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You Can Connect Guidelines

We're all here for similar reasons - we've been touched by cancer in some way. It’s up to all of us to show each other that no one is alone. Your You Can Connect profile is your own place to call home during this crazy thing called cancer, we just ask that you keep these simple guidelines in mind when participating.

1. Always Be Nice. This is a place for connections and conversations – we encourage you all to talk openly but please remain considerate in all of your engagement. Don’t post obscene, hateful or objectionable content. Abuse and disrespect will not be tolerated in the You Can Connect community and is subject to deletion and user removal at our discretion.

2. Be a Good Friend. The You Can Connect community is a family. Please remember to be a good friend to the connections you make on You Can Connect. Ask questions that you wish someone would ask you; if you can’t find the right words to say, send a hug, it can speak louder than words. A simple gesture goes a long way.

3. Don't Spam. This includes sending unsolicited messages of any nature, posting links to unrelated content, promoting a survey, fundraiser or product where it shouldn’t be promoted. If you aren’t sure if something is appropriate to post, e-mail us and we’ll let you know.

4. Think Before You Post. Everything you post on You Can Connect is secure, but it is up to you to monitor how much or how little information you are sharing about yourself and your experience. Please don’t share personal or identifiable information like your mailing address or your full name and don’t share other member’s information.

5. If You See Something, Say Something. We work hard to make sure these guidelines are followed closely but if you see something that doesn’t’ feel right to you, please let us know. We review every report we receive and will take anything you say to heart. We promise.

6. Be Open. Welcome newcomers and help guide them through this journey based on your own experience. Whether you are a survivor, fighter, caregiver or supporter, you have valuable information that can very well help someone else who is just beginning the cancer journey. Be open to sharing experiences and give someone else the gift of your time.

Thanks for being a part of our community. It’s up to all of us to ensure that You Can Connect remains a place for us all to call home when dealing with the ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis.

MattMares's picture
MattMares Connect

Survivor: Esophageal Cancer

Cancer. You left your scars. You changed my life. I guess I should almost thank you. Almost. I lived my life thinking I was unstoppable. Indestructible. I heard the stories like everyone else. I laughed at the warnings. I smoked. I chewed tobacco. I couldn’t be touched. Then you fucking showed up. I guess I hate you so much, because I deserved you. I watched you break down people at the clinics. People that didn’t deserve you. I watched people that had loved ones who cared about them battle you till the end. You won. Apparently I am unstoppable, because your battle against me, I won. But did I deserve the victory? I practically invited you into my life. I was stupid. I was a walking target for karma. I kicked your fucking ass, but for what? My life has changed since I became a survivor. So why do I thank you? People I thought were my friends disappeared. Only a few close ones remain, so thanks for showing me who I can count on. You knocked me off my high horse. I’m not invincible. Thanks for giving me a reason to kick the filth from my life. You made me realize life is too short to waste. For some reason, I beat you. I didn’t deserve to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t earn my second chance. So thanks for letting me win. My kids still have a father. My parents have their son. My siblings have their brother. My wife still has a partner to help raise our kids. I hate you with a fucking passion. You ruined my career, but I found a better one. You broke my body down to scrap, but I’m healthier now than I was before you let yourself into my life. You pushed my “friends” away, but fuck them if they couldn’t handle my situation. You broke me mentally, but I found my self worth. I have more changes to make. I’m moving on from you. I’m young, 29 years old. I have places to go. Things to do. People to meet. My dreams are now goals. My priorities are sorted out. So thanks. I’m not sure which of us actually won, but I can tell you I plan to live my best life now. So if you decide to come back for round 2, just know: I kicked your fucking ass once. And I’ll do it again to protect my second chance at life. Fuck you cancer.

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