Livestrong recently explained my urge to blog and record my cancer experience. Through an infographic, Livestrong demonstrates the impact of sharing twelve survivors' story on knowledge generation, openness, and behaviour in Mexico. Sharing personal stories about cancer reduced stigma, engaged people, and initiated discussion. In some roundabout way, that's what I hoped to do when I started to blog.
My diagnosis shocked the hell out of me. I had no idea I was at risk of cancer (I have a history of heart failing in my family - not cancer!), let alone at such a young age. Furthermore, treatment opened my eyes to a world where physical ability, freedom, and most importantly, health, can be limited. I choose to blog because I wanted people to know that age doesn't protect you against health challenges, and that good health can't be taken for granted even for a second.
My experience blogging has been more than that. Opening up and sharing my story connects me with others. Just the other day, someone I just met at a party admitted to me that she had been bald once. I hesitated, knowing I was about to open a can of worms, but confessed to her that I too had been bald. Turns out, she was a cancer survivor too! We spent the night exchanging stories and experiences.
Putting myself out there is hard, and I struggle with it every time I post. But those random connections I make by opening up make it worth it. And, if I happen to increase knowledge or stimulate discussion in the meantime, that's a happy bonus!!
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