You know, when my sister was going through treatments, my family and I made a point to keep her mostly off of all social media. Personally, I had two main reasons for this.
- It hurt. It was hard. I could barely process what was happening to my sister most days. And I didn't want the entire world of social media to get so much as a glimpse of what she was going through because the way I felt about watching her suffer like she did was very personal and close to my heart. Keeping her off of social media was my way of defending my already raw emotions.
- Social media, particularly Facebook, is a very effective way to accidentally start rumors. And if I, Nicole's sister, felt like I could share updates regarding her condition on Facebook, that would make other people feel that they too could post all about my sister. And non-family members usually didn't get all their facts straight so I didn't want them posting about it! Also, I didn't feel like having old acquaintances gossiping with each other about how Kersten has a sister with cancer and how they read this or that about it on Facebook. Blech!
But now that Nicole is home, happy and healthy, it's easier for me to talk about what she went through. Not only that, I keep thinking that "all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7) And a little voice keeps whispering to me that those experiences I had concerning watching my sister endure cancer can and should be for the good of others too. Reading about other babies who survived cancer gave me hope. Reading about how other families felt when their loved one was going through cancer could help me face how I was feeling instead of burying those emotions. Hearing stories of neighbors reaching out to childhood cancer victims brought me comfort and reminded me of how much support my sister had.
It's been kind of hard for me to publish each of these posts, but every time I do I think of how other people opening up about their cancer experience helped me.