My Personal Cancer Journey — Blog as Therapy

People ask me why I do this, why I post a blog daily, why I seem obsessed with making sure there is a new blurb every day. I guess the answer for me is that blogging is therapy. It keeps me grounded. It never lets me forget that I have Stage 4 Lung Cancer and that it is TERMINAL!

Why don’t I want to forget that? What is motivating me to bare my soul in public for the world to read?

There are actually two (2) reasons:

1. Blogging forces me to remember that my life expectancy has been shortened considerably and there is work to do before I depart. It’s so easy to forget about future plans when daily life can be so demanding, so stressful.

For example, Lee & I recently bought a new car (not a splurge but a practical vehicle since mine is 8 years old). The process of finding the right car, the right dealership, and then the distasteful process of negotiating a good deal was all-consuming for 3-4 days. We researched dealer prices through Consumer Reports; we sampled the AAA Buying Service to get quotes from dealers in the area; we consulted manufacturer websites to find listings of model features. I barely had time to think about my illness and its implications, but I still managed to post my blog each day. It seems to have great cathartic value, calming me and forcing me to stay focused on the most important task which is my life.

2. Sharing my feelings and my impending demise on the web was a difficult decision to make. I am basically a private person; I usually prefer not to share my personal trials and tribulations, except to close family & friends; I would rather listen to others talk about their problems and sympathize with them. However, I feel that cancer is not discussed enough, that it often remains the “elephant in the room” for people. Yet how can we learn to cope with this disease which affects so many families if we have no models or examples to follow (not to say that I am a model in any way, shape, or form)?

Thus, I overcame my shyness and reluctance to speak openly about my problems in order to perhaps benefit my readers with a first-hand account of my personal cancer journey. Maybe by voicing some of the feelings and thoughts which are almost inevitable when dealing with this kind of life-changing experience, future sufferers will learn that these thoughts and feelings are normal. Maybe by describing my methods of coping with my cancer, future cancer victims and their families will be able to develop their own coping skills.

I hope I am right and that my personal cancer journey will give others a road map for negotiating their own experience with the disease.

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