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How to find solace online after a cancer diagnosis

Sarah Dee

A cancer diagnosis is life changing and even when you are surrounded by a network of support from family and friends, you may struggle with loneliness and feeling as if no one really understands what you are going through. As a result, it may be tempting to isolate yourself from the outside world and try to face your challenges alone. While this is a natural reaction and part of the coping process, seeking support and accepting help from loved ones can help you get through the most difficult parts of your journey with cancer.

While physical support from family, friends, and coworkers can be invaluable, here are a few reasons why you may find that social media is a great place to seek support and share your journey with others:

Making connections with others

You may already be part of a local cancer support group and even though the connections you make during your meetings are important, making more connections can be beneficial during your journey. Whether you join a cancer support group on Facebook or decide to share your journey with cancer, you may find that friends and family have experienced some of the same highs and lows as you.

Finding inspiration

Sharing your story is powerful, but hearing another’s journey with cancer can be just as powerful and inspiring. If you are struggling to find motivation and positivity, you may find it in someone else’s story of survival. You may be able to put your own life and journey into perspective and others may be inspired by you.

Increasing education

Learning as much as you can about your cancer diagnosis can help you make better informed decisions about your treatment plan. If you are trying to decide whether or not to try a new cancer treatment drug or are on the fence about a surgical procedure, your presence on social media can increase your education and help you make a solid decision. Doctors will give you one opinion, but your online friends and supporters may be able to offer their own perspectives and experiences. A recent study has even revealed that cancer patients who used social media had more confidence and satisfaction in their treatment decisions.

Seeking help and support

Even when you need it the most, asking for help can often be difficult. Sometimes social media can make asking for help or support a little easier since you can send out a general message rather than asking individuals. Whether you want to share your request for financial support through GoFundMe, share Meal Train, or update others with your CaringBridge site, social media is an effective platform.

Raising awareness

Although social media can help you through your own personal journey with cancer, by using social media you are also raising awareness for cancer. By sharing and liking updates by cancer awareness organizations, you are educating friends and family and may ultimately help raise money for cancer research through charitable donations.
Originally published on BlogHer

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