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How Facebook Scares Me

1 Mins read


Like any cancer survivor, I worry about what’s next. Am I bruising too much? Is this little “twinge” something serious? Is this just a cold, or could it be pneumonia? My wife thinks I am a hypochondriac, but she acknowledges that it can be understandable. After all, I was first diagnosed 18 years ago. I stuff the fears down, but they are there. And that’s why there’s a trend on Facebook that scares me: patients who are not doing well post some of the most gruesome photos. Do we really need to see?

A couple of years ago, I wrote how text postings were worrisome too. People would describe this serious problem or that one. Understandably, they were seeking support and answers for the community, and I have done that, too. But the reader who is doing well is scary, too. One wonders could I be next? Is that what happens to everyone? My wife, Esther, put it in perspective: “People who are doing well don’t post.” She’s right. Some of us offer support for the sicker ones among us, but mostly we go about enjoying every day we can, and you don’t hear from us. We’re too busy. No news is good news, if you will.

So I am skipping over those close-up medical photos, and I will make you a promise: when and if my health goes “south,” I won’t post a photo. Think of me only as the “picture of health.” That’s really the image I hope you’ll always have of me. I’ll keep my less healthy images to myself, but I will always encourage and participate in a healthy dialogue that explores the ups and downs of living with cancer.

Forgive me if I offended anyone. Just think before you post. The emotions of a cancer survivor are more fragile than most.

Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year and the best of health for 2015!

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