Originally published by Cancer Spot, a new app-based cancer support community, on their blog.
QUESTION: Everyone is always going on and on about the cancer community and how supportive it is. I’m not really involved right now, but is it something I should look in to? – AM I A MEMBER?
Dear Member #1,
I’ll be honest, I didn’t take advantage of the community while I was going through chemo. The counselors with my oncology department told me about various camps and programs. My mother attended several support groups. I could have reached out and spoken to people like me if I had wanted to.
But I didn’t. I didn’t want to be part of the cancer community. I didn’t want to sit around talking about why chemo sucks and which drugs suck more or less. I wanted to go back to class. I wanted to talk to my friends about the costume party on Friday or the pet rabbit that we had adopted. I wanted my life to be as normal as possible.
Thankfully that worked for me. I had an extremely supportive family, friend group, administration, and treatment team. Everyone did everything they could to make sure my life was as normal as it could be, as I wanted it to be.
But not everyone is that lucky. Most people need to talk about how cancer sucks and know that they’re not alone. Especially when you’re isolated in your house because you’re immunosuppressed, you may need someone to reach out to who can talk you through things. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog.
The internet is an amazing place. Over the last couple of years there has been a huge proliferation of people reaching out to talk about their cancer and support others going through the same thing. Some websites offer advice on financing your healthcare treatment. Some offer medical advice and specifics about various medications. And some, like Cancer Spot, offer a place to talk, to meet people, to hear about what other people are experiencing and know that you’re not alone.
Even though it’s taken me this long, I’m an active part of the community now. It’s a wonderful group of people whose sole purpose is to help YOU in whatever way you need. If that means you don’t take advantage now, that’s okay. You’re welcome to come after treatment, in 5 years, in 10 years, whenever you’re ready. I’ll see you there.
How have you taken advantage of the online cancer community? What support resources can you recommend?
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