Monday, July 18, 2011

The Power of Cancer Support Systems

David Haas asked me if he could be a guest blog writer. Here is his article.

The burden of facing cancer alone

It seems that cancer can strike anyone at any time. Those of us who have survived cancer each have our own unique story to tell. We have had episodes with fear and sadness as well as challenges with drugs and treatments. This is true for cancers of all types, ranging from common cancers like breast cancer and skin malignancies to rare disease like mesothelioma. We've had ups and downs, good days and bad days and times that went too slowly. Through it all, we always remember those that were by our side - our support. 



The value of local support groups



A battle with cancer can be an eye opening experience in that it often reveals the best in people. The support you gain from friends and loved ones is immeasurable and cannot be administered by your doctors but is nonetheless integral to holistic healing and cancer treatment. Those that can be found locally allow us to meet others in person and have conversations and interactions that uplift and strengthen us. There are meetings in conference rooms, coffee shops and even yoga and meditation for those that want to and are able to participate.

Support on the Internet:

The web is home to a number of great resources for cancer patients and survivors. These online cancer survivor networks help us to find the right support programs and also help us to connect with others. There are several services you can find online.

Member search can help to find a specific person. There are also discussion boards where you can post thoughts or questions. If you like, there are chat rooms where you can interact with others by conversing in real time. For those who seek a more personal interaction, you have the option to send private email messages to others.. If you like the idea of sharing more, you can even create a profile area to tell others about yourself. You can share pictures and even audio and video. Some people like to write a blog and some like to share with others advice and information that they've come across.



How to take advantage of the support available



When we share with others, we gain so much more. It's the writing and the interaction and the openness to others that can help in the process. For example, someone challenged with mesothelioma may have questions or concerns about mesothelioma life expectancy and other details about the condition. Finding people online at places like the American Cancer Society patient and survivor network provides many ideas about support services from the American Cancer Society and affiliated programs. Whether you are just not facing a cancer diagnosis, have survived cancer, or are aiding a loved one facing cancer, don't underestimate the importance of support through networks and programs both in person and on the Internet. It can make a true difference.

By: David Haas

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