My writing skills… my mental clarity… my English vocabulary… my concentration… my memory… all rather rusty, I’m afraid, after my vacation.
Is it the sea water and sunshine perhaps, like an old Fiat car…? Maybe holiday inertia or just being out of practice? I suspect the latter, and as I do want to get back into writing, because I enjoy it, I am starting off with a meandering post to ease me back into writing again and see where it leads…
Details of medical stuff – yes, there are more to share – responses to the questions people have posed, the much-anticipated Grand Tour, along with other List for Living exploits will follow, once I regain a sense of how to write and hopefully make writing a more integral part of my day/week.
When I first began this blog, it was a space to express myself and what I was experiencing, in particular the emotional/psychological aspect of living with cancer, which continues to fascinate me; to keep a record of medical treatment (lest I forget); and to share what was going on with those who care about me and anyone else who wanted to know without having to keep repeating myself, especially when I was too fatigued to take phone calls. If by chance my blog helped others going through the same thing, then that was an added bonus.
From my stats I can see that my post on having the Hickman line inserted, for example, is a popular read. Now that really IS an exclusive audience! But I’m sure that level of detail about the procedure isn’t available elsewhere, so I’m pleased to help.
I notice a trend with many of the myeloma blogs I follow… When we’re in remission, or no longer in treatment, we generally have more energy and are able to get on with life, with doing things that we’ve not felt like or been able to do during treatment and therefore we have less hours on the sofa – more on bicycles, in aeroplanes, trains, workplaces or even running shoes (not me, but one myeloma friend is currently in training for a triathlon!), which tends to translate into less time/inclination to blog. We also have less to write about in terms of the myeloma per se and so we question what to do with our blogs, whether we will continue to write and if so, about what?
At least one blogger I follow hasn’t written anything for many months. This is a good thing for her, because she is now putting her energy into a much-loved job, her two children, husband and other non-myeloma-related activities. She must now be celebrating two years post-auto transplant, as she had hers four weeks before I had mine, in July 2011 and is still in remission. Long may that continue for her.
Sadly, there are also some bloggers who stopped because they became too ill or died. I don’t feel comfortable removing their blogs from my feed, or removing those who followed my blog from my list of followers, so they remain in memoriam.
As time has gone on, my motivation for blogging has changed. For a start, I discovered that I enjoy writing so much more than I could have imagined, given how much I hated written assignments for courses or reports at work. I like being able to share my thoughts; the audience can choose to read or not, but in the meantime, I can hold forth.
There are times when I may have become carried away with entertaining rather than writing from the heart, which is fun, but may need tempering? I hope to be more grounded and congruent from now on. Feedback is most welcome…
Being told that I write well also encourages me to keep writing and makes me wonder what else I might want to write and how I might actually go about doing that, especially if I could earn an income from it. Any ideas, advice or suggestions?
Being in pretty good health these days, the blog is and will be much more focused on “Living my life”, than on “with myeloma”. Nonetheless, just going through treatment, even if it had led to a cure (as it does with some cancers), has had an impact on me and I am forever changed, as I think is anyone touched by cancer or any other life-threatening disease, including carers, friends and family. I feel I have gained so much from my experience and now have the chance to approach life differently. This is not a bad thing in my opinion.
Having said that, I AM still living with myeloma… I will almost certainly experience a relapse at some point. That knowledge is something I live with and it affects all my choices, whether humble or grand, on a virtually daily basis. Neither is this a bad thing.
Even in remission, I am definitely living WITH myeloma and all that it means. So, writing about how it is for me at this stage feels as important and intrigues me as much as the initial stages of diagnosis and treatment. I think it’s an issue that can be forgotten or abandoned by cancer bloggers as they take back their “normal” lives and maybe stop writing. I dare say they don’t stop thinking and having feelings about cancer, even if they’ve been told they’re cured. But maybe some are too busy, and maybe some make sure they are too busy, so they don’t have to think/feel/write about it?
I don’t feel like I have a “normal life” to reclaim. Receiving a cancer diagnosis and going through the past two and half years of treatment created a huge hiatus in my life and I am now rebuilding it almost from scratch. This too is no bad thing. In fact, mostly it feels exciting.
Without a specific career, employment, partner or children, I feel much freer for now at least, to make different decisions about my life than I could before I was ill. It’s all about perspective, choices, attitude and priorities. I know I’m not having a unique experience here, but nonetheless, as clichéd as it is, I appreciate the opportunity to do things differently and of course I want to write about my experience of that process.
As those who’ve been following this blog will know, I am excited about my List for Living, which I am gaily tripping through. Of course, I want to share my experiences of ticking off items on it, but I also want to review, edit and add to it. Some items are no longer what I want, some having been done leave space for new ones to be added. I can’t possibly have a list that ever runs out, now can I? Where’s the fun in that?
So, I am looking forward to continuing to write and hoping you’ll continue to follow my journey, even if it’s less myeloma-related than before, but I’m hoping it will be very much about living… Not just the fun aspects, but ALL of it. I reckon that’s what being alive is all about.