I’ve recently noticed a lot of chain statuses regarding cancer on Facebook, you know the ones, they usually start off with something like ‘stupid cancer…we all hate cancer blah blah….if you don’t post this on your status for at least one hour that definitely proves you’ve never lost anyone to cancer and don’t care about people with cancer and will definitely go to hell!’ Ok, maybe I’ve exaggerated slightly, but you get the gist.
So let me start off by saying that I’ve lost some of the closest people to me, through cancer and I do care about people with cancer, which is precisely the reason I won’t be sharing these posts and let me explain why. When you lose someone to cancer, it’s extremely emotionally difficult, not only are you coping with the loss you are also recovering from the hideous emotional roller coaster that goes hand in hand with the diagnosis and treatment process. So, kind of the last thing you really want to be reminded about when you go on social media, is how hard the treatment is and how much people suffer during it. Similarly, I’m guessing that if you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer, you might want to distract yourself by going on Facebook to see what your ‘friends’ have eaten for breakfast that day, or look at what a fabulous holiday they’ve had, how brilliant their children are etc. I’m thinking you don’t really want to be focussing on cancer or being asked to share those posts on your timeline either.
As a holistic therapist, I know the damaging impact stress has on the body, not only can it increase your blood pressure and heart rate, it can also affect your immunity. We all know we’re more likely to get ill around times of stress. Again, either grieving the loss of someone to cancer or being diagnosed with cancer are both extremely stressful times, so what does it do to stress levels to constantly read these posts about cancer? I’m guessing it’s making the situation worse not better!
I’m not suggesting for one moment that when people post these statuses they are doing it for any other reason than out of a genuine desire to help and I’m sure there are probably loads of people affected by cancer who will disagree with this article, I certainly don’t claim to speak for everyone, but I genuinely believe, from a holistic perspective, that continually feeding our fear around this disease does more harm than good.
So do me a favour, next time you see one of these posts ignore it and put something else on Facebook instead, like a picture of your breakfast/ holiday/ kids/pets etc. or better still an uplifting story with a happy ending…because let’s face it, we could all do with more of those.