15I was honored to participate in a panel on blogging today, at an event for survivors and caregivers. We were asked to address what got us to write the blogs. That’s a good question – without a clear purpose. It made me reflect on my own goals, here.
I think there is a clear trajectory in what I have been writing about:
At the beginning of my cancer journey there was a clear need to help myself by telling others about my story. Sharing the experience is, for me, a good way to digest it, to work through it and to defuse some of the negativity that inevitably comes along. It is also amazing to me that I have made such great connections with blog and twitter friends here, friendships based on shared experiences. These friendships have given me positive energy and comfort – a community in which you don’t have to explain yourself. These posts are in the “my journey” category.
Then, as I started experiencing treatments I wanted to learn the biology of the treatments, and in turn explain them. I guess that’s the professor in me :-). I am still working on a resource on male breast cancer, though more and more good summaries are appearing already. I find explaining this stuff fun – I have always loved science and get excited talking about the concepts involved. Most of these posts are in “my journey” too, and can be found by following the relevant tags.
More recently I have been finding my voice as an advocate and am talking about opportunities to include men in the breast cancer research and clinical trials, and raising awareness about the disease. These stories have been more data-driven, and some would say awash in too many graphs… can’t help myself :-). These posts are in the category “dialog on breast cancer”.
Going forward I think I will have less to say about my cancer journey. There are some stories coming up on a trial I am joining, and some catch up to do on things I have not been able to get to, but feel are important. I will have more to say on advocacy, as I become more active in this area. And awareness will be active as we work to bring the SCAR Project to Houston coming October and as I connect with groups like Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation and the Army of Women. Awareness is also a category, to collect these posts.
At the sessions today we had a lively discussion about blogging and what it means to people. I enjoyed connecting with fellow bloggers and future bloggers!