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Blogging and “Pushing the Button,” One Year Later…

It’s been one year since I pushed that publish button and posted my first blog post.

Time flies, even when you’re fighting cancer!

It seems like this might be a good time to reflect a bit on my blogging experience thus far and share a few of the discoveries I have made along the way.

When I first decided to start my own blog, I had no idea how to go about it (thank you L & J), what exactly I would write about, who (if anyone) might read what I wrote, how long I would keep at it, how many blogs I would end up reading myself, what issues would come to matter to me the most or how addicting it would become.

I was in the middle of chemotherapy. I was losing my hair. I was no longer working. I was depending on my family to take care of things. I had recently lost my mom. I was feeling more than a little vulnerable.  

In short, I was not in a good place and I had no clue how “to do” cancer.

Think about the time(s) in your life when you had no clue about what you were doing or how things might turn out.

Was it when you started high school or started dating? Was it when you got married, became a parent or started a new job? Was it when you signed up for that math or foreign language class you had been putting off? Was it when you got lost or stuck in traffic in an unknown city?

Or was it due to something more profound; a divorce, a job loss, the death of a loved one or a serious injury?

Or was it a cancer diagnosis?

Any of these events might create a feeling of helplessness or be a time when you literally have no idea what-so-ever how you will manage.

For me, two times when I felt most a drift were when I lost my mother and when I received a cancer diagnosis.

As I’ve said before, writing is how I managed. Writing is how I coped with both.

It made perfect sense that blogging was the next step for me to take.

Blogging gave me a place to “put my cancer and loss to use.”

That’s how Nancy’s Point came into being. It was a place to try to make sense of cancer and loss and maybe help others who were trying to do the same thing.

I discovered some things during this past year that I had not anticipated.

I had no idea this blogging community (fellow bloggers and readers as well) was such a welcoming and nonjudgmental (though opinionated!) group. I had no idea I would gravitate to my computer every day to find out if anyone had left a comment. I had no idea I would look forward to reading and making comments on other blogs as well. I had no idea people would care what I had to say. I had no idea I would become friends with people I might never meet in person. I had no idea I would become a passionate advocate for research. I had no idea I would breathe a sigh of relief whenever a fellow blogger reported “NED was still hanging around.” (A year ago I didn’t even know what those letters stood for -no evidence of disease).  I had no idea I would cry real tears when I learned about a fellow blogger passing away or that yet another friend was diagnosed with mets or suffered a major setback of any kind, or that likewise I would cheer upon hearing of their accomplishments, be they large or small.

Mostly, I had no idea I would come to care so much about “strangers.” Even more surprising, I had no idea some of them would come to care about ME!

Perhaps that’s the most unexpected discovery of all about blogging, the sharing and the caring.

As corny as it might sound, it really is all about the collective sharing of stories. It’s nice knowing others are out there. It’s nice knowing others out there get it. It’s nice knowing others out there care.

One year ago, I certainly hesitated to push that publish button for the first time. There are days when I still hesitate to push it. Sometimes exposing my own opinions and vulnerabilities feels more than a little frightening, but yet if I don’t, what’s the point?

I guess I’ll keep pushing that button.

Finally, I just want to say thank you for being “out there.”

Thank you for reading Nancy’s Point!

 

When was a time you had no idea how you would manage? 

Why do you read blogs and how many do you read regularly?

Do you have any feedback about Nancy’s Point you’d like to pass along? (any kind is welcome)

 

 

 

39 thoughts to “Blogging and “Pushing the Button,” One Year Later…”

  1. Wow!! One year, and look at all you’ve accomplished and look at all the people who love your blog!!

    I am a huge fan of Nancy’s Point and really look forward to all your postings. Like you, I had no idea when I started blogging two years ago, that I would have all these people I’d consider friends and that the sharing of stories would be so cathartic.

    And, yes, I’m addicted to the comments, as well as the new stories unfolding.

