Thank you all for the responses to my last post, here and on Facebook. Several people thanked me for sharing my story, for being so open with what I am thinking and feeling. I’ve probably written about this before, but I think it’s worth revisiting: Why am I doing this? Why am I blogging all of this?
Obviously, there are many reasons, some about you, dear readers, some about me and mine.
Probably the most important person I am writing for is Emmie. She is far too young to read any of this, let alone understand it, but it is my hope that someday she can look back on this body of work and learn a little bit about who her mom was, good and bad. She can read a little about how I felt about her, as well as the things she did as a child. I don’t write everything for her here, though. I also have a journal I am keeping for her with more personal observations and reflections.
I write for myself. I write to process the things I am thinking about, I write to get things out of my head. I also write because I am a little narcissistic, and I like to think that people care about what I am thinking (which may or may not be true). I write because I have a certain quality that some may call honesty, others may call “oversharing,” but in either case, I just cannot keep my trap shut. It also makes life easier for me to not have to retell the same information over and over to people, especially if it’s hard or sad news I have to share.
I write for those out there who are searching for someone else who has been through the same thing. I did a lot of Googling when I was first diagnosed, and still often look for blogs of people when I face something new (like whole brain radiation). Information from doctors is helpful, but they rarely know or understand what it’s REALLY like to live with the side effects of the various drugs, surgeries or other aspects of cancer. I hope that someone who is about to get their first CT scan can find one of my posts about it and learn a little bit about what might happen. Or maybe they will find comfort in knowing that someone else is experiencing crazy weight gain with steroids.
I write for my friends, family and followers. I write so that you can know a little bit about my life and what’s happening, good or bad. I don’t write to inspire you, but I’m happy if that is a side effect of my story. I write because the American Cancer Society has said that one in two people will develop cancer over their lifetime. One in two! As you all get older, more and more of you will be diagnosed with cancer, or have loved ones diagnosed. Even though every story is different and every cancer is different, I hope that my story can help guide those of you who will be affected in some way in the future. Alicia did this for me by sharing her story so bravely and honestly, and I hope to do the same for others (though I hate that it will happen again, inevitably, to someone reading this). Alicia wrote her story, not knowing the endless impact it would have on her community at large, let alone how intimately and personally it would guide my own journey. I don’t know how my writing will affect the world at large, but it cannot happen unless I write.
Finally, I write because I am a writer. I have written stories, poems and observations since I was a wee lass, most bad, some middling, and a few good. I got a degree in writing (fun trivia fact!) because I loved to write so much. I feel better when I write. I love the sensation of typing, I love the flow of words coming from my brain to my hands to the screen. I write because I must. I write because the only everlasting legacies we have are our children and our written word.
I hope that what I write here has some meaning for all of you out there, but even if you only walk away with a slightly better understanding of another person’s life, I will have done my job.
So much love to all of you who comment and help me stay motivated to keep on writing! You have no idea how much it helps to see your responses here!