Sharing bad news with others is exhausting, especially when it’s your bad news. Allowing others to read about your condition first alleviates some of the grief that comes in speaking the words like “I have stage IV cancer” out loud, over and over.
Concerning yourself with who knows what about your situation takes away precious energy needed to focus on coming to grips with your own condition. If you use Caring Bridge, it will send an alert each time you post an update to those who want one. This permits you to worry less about whether everyone who wants to know has been informed.
Talking about a cancer diagnosis or the aftermath of a serious injury is a serious challenge. Writing updates about how you’re doing allows you to try out different ways of talking about your condition before sharing them with others. Editing before posting can get you closer to saying what it is you’d like others to know about how you’re doing.
It’s not just hard for those of us with the cancer or injury to find the right words; it’s also difficult for those who care about us to find words that might be of comfort to us. Being able to read others’ responses before hearing them face-to-face makes it possible to think through comments you might not have anticipated before having to respond (or not).
Hospitalization, surgery, or treatment can make it physically or emotionally impossible to write an update. With Caring Bridge, others in your life can write updates for you, and those who care about you can still know how you’re doing.
Sharing some of the challenges facing those of us with serious illness or injury on Caring Bridge can solicit meaningful advice. When I finally went on sleep medication, I discussed the nasty side effects in an online post. Many readers of my site then shared their stories of sleep medications and techniques. Their feedback helped me get on medication with fewer side effects, allowing me to start sleeping—and coping a bit better—with my new life with cancer.
For those of us who face a long journey living with illness or disability, Caring Bridge can continue to serve as a site for new people in your life to learn more about your journey. That others’ words of support are always available on Caring Bridge can also be a source of consolation for family members, who read and reread those comments to help them gather strength.
Many of us who become the recipients of others’ kind words and actions in times of great need feel guilty about our lack of expressed appreciation or even acknowledgement of the kindnesses. When people post comments of support on Caring Bridge, they typically do not expect a response; this allows us to receive the gift of their words without the guilt that we may not be able to respond.