    In terms of what I felt unmanageable — the darkest time, I think, was when I got diagnosed with cancer in 2001. My treatment ended Aug. 2, and then 9/11 happened, ending an already bad year with a terrifying, dark one. A year later, I was getting a divorce. For the next two years, I was taking a friend to chemo, but she died of breast cancer young, and then six months later I had a scare and then fought for my double mastectomy with reconstruction.

    I don’t know how I handled all of this stress. It was too much to bear. I was lucky to have supportive friends and others in my life to be anchors in the sea of instability. It was a very rough few years.

    I didn’t think I could cope, but it turns out I did.

    1. Beth, Thanks so much for your support this past year. It’s funny, there are a few faithful readers (that I know about) who always take the time to comment. You are one of them! It’s nice knowing I have someone to depend on for comments! Not that I’m putting any pressure on you to keep doing so! ha ha. Please only comment when you feel like it… I just appreciate them, that’s all! Well, it’s been quite the decade for you hasn’t it, Beth? You are putting distance between you and your diagnosis date and that’s a very good thing. You have handled so much so well for so long now. You’re a good role model for many, me included. I thank you for that.

  2. Nancy, I have become a huge fan of Nancy’s Point for many reasons; I am unable to separate even one particular point to mention.
    I am in the process of doing a post that covers the major events in my life. The ones that require coping skills, such as marriage, divorce, cancer, death and so on. I have ‘done’ each one 2, or even 3, times and I think Haydn’s nephew is right when he refers to us as ‘Case Hardened’ thus, the post title.
    I appreciate your comments on my blog for the wisdom and understanding, they provide.
    Keep on ‘keeping on’ my friend as you ‘push that button’ regularly

    1. Chez, Thanks for your kind comments. I appreciate your support and always want to know your thoughts. I look forward to that post, though I wish you didn’t have to write such a thing. You know all about keepin’ on that’s for sure. Thanks again.

  3. When was a time you had no idea how you would manage?

    I’m kind of feeling this way right now. I know we are supposed to be happy when our kids move out but I am not one of those moms I love having my son at home and not just because I need help taking out the garbage or carrying in the groceries. My son and I have always had a good mother/son relationship. He is leaving tomorrow to place his own mark on the world with his buddies I knew this day would eventually come but it’s too soon. Part of it is because you want to keep your children close. The other having Cancer there is always that uncertainty. I have been trying not to cry but it’s so darn hard..I will wish him well. He knows he can come home. What a day……..

    Why do you read blogs and how many do you read regularly?

    I started reading blogs because as you say you needed a place to put your cancer. I felt like I was standing in one spot spinning. I was reading Kijiji and in one area was Daria posting about her blog. I contacted her we chatted and she is the one who influenced me to write my “Pain” and I suppose that’s what I do.
    Yes I do read several blogs on the regular. Yours included. Sometimes I would like a little more feed back on mine or maybe some reassurance , but all I can add is that I so appreciate the friendships that have evolved terribly sad when we lose someone. You may never meet but their is a bond that develops.

    Do you have any feedback about Nancy’s Point you’d like to pass along? (any kind is welcome)

    So often I will think of a topic to write about and you have started it and it’s Whew! I’ll read Nancy’s Yours is one of the first blogs I read. I check daily to see if you have posted. No complaints only KUDOS!!

    Love Alli XOX

    1. Alli, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m sorry you are finding this particular time in your life especially difficult. I understand how hard the letting go can be. Your cancer undoubtedly does make this even harder for you. “Write your pain,” wow that was pretty good advice Daria gave you. I like your blog because it’s very honest. Keep it up. Thanks for the feedback, Alli, for your loyalty and for the kudos; I really appreciate it!

