Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 8.36.56 AMNancy Stordahl writes a cancer blog titled “Nancy’s Point: A Blog about Cancer and Loss.” She lost her mother to breast cancer in 2008 and then was diagnosed with it herself in 2010. I follow Nancy’s blog, as well as a few others written by cancer patients and cancer survivors, because I believe their voices and experiences make me a better marketer and community builder. Oddly, in healthcare marketing, it is very easy to be disconnected from the patient.

On May 31, 2013, Nancy wrote a post titled “When Bloggers Stop Blogging.” As a blogger, this naturally intrigued me. I understand the challenge of maintaining the drive, passion and discipline necessary to keep a blog moving forward. But Nancy was writing about her community of fellow cancer and disease bloggers. It is an amazing post followed by an incredible conversation within the comments section. If you’d like insights into the communities that people form online, true communities, read this post and the comments that follow. There is this entire world out there shared by cancer patients and people diagnosed with rare diseases (just two examples), that most of us know nothing about. And what they’re doing within these communities is important. Hospitals need to understand this part of healthcare.

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 8.36.05 AMNot long after reading Nancy’s post I received Marie Ennis-O’Connor’s Weekly Round Up on her blog – Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer: Making Sense of the Breast Cancer Experience Together. Marie, a cancer survivor, is co-founder of #BCCEU, Europe’s first breast cancer social media chat and is a founding member and social media manager for Health2.0 Dublin, part of the Health2.0 international movement. I love following her on Twitter. Marie takes her favorite blog posts of the week and aggregates them within this Weekly Round Up. Most of the blogs Marie mentions are written by cancer patients or cancer survivors. Marie’s blog, like Nancy’s, gives the reader an amazing look into the world of online patient communities.

If you have a moment in your week and would like to become a better healthcare marketing and community builder, I recommend visiting either of these blogs using the links embedded in this post. You’ll be better off for the experience.

13 comments on “Cancer Blogs and Community

  1. Dan, thanks for the shout out. Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer started as a personal blog four years ago to help me make sense of the journey my own diagnosis of breast cancer had taken me on. I soon realized there was an amazing community of people out there who were going through the same thing and could help me make sense of what was happening because they had been there themselves. What started as a personal blog, in a small corner of Ireland, Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer has grown to become a place where breast cancer survivors from different corners of the world unite in a common bond.

  2. arsmall

    Please remove me from your email list. I have tried to unsubscribe several times, unsuccessfully.

    Thank you.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Good tips, Dan, thanks. I was aware of Nancy’s blog but not the “journeying” one. My hat’s off to all you folks who can keep up a regular blog.

  4. pamelah

    I do not usually make comments, but just had to say thank you for your perspective. You are so right about healthcare marketers keeping in touch with online communities–and all that patients do as part of their healing journey.

  5. Hi Dan,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to find my blog, read my post and write this one. I am amazed every single day by the community of bloggers, and also readers, that I have come to “know” through blogging and social media. The sharing, caring, understanding and genuine compassion that is exchanged every day is wonderful indeed. Thanks again.

    • dandunlop

      Thanks Nancy. It is great to hear from you. Keep up the good work!

  6. Thank you for shining a spotlight on two of the shining lights in the online breast cancer community: Nancy and Marie!

    Blogging saved me emotionally after I was diagnosed. It unwittingly connected me to other breast cancer bloggers who were also trying to make sense of their experience while helping others along the way. It’s an awesome community!

  7. Two excellent recommendations. I fully support the idea of your readers checking out these two blogs. Truthfully, there’s such an intimate network of support online. It’s important to us all. Thank you for featuring the importance of online support community. More patients should be made aware of these options, or given tutorial classes on accessing the conversations. ~Catherine

    • dandunlop

      Thanks for commenting Catherine. You and I are in full agreement on the importance of these online communities.

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