Should You Share Your Cancer Story On Social Media?
I think it was only a few days after I discovered I had metastatic breast cancer that I shared it on my personal Facebook page. Mainly because my social media is mostly family and close friends, I thought one post would reach everyone I wanted or needed to tell about my breast cancer.
I did not want to have to call many different family members and friends and explain what was happening. Partly because I did not know what was happening and all the details of my diagnosis and treatments.
Another reason I shared on social media was because I wanted and needed the support. As someone who does not have many close friends outside of social media, I just wanted supportive and comforting words to surround me as much as possible.
Not wanting to answer all the questions
I was unprepared for the number of people that started to call and text, though. I was bombarded with phone calls wanting all the information I did not yet have, so in hindsight, I probably should have waited a few weeks to bring it all to the open. Just so I could answer the questions, even though I did not want to answer the questions.
I think that is the main reason most people fighting cancer like to keep it to themselves, so they do not have to answer all the questions about the unknown.
Metastatic breast cancer is an unknown cancer for the majority of people in the world. Even after you explain it, people do not understand.
They will ask questions like, how long will you be on treatment? Can you be cured? These are hard questions because there is no cure, and we will be on medication until the end.
The upside to sharing on social media
Everyone handles their diagnosis differently, and that is entirely understandable. But here are some reasons that sharing your story can be very positive.
- Sharing. It spreads awareness about metastatic breast cancer and what exactly it is. Also, it makes people realize that it can happen to anyone, not just those with early-stage breast cancer.
- It can save lives. I can not tell you the number of people that messaged me and said that because of my story, they went and had their mammograms done or they make sure to do monthly checks every month. About a month after my diagnosis, I had a close family member go to get a mammogram just because of my situation. They ended up having breast cancer. A very early stage that they were quickly able to treat. If it wasn't for me sharing with the world, who knows if she would have gotten checked, and it may have been too late.
- Support. Sharing your stories, worries, triumphs, medication side effects, and all the feelings you experience helps others who are going through the same things to not feel so alone in their journey.
Whether you decide to share or not, it is up to you, and no one will judge you. It is your journey, so you decide how you want to travel it.
What has been your experience with sharing your story on social media? Comment below.
Do you have a safe space where others understand what you are going through?