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Topic: Chat Rooms at BCO.... need your feedback

Forum: Mod Announcements, News, Blog Entries, Podcasts —

Moderator generated forum to present our announcements or requests, organization and website news, blog entries and podcasts. Please do not post here if you are not a Moderator. Thank you!

Posted on: Feb 21, 2013 08:11PM

Moderators wrote:

Hi All, 

We are considering upgrading (in a much needed way!) the chat rooms. But before we do that and spend the money, we wanted to know how many of you use them/value you them. Is it a good feature of our community? If we no longer had them, what would that mean to you? 
Open to your feedback!

Many thanks, 

The Mods

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Posts 61 - 90 (129 total)

Feb 26, 2013 06:41PM Musical wrote:

I agree about too many convos. Someone said they used to be colour coded and that would help, but I think once you get too many people speaking its just more confusing, plus the window scrolls too fast. A number of  "empty" rooms where maybe someone can come and start a topic and "occupy that room"  until the chats finished, then it becomes open for someone else to use with their topic.  DOnt know if this is possible but just some thoughts.

Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)

Feb 26, 2013 07:04PM Moderators wrote:

We appreciate all of your comments and ideas - please keep them coming!

• Your Mods

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Mar 1, 2013 07:10PM djls wrote:

I first entered the chat room right before I was officially diagnosed in March 2011.  I was scared and overwhelmed.  I had posted on the discussion board, but I really needed someone to talk to.  The women in the chat room encouraged me, helped lift me up when I was depressed, cried with me, helped me to laugh in the midst of a difficult situation, shared their experiences and convinced me that I actually could get through treatment and that there was hope that I was going to be ok. 

Real time interaction with people who have “been there, done that” is something only a chat room can provide.  I went to my first oncology appointment with 4 pages of questions and then dropped off a 5th page!

Another important aspect of the chat room is that I can talk about anything, including stuff I would not want to see in print!  I don’t have to worry that people are going to be able to read what I said months, even years down the line.

I think having specific topic nights (lymphedema, local recurrence) or specific group nights (stage 4, stage 3, her 2+) is a great idea!  That way people who read certain forums (like the stage 3 ladies) could actually have a night to meet and chat with each other.  They would already know each other from the discussion boards and wouldn’t be so intimidated by a room full of women they don’t know.  The other chat room (the Staying Connected room) could be used for that, especially since it’s only being used for memorials and the annual secret santa). 

Right now, the software tends to be unstable and it is very frustrating when new people come in and they haven't been in more than 5 minutes and they get booted out.  I’ve often wondered how many new people just give up.  Some of the regulars give up when they keep getting booted out!

I think it would be really helpful if the “How To Chat” page had more specific instructions on how exactly to use the software.  People need to know how to login, how to enter the room, how to say something, how to increase the font size, how to make the size of the window bigger, how to ignore certain chatters, how to get back into the room if the person got booted and their “ghost” is still in the room.  Not everyone is computer savvy. I've been coming into the chat room for 2 years and I still don't know what all the menus and options do.

Please restore the link to the chat room on the home page of  Having the link on the discussion boards has definitely helped to bring in more new people, but I think having a link on the home page will help even more.  

We used to be able to copy and paste out of the chat room in the past, but at some point we lost it.  If we could do that, then we can direct newly diagnosed to various pages on the website. As it is now, people have to write the link down on paper and then type it in by hand. 

In my opinion, the chat room is invaluable.  It certainly has been in my life.  No one is perfect and sometimes we fall short.  However, the women in the chat room honestly want to help others.  I know I want to be there for other women, just like they were there for me.  Their kindness and willingness to sacrifice their time and energy to be there for new people as well as each other has made an impact on many lives. 

Dx 3/9/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

Mar 1, 2013 08:06PM Musical wrote:

Mods was there a specific reason why the chat was "downgraded" as some are saying? Was it always java dependant?

Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)

Mar 2, 2013 02:56AM Moderators wrote:

Musical, chat at BCO has always been Java-based. It hasn't been downgraded, but the software is "mature," and may no longer be compatible with some newer systems and plug-ins.

Budgets are always an issue. That's why we've asked members how many use/value chat, if it's a good feature for the community, and what it would mean if chat were no longer there.

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Mar 2, 2013 03:03AM Mazy1959 wrote:

Bump...Cant imagine life without BCO chat. Luv and hugs, Mazy

Bone marrow mets in 90% of bone marrow. Dx 3/6/2003, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 12/19/2006, ILC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 4/25/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/4/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/9/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel)

Mar 2, 2013 02:32PM Held wrote:

To those having a hard time connecting - I know I can not get into Chat using Internet Exploxer.  I have to use Safari as my browser. 