  4. Right now is one of my hardest times yet since my diagnosis.
    Cancer can sure play some cruel games on you.
    Cancer changes everything, and from all this comes a new perspective and new feelings about life. These come from a place that only those who are diagnosed with cancer know. Sometimes those new feelings and insights no longer mesh with your ‘old’ way of life. This is where I am now.
    There are parts of my life that I have outgrown in light of my ‘new’ self and making those changes to move into my ‘new’ place of existence. Sometimes that means leaving a partner behind because they are too tired of dealing with uncertainties and they secretly resent you because YOU are now the one who has placed THIER life on hold….
    Not only do us cancer patients get to deal with our own uncertainties and fears, we also get to watch as cancer tries to destroy everything we have thought was good.

    It is strange that through all of this, with all the poking, prodding, surgeries, drugs, etc. that your body no longer feels like you own…You become somewhat numb to it all, mostly because you cant believe you are getting knocked down AGAIN, but also because it is necessary lest you become a slobbering useless puddle of flesh. So it is stoicism once again…that old reliable numbness that I crawl into whenever things go way beyond what I can handle. When the thought of the loss is too great, when the whole world is conspiring against me, when the emotional and mental anguish is just too much for any one individual to handle, I just go numb on the outside while inside it is so intense I feel like I could just burst!

    Your blog,
    I love your blog! I am a also a faithful reader. I also never expected to feel so attached and close to complete strangers. I love my cyber family and often you and the others out there that I follow are the only comfort I have. You understand.

    Keep it up!

    All the best of health, love and joy!
    -Laura

    1. Laura, I’m so sorry you are experiencing one of those really tough times right now. Cancer does have a way of causing “collateral damage” doesn’t it? It sounds like you are in self-protection mode right now. Keep remembering that you are not alone. Your cyber family will continue to be out here for you, Laura. Don’t forget that. My best to you as well. Thanks so much for your honest thoughts. Come back soon!

    2. Nancy,

      As always, another great post. I love your blog.

      It is amazing how important blogging has become for me and especially how important reading blogs has become. I initially started blogging to simply keep family and friends informed of what was going on during my treatment.

      But, it became so much more than I ever expected it would become. I met other bloggers . . . amazing women like yourself. I never imagined I would experience all of this, that I would care about “strangers”, worry about people I have never met in person and become attached . . . and yes, grieve their passing in such a real and physical way.

      I look forward to each of your posts. I am so glad that you pushed the publish button a year ago 🙂

      You have made me feel better many, many times 🙂

      All the best,
      Lisa

  5. Hi Nancy
    I came to blogging about 1.5 years after my dx. I started with a CaringBridge site, but I am pleased that I have had little medical news so I don’t update that much.

    By the time I started my own blog last April I had a long time to consider my dx. I haven’t had chemo (yet) and my surgery and radiation were behind me. So I was in a different place then when I was first dx’d, that’s for sure!

    I was a little wary of extending myself in cyberspace–but I found I have enjoyed it. I like having my own platform–I also like reading others blogs.

    Rock on!

    1. Katherine, Thanks for stopping by and taking time to leave your thoughts. I know what you mean about being wary about all the self-exposure. I don’t worry too much about that any more. Well, not as much anyway! That’s what blogs are for, right?

  6. I agree and identify with your post and everyone’s comments here. Breast cancer is such a defining moment. Like losing James, we can’t reset to zero. It is what it is and we must cope, how ever difficult it is and regardless of how many times we stumble.

    My blog is my ministry. It started out as a way to talk about all those your doctor may have forgotten to tell you. Since then, it has become more of a bare my soul, tell all, except for what’s happened to James’ family since he died. Part of me wants to tell every sordid detail, because I’m so hurt and devastated, but the other side of me says I’m better than that and it’s not my place. Someday we will all answer to God. When that day comes, I want to know I’ve taken the high road. God will sort out the rest.

    Keep blogging, keep caring, keep reaching out to everyone.

