Promoting Cancer Blogs

Welcome home...

Welcome home...

I got an interesting email yesterday from Elizabeth Gregory who recently relapsed with inflammatory breast cancer and started up her blog On My Way To Here.   I don’t know how she found this site but I feel glad that she did.  She is crying out for others to share with her their journeys as she is prepared to share hers.  I like her writing.  It is honest and elegant.  Her first three posts are a good start.  And her blog should be a wonderful addition to the cancer blogging community.

So following her email and the discussion from Sunday on cancer blogs, I have been wondering what I, you, we as a community, we as individuals can do to encourage persons with cancer, especially the newly diagnosed, to start their own blogs.  Have any of you ever (knowingly) mentored anyone on blogging?

Surely, as I have written before, we all benefit as the community, and all its “sub-communities” for breast, brain, colon, etc cancer survivors, we all benefit as other cancer blogs are born and thrive.  The goals and objectives of cancer blogging can vary.  But all of them seem to function first as a kind of therapy – first for the blogger, then family and friends, then finally for those nameless others out there in the ether undergoing similar trials of their own.

What can we do to market this kind of therapy?  What can we do to nurture that impulse to describe and to share our cancer experience?  I have written “How to Start Your Own Blog” as a separate page.  It gets regular views but I have no way of knowing what impact it has.  I would be very interested in your thoughts and ideas on this subject.  In the meantime pay Elizabeth a visit.  She has things to say.  And we have cause to listen.  Take care, Dennis

From Elizabeth:

I am a 48 year old single mother who has been dealing with breast cancer since July 2003 when it was determined that I had Inflammatory Breast Cancer. My treatment was a lumpectomy, a mastectomy, chemotherapy (every 2 weeks) and radiation which ran through hand-in-hand with the second half of the chemo).  Thankfully, I was in remission for six years. Just last month (June 2009) it was discovered the cancer had reared it’s ugly head again, showing up in my bones.  I am presently undergoing chemotherapy for a second time and I feel confident I will emerge with another long period of remission, and a lot of personal growth from walking through this process again.  I am also a recovering alcoholic and a college student working on my degree in fine arts & design.  I have a blog which I use to share my experience, strength and hope, and my real life frustrations too, with anyone who would like to see what I have to share.  All are invited and I encourage others to share with me as well – I am always open to how others overcome their own challenges.  I have a strong faith in a higher power whom I chose to call God and I rely heavily on my faith as a source of strength. I look forward to linking with others for the benefit of all to find hope and strength during times of uncertainty.  Thanks for your blog Dennis!

About Elizabeth:

I am a growing spirit who has just begun to explore anew; presently walking through cancer treatment for a second time. I am a strong woman learning to be stronger. I am a single parent, a student, a friend of Bill W., and a survivor of more than just cancer. I have artistic talent, the ability to write (hence a try at blogging), and I enjoy discovery and learning, nature and culture and creatures, diversity and exploration. I enjoy reading, intelligent debate, walks with my dog, the beach, the mountains, movies, the 12 steps, helping others, strengthening my faith & spirituality, and addressing the good in people and awakening that in those who are not in touch with the caring and compassion of the human heart. Animals are my favorite companions most of the time. I am also learning to deepen my ability to listen to the world around me, to my creator’s guidance and to my inner self.


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.


Promoting Cancer Blogs — 3 Comments

  1. Gee, thank you Dennis! How kind of you to share about my efforts. My gratitude runs deep. I appreciate your help and input and will look forward to hearing from those who get directed my way through your help. What a good heart you must have.
    Sincerely thankful –
    Elizabeth Gregory

  2. Another great blog! My opinion is just because blogging works for somepeople, it won’t work for others. Some people can express their thoughts in writing and don’t mind being fairly public about it. Others may not feel comfortable writing, or publicizing. I think how people handle their dealings with cancer is every bit as unique as each person’s cancer. I blog daily about my health. But I know others who blog about the rest of their lives… Its a very personal choice.

  3. Hello,

    Thank you for adding us to your blog roll. We started blogging about our journey primarily to update overseas family and friends, but later started using our blog to create awareness and I guess sharing with others what living life with child cancer is like. Subsequently our blog is mirrored on our one newspaper website.

    I have convinced at least one other parent to start blogging and she is very happy she started.

    I have also created a blog with links but I have not updated that in a while as I have been too busy, I really should get to it soon, but anyway, feel free to have a look:

    Lea White

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