A good friend will come and bail you out of jail....but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying.....Damn....that was fun! Dx 9/6/2007, DCIS, 6cm+, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-

Mar 2, 2013 04:15PM Musical wrote:

Thanks Mods for answering that. I cant remember whether someone was telling me you could use the colour option and resizing text etc when I 1st went in the rooms.

Held,  Exploxer? LOL my name is Internet exploder!  Sorry couldn't resist. I use an old version of FF and it got into chat fine. One reason I had to uninstall Java is my system drive was hovering on 20% free and I like 25% free minimum. What version of Safari you on? My MAC is Safari and Java is tightly woven into OSX. Mine is an older version so I might put that online and give it a go a bit later.

Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)

Mar 2, 2013 08:57PM Moderators wrote:

Musical, it's true that we used to have colors in chat, but that was back 2005. When BCO wanted to integrate registration, there was a change from where the original chat was hosted in order to make that happen, and the then-new software didn't have the color options.

djls, the links down the left side of the chat log-in page answer some of the questions we've read here about how chat works.

Held, you're right about browsers and their versions making a difference. I've never been able to connect to chat with Firefox, but could get there without any problem using Safari. Then I got a new computer, with a new version of Java. It just won't let me in at all, and the OS won't let me revert to an older Java version. Fortunately my older laptop still works, so I fire it up when I want to get to our chat.

Judith and the Mods

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Mar 2, 2013 11:57PM marlegal wrote:

As someone 7 yrs past diagnosis, I just to say again that I come to chat and hope to see newbies, although obviously hate anyone being dx'd with cancer. But I am so glad to be able to say "I'm 7  yrs out" and I can almost feel them exhale, because when i first came to chat in 2005, to see women who were 2, 3, 5, 15 yrs out just made all the difference to me. I know you might be able to see that on boards or other places, but there truly is nothing like seeing it "live". Please Judith and Mods, please revamp chat and keep it going.

Thanks for the chance to voice opinions.

"We are all just walking each other home." Dx 8/24/2005, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, 1/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)

Mar 3, 2013 02:04AM Mazy1959 wrote:

Bump bump bump. Gotta keep it going. The BCO chat ladies are my family and I love my family very much. Luv and hugs, Mazy

Bone marrow mets in 90% of bone marrow. Dx 3/6/2003, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 12/19/2006, ILC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 4/25/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/4/2012, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/9/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel)

Mar 3, 2013 09:22PM SheChirple wrote:

Can I just "ditto" what djls said................................

Upgrades or not, do NOT lose this board.

I agree with multiple available rooms.  Or the ability to open a new room for chats.

A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman's body. Dx 10/14/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/28/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/23/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 8/14/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 5/24/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 6/9/2014 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap

Mar 4, 2013 11:13AM jocanuck1951 wrote:

I tried to get into chats last week but safari with java wouldn't let me, very frustrating but I will try again on the weekend with my dinosaur!

Joanne, looking for more time to play! Liver mets right out the gate! Dx 9/26/2012, IDC, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Surgery 11/16/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx 12/3/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 1/10/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 1/21/2013 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)

Mar 4, 2013 11:46AM - edited Mar 4, 2013 11:54AM by Hortense

I have never used them in the year I have been on this site. I just tried now and could not find a way to get in. All I saw was info about them. I tried to log in at the only spot offered and was brought back here. How does one get in?

Is java necessary because I disabled java last year after reading warnings that java can be hacked on macs. As recently as Feb 21st, 2013 Macworld is again cautioning people to strongly consider disabling java on their mac computers and telling them how to do it:

Cold Cap user - kept my hair Dx 1/24/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/29/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 5/8/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/24/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/16/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)

Mar 4, 2013 04:46PM - edited Mar 4, 2013 04:51PM by sam52

Most 'chatters' do not seem to be regular board as someone else said, will probably not see this thread....

I used to use the chat rooms extensively when I first found (2003)- made some great friends and am still in touch with some of them.My first ever cyberfriend was made in the chatrooms!

Back in the day you could choose different colours so it was easier to keep up with who was talking.I don't know if the facility is still there for 'private' chatting; you could invite another chatter outside the room and have a more leisurely conversation with them, and then return to the room again.

My only gripe is that, being in UK, there is usually no-one in the chatrooms nowadays when I go there - they mostly arrive when I am already in my bed! A few years ago, more US sisters seemed to go into chat earlier in the day.

I think it would be very sad if the chatrooms closedCry

Tinkermax.....Hi - long time no see! Hope you're doing well.

