The Facebook Cancer Celebration

by Lesley on May 27, 2012 · 7 comments

in cancer

Last fall when we found out about Jonathan’s cancer, I wasn’t sure how or if I should tell the Facebook world. Everything else major happens on Facebook–graduations, engagements, babies–yet cancer seemed like such downer news to report. Can you picture it? You’re flipping through your newsfeed and between, “Loving this weekend weather!” and “We’re pregnant!” you read: “Jonathan has cancer!”

Yeah, it just didn’t feel right.

I wanted to be real and honest, but I didn’t know if I was ready to read all the potentially awkward responses from people. For some reason, blogging and our CaringBridge site felt safer. Eventually we posted a photo of Jonathan holding Anna after his biopsy surgery. The caption read, “Jonathan had surgery today to biopsy a suspicious lymph node in his neck. He did great and is home already for cuddling and chicken soup. We will know more next week.”

After that day I tried to intentionally post photos of the cancer journey on Facebook–his head shaving, his first chemo, etc. I wanted people to see both the good and the hard stuff.

As it got closer to the end of Jonathan’s treatments, I also thought Facebook might be a way to rally a celebration of sorts on his last chemo day. I knew he wouldn’t be feeling up for an actual celebration but it felt like we needed to mark the occasion with banners and cheer. So, I sent an email to a group of friends and family who I knew I could count on to respond. The e-mail asked each person to make a banner celebrating Jonathan, and to tag the photo with his name. My hope was for a domino affect to occur in which others might also make signs and celebrate with us. I also hoped that the “beat cancer” signs might encourage others who are battling, or know of someone battling cancer.

The plan totally worked–beyond my wildest expectations! Above you’ll see just some of the almost 100 photos posted on Friday. Jonathan was so surprised, and had a lot of fun checking his phone all day to read comments. As the day went on, people got more and more competitive/creative. They made us laugh, and they made us cry. We had quite a few calls and e-mails that essentially said the same thing: “Watching the support unfold today has been incredible.” And it really was.

My friend Michelle left a on my last post. It read, “Chris and I were raving to each other about what a powerful testimony all those signs were – and are. This is what Facebook can do for good in the world- it can make us all feel part of one big powerful team.’”

I am so glad that others were able to physically see, with their own eyes, just some of the community that has surrounded us since last October.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share
6 comments
PC
PC

I spent so much time on your facebook wall that day. Such an incredible idea, but more importantly, such incredible love of so many friends. You guys are blessed for sure. I also noticed you didn't include Knopf's picture in this post. ha!

melissa hansen
melissa hansen

I could not stay off the computer that day. It was so much fun to share, watch and see the supprot and creativity of everyone. It was wonderful!!!

Katie
Katie

That was such a brilliant idea! Definitely the most entertained I've ever been by facebook. My mom was getting them on her feed and said, "Lesley sure has some funny friends." I think I checked facebook that day more often than I was actually teaching:)

Ashlee
Ashlee

I laughed and cried reading those on Friday. That was most definitely the best use of facebook I have ever witnessed. Love this post, love you two, and love the army God put together for you during this time. I know it will become part of your testimony for years and years to come.

Laura
Laura

So amazing!!!

Katie
Katie

I was hoping you were going to find a way to save all of them...you should put them into a scrapbook!

Trackbacks

  1. […] can see the rest of the pictures on Lesley’s blog post HERE.  Hang around and read her stuff.  She’s kind of […]