Guest Post by David Haas

David contacted me a week or so ago asking if he could contribute a post.

It’s easy for me to forget sometimes, now that my fight with cancer is sufficiently far in the past. It’s good to be reminded of things sometimes.

David can be found online at http://haasblaag.blogspot.com/

 

Cancer Networks Offer Invaluable Support

A diagnosis of cancer can be a terrifying and life-altering experience. Patients often feel alone in their fight, or worry that their concerns are not valid. No one should have to battle cancer alone, and there are numerous support networks available to prevent isolation.

Depending on preference, a quick search online can reveal many support networks in-person or online. Participants in these groups can range from those newly diagnosed to individuals in remission. Whether the diagnosis is of breast cancer, leukemia, mesothelioma or other types of cancers, there are groups available that can help address the concerns of specific cancers and their respective treatments.

The opportunity to communicate with others going through similar circumstances is invaluable, and many online communities also offer members space to share their stories through pictures and blogging. Candidly discussing concerns with other members is a way to gain first-hand knowledge about upcoming medical testing, selecting treatment options, or expecting what could occur during and after treatment. Many of the people in these networks have developed their own strategies for dealing with treatment effects, and are willing to share their suggestions. Every experience is unique, and each person has something meaningful to contribute.

Additionally, suggestions can be found about seeking a second opinion, family and friends, or financial matters. There are often off-topic discussions on hobbies or other interests, and many members find there are similarities that bond them beyond cancer. Although communities offer much needed support, many life-long friendships are made from the experience.

Sometimes, when a doctor says the word “cancer” hope can fade. But, reading or listening to the stories of people who are winning their battle with cancer is inspiring, and rekindles hope. An opportunity to share an experience can mean the next person’s journey is a little less difficult, and provide motivation to both the person telling their experience and the audience. The American Cancer Society offers an online network and a searchable database to locate other support networks at.

A good support system is a major factor in the treatment of cancer, and its positive effects should not be underestimated. Finding real answers to questions and a listening ear from people on a similar journey, or ones that have been through the process already is within reach.
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