In the beginning, this blog had one simple purpose: to inform family and friends about my travels with breast cancer. When something significant in my cancer world happened—a surgery went well, my hair came tumbling out, radiation scorched my delicate underarm skin—I announced it right here. It was all my husband’s idea, this online stuff. I hadn’t even heard the word blog before John spoke it. But now, three years later, the term kind of defines me. Joey, my seven-year-old, even says he wants to be a blogger when he grows up. Blogging has had quite an influence on us all. Especially me.
Blogging quickly became more than a means to communication. It turned into a great form of therapy, it gave me my very own cheerleading section—people far and wide leave me the most inspiring comments—and it allows me the pleasure of reaching out to those who find my site and use it as a road map. Perhaps the most notable consequence of blogging, and definitely the most unexpected, is the way it’s been shaping my career.
Blogging has given me a voice in the world of breast cancer. It’s given me professional blogging jobs—first at AOL’s The Cancer Blog and now at its sister site, That’s Fit—as well as two professional magazine writing gigs and a few writing assignments for My Breast Cancer Network. Blogging led The New York Times my way for a story about hair dye and its link to cancer. It got me a speaking engagement at a University of Florida sorority event, an invitation to write an essay for a movement called I Hate Tumors, a guest spot on Sure Woman, and an appearance on Orato. Blogging put me on the radio twice and is responsible for a slew of books I receive by agents who want published blog reviews. And just the other day, I was interviewed by a writer with MAMM magazine for a story about breast cancer survivors who blog. That’s me, a breast cancer survivor who blogs. The story will publish in the March/April issue and will be available online too.
I don’t know where this blogging career will take me. It may lead me no further than my home office or my dining room table, where I park myself behind my laptop and spin words into meaningful content. If this is as good as it gets, then life will be grand—because no longer is it necessary that I inform family and friends about my struggle with a life threatening disease. Nope, now it’s my job to spread the word about all I’ve learned. For me, there is no greater honor.