I have been blogging for a few weeks now, but I have been very hesitant to read other people’s cancer blogs. I’ve been hesitant to reach out to too many others who are going through similar experiences to mine. In part, this is a form a denial, in part it is a form of fear.
I have strong online relationships. I am part of several online communities where I find strength and much needed support. But, to join a cancer community means to admit that I have cancer – but there is more to it than that – it is the fear of joining a community and then losing people in that community. I’m OK with admitting I have cancer, but I’m not OK with admitting that it is something that might one day kill me. I’m afraid that if I develop solid friendships with others who have cancer, that I’ll lose them. I don’t want to have to deal with the death of a good friend – and so, I hesitate. I hesitate to reach out too much to others who are also going through this experience – not because I don’t want to meet these people or get to know them – just that I don’t want to get to know them and then lose them.
But I also realize that I need them. I need to read about others experiences. I need to learn from them. I also need to share my experiences, so that others can learn from me. It is this need that is driving me to participate in the online communities (and face-to-face support groups as well), but I must admit, that I do it with hesitation and a bit of fear. Afraid to get too close to anyone who I might lose.