The Ease of Sharing
Having the ability to seek immediate information online has become part of human behavior. Access to an unlimited supply of information has its merits and its detriments but it is something that is omnipresent and available.
We often ask friends and family for recommendations on restaurants, movies, maybe even a vacation spot because we hope their knowledge and experience will prove fruitful. We even turn to the Internet for similar recommendations because there’s value in others’ opinions, it could save us time, money and even introduce us to something we might not have thought about.
Looking for health information isn’t that much different especially when it comes to cancer. In fact, some would argue it’s probably more important since cancer isn’t one disease but hundreds and we can’t expect that our doctors will be able to provide everything we need. It’s the information we share that can help facilitate important discussions between patients, doctors and family that are crucial to our survival, whether we’re just starting our battle or are dealing with the aftereffects.
In an age where information is abundant and just about everything is shared, thanks to Facebook and Twitter, health information has real meaning and purpose and should be shared. The more we do so, the more empowered and less anxious we become about making decisions and getting the support we need with and without our doctors. I believe that there is power in numbers and the more we share with one another, the closer we'll get to finding solutions that have a real impact on our lives.
The Difficulty with Sharing
The conversations nobody wants to have shape lives. Delicate and highly personal, they are as different as we are. They decide questions as weighty as One more round of chemo that might give me some more time, or live out the rest of my life without the problems it will surely bring?At their best, discussions about a cancer diagnosis, prognosis and the end of treatment are gentle, honest and respectful. At their worst, they are abrupt and do not honor the needs of the individual.
Oncologists and other doctors say that navigating the conversations takes a good ear more than anything. In almost all cases, they say, patients should decide what they want to hear and when. You have to be good at listening. Some people aren’t good at listening; they’re good at talking.
I have to say that I am working at sharing my deepest feelings to those who dare to read this blog. It is fruitful, but nevertheless, painful and sometimes very difficult. My physicians pray with myself and wife frequently and provide an atmosphere of encouragement and hope. The picture is not tainted with artificial cheer but shades of struggle and the often times fear of dying in pain and loss of body appearance. God is my strength and is always ahead of this struggle.
Sharing is asked of us by our brother in Christ: James 5:16. Prior to this verse 5:15 the prayer of faith with heal the sick and if there is sin found it will be wiped clean, through Christ. I am better at sharing with others my internal fears and struggles, thanks God, my Pastor, Oncologist, Surgeon and friends.
Always, Peace, Strength and Courage Through God the Father