I started this blog with the promise to be exactly who I am. I don't hide how I am feeling. If a tan chick pisses me off at Barnes and Noble, I write about it. When I am struggling with how people treat me since the cancer diagnosis, I vent. And when I am scared beyond measures, you pick up on it. I keep very few secrets when it comes to my cancer. Because of my lack of concealing my feelings, I never know how people will respond to my posts.
I was not sure how people would feel about my last post. I spent a lot of time on it and I put my true feelings and fears out in the open. Imagine my relief and surprise when I heard from so many people who could relate exactly to how I was feeling. I even heard from quite a few blog readers that I did not know existed! Because of that post, I gained another reason to be thankful....new molemates!
I started reviewing my blog tonight. I wanted to see who was referring others to my site, etc. I was stunned to see that my blog--since February--has had 95,548 hits! Wow.
When I initially started posting I did it as a type of therapy. I had a hard time talking seriously about the melanoma, I would downplay my fears, make a joke to take away the seriousness of the diagnosis, or quickly change the subject. I felt like if I was strong, it would make things easier for everyone else. As most of you know, you can only be strong for so long until you crack. Writing kept me sane. It allowed me to absorb everything that was happening to me. When you are initially diagnosed with cancer, things happen quickly. You go from being perfectly healthy to ridiculously sick. Your day to day life turns completely upside down and your new schedule revolves around doctors and medical words that require Google to understand. I also did it as a way to stay sane. My family is the best, as I have mentioned a time or two, but they like to know every little detail. It was nearly impossible to explain every appointment to every person who called me. It was easier to just post a link to my blog on Facebook and have them read it there.
Instead of just my family reading it, many more people read my words. It is flattering and humbling to know that my experience helps someone else. When I was first looking through blogs, I had very few options. I wanted to read someone's raw emotions. I wanted to know that the anger that I was feeling was normal. I wanted the truth. That is why I have promised to always be honest with you all.
The comments I receive, the emails that share your personal stories, the fact that you share my words with someone else means that I am doing exactly what I aimed to do, I am writing the truth.
Cancer is not pretty. It isn't pink ribbons and butterflies. We have good days, and we have bad, bad days. We have ugly scars, massive amounts of determination, and secret fears that will make you cringe. We take the good with the bad. And if anyone doesn't like what they read on this blog, well, tough stuff. Like the picture says, "There is nothing more badass than being who you are." I just happen to be one brutally honest melanoma diva.
Please continue letting me hear your stories. Even if I cannot respond directly to your comments, I read what you write, and I am inspired by you.