“I have cancer, and I’m telling you that I have cancer.”
Stephanie Hunter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May. Disorienting enough as it is to wrestle with a new diagnosis, she also had to figure out how to tell everyone about it.
“I was confused,” she admits. She started with the multiple phone calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages. But she didn’t have the energy. And then her sister, Shannon, got involved and took over as the head of communications. A CaringBridge website went up.
“One post to get the word out and the phone calls subsided,” Stephanie says. “Shannon’s doing an amazing job getting the word out and she’s funny—and people were acknowledging that—and so thankful that she was updating.”
The support didn’t disappear with the phone calls.
Instead, all the amazing well wishes and messages were concentrated in one place. Everyone received the same information at the same time, and were able to respond in their own way or their own time. Stephanie saved time and energy too. She could check in when she was ready and willing. Consolidating communication and time is paramount around doctor’s appointments and the life that unfolds once cancer treatment begins.
But perhaps what Stephanie didn’t expect was one of the biggest benefits of CaringBridge: Helping her find her voice.
“It was hard for me to step in and voice my own journey, but once I started updating I realized, ‘This is a great way to talk about what’s going on.’ This is all about my health and all about what I’m going through.”
Free from the mix of messages, from political to advertising, that flow through anyone’s social media feed on a daily basis, Stephanie began to home in on her cancer diagnosis and what that meant for her and her loved ones. “It’s freeing to be able to update and talk about myself and be myself in this time,” she says.
And what she’s getting back through CaringBridge is also helping her heal:
“I always say it’s a warm fuzzy blanket. I absolutely look at those messages all the time and I can’t imagine not having that in my life right now.”
Together, Shannon and Stephanie are telling Stephanie’s lymphoma story – from diagnosis through treatment and remission. And her loved ones are helping her feel loved in a time where she needs it most.
Thank You for Strengthening the Community
Every year, more than 35 million people rely on CaringBridge to give and receive strength during a health journey. This would not be possible without our thousands of caring donors and compassionate volunteers—thank you.
Another way you can strengthen the community: Consider starting a CaringBridge website for someone in your life going through a health journey of any kind. It’s a safe, secure place to share health updates and receive encouragement and support from family and friends.
Together, we’re stronger.