two people in a crowd waving to each other

Community Shares: The Benefits of the Advanced Breast Cancer Online Community

Last updated: December 2020

The power of community should never be underestimated. When it comes to living with advanced breast cancer, someone may feel alone when first receiving news of the diagnosis. Perhaps you may not have friends or family members who have lived through the disease and can help you walk this journey. Or, even if you do, it never hurts to have even more supporters sharing information, understanding your fears and pains, and offering hope and encouragement.

The reasons to seek community are many. To find out more which reasons resonate most with you, we reached out on the Facebook page, asking you to finish the sentence: I come to this advanced breast cancer community page because...

Almost 100 of you responded. Here’s what some of you said.

“I need support.”

A big piece of getting through a difficult time is support— being able to ask for it and receive it. Having support can be the difference-maker in terms of not just getting through something, but coming out on the other side with a positive, hopeful attitude.

“I need support.”

“I am in a dilemma and really could use some sound feedback.”

“Sometimes I need support.”

“These are my people.”

We all need a community. Community means people who understand and empathize with what we are going through. People who say, “me too” when we share the hard stuff. As one community member put it, it’s about connection and not pity. Too often, those outside of the cancer community want to express concern, but it’s a fine line. It’s common that their good intentions come off more like pity, which isn’t terribly helpful for healing. Rather, as we tackle difficult situations, we all want to know we are walking shoulder to shoulder with peers who understand.

“I appreciate having a place where I can be open and honest with others experiencing the same things I am.”

“I want facts, support and to also be able to provide support or a kind word. I don’t want pity or platitudes.”

“These are my people, they get me and I get them. We are family!”

“To give back to the community.”

Many in the Facebook community have survived breast cancer and appreciate all the love, kindness and support they experienced while fighting the diagnosis. Now, they want to reach out a hand and support those who are currently struggling with breast cancer—because they know that this disease is not one we fight alone. Likewise, quite a few people in the community are hospital workers and other healthcare providers looking to further help patients in need.

“To give back to the community where we have been supported.”

“I am a warrior and I would like to help others fight when it's too hard.”

“I’m an oncology nurse, and I care about my patients.”

“Gives information.”

One of the main reasons people find their way to the Facebook community page is that they are seeking information—especially information shared by people who have first-hand experience. Yes, information on medical sites can be helpful, but it’s quite another experience to receive tips, advice and knowledge from those who are fighting or have fought this disease.

“Gives information.”

“Hope and encouragement.”

Lastly, what good would it be to come and share and unload if, in the end, you’re not buoyed up by those you talk with. Several of you shared that this online community is a place to come find the energy and strength to keep going another day.

“Hope and encouragement.”

We want to say thank you to everyone who shared. We appreciate your openness and vulnerability. Without you, there would be no community, so thank you.

Why do you come to this advanced breast cancer community site?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you been successful in getting financial assistance to help with your medical costs?