just support groups – they become gatherings of friends and family supporting each other through shared laughter, smiles, and a sense of understanding.

The first time I went to a Strong Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group meeting was in September of 2022. I had just completed the first phase of my treatment, 6 rounds of TCHP (chemotherapy). My next step was surgery. Dr. Greaney from the Breslow Center was my plastic surgeon. That is where I met Cheri Montalto who hosts the Strong Warrior monthly meetings. I can’t say enough about this group or Cheri ! I wasn’t sure what to expect. But, I can say it more than exceeded my expectations. It has been a place I get strength, a place to cry, and just a place to come together with women who 100% get it. I look forward to this meeting every month. It is not a group that is at all depressing. Every month, it is 100% uplifting. I’ve made lifelong friends here that I will be forever grateful for. When I was so scared about the unknowns and surgery, I came to my first meeting and that is where I met one of those women. She had just had a double mastectomy and was sitting there looking beautiful and strong just a week out of surgery. That gave me the peace of mind that “I can do this!. The following month, a week after my own surgery, I was able to do the same for another patient at our meeting. This group made things less scary and is just a really nice place to get together with a circle of girlfriends, have some dinner, talk, & laugh (and we do that A LOT), get information from each other, and most of all, we get the support and friendship that we need through what is otherwise a very scary part of our lives. I am forever thankful for this group!”

Lisa Soltis
Breast Cancer Strong Warrior

 

Monthly Meetings:

Our support groups meet on the first Monday of every month, offering a regular and consistent opportunity for attendees to connect. Dinner is provided, allowing everyone to relax and focus on the connections being formed. These meetings start at 6 pm, providing a convenient time for participants to attend.

 

Expert Insights:

In addition to the invaluable peer support, our Breast Cancer Support Groups often feature guest speakers who provide beneficial advice and insights. Recent speakers have included nutritionists, reiki therapists, and other professionals offering guidance and additional treatments to assist survivors in their journey towards recovery.

“Inspired by the resilient words of breast cancer survivor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who urged us to “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you,” the STRONG WARRIORS GROUP embodies this Spirit. Cancer’s impact extends beyond treatment, and from my initial encounter to the present, their professional caregiving, led by the exceptional Care Coordinator – Cheri, along with the wonderful members, has been instrumental in my physical and mental resurgence. The long-lasting effects of cancer can linger and affect various aspects of patients’ and their loved ones’ lives. Yet, it’s the unwavering support of group like STRONG WARRIORS that empowers many of us to make a meaningful comeback especially when we are emotionally broken. Our monthly meetings are filled with discussions, Knowledge,experienced guidance, laughter, and a shared anticipation for the future. In the face of adversity, the group embodies the belief that “There’s always hope beyond what we see” and demonstrates that it’s not just about surviving but thriving and reclaiming a healthy, wonderful life. This is the essence of the STRONG WARRIORS GROUP.”

 

At The Breslow Center for Plastic Surgery, our commitment extends beyond medical procedures. The Breast Cancer Support Groups offer a lifeline of support, encouragement, and shared understanding. Join us on the first Monday of every month at 6 pm for an evening of connection and inspiration as we navigate the path of breast cancer together.

To learn more about our Breast Cancer Support Meetings, or would like to attend, please email CMontalto@breslowmd.com

This support group has really made a difference in my journey with cancer. I am not really a support group kind of person. I do love supporting others but I always feel well supported by my family and friends. After being diagnosed & going through the tornado of doctors & being bombarded by everything, I was told about Strong Warriors. I was only going to be 1 week out from surgery when the meeting was going to be held but I felt like needed to go just to get some insight from other people & help me process what I had just been through. After the first meeting, I already felt better. These were total stranger and I didn’t even know their names but I shared something with them that not many can understand. Everyone’s experiences is different & we all have different beliefs but we were able to talk openly. The environment is relaxed & it feels like getting together with a group of girlfriend. If I dont know about something, someone else had already been through it or if I have fears, someone else has had them & they are there to help me through those feelings. Sometimes we don’t even talk about cancer, we just talk, laugh & have fun. It’s normally not sad (even though we do have moments but you never feel alone) it’s truly uplifting because you can feel that people genuinely care & you can help others. It’s a way of taking control of something you can’t change & using it to help others & in return help yourself. ❤️”

About the Author

Dr. Gary Breslow, MD, FACS

Dr. Gary Breslow, MD, FACS

Is a highly regarded plastic surgeon in Paramus New Jersey, known by both patients and peers as a problem-solver with a warm, engaging personality, and an instinctive ability to identify and truly understand the goals of his patients and the patients, themselves. Dr. Breslow has dedicated his efforts to providing results of only the most unsurpassed quality, continually staying abreast of the most advanced techniques in cosmetic surgery for the benefit of his patients. Dr. Breslow is Board-Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is licensed to practice plastic & reconstructive surgery in both New Jersey and New York.

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