Staying connected

Whether you're being treated far away from home, in your local hospital or as an outpatient, you can become distanced from friends.

Being out of touch

You won't always know the latest news. Some friends might move on while you're being treated, because of college, university or work. You might just be too ill to be in regular contact with friends, or simply not fancy telling people again and again what's been happening. This can make you feel frustrated and alone.

It's important you do what is right for you to stay connected with friends. This might involve being the one who takes the lead and asking friends to come and visit you. If they haven't seen you while you've been ill, it may be a little awkward at first but they'll soon see that you're the same person.

I found it hard to keep up with friends. I used Facebook a lot to find out what was going on and update everyone.

Another way to stay connected is by text or email, using social media, keeping a blog or setting up a WhatsApp group. You can send out short updates, for example when you're well enough to do something normal with friends, like listening to music or playing video games.

If you want to speak to more young people with cancer, joining a support group can be a great place to meet other people in a similar situation.

Staying control of social media

Using social media like Facebook and Twitter is a great way of keeping in the loop. But sometimes it can become overwhelming because of the amount of people asking you questions or commenting on your posts.

What people ask you or say may feel intrusive or unhelpful. That's why it's important you stay in control. Remember:

  • You don't have to respond to everyone
  • You can block people from your account
  • You can remove people from your friends list
  • You can remove tags that name you in a photo
  • You can set privacy settings on Facebook posts so certain people can't read them
  • You can stop following a person on Twitter
  • You can make your account private
  • You can report a video on YouTube by selecting the 'flag' button under the video.

For more information about staying in control of social media, visit BBC Webwise or Get Safe Online.

Content last reviewed: November 2015
Next planned review: 2016