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.
The Living Room is an online space for anyone impacted by cancer to find support, education and hope. Through message boards on topics like reclaiming life after cancer, managing treatment side-effects, family issues, loss and returning to work, the Living Room provides the chance for cancer patients to gather together to help and support one another.
One feature of the Living Room is the 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.
The Group Loop is an online support center for teenagers affected by cancer. Being a teenager is hard enough without being diagnosed with cancer or having friends or family with the illness. Group Loop is a safe place for teenagers to go to talk through their feelings with others who understand what they are going through. They have access 24-hour discussion boards, personal blogs, instant messenger, a video journal and they have the chance to make friends in the cancer community.
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.