Knowing the right thing to say can be really hard, and it’s something that everyone struggles with sometimes. Many times, you might say nothing at all in case you say the ‘wrong thing’, or accidentally hurt someone’s feelings. Sometimes, you might feel hurt because of something someone said, even though they didn’t mean anything unkind. While we can’t stop these things because accidents happen, we can work together to find good ways of communicating here on the Community.

Everyone has a memory of a time where knowing someone cared helped. Whether that memory is from the Community or otherwise, we all know the feeling of knowing someone listened, even if they couldn’t solve what was troubling us. Talking and supporting each other is what makes the Online Community tick, and in our humble opinion, our members are some of the most supportive people around.

This is your Online Community, and is a safe place to talk about anything and everything around your experience living with cancer. It’s important to remember that it’s never your responsibility to provide medical advice, and you don’t ever have to respond to a post if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. In today’s blog, we’re exploring ideas for ways you can show empathy and offer support when you might really want to help someone, even if you have no idea what to say. 

Read the full thread here

Letting someone know that you’re there to listen and they’re not alone might mean more to someone than you think. Even if you can’t relate to someone’s situation, letting them know you’ve read their post can be enough to help someone feel a little bit better.

Read the full thread here.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel alone when going through cancer, or supporting a loved one through cancer. Many people have experienced feeling like nobody understood how they were feeling. Acknowledging someone’s feelings can go a long way to make someone feel like they’ve been listened to. This can be as simple as saying “I understand.”

Here in the Online Community, your own experiences and unique perspective are invaluable. Sharing stories and connecting with others who might have gone through a similar situation is what makes the Community a supportive and caring place.

While scrolling through the Community, you might spot a post from someone who is going through something completely different to your situation. You might have no idea how they must be feeling at the moment. Even if you haven’t gone through anything similar, everyone knows how it feels to be sad, worried or scared about something. Sharing a story of your own, something that makes you feel better, or offering a virtual ‘hug’ can all help someone feel less alone. 

Our advisors on the Macmillan Support Line are here to listen and offer support 7 days a week, 8am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00. If you’re not sure what to say, you can always let someone know that they can call the Support Line if they’d like to talk to someone. Teams you can access through the Support Line include:

  • Macmillan nurse specialists, who can answer medical questions and concerns
  • Welfare rights advisors and the financial guidance team, who can help with questions about benefits and money worries

Did you know that you can also email the Support Line here, or chat online?

Read the full thread here.

Many people use the Community to talk to others who might have a similar diagnosis or situation. However, it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is different. Sometimes you might want to find out more about a particular treatment another member is talking about, or feel someone might benefit from some more information.

Macmillan’s website has a section called Cancer A to Z, with lots of information from different cancer types, to different impacts of cancer. If you’d like to help someone but you’re not sure what to say, you can always check to see whether there might be something helpful here. Some pages which might be useful include:

If you’ve seen a post which really worries you, the Community team are here to help. The “alert moderator” button isn’t just for posts which are against Community guidelines. You can also use this button to let the Community know that you feel a member is very distressed or might need further help.

Have you seen a really supportive discussion recently, or have an example of when someone’s kind message helped you? Let us know and post links in the comments below.