Community Shares: Why I Am Part of the ABC Community
We are so glad that each and every one of you is part of the AdvancedBreastCancer.net (ABC) community! We were recently curious about what draws you to be here and engage with others. To get better insight, we asked followers of our Facebook page: “Finish the sentence: I come to this metastatic breast cancer community because ___.”
Many of your responses directly reflect what we consider to be our purpose of “empowering people with advanced breast cancer and caregivers to manage advanced breast cancer by providing a platform to learn, educate, and connect with peers and healthcare professionals.” Or, as one member summed it up, “They are my people."
To know I am not alone
Being part of the ABC community helps many of you feel affirmed. Living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) can be a difficult and lonely experience. While family and friends are supportive, this community allows you to connect with others who are traveling a similar road. Knowing you are not alone eases the burden of this diagnosis.
- “I wanted to know I wasn’t alone.”
- “I wanted to find other people who know what I’m going through and can laugh, cry, and understand.”
- “I like to connect with others who are going through the same thing as I am.”
- “It helps knowing other people out there experience the same things I do, like fatigue and pain, fear, and anxiety.”
Another aspect that draws many of you to the community is the information provided. Having a place to learn more about MBC is helpful as you navigate this diagnosis. ABC offers general information about metastatic breast cancer, including signs and symptoms, the diagnosis process, and current treatments. The community also provides articles about the lived experience of advocates with MBC facing similar challenges.
- “There is excellent information as well as personal experience and support.”
- “I’m seeking information and insight.”/li>
Many of you come to the ABC community to find support and encouragement while living with metastatic breast cancer. On difficult days, you receive compassion from others. Here you find understanding and empathy for the many challenges of MBC.
- “It gives me mental strength and uplifting.”
- “Kind words, encouraging people.”
- “I need support, encouragement, information, and some good positive vibes.”
- “This group of people get me, understand my daily pains and joys, and offer unconditional love and support."
- “It’s nice to talk to people who actually understand what I’m going through. Tired of having to explain why, how, when, where over and over."
To support others
Many also shared that you specifically come to the community to support others. Being a resource for those who are newly diagnosed is gratifying. Sharing your stories, encouraging others, and offering ideas to the newly diagnosed can help provide a sense of purpose. ABC offers a place for the knowledge you have gained to help others.
- “Hopefully I can inspire others being an almost 5-year survivor.”
- “I was/am looking for inspiration, and I hope to be a source of inspiration given time.”
It was a joy to read all your comments about why you keep returning to this community. We are so grateful to all of you for being part of AdvancedBreastCancer.net. Thank you for sharing with us and each other.
Caregivers: Do you practice self-care?