Monthly Dose > Volume 19 | July 2022
INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP DAY
Finding Friends Through Inspire
Inspire was created as a space for people to open up about their experiences, ask questions and share sensitive health information privately with other members, but we love that many people have also found friends (and developed deep friendships) through Inspire.
As one member wrote:
“Even after 10 years my Inspire friends are the best friends I’ve never actually met but have saved me emotionally so many times.”
In honor of July 30, International Friendship Day, we are celebrating all of the members who have found friendship and connected with others on Inspire.
How to Find Friends
Did you know that you can use the “Find new friends” filter which provides a way for you to search within your community to find friends in your geographic area? You can search for community members within a specific mile radius of your ZIP code.
You can also use the “Find new friends” feature to find members across all of Inspire by interests, conditions, treatments or communities. If you have a question about a particular condition or treatment, this is a great way to get answers – simply search for members who have these treatments and conditions listed and invite them to become friends so you can send them a direct message with your question.
Want to connect with people like you?
Try adding more interests to your profile to make it easier for like-minded people to find you and send you a friend request.
HALFWAY THROUGH 2022
Have you kept your resolutions?
It’s hard to believe that 2022 is already half over. In the January edition of the Monthly Dose, we asked you about your New Year’s resolutions and made suggestions of our own. As we move into the second half of this year, we’d love to hear how your resolutions are coming along.
Share with the community:
- What were your resolutions and have you had success?
- Have you had to make new resolutions?
- Did you make changes to the ones you started?
- Did you decide to quit and start over with new resolutions?
- Or did you just quit?
Here’s a look back at what one Inspire member shared as a wish for the community in 2022.
“My wish for you all in 2022
- for everyone going through something big- you find a solution that works for you.
- for everyone who’s made resolutions- you manage to stick to them
- for anyone who is unsure about what’s next or where they are in life- that you find your way and you find something that pleases you
- for people who feel embarrassed about their situation- or feel like they are the only person, to keep reaching out on here (we definitely care!)
- for people who have had plans disrupted by covid to finally be able to do whatever it was they were planning to do
and for everyone else…
love, light, and happiness
Living with psoriasis
If you are one of the 7.5 million Americans who suffers from psoriasis, you know that it can be a challenging condition to manage. While there is no known cure for psoriasis, a variety of treatments are available to help ease the symptoms of the disease. In a recent survey of Inspire members, we examined how people living with the condition treat their psoriasis and how it impacts their daily lives.
See the full survey results.
Advanced Breast Cancer Community
Inspire has over 200 disease and condition-specific communities. This month we’re highlighting our Advanced Breast Cancer community where over 44,000 patients and caregivers come together for information and support.
We asked the community: What is one thing you wish people knew about Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC)? Members opened up about what it’s like to live with MBC day in and day out and their responses are humbling.
MBC is emotionally draining, physically grueling and takes all the courage and grace you can muster to survive. I would give anything not to be on this journey. I wish people would realize that I feel this way but instead of pity they would look at me as a warrior and they would join my army. There is no time to waste on sadness and sympathy. Believe me , I work hard everyday to keep my spirits up and hope alive. All of you really help because you truly understand.
That it exists! I honestly don’t think many current early-stage breast cancer patients (or the general public) are aware of the “what’s next” if treatment doesn’t work or if it recurs. Although I’m seeing more and more commercials on TV for MBC drugs, it just doesn’t get the message out that so many have had their cancer spread beyond the “ta-ta’s.” They over-simplify breast cancer or misrepresent it in movies and TV. shows.
I wish people knew that it is possible to be on various forms of chemotherapy for years and years. It always shocks folks when they learn that you are on chemo with no plan to stop. They expect you to be bald, wan, and have black circles under your eyes. Sometimes you do look that way, but there are so many different kinds of chemo and the side effects differ by person and by type of chemo.
What I needed to watch for. I’m so grateful for my PA! She thought for sure the headaches I was having were from the chemo but went ahead and ordered an MRI anyway. Turned out I had Mets to my brain and am now doing radiation.
A MBC diagnosis isn’t an immediate death sentence but a journey with a complicated individualized chronic disease! A patient needs to be proactive in their treatment and educate themselves about the options. Research is the key! I have been on 19 drugs and have survived MBC now for 7 yrs and diagnosis of 19 yrs. There is hope.
I wish people realized how much a MBC diagnosis can affect you. You may look fine on the outside, but on the inside it is another thing.
Some people have scan anxiety, others have painful bone mets or other pain, and neuropathy can be a constant thing. Fingernails and toenails are not the same that they once were before all this medication.
The fact that you are constantly going to treatment can be very tiring, you have no end date for treatment, it is for the rest of your life.
I didn’t do anything “wrong” to go from stage 2 in 2002 to stage 4 in 2020. It happens to lots of people – more often than folks realize – and seems to be genetics and luck of the draw.
Also, I am not dead yet nor actively dying so don’t ask me about my end-of-life plan or my advanced directive, etc. I will get to them when I need to and don’t need to be pushed more quickly to my inevitable demise from MBC. Walk with me along this difficult journey, hold my hand and smile to let me know you see and care for me.
*Member posts have been lightly edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed above are from members and do not necessarily reflect the views of Inspire.
If you are living with breast cancer, we’d love to learn more about your experiences. Take our survey!
SARCOMA AWARENESS MONTH
Sarcoma: The forgotten cancer
The month of July is dedicated to raising awareness for sarcoma. Sarcoma is a rare cancer that affects the connective tissues which include bones, fat, nerves and blood vessels. Due to its rarity, it is often called “the forgotten cancer.” Sarcoma has more than 50 subtypes, so it can be difficult to detect and diagnose. It is estimated that only 1% of cancer diagnoses are sarcomas.
Our partner, Sarcoma Foundation of America, has made it their mission to advocate for sarcoma patients by funding research and increasing awareness about the disease. In an effort to eliminate the pain and suffering caused by sarcoma, their goal is to educate sarcoma patients, raise public awareness of early detection, form alliances with pharmaceutical companies, and advocate for increased government funding.
Learn how you can get involved on Sarcoma Foundation of America’s website.
You can also join our Inspire community, Sarcoma Connect, and share your story to help others and increase awareness!
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
– George Bernard Shaw