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I Had Cancer Guidelines

We're all here for similar reasons - we've been touched by cancer in some way. It’s up to all of us to show each other that no one is alone. Your IHadCancer profile is your own place to call home during this crazy thing called cancer, we just ask that you keep these simple guidelines in mind when participating.

1. Always Be Nice. This is a place for connections and conversations – we encourage you all to talk openly but please remain considerate in all of your engagement. Don’t post obscene, hateful or objectionable content. Abuse and disrespect will not be tolerated in the IHC community and is subject to deletion and user removal at our discretion.

2. Be a Good Friend. The IHC community is a family. Please remember to be a good friend to the connections you make on IHC. Ask questions that you wish someone would ask you; if you can’t find the right words to say, send a hug, it can speak louder than words. A simple gesture goes a long way.

3. Don't Spam. This includes sending unsolicited messages of any nature, posting links to unrelated content, promoting a survey, fundraiser or product where it shouldn’t be promoted. If you aren’t sure if something is appropriate to post, e-mail us and we’ll let you know.

4. Think Before You Post. Everything you post on IHadCancer is secure, but it is up to you to monitor how much or how little information you are sharing about yourself and your experience. Please don’t share personal or identifiable information like your mailing address or your full name and don’t share other member’s information.

5. If You See Something, Say Something. We work hard to make sure these guidelines are followed closely but if you see something that doesn’t’ feel right to you, please let us know. We review every report we receive and will take anything you say to heart. We promise.

6. Be Open. Welcome newcomers and help guide them through this journey based on your own experience. Whether you are a survivor, fighter, caregiver or supporter, you have valuable information that can very well help someone else who is just beginning the cancer journey. Be open to sharing experiences and give someone else the gift of your time.

Thanks for being a part of our community. It’s up to all of us to ensure that IHadCancer remains a place for us all to call home when dealing with the ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis.

Catherine-70942's picture
Catherine-70942 Connect

Survivor: Breast Cancer

This month marks the five year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis, and three years since my stage IV diagnosis. Statistics say that I'm at the upper limit of my predicted survival (2-3 years), so it looks like I'm bucking the trend. I have a strange mixture of emotions. On the one hand I feel like celebrating, but on the other hand I feel quite drained - emotionally and physically. It's hard work living with cancer. . I'm tired of travelling to Manchester every three weeks for treatment. I'm sick of feeling guilty when I eat a desert or drink one too many glasses of wine. I've had enough of slathering on cream to try to keep the skin on my hands and feet from cracking. I'm fed up with scans, blood tests, cannulas and putting up with the indignity of being poked and prodded by strangers. What I wouldn't give for just a few months of freedom from the shackles and restraints that my cancer diagnosis entails. . Recent years have seen a huge rise in cancer life expectancy. Medical advances in immunotherapy, genetic profiling, artificial intelligence and advanced imaging are just a few of the areas that are having a significant impact on survival. It is now estimated that 2.5 million people in the UK alone are living with cancer. . Despite this growing population, there is so little awareness and understanding of advanced cancer and its emotional and physical burden. I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked when my treatment will be finished. When I explain that I'll be on treatment forever, people look shocked and embarrassed. There is a general perception that cancer is something you have, and if you've caught it early and fight hard enough, you beat. Versions of this story are churned out with every awareness campaign, accompanied by coloured ribbons and sponsored runs. . I'm not saying that we should stop these campaigns - it is important to highlight the symptoms of cancer and encourage people to be vigilant, but society needs to become aware of the daily challenges people living with cancer face in our attempt to live a 'normal' life. . Most of us will be on treatment forever - treatment that often comes with debilitating side effects. Many of us are unable to work, or are struggling through pain and fatigue to hold down a job so that we can afford to feed and clothe our children. Normal life plays second fiddle to the endless cycle of medical appointments. And every single one of us has a constant mental battle to overcome the fear of an uncertain future. . I'm exceptionally grateful that, five years on from my original diagnosis, I'm still here and relatively healthy. But it is exhausting having to keep conjuring up the inner strength to overcome the physical and emotional daily challenges of a cancer diagnosis for such a long period of time. . Sorry for the moan, it's quite out of character. I'm usually a proud person, preferring to keep my struggles and insecurities private, but I feel quite strongly that there is simply not enough understanding or practical support of the millions of people in this country and around the world in my position. . Globally we are making huge advances in our ability to kill off errant cancer cells, but we have long neglected the wider emotional, physical and financial needs of the people whose lives we're extending. . I long for a time when society has a better appreciation of the challenges cancer survivors face and can start creating an environment that better supports the needs of this growing population.

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