Teresa Ovalle

Welcome to Me

Cancer Support Community

on March 23, 2014

Fighting is one thing, supporting the fighter is another.  Supporting the fighter can often be a difficult task and the role is certainly not for the faint of heart.  This is the reason Kristie, my class project cohort, and I thought it was important to include supporter information in our Scarred and Beautiful social media community.  The fighter has a tough road ahead, but it’s even tougher with no support in place.

So when it was time to find a blog to follow for this week’s assignment, I wanted to focus on finding a blog that was centered on the caregiver.  I found this wonderful blog called Cancer Support Community (Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara) that I plan to use as a reference not only for this assignment, but for the Scarred and Beautiful community.

Blog Article in Review

The article I chose from the blog is titled Getting Through the Cancer Journey – Words from Survivors and Caregivers.  The community called a panel of alumni together to ask, what the most valuable lessons learned were and what information they wish someone had told them when their journey began.

The comments are heartfelt and encouraging to anyone reading the article.  One quote by Mark McAlister, spouse and caregiver, said, “Learn the difference between healing and treatment, they are tightly intertwined…for a while, but they diverge in profound ways and should be managed independently.” I was surprised to learn this.  I would have thought that the two were intertwined for the duration of the fight and during the recovery.

There are other wonderful pieces of information and knowledge in this article, as well.  I hope you’ll find the time to read it.  It’s short but offers a punch.

Community Strategy

People – This community is made up of people looking for support who are either a cancer fighter or a cancer fighter supporter.  This community has a wealth of information to share; there is information available for all types of cancer fighters and their supporters.

Objective – This community’s objective is to “ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.”

Strategy – The Cancer Support Community reaches out to doctors, current and former patients, current and former supporters and a host of others to bring vitality, knowledge, support and encouragement to their online visitors.

Technology – Blog (http://cancersupportvvsb.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@cscvvsb)

Does it work?

This is a wonderful community.  I think their strategy works very well for them.  The blog site is active, they post regularly, and it is well archived.  The information is easy to access, and it is easy to read and understand.  Their resources are plentiful and varied; they use professionals and every-day people to share information.

As I mentioned above, I plan to use this community as a reference and resource of information for the Scarred and Beautiful community.

Why I Blog

I blog because I have to.  It’s a social media platform that I know very little about, and the best way to learn is to jump in.  Writing isn’t easy for me, so it’s something I work to be good at, but it is not a passion.  That may change.  After reading Sullivan’s article, I may have a new perspective.

One of my favorite quotes in the article, “Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.” (pg. 3) says it perfectly.  Blogging is like writing out loud.  That sounds like fun.  I talk out loud, I think out loud, why not write out loud?  This makes blogging sound interesting in a way I hadn’t thought of before.  I can do extreme things.  Perhaps writing is one more thing to add to my list.

Another quote that I found interesting is, “Now the feedback was instant, personal, and brutal.”  (pg.4) I would like to experience feedback to my blog posts.  I want to know what people think; I want to see their comments, read their suggestions and engage with them.  That sounds extreme.  Or it could be.

This quote, “He can provoke discussion or take a position, even passionately, but he also must create an atmosphere in which others want to participate.” (pg. 6) is a good place to end my review because it’s a good place to begin thinking about a new blog.  Sullivan is telling me to be me, to stand my ground, but to keep my blog a place that people want to visit, comment, and engage.  That’s an important lesson.

Andrew Sullivan’s article: “Why I Blog”