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Making Use of Twitter

RachelWhen I first embraced the world of Twitter, I just wanted to find other women to chat to outside my normal circle of friends - probably because I could be completely honest about how I was feeling. Since then, I think I've become a bit of a Twitter addict on the cancer front!!  I didn't realise how many people I've been following (and what's lovely is that most of them follow me back).  

It helped me find information and discussion about issues that were pertinent to me. Everything from treatment and medication options, to the life after cancer issues. I learnt about possible side effects and how they bugger you up. I learnt about getting moving and different options for exercise despite aching joints. Twitter also encouraged me to explore getting back out there and learning to love everything from the new hair (I mean, who ordered grey and curly FFS?) to the ‘new normal’.

It helps when dealing with the inevitable feeling of ‘where did my life go?’; and the big one….. how do I stop thinking about cancer?  I also found it helped to be in touch with others, even virtually on social media, just as all the appointments dried up and all the support I was getting sort of drifted away when treatment ended.  Part of my recuperation, or convalescence, was just gathering my thoughts.

So here is my personal list of inspirational people:  the more funny, rude or ‘sweary’ the tweets were, the more I tended to follow them.

  • Jo Taylor - @abcdiagnosis
  • Liz O'Riordan - @Liz_ORiordan 
  • @bccww - Breast Cancer Chat
  • @tickoffcancer 
  • @fizzysnood 
  • @breastcancernow 
  • @CR_UK    
  • @bowelbabe - Deborah James from 'You, Me and the Big C'
  • @girlstolelondon - also from You Me and the Big C
  • Jo @runawaygirl248 - diagnosed a week before me, so lots of similarities in our journeys 
  • Live Better With Cancer - @LBWCancer     
  • @thesaltiestcow - The Salty Cow
  • @BCCare - Breast Cancer Care
  • @breastcancernow

Tips about Twitter?  

Just give it a go. You can’t go wrong really as long as you’re careful, as you should be with all social media. I latched on to the hashtag #cockoffcancer (!) and went from there, following links and comments and hashtags to see where it took me. In fact the more funny, rude or ‘sweary’ the tweets were, the more I tended to follow them.

 I also read the bio information people put on their profiles – probably just me being nosey, but it does help to find out just a little bit about someone before you follow them.  

I just trawled through whatever took my fancy at the time and I did a lot of filtering.  I think once you read a few blogs and Twitter feeds you soon get a feel for what is going to be helpful and informative and you just ditch the rest. I had no qualms about ‘unfollowing’ ones that weren’t useful or that I felt just weren’t right for me.

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