    Love,
    Brenda

    1. Brenda, Thank you for being such a loyal supporter. You were one of my first! I really appreciate how you made time for my little blog last October. I was so excited to see a comment from a “real” blogger. I think one reason your blog is so successful is because you DO bare your soul. And you have a big heart.

  7. Nancy, I’m soooo glad you ‘took the Plunge”!!! Your voice has added so much thoughtfulness & eloquence to the blogosphere, and it’s been a great pleasure to get to know you here, if only in cyberspace for now — but who knows? We may yet get to meet in reality & marvel that we’re actually 3D & not just holograms!! LOL

    Much love & keep writing!!!

    1. Kathi, Wow, that’s a really nice thing to say. Thanks so much. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you too, Kathi. Thanks so much for commenting; you always have something interesting to add no matter what the discussion may be about. You’re right, there may be an opportunity to meet some day. You never know! Love back and you keep writing too!

    1. Lindsay, Thanks for all your encouragement and for answering questions when they arise. Your help and support is always much appreciated and you know I value your opinions and comments a great deal as well. I hope I’ve made a small difference; that’s always been my goal. Thanks for the congrats too!

  8. Nancy, congratulations on your blogaversary. I think you know you were one of the first, if not the first blogger, I came across that wrote what I wanted to read. All the things I was thinking myself, but didn’t know where to find. Once I found you, I knew this blog world was a place I wanted to be. I’m sorry for all we have in common, but so glad you decided to start a blog. I believe I have a new mid-western friend I didn’t know a year ago and I’m happy for that.

    1. Stacey, Thanks so much for finding me last fall! I just checked and your first comment came in on Oct 24th. Amazing! I’m so glad we connected, not glad about the reasons, but… It’s been great reading your blog the past year and getting to know you too. Thanks for your loyalty and friendship, Stacey.

  9. I am relatively new to your blog.
    But I would have never guessed it’s just been a year since you’ve been writing. Great posts and info.
    Congrats to you
    As far as tough times…
    When I lost my firstborn at 28 weeks along
    He only lived 8 hours. I just blogged about his Angelversary.
    Then the cancer…Yes the cancer is a big one.
    But is not as hard as losing my son.
    Debbi

    1. Debbi, I am so glad you left a comment. Welcome to you. I’m really sorry about the loss of your son, that’s truly heart breaking. I can’t begin to imagine that kind of loss and the grief that comes with it. I’m so sorry. I will have to check out your blog soon. Please stop back soon, Debi. Take care.

  10. Nancy,
    Your blog was one of the first I found after my mastectomy in January. I love your passion and even your outrage because it is a sign the issue is important. You have educated me about so many of the issues surrounding the diagnosis of breast cancer. I thank you for that.

    I have a link to your blog on mine. I was delighted yesterday when a friend of mine told me she had been reading your blog. It started a great conversation about the nature of loss. Thank you for that.

    I only read your blog regularly. It is the one that resonates with my experiences. Sometimes I am looking for validation, sometimes for solace and sometimes just to not feel alone in this reluctant sisterhood.

    I felt most overwhelmed when taking chemo, particularly the last two out of eight. I was so exhausted I could hardly drag myself to the bathroom. Because I wasn’t throwing up and never ended up in the hospital the doctor and family thought I was doing just fine. It is difficult to describe mind numbing fatigue. I am so thankful to have that behind me.

    Keep on keeping on, Nancy.

    1. Kay, Thanks so much for taking time to comment and for your kind words. I really appreciate your feedback. Thank you for that link as well. I’m so glad to hear my blog is meaningful for you in some way. That is the best compliment I could get! I’m glad your chemo is finished and I understand your statments. Hope you are doing well now and guess we will all just keep on keepin’ on. My best.

  11. I just had to back to our email correspondence last year a month or so after you had started blogging Nancy and thought it would be fun to share with you what you had written to me at the time – what a long way you’ve come 🙂

    “Again, many thanks for all the support and encouragement you have given me as a new blogger. I sincerely appreciate it. I had so many doubts when I started. I had no idea how to attract readers or if anyone would care about what I had to say. I’ve been amazed by the supportive nature everyone in the blogging community seems to have and it truly makes a difference on this journey.”

