Patricia McMorrow | 01.06.15
“Each morning of my cancer journey, reading my CaringBridge messages was the first thing I looked forward to.” – Steven Lewis
Steven Lewis is the author of the book, “The Ripple Effect: How a Positive Attitude and a Caring Community Helped Save My Life.” Steven used CaringBridge during his two battles with pancreatic cancer and says CaringBridge was instrumental in developing his book.
The Ripple Effect
Steven says, “My book describes how my wife, Karen, and I struggled to achieve and maintain an extremely positive attitude throughout my cancer ordeal. This choice started a ripple effect that created an exceptionally caring community of family, friends and relatives and enabled this community to return even more positive energy to me.”
This excerpt from his book shares how his CaringBridge community played a part in this positive ripple effect.
Positivity and Humor Help
Each morning of my cancer journey, reading my CaringBridge messages was the first thing I looked forward to and I couldn’t wait to share them with Karen. I tried to make my journal entries as positive and humorous as possible because I realized this would lead to upbeat responses.
Just as I knew I had to be strong for Karen so she could be strong for me, I realized I could not depend on the many regular readers of my CaringBridge blog to continue their uplifting messages if the tone of my entries centered on complaint. Everyone struggles with their own life problems. If I repeatedly complained, I would have worn down the good intentions of friends and relatives. Planning my positive and humorous CaringBridge updates also helped keep me from dwelling on my discomfort and fatigue.
Personal Messages Make a Difference
A phone call or get-well card cannot be compared to CaringBridge. Had my cancer ordeal happened before widespread use of the Internet, I likely would have received phone calls at awkward times and greeting cards that were much less personal than a CaringBridge message composed from scratch.
Also, Karen would never have been able to disseminate my progress to everyone who regularly visited my CaringBridge blog. Back and forth communication with my caring community by phone would have been repetitive and awkward and would have exhausted her physically and emotionally.
Creating a Community of Healing
As my months of treatment continued and the volume of my CaringBridge journal entries increased, visits and guest messages snowballed and so did my confidence for a successful outcome of my cancer journey.
This increased confidence derived from the positive energy that the CaringBridge process helped create. With CaringBridge, I possessed a growing record of my thoughts and feelings and the guest responses at each stage of my illness. Because all guests could access this material and see the messages others wrote, a spiritually uplifting community of healing was created.
How have you seen CaringBridge offer healing and community support?
Share your stories in the comments below.
To connect your community during a health journey, create your own CaringBridge website.