Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 25

TAKE TO ONLINE SPACES OF
COMFORT
We all have " comfort places " on the internet
where we spend our time. Sometimes, this
could be social media networks such as Facebook,
Instagram, or online forums.
I have been using Reddit for over 14 years
and looked for communities there for support.
There are some cancer-specific communities
that exist for both general support
and for specific types of cancer. The benefit
of Reddit is an easy-to-browse historical
content function where I can look at what
other folks asked and read through all the
submitted answers.
I wasn't outwardly vocal about my diagnosis,
and I still found a wealth of knowledge
at this source. So, you don't need to disclose
your diagnosis to get something out of a resource
like Reddit.
That being said, if you feel up for it, you
can create your own space. I found some help
on Reddit, as mentioned above, but because
I wanted to help folks out after my diagnosis
and treatment, I created two places on that
platform that could help foster questions
and answers for others going through a
similar cancer diagnosis: r/lymphoma and
r/leukemia. If you are not finding what you
are looking for, consider creating something
on your own.
Your " comfort spaces " might be larger established
social media networks, or smaller,
more intimate communities such as hobby
websites or otherwise. You may be surprised
at the groundswell of support you might receive
if you let others know (if you're comfortable
doing so!) about what you're facing,
even in a community that has nothing to do
with cancer.
TAKE TO HELPFUL
ORGANIZATIONS
I knew some well-known organizations that
offer general cancer support and help was
available. Nonprofits such as the American
Cancer Society (ACS) are largely, well-known,
even if you don't have much experience with
cancer.
While general organizations such as ACS
provide terrific support services, look for
communities and nonprofits that offer specialized
support for your specific cancer type.
" Try to be that guiding light for others
seeking first-hand experiences. You
can be the one that helps shine the light
in unknown spaces for others. "
For me, I looked for organizations that
specialized in support services around the
blood cancer I was diagnosed with. The organization
that I leaned on was the Leukemia
& Lymphoma Society (LLS). I downloaded a
score of resources that helped me understand
my cancer, the side effects to look for, and
other treatment information. This helped
uncover some of those " unknown aspects "
I mentioned earlier.
One service that helped me tremendously
was their Patti Robinson Kaufmann First
Connection Program. This service provides
peer-to-peer matching with someone around
the same age and with the same diagnosis.
My match was Angela. She was someone
that had the same cancer diagnosis and went
through the same treatment regimen that I
would go through.
It was amazing being able to ask her questions
around:
* What can I expect?
* How does it feel?
* What side effects did you experience?
* Anything you wish you knew before you
went through it?
I saw these kinds of questions online, but
I wasn't sure how much stock I could put
into the answers. But here was someone that
I could call, text or email and get a verified,
real human response.
After having that match experience, it
made me realize-the human connection
was the best way to prepare for my cancer
treatment and (hopefully) post-cancer life.
After making this realization, I looked for
other places where similar connections
could be made.
TAKE TO FINDING THOSE THAT
HAVE GONE THROUGH WHAT
YOU'RE FACING DOWN
Fortunately, several resources are dedicated
to making safe spaces available for authentic
connection and discussion.
Organizations such as GRYT Health offer
chatrooms and peer-to-peer matching to
make individualized information incredibly
useful.
Other online-only spaces allow people to
register and chat with others. Chatrooms
are OK, but look for specialized chatrooms
around cancer types or that offer the peerto-peer
matching functionality.
If you're comfortable using social media
networks, many outspoken cancer survivors
would love to be able to help answer questions
you may have. A direct message here or there
to see if they would be available to answer
some questions could be a way to get some
additional clarity on information you are
wondering about with your own cancer ride.
I even sent out some direct messages to
folks I didn't hear back from. You know
what? That's OK. Not everyone is equipped
to want to revisit moments of pain and
heartache. Likely, those that are public with
their diagnosis or survivorship would love
to help others.
TAKE TO BEING THE UNKNOWN
" UNCOVERER " FOR OTHERS
As you get through those scary parts of diagnosis
and treatment, if you're healthy enough and
able to revisit those periods, try to be that guiding
light for others seeking first-hand experiences.
You can be the one that helps shine the
light in unknown spaces for others.
It's truly an " I know what it's like to be in
your shoes " moment when you can shed some
insight on questions someone has about a
diagnosis that they share with you.
It's why I was compelled to both volunteer
and pivot my professional career to help
support cancer patients and survivors. The
feeling of providing that connection point,
whether you're the one-on-one person or
helping to facilitate one-on-one connections,
is fantastic.
We are all humans that are looking for
connections and support from other human
beings. Look for these connections during
your time of need and pay it forward when
you can. l
ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
HODGKIN LYMPHOMA ISSUE 2021
25
https://www.reddit.com/ https://www.lls.org/support-resources/peer-peer-support https://www.lls.org/support-resources/peer-peer-support https://www.reddit.com/r/lymphoma/ https://www.reddit.com/r/leukemia/ https://www.grythealth.com/ http://www.ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM

Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021

Contents
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Cover1
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Cover2
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 1
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Contents
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Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Cover3
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