    1. Marie, Wow I can’t believe you saved that! I still have doubts a lot of days, I still have no idea about many things, but I am also still amazed and grateful for the supportive hearts of many people – people like you!

  12. Nancy, Congratulations on your 1st year anniversary of your blog site. I’ve been educated, informed on issues on breast cancer that I was totally unaware of before logging on to your blog site. You do a wonderful job of writing. Thank you, for Nancy’s Point.

    1. Lavonne, Thanks for the congrats and for your kind words. I appreciate your support through this whole ordeal. Thank you for being such a great backer of Nancy’s Point too! It means a lot to know you are reading.

  13. Congratulations on achieving one year of blogging! Where did the time go? We who were once strangers are as tight as ever. We are united in our efforts to educate people about the blight of breast cancer. You are doing more than your part in this.

    In answer to your questions, I am going through a time now in which I think I cannot manage. But I am getting through it moment by moment. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I read blogs because they inspire and educate me. Some make me laugh, some make me cry, some make me want to hug my nearest neighbor. I love to read about others’ experiences with breast cancer. I regularly read about 14 blogs when my life is under control.

    I love Nancy’s Point for its frank discussion of issues of relevance to all breast cancer patients. You tell it like it is, and I admire that spunk. Keep it up, and again, congratulations!!

    It feels so good to be back again in the blogosphere. I almost feel like I’m back to my regular self. Almost! Thanks for your continued support through my ongoing struggles.

    XOXOXO,
    Jan

    1. Jan, Thanks so much for the congrats and kind words. I am so sorry you have this whole other realm of “stuff” to deal with now, but I know you will get through it moment by moment as you say. I’m glad to hear you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. So, welcome back into the blogosphere and remember we are out here for all of it, the good the bad and the ugly and I don’t just mean the bc stuff either. Keep on keepin’ on, Jan.

  14. Congatulations on your one year anniversary. Yours is the only blog I read. Sometimes there are two others I check out from time to time. You have great insight and write with eloquence, empathy, art and wisdom. I wish you continued success in your writing. You are a blessing to all who know you.

    1. Betty, Yes, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year already in some ways and then again, it seems as if I’ve been at it a whole lot longer. Thanks so much for the congrats and also for your support and encouragement. It means a great deal to me. And thanks for reading my blog too!

  15. From one Nancy to another, big kudos to you on your blog’s longevity. I look forward to your posts and your insights, and you’ve provided enormous support and inspiration to this cancer newbie. Keep on blogging!

  16. I have enjoyed reading about your fears, your hopes, your good news, and all you have gone through and are still fighting for others. You are such a good writer, that I can feel your pain and frustration! That’s what gets through to your readers, and most of all the triumphs!
    My greatest loss was the little boy we lost when stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I carried him almost 7 months, and all of a sudden one night my water broke, Dale took me to the hospital and I spent 18 agonizing hours in labor only to deliver a child that didn’t make it. Today so many hospitals can SAVE a child who comes that early! But when I find myself feeling sad about it, I have to console my self with the fact that we were able to adopt two WONDERFUL children! Colin and Stacy have filled our lives with so much joy! You gave me the ‘push’ to write about it here. Thank you, Nancy!

    1. Sharon, Thank you so much for sharing about that painful experience. I can’t begin to imagine what that must have been like for you. I’m really sorry. Your pain still comes through in your words all this time later. That’s something you don’t ever get over isn’t it? I do have a good friend who delivered a still born baby girl years ago and the experience was gut wrenching. I felt so helpless as her friend. I’m so glad you got to adopt those two great kids! Thank you, Sharon, for being such a faithful reader and for your very kind words. I appreciate your support very much.

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