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I was diagnosed with cancer in October last year at age 31. It was obviously a very difficult time and I thought it would be important to try to tell those I knew what was happening. I called some people, emailed others, and suggested that they also put the news “out there”. I was diagnosed on a Wednesday and had surgery the following Monday, so it was a busy few days.
A couple of weeks later while recovering from surgery I realised that I hadn’t been able to provide anyone with an update. It really was a large amount of work to do and something I felt I couldn’t deal with at the time. I also found it quite draining. I was due to have chemotherapy in another week or so and as much as I thought this would be something that others should know, the lines of communication were quite inefficient.
Right from the start I was toying with the idea of writing a blog and updating it with what was happening at the time. While the efficiency of this was attractive, I was very hesitant as I felt that if I was to do this, I would need to do it “warts and all”. I couldn’t just talk about the good bits, I would need to cover the bad, the ugly, and the embarrassing. I thought to myself that if I just glossed over those parts then it wouldn’t be genuine, and not a true record of what was happening.
The day before I was to start chemo I decided to do it. I realised that it is important for others to be able to feel for you and to grieve in their own way; that this thing that I was going through was bigger than just me. So I sat down and wrote about the road over the previous month. I didn’t stop for about 4 hours. I actually found it quite therapeutic and it helped put my mind at ease.
I did it on Facebook. I put it out to a few people and suggested that if they wanted to keep updated, they can just “like” the page, and was expecting my friends and family to be the only ones to do so. I was quite surprised what happened next. There were all these people, many of whom I didn’t know, following my page and sending me well wishes. I had a lot of messages saying that they “loved the blog”, and that they found parts of it to be quite funny. I found this absolutely stunning. Somehow my story was something good in the world.
I continue to update the page and it has been a very positive experience. I’m doing ok now.
If you’re interested in the Facebook page, you can check it out here:
And if you like what you see don’t be afraid to give it a “like”
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