The social network for women facing breast cancer.

MyBCTeam is the social network for women who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer today or decades ago. We recommend visiting the site once a day for two weeks, in order to get a feel for what the site can offer. Even if the visit is only 10 seconds, you may find some invaluable connections and nuggets of information.

For now, get the most out of this community by sharing a little bit about yourself. This post is to help you get to know more great women on MyBCTeam. When making valuable connections (and even friendships,) it’s always valuable to start with oneself.

Begin with You

Getting started: Consider the value of customizing your own profile on MyBCTeam. Whenever we hear something kind or insightful from someone, we have a natural tendency to want to know the person who said it. At a glance, a photo of yourself adds more personality, and builds trust in the community since your profile photo (either of your face or a favorite photo you’ve taken) can be a large part of your identity on the site. Avatar designed by: http://dribbble.com/designovich

Your story: Add your story to your profile. Have you ever read someone else’s account of what happened to them, and said “that’s happened to me before?” And by reading the story, you realized that it made you feel better, not because it solved your problem, but because you found someone you could relate to. Add or update your story.

Team: To the extent that you have a team (hairstylist, dentists, breast cancer specialists, surgeon, therapists, support group) add them. Your team is a great way of helping other women near you learn more about resources you find valuable, and possibly have in common with each other. Add to your team.

Create Your Own Team

Explore: A good first step to take when exploring MyBCTeam is to browse around, or “lurk”. There’s nothing wrong in getting the “lay of the land”. Figuring out who’s active and how they are active is a great way to get to get a feel for the community. However, at some point, once you’ve figured it out, you should participate. Participating means commenting, and sharing. Why is this important? It creates an awareness of you, contributes to the overall tone of the site, and builds up trust with other women. No one is here to judge. If anything, this is a place where other women understand, vent, and share the small daily victories. It can be encouraging and uplifting to be a part of it. Post an update or photo.

You’ll be surprised how effective sharing a little bit about yourself can go with building trust among others in the MyBCTeam community.

Warm-up with Q+A

One unique section of the MyBCTeam site that is still evolving is the searchable database of Questions & Answers related to breast cancer. From diagnosis, to treatment, to living 20 years out from treatment, all kinds of questions are asked and answered here.

Add your own questions. Add answers to others. It’s a great way to stay informed, as well as help others stay informed through your own experience.

Breaking the Ice

Before saying ‘hi’ to someone on the site, consider why you want to connect with others. Women on MyBCTeam are initially drawn here out of curiosity and hope. They want to tackle the everyday challenges of living with breast cancer — others simply want to give back and make themselves available to others. Either way, you can get perspective on what others go through by reading updates. You will start to find that they want to support others, share their day and feel supported, too. The bonus scenario would be that they find other women in their neighborhood or others (across country, even) who share their interests (and perhaps diagnosis). All of these things are great foundation building blocks for connecting with other women on MyBCTeam. Knowing what you want out of MyBCTeam makes it easier to break the ice with others.

Find others near you: Here is a quick shortcut to finding others within 50-miles of your town. On the left side of your profile, where your photo, name, and city is located, click your city name. This will take you to a search results page for other women near you. Go to your page to try this.

Find other women who share similar diagnosis, age, or city: Using the Meet Others feature on the site, you can filter search results for women by location, their diagnoses, and even age group. Once you find others like you, take a moment to read their story. When you click on a person’s name on the site, you’ll be taken to their page. On the left side of their page click “Story”. There you can learn more about each person. Give it a try.

Read and like someone’s story: Have you ever read someone else’s account of what happened to them, and said “that’s happened to me before?” And by reading the story, you realized that it made you feel better, not because it solved your problem, but because you found someone you could relate to. By “liking” another person’s story, you’re letting them know you ‘get it’ or that you appreciate the time they took to share their personal story.

Connecting by acknowledging: The most effective connections we see on the site are made when members comment on each others’ updates, or “like”, or “hug”, or all of the above. Another level of connecting is “saying hi”. But saying hi in a way that shows you have taken a moment to learn about the other person through acknowledging what they’ve already shared about themselves on the site through their story, comments or updates. Another way: share what you have in common with the other person. Post on someone’s page on MyBCTeam or comment in the activity stream. See what happens.

Welcoming newbies to the site: You’ve seen them, you’ve been them…like being at a housewarming party where you’ve been invited, but not sure who to talk to.  Welcome them! Boy it sure takes guts to write that first post, doesn’t it feel good to be received and warmly welcomed by others? If you’re reading this you’re practically a veteran of MyBCTeam. Definitely feel good about welcoming new folks to the site. It’s a great feeling.

Adding Others to Your Team: Anyone can add anyone else to their team. This is a simple way to keep track of other women you’d like to get to know better or would like to keep track of whenever they post updates. It’s also a nice gesture between members. We’re all on each other’s team, but adding another to your team is an extra bit of support.

You’d be surprised how effective sharing a little bit about yourself can go with building trust among others in the MyBCTeam community.



Comments on: "Getting Started on MyBCTeam (My Breast Cancer Team)" (12)

  1. Hi @Mary,

    This is a technology question. It would be great to be able to point to the “like: term under your own comments and have the names appear right there. It is hard to go back and forth to the list of notifications in order to realize who may have liked something you posted.

    Thanks,
    Sammy

  2. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll
    certainly comeback.

  3. You log on and it shows how many notifications you have, but as soon as you click on one of the notifications the highlighting of the new notifications goes away and it is hard to know which are new notifications and which are old.

  4. Ida Rosenberg said:

    As always, a great job on this Mary. I’m proud to be part of such an amazing group of woman.

  5. Lori Absher said:

    My profile is wrong. How & where do I make changes?

    • Hi Lori, You can make changes in your “My Story” section and “My Diagnosis” section. Both links can be found on the left side of the page after you login.

  6. It’s great that you took the time to write this, as it’s an issue that
    is very important to me. Is there any way I can speak to you?

    My name’s Rudolf Spangler and I’d get into this more deeply.

  7. Thank you for the good writeup. It actually used to be a leisure account it.
    Glance complicated to far brought agreeable from you!
    However, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  8. This is a great place for all women going through all phases of breast cancer. You can feel safe and it’s a way to communicate to others who are experiencing the effects of breast cancer. I wouldn’t change a thing with this site! Thank you for this!

  9. This was helpful, not only getting started, but to reference again later. Why we’re here, what we’re finding and learning is ongoing.

  10. Cathie Harris said:

    🌺Great information and tips. Thank you @Mary Ray. A wonderful support for me just knowing this site is here so we can all connect… because, like it or not, we are all connected in a very personal way. I was really alone in a great family until I found mybcteam. 🌺

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