Sustained by Community

November 14, 2017

For our 35th anniversary year, as part of our Fall Cancer Awareness campaign, the Cancer Support Community would like to highlight how you can support someone with cancer so that you or your loved ones can feel “sustained by community.”

Today, we live in communities in which everyone has been affected by cancer. Whether we’ve been diagnosed ourselves or have seen a loved one battle the disease, we all have a cancer story. Cancer impacts communities in every corner of the world, and CSC has found ways to create communities centered around the illness to help people get through their cancer experiences.  

Cancer can be a scary, lonely experience, no matter how many loved ones a patient may have. It can be isolating to go through treatment, but research has found that relying on others for support can improve a patient’s attitude, enhance their ability to handle the stress and produce a higher overall feeling of hope. The Cancer Support Community offers free access to services that bring people together to discuss the physical, emotional, sexual and financial effects of life with cancer because the organization has found that support communities are one of the most useful tools in coping with a cancer diagnosis.

A powerful resource offered through CSC is MyLifeLine.

MyLifeLine is an online space for anyone impacted by cancer to find support, education and hope. Whether you're newly diagnosed or a long-term survivor, whether you're a teenager or senior citizen, MyLifeLine is a safe space for everyone affected by cancer. Through discussion boards on topics like living with cancer in your 20s-30s, nutrition, coping with side effects, and caregiver support,  MyLifeLine provides the chance for cancer patients and their loved ones to gather together to help and support one another.

Another feature of MyLifeLine personal website. At no cost, patients can create a website that allows friends and family to stay updated on their cancer journey and offer support. Patients’ loved ones can log onto the website to see treatment updates, send messages of love and encouragement, learn more about their loved one’s diagnosis, offer financial support and upload photos. It is an easy, free way for patients to keep their friends and family up-to-date on their illness without having to relay the same updates and treatment details over and over again.

By joining these online communities, members of these groups realize that they are not alone. They have the opportunity to talk about their experiences and learn more about their illness while also helping others.