Featured Writer: Melanie Bowen
It is not uncommon to experience a plethora of emotions when your doctor informs you that you are suffering from an illness or disease. At first you may feel shock and disbelief, which is likely to turn into denial and then anger. After your anger subsides you may feel depressed or resigned. Through it all, as humans we tend to focus on the unknown and fear of what we may not understand completely.
Be proactive and stay positive! Do extensive research to learn as much as possible about treatments, survivors and things people did on their path to healing! Use the internet! There are many internet of support groups for people going through the same experience as yourself; seek out help and encouragement! You may have your own ideas and experiences that can serve as encouragement for others. The ability to share stories about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis will help you to better understand what it is you are experiencing and what life is going to entail from this point forward.
Channel Your Thoughts..
When you are home, write down your thoughts, questions, anxieties, goals and inspirations. Fortunately, with the popularity of blogging, it is easier than ever to read firsthand accounts from others about almost any disease imaginable as well as make your own blog. You can read how individuals were diagnosed and their treatment options. You can read their innermost feelings and thoughts as they go through the process of being diagnosed and being treated and you may feel a sense of friendship to these anonymous bloggers going through the same thing as you. Reading and participating in a personal journal or a public journal can make your thoughts tangible resources and serve as motivation—
Start Healing From The Inside Out!
Share & Communicate
It’s amazing that you can help others in this way. Think about what you read on a daily basis. Turn your illness into inspiration. Perhaps you read a firsthand story full of inspiration from a woman suffering cancer that wanted to be strong enough to dance with her son at his wedding or a blog from a patient that motivated you to start living a fuller, healthier lifestyle that increased your quality of life and made it possible for your body to react more quickly to your treatments. Maybe you even took at look at Heather’s story within this blog and gained an understanding of her success overcoming a rare aggressive cancer, mesothelioma. With the abundance of firsthand information on the internet these days, it is possible that you can take your negative experience and turn it into something positive for yourself and others.
Sharing your experience with others may help them in a way you’ll never know. Perhaps your story will inspire another to seek better treatment, reconcile with friends or seek a second opinion that could save their life. Emotions you feel during a potentially life altering experience is probably the exact same range of emotions others are feeling. Who wouldn’t love to hear how you dealt with those experiences when they could consequently inspire them to overcome this new obstacle and continue living their life to the fullest? Communication is the key to overcoming stress and anxiety, which will improve the quality of life of the sick and make healing easier.
All thanks to you…you can inspire yourself!
Setting and accomplishing goals can play a crucial role and be a major factor when it comes to success within a person’s life. Goals that have been accomplished in the past allow a person to have hope for a brighter and more successful future because they know what is obtainable. While setting dreams and aspirations may be important for everyone, a person facing serious challenges like mesothelioma cancer, depression or deep grief, may have more obstacles to get over before they reach their own personal ideas of success.
Additionally, from the previous example, a mesothelioma prognosis of such illnesses may be severe and seeking comfort in a public forum like a blog may be something beneficial to talk about future goals with people similar to your condition. In fact, a blog represents one of the best places to write your aspirations down; it allows you to keep them fresh in your mind and to build an online community of support at a time when you especially need it.
Setting up a Blog
Fortunately, now days it’s simple to set up a blog. There are a number of free blog sites like Blogger, Tumblr, Bebo or even MySpace. Determine which platform would work best for you and follow the instructions on the site for setting it up. Look at the advantages of each. For example, on Blogger, you have the option of creating a nice visual set up whereas on Bebo or MySpace, you can easily find people in the online community who share similar interests.
Regardless of which blog site you choose, be sure to let people in your environment know about the blog as well. Send emails to people with a link to your blog. Let them know that you’re blogging to share your goals with everyone and ask them for their support.
Blogging for Support
According to Witness.org, blogs are a good tool to create support, because they allow you to use tools like audio and video to engage your readers. While writing down your thoughts may be very therapeutic for you and allow you to have a consistent reminder of what you’re aiming for; these tools also give you acreative option for expressing yourself. They provide a platform for you to share the goals that you do accomplish in a very real way. For example, if one of your goals is to run a 5K race, take video footage of the race on your camera phone and add in some of your own commentary. Your online followers will be able to celebrate with you as you cross the finish line, and for the ones who do not live in your area, it’ll be the next best thing to being there.
Other advantages of Blogs
Since your goals are set down in such a public forum on a blog; you therefore immediately have an audience of people who will help you keep on task; which awesome to have the fan base and support. According to Psych Central, blogs are an extremely effective way for people to achieve their goals and push past their comfort zones. This kind of virtual support allows the temptation to turn back and give up become so much smaller because since you have an audience backing you up and following your every step. For someone facing serious issues like illness, giving up isn’t usually the best option. The community of followers that you have reading your blog will remind you of your goals and why it’s important to keep them. They’ll be your will power when you can’t be.
While setting and writing down goals can be challenging, the benefits they provide cannot be underestimated. They could potentially lead us to accomplish fears like running marathons, finishing a graduate degree or making more time for our families. And with an online platform like a blog, the celebration of these goals accomplished becomes a supportive, public one. However, maybe most important of all, goals give us hope, according to Psych Central. The more goals you reach, the more hopeful you become, and that’s bound to be helpful no matter what kinds of challenges you’re facing.
Check out more at: Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog