Using Social Media to Communicate for a Cancer Patient

There are pros and cons when using social media to talk about someone's illness. You can keep a large number of people informed about your journey, not needing to retell the story over and over again. But how much do you divulge knowing anyone can see a post, and when is it appropriate to post? Below Kevin talks about his initial reaction to posting about his journey on social.

With social media word can get out there very quickly, but that is not what I wanted, at least until I personally told a short list of people. This is something that is a sensitive topic since the diagnosed may have an idea about how they want certain people finding out. It is imperative that their friends and family get permission from the patient ONLY about who is okay to know, and what is okay to post and where. This can avoid some major contention or can cause a cancer patient to be upset that their loved ones found out about their life threatening ailment in a way they see inappropriate or tacky. And for me, there was uncertainty if I was ever going to be able to swallow or speak, which potentially meant that I may never be able to talk to some of my friends again. I wanted to personally tell them what was happening, let them know I cared about them and that I was going to be fine. I also wanted to remind them especially, to keep my wife Angel and our kids in their thoughts and prayers. This was a very difficult thing to do while getting everything else ready for surgery, spending as much time with Angel and our children as well as our extended family. Not only that, but finding time for friends that live close enough to spend some time before the procedure. I feel incredibly guilty even still to those I didn’t call. I can’t explain it-- they will never hear my normal voice again…it’s really hard to explain.