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September 30th, 2016

The Power of Communication

By jduffy2030

The Power of Communication

My mother was very worried about me. Although I had been receiving excellent care for my cancer and was in the process of recovering from chemotherapy, my mother needed to hear my voice every day.

I realized that she was not the only family member, let alone friend or colleague, who needed to know that I was surviving let alone thriving.

I attend a metastatic breast cancer group in Temecula sponsored by a wonderful non-profit organization called Michelle’s Place. At one of our meetings last spring, someone shared a flyer from Project Connect Online, UCLA. The flyer explained that Project Connect Online offered a way for cancer patients to create websites and communicate with their family and friends.

This was what I had been waiting for! A platform to send information to family without being on the phone all day or sending out massive emails trying desperately trying to keep everyone informed.

My husband and I traveled to UCLA and received training from Victoria Williams and Lauren Harris on the site’s uses and benefits along with an opportunity to personalize aspects of the website. I left their facility full of hope and excited about learning something new. I felt like someone in the movies and thought, “Yes, and she can blog everyday, look at her flair and style!”

Well, I don’t know about the flair and style, but I certainly have used the blog portion of Project Connect Online over the last 15 months to communicate medical updates, share consultation notes and relate personal anecdotes.

An example of the power that lies behind Project Connect Online happened just the other day.

I had hit a wall. A wall of pain and a wall of emotions. My pain was so great and unmanageable I only wanted to lie in a dark, noiseless room waiting for relief through prescription medications. My emotions were running high with doubt, stress and the unending pain. Nothing seemed to help.

Then, a thought occurred to me - my blog in Project Connect Online! I could put out a “help me” post (my first one ever) asking for funny stories, jokes, anything that would bring a smile to my face and make me forget about the pain.

Within minutes of sending out the blog post I received responses from my friends and family members. Some replied with jokes, others with anecdotes, one friend even dropped comics at our front door. Every response made me smile or laugh, easing the pain. I felt loved and that eased my stress. I made it through that afternoon in a large portion to Project Connect Online.

Communication is the driving force that binds our society. It allows for positive and powerful influences beyond our mere words and actions. It brings joy, peace and love.

Tags: Breast Cancer, Cancer, cancer, communication, metastatic breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer group, patient stories

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