It may sound a bit strange when, after blogging for half a year, I mention that I don’t really have much with social media. I don’t know what to do with Twitter and I’m one of those people who usually don’t find out that congratulations can be found in Messenger until three-quarters of a year after my birthday (sorry folks!). I only have my Facebook account to read how my family is doing in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Yet I now have a reason to visit Facebook often. There appears to be a private group on Facebook for women with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. In other words: fellow sufferers. There is another group, which is meaningfully called ‘Flat and beautiful’. And one for women with Triple Negative Breast Cancer with metastases, to which I am of course immediately admitted with my diagnosis. But with my ‘limited metastasis’ I would rather not be part of that group yet. First I want to go for a curative route. I can always switch if the cancer turns out to be spreading further, I decided. Apparently there are some stories I don’t want to hear too soon.

From ‘my’ group of Triple Negative Breast Cancer patients, I’ve already got several good tips. About what you can expect from the chemotherapy. What you can do about nausea. Or about how long it takes hair to grow back after chemo. Topics that nurses also address, but it turns out to be nice to read from a group of no fewer than 779 fellow sufferers about their broad range of various experiences, fears and achieved results or about handy tips. I am finally feeling wonderfully fit again, but visit Facebook anyway to read about experiences with radiotherapy, which I will probably undergo soon.

At the beginning of this year, I had never heard of Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). However, one in seven women will develop breast cancer. 15% appears to be TNBC, in short about 2% of the women in the Netherlands. Walking down the high street on any given Saturday, I probably pass dozens of women who now have or have ever had breast cancer, some who are “flat and beautiful,” and possibly someone with TNBC, too.

I resolved to look even more kindly at all the women I meet on the street. Also the men, because they might be very sweet carers.