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Using the Internet to Provide Cancer Support

There are millions of people who have battled cancer and who will battle cancer in the future. And yet when your loved one is diagnosed with cancer – or you, yourself, are diagnosed with cancer – it can suddenly feel as if you are alone in the world. There is nothing lonelier that trying to decipher all the information about a disease from which you are suddenly inseparable and determine what to do in terms of treatment. It is a surreal, overwhelming time and it can feel as if you are adrift in a boat over which you have no control.

Slowly but surely most of us will realize that we indeed have a rich and varied community available to us – membership in a club that none of us wanted to join. But that membership does mean that we have access to people who have come before us and, in turn, we are able to provide that support to those who will inevitably come after us. We have the benefit of their experiences and the information they have gathered, and this can very much help us feel that we are not so alone. There are others who have felt this indescribable feeling; others who have stood where we now stand.

In the age of the internet we are luckier than ever in having access to this information and community support. Using the internet – community forums, online support groups, cancer informational resource pages, and more – we can:

* Better understand the details of our diagnosis and the treatment options that are available to us.

* Learn what questions we should be asking of our doctors.

* Read about natural options for helping to ease symptoms that arise from treatment.

* Talk with people who truly understand what we are feeling.

* Give us hope by reading the stories of those who have battled before us and come out the other side.

Take advantage of all that the internet has to offer in terms of helping us to achieve a better understanding of cancer and a calmer, more positive outlook in our health care plan.

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