People who receive a diagnosis of terminal cancer describe feeling numb, angry, sad, and overwhelmed. A terminal diagnosis of cancer does not mean that there aren’t life-extending treatment and comfort options available. What it does mean is that there are no curative alternatives.
Blogs can be a source of information, comfort, and connection. Experiences of isolation are common and people’s stories can help you to feel less alone. Generally, blogs fall into two categories. Many blogs are first-hand accounts of coping with a terminal cancer diagnosis. Others are associated with respected governmental or non-profit websites. These sites provide advice, information, and guidance on a wide range of diagnoses.
One type of blog may resonate more than another for you. You may prefer the more personal stories of living with a terminal diagnosis. Or, you may choose a combination of the two. We hope that by giving you a start on sites to consider you will find a community of support and comfort.
1. WordPress Terminal-Illness
Terminal Illness is a WordPress site that allows people to post their personal stories of dealing with a terminal illness. Some are coping with cancer, but the site is open to anyone with a terminal illness.
The very personal nature of this site means that people talk about a wide range of subjects from coping with a terminal diagnosis, grief, aid in dying laws, recommended books, and more. If you appreciate and connect with intimate stories, this is a good site for you. Since the site is through WordPress, you will have to navigate past a few ads to get to the stories that you want.
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Cancer.net is a comprehensive, informative site sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and considered to have reliable and trusted information. Cancer.net’s website interface is very easy to navigate. Some of the topics covered are:
- Types of cancer
- Navigating cancer care
- Coping with cancer
- Research and advocacy
The blog portion of the site has up to date articles from physicians as well as ASCO staff. They cover diverse topics such as COVID-19 and cancer, traveling with cancer, joining a cancer trial as your last option, facing cancer as a young adult, not blaming yourself for your cancer diagnosis, and much more.
3. Cancer Support Community
Cancer Support Community is “the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC) is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.”
This site has a comprehensive listing of all cancer types along with everything from end-of-life care to resources and clinical trials. The blog associated with the site is robust and has inspirational cancer stories, as well as pieces on advocacy, cancer support, treatment, and clinical trials.
Cancer Support Community also has a weekly radio show called Frankly Speaking About Cancer. Their past episodes are available for download, so you can pick a topic that interests you.
4. Verywell Health
Verywell Health has a vast reservoir of health-related information, and is partnered with The Cleveland Clinic. Verywell Health has won numerous awards for their health information and they have a medical review board to verify that the information they disseminate is factual.
Verywell health’s blog on terminal cancer is very accessible and covers a range of topics. For example, one article is simply titled: “Tips For Coping With Terminal Cancer.” This article provides easy to read suggestions on:
- What terminal cancer means
- Tips for coping
- Adding humor
- Designating a friend or family member as your spokesperson
- Surrounding yourself with like-minded and positive people
- Living in the present
- Reviewing decisions and options
- Facing your fears
- Thanking your loved ones for supporting you
- Saying you are sorry
- Tying up fractured relationships
- Celebrating your life
- Finding hope
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WebMD is the go-to place for many people looking for reliable information on almost every health condition. They have an extensive site on cancer conditions, treatment and their cancer blog covers caregiving, palliative care, and planning for death.
Much of WebMD’s blog content is written by staff writers with expertise in cancer. Their terminal cancer site in particular has over 21,000 articles. It is a site mostly targeting care and symptoms of cancer, not individual stories. Their blog on terminal cancer has pieces such as the following:
- “Advanced cancer patients lack information about the disease”
- “Cancer patients cared for at home live longer”
- “Families: hospice best for dying cancer patients”
- “Early palliative care seems to help caregivers too”
6. Living Beyond Breast Cancer
There are numerous sites devoted to specific types of cancer. For example, Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) focuses on breast cancer, which is listed as the number one most diagnosed type of cancer. Although the name of the site implies that the intent is how to live with and beyond breast cancer, they also deal with end-stage breast cancer issues as well as how to accept death.
LBBC has a very good blog with personal stories on everything related to breast cancer. Some of their blog topics include the following:
- PTSD and breast cancer diagnosis
- Virtual appointments in the time of COVID-19
- Sexual issues and breast cancer
- Stress and relationships
- Using medical marijuana for pain relief
- Telling your family
Living With Breast Cancer is a true blog in every sense of the word. It is personal, and heartfelt.
7. American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society has information on types of cancer, research, resources, and caregiving. It is packed with useful information on everything related to cancer. Their news section has positive and informative articles on subjects like meditation, yoga, managing stress, and growing a garden.
What is unique to their blog section on terminal cancer is a focus on children. Specifically, the blog discusses difficult topics such as how to tell children about a terminal diagnosis and being an only parent with a child. The blog also talks about treatment issues affecting gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.
A live chat, helpline, and cancer research round out the site. The American Cancer Society creates and publishes books to help people navigate the cancer experience when it touches their lives or members of their family. They are the largest publisher of books on cancer.
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8. National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health. This means they are at the forefront of cancer research. There may not be another site that is this comprehensive. It covers every cancer type, treatment, and current research developments.
Their section on prognosis is helpful and insightful, focusing on the factors, information, statistics, and personal choices regarding care and treatment.
In relation to a terminal diagnosis, the site also helps people navigate and understand statistics about survival. They also have a video series that examines patients and their prognosis.
9. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a section on cancer, with cancer podcasts and videos as other ways of receiving information. The CDC does have a focus on prevention and living with cancer, but their emphasis on healthy living can help anyone with cancer, whether it is terminal or not.
The CDC also has vast statistics and data on the prevalence of cancer across the country. Their blog covers COVID-19 and a cancer diagnosis, stress and cancer, and a variety of topics related to coping with several different kinds of cancer.
10. MedlinePlus: Palliative Care
MedlinePlus is affiliated with the National Library of Medicine. It has a very thorough and easy to understand section on palliative care, something that is very important for anyone with a terminal diagnosis. People often confuse hospice and palliative care, and Medline Plus gives good definitions for both.
In addition, under the topic heading Cancer, Medline Plus has over 7000 articles on cancer from the National Library of Medicine. They also have a section on alternative and complementary cancer therapies-how to evaluate the legitimacy of these therapies.
Finding Terminal Cancer Blogs That Can Help
Your journey is yours to chart, but you are not alone in coping with a terminal diagnosis of cancer. Blogs can do everything from giving you information on end of life care to dealing with your family, to finding ways to improve your quality of life.
You may even find the desire and opportunity to share your unique experience with others. Exploring these sites may give you some sense of control and comfort as you deal with the stress of your diagnosis.