[Yesterday marked] the 24th annual Cancer Survivors Day, which will be recognized around the world.  Since 1987, cancer research & care organizations of all stripes have encouraged former patients to celebrate their lives post-diagnosis.


Hopefully on Sunday you could take a moment to consider about how much has changed for  cancer survivors since the late eighties.  Every year in recent memory, we’re used to seeing thousands of women running in support of breast cancer research & enjoy supporting male coworkers’ facial hair forays during Movember.  While we’re more comfortable speaking publicly about cancer care & treatment options, families learning to live with cancer still face a tough slog.


Thanks to my best friend, the Internet, there are some powerful new resources for families coping with cancer, which were unimaginable in ‘87.  Last week’s Globe & Mail published a great column highlighting some web-based tools that can help families work through the difficult treatment & recovery stages.  The article suggested that it could be more efficient to share information with a wide network of contacts using wiki-pages or blogs, such as Care Central, Tell The Family, eCare Diary & CareFlash. The latter two sites have added functionality for calendars & multimedia resources, such as instructional & supportive podcasts & videos.


Since many are leery of joining another online network, it’s worth mentioning that plenty of ‘old-school’ online resources can help families communicate clearly throughout their treatment & recovery paths.  Teaching a loved one how to create templated emails, use GoogleDocs to collaborate or privately publish all types media, or create private Facebook groups can be just as effective & often less daunting than joining a new platform.


Have any online tools made your life easier in publishing treatment updates, medical appointments or sharing tasks related to caring for a loved one?  We’d love to have your comments include links or anecdotes to this post.


Also, if you’d like to organize an event in your community for next year’s landmark 25th anniversary for Cancer Survivors Day, you can download a free NCSD Planning Guide here or join their Facebook group here.

Written by: Meghan Warby