Sam x

edited to add: just went into chatrooms with ease - straight in and no problems.I do have Java enabled.

dx Oct 2001 IDC 1.6cm, stage II, grade 3, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

Mar 4, 2013 04:53PM - edited Mar 4, 2013 05:00PM by Musical

Hortense, Java IS necessary to be able to get into chat on these boards. Im sure I remember recently reading something about the ability to "whitelist  it" or whether theres an easy button where you can switch it on and off as needed.  Dont know if it was for MAc or PC. Im gonna try my MAC as soon as I get off here from my PC. Waiting on your link to it just doesnt go anywhere for me. 

Edited to comment on post just above mine.... When I went in to chat around a couple of months ago you could use private chat because I asked someone if they would let me try it, when I was looking at the menus and things..

Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)

Mar 4, 2013 05:56PM Musical wrote:

OK Im on MacOS 10.5.8- Safari Version 5.0.5 - Java Version hopelessly outdated...(late 2007) and I'm in the Chat rooms right now. No one else there, and Ive posted a little message.

I have NO menus at all so that I can't choose how to be alerted like I could a couple of months ago.  Looks like it's the very basics and thats it. 

Just some tips from my experience. 

- If youre on Safari, and havent accessed the Chat page before, it will take time to load completely ....much slower on dialup (shock horror but some of us still are) moreover, the Login fields are at the bottom of the screen and appear pretty much last. That could be why some of you cant see where to log in.

So wait until the page loads COMPLETELY. 

- Those of you on Safari check this: Safari > Preferences > Security > Enable Java (see that it is checked)

Mods is it just my out of date browser or have we lost the menus at the top that gave us some options? Oh I have  nice pretty maroon boarders though!

Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)

Mar 4, 2013 07:02PM Moderators wrote:

Musical, the menus are still there - I'll check with my older computer later tonight to check how chat behaves menu-wise.

Thanks for the info!

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Mar 4, 2013 07:07PM lildee wrote:

I have posted earlier as to how important this chat room is to me and many of us.  I wanted to come in to let you know that if this is a cost issue I know some of the ladies are willing to donate in order to make sure this room is here for ladies looking for the support that this room brings ladies who are so scared after a diagnosis of cancer.  I hear time and time again ladies in the room saying this room was their life line during the process after the diagnosis and how wonder it was and how it helped them through the scariest thing in their lives.  Please take this into consideration when making your final decision. 

Dx 12/23/2005, IDC, 5cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 2/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

Mar 4, 2013 07:08PM marlegal wrote:

Moderators: Many woman have stated on FB that they'd be willing to contribute financially if it would help keep the chat rooms open. Just passing along the info.

"We are all just walking each other home." Dx 8/24/2005, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, 1/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)

Mar 4, 2013 11:26PM nancyc wrote:

I started using the chat room in '04 when I was homebound after my 4th surgery in 11 mo and a whiplash dx from st 1 to 4 in 4 mo. I was in chat for many hours every day at that time, and the friends that I met in the room helped me feel less alone and scared, and many became my friends. In those days, the room was a 24/7 happening place with chatters coming in from all over the world. The colored and different fonts we had then made keeping up with who was saying what lots easier.

More recently, with the change to the sign in page putting the sign in at the bottom of the page, many have been unable to figure out how to get into the room. Even experienced chatters had to resort to messaging one another on the boards or in Facebook to figure out how to get back in the room. NOT a genius idea from BCO, I'm afraid. I think that finding the room shoud be easier than it is. I'm not sure if the use declined as a result of Facebook, or if there would be more use of the room if more focus were put on it and perhaps if there were some advertising to let newly diagnosed people know it's available.

As my personal health status is now routine, I no longer "need" to chat, but it certainly is lovely to go in once in a while to say hi to old friends. I had to uninstall Java recently when I learned that it's very prone to identity theft type attacks, so unless I can get back in without it, I'm afraid I'll have to be a former chatter. Thanks for all you do, and for asking for our feedback.

Mar 5, 2013 06:55AM Yayme wrote:

Hi all...
I am so bummed as I want to use the chat room but can't seem to get on...:(


Mar 5, 2013 07:42AM peachy49 wrote:

I've been going to chat since 2006, July. If I never found this chat, I would have been lost. All the chat ladies and I have formed life long relationships, gone to get togethers, and most importantly helped all the new people that mustered up the courage to come in that chat room and  found strength to talk about their cancer and I would feel terrible if chat was to go away. Im almost 7 yrs out now, and although I dont go to chat every night, I go as often as possible and new people WILL go and they will NEED help. I would be willing and probably others too, to contribute to keep chat going. I like the discussion boards as well, but totally not the same as live chat! Please, we NEED our chat, so leave it where it is-thank you very much.


¤PeachyMarie§¤ "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." Mother Teresa Dx 8/31/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

Mar 5, 2013 10:38AM SoCalLisa wrote:

I have said on other topics how important the chat room is for so many of us..many more if they could find it..

There must be a better spot to save some money...and helpful if you would make an announcement for donations earmarked just for the chat room..

So good to see so many friends answer this topic..and sad to see the many of us on the wall of honor..

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years

Mar 5, 2013 10:41AM fitzdc wrote:

Have used the chat rooms a few times, but as others have written - you need to know the timing.  I have logged on a few times to find myself alone.  Would use more often if I knew when the 'chatters' were there.

Teresa Original diagnosis on 9/27 of DCIS - Stage 0 grade 3; UMX on 12/1 Surgery 11/30/2011 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Dx 12/11/2011, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2012 Surgery 6/12/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/12/2012 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction

Mar 5, 2013 11:18AM GraceB wrote:

Well it certainly has been a while since I posted on the Boards!  I still come in to chat every once in a while but not nearly as much as I used to come in starting back in 2004.

At the age of 39 I was dx and also the diagnosis that I was Her2+. As you can imagine I had a wonderful loving and supportive family who doted on me and loved me and always wanted the best for me.  They made me dinners, came with me to Dr. appt's and chemo treatments.  Helped to take care of my then 8 and 4 year olds. But something was lacking....something was still scaring me to death!  What if I didn't beat it.....What if I couldn't be happy that I now had fake breasts and was going bald I was still alive right?  

Then I found this website!  Not only could I post on Boards but I could find real people like me to talk to in real time!  real People who could see me and say Hey Grace how goes the day?  People from all over!  Like Bad from Aussie(really from Washington state at that point) or our friends from Ireland and England and Canada!  People who were coming in and Picking colors because in the beginning we had to be a color to try and separate ourselves.  Ohhh and the time I was just sitting in the room watching everyone talk and someone else brought up the fact that her nose was running constantly!  And someone else said "well you know you don't have nose hairs right now right?"  I actually said out loud in my living room....OMY GOODNESS that's what's wrong with my nose! hahahahaha

Or the Friday night Food fights where Lord only knows the trouble we were getting into and we would have a Newbie show up ....Poor things.  Oh and the trollers where we would just start talking about Laundry until they left.

And the very very very sad times where our beloved Friends....cause that is what they became our Friends that some times you never met....would go on. And their families would come into chat and talk with us about what was going on or they would type for them.  It was all we could do to hold on to each other.

So Damn Straight....Do whatever it takes to bring this Chat room into the Technology field it needs to come into.  That room honestly saved me more times than I could count.  And I want to thank whomever it was that came up with the Chat room in the first place.  I am very sure you didn't realize how much of a safe haven it would become for all of us.

I am currently Dancing with NED for what is 8 1/2 years now.  I'm pretty scarred up but I'm hear! And Believe me when I speak to any one who is newly diagnosed and looking for answers I send them here! Thank you Thank you Thank you

Mar 5, 2013 04:55PM Moderators wrote:

It's such a pleasure to see familiar names from the early days of chat, and to hear from so many who found it along the way, and are still making new friends today. Thank you all for your heartfelt comments!

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Mar 5, 2013 10:29PM celia088 wrote:


"May your heart always be joyful, May your song always be sung, May you stay forever young"........Bob Dylan

Mar 10, 2013 07:04PM chrisrg wrote:

The chat room started with my Breast Cancer Journey in January of 2011.  I have become a "regular", there is no measure of value for inspiration, support and friendship found in this room.  It has and continues to be "my reach out" during times of anxiety..and the laughs and fun that occurs - priceless.  As this is an International Site, it enables us all to connect as true sisters and allows us immediate respones and follow ups with each other.  To lose the chat room would be "a cut off" of long term developed friendship, support and inspiration.

Mar 12, 2013 09:57PM - edited Mar 12, 2013 09:58PM by JJsMominCA

Just a quick update on the value of the chat rooms.  Last night, 3 new ladies came in to chat, all within about 10-15 minutes.  2 of the 3 were extremely anxious, and so grateful to have someone to "talk" to.  The third was waiting to be diagnosed.  There were words in their user names like "frazzled" and "scared".  They were so relieved to chat with people who have been exactly where they are right now.  I realize chat is not for everyone, but to those who desperately need reassurance and encouragement, the chat rooms are invaluable.  I don't believe that numbers should be a consideration in determining the future of the chat rooms, as far as how many users there are.  If one person a night is "talked back from the edge," then the chat rooms have served their purpose.   And believe me, that has happened.

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