There is no doubt that my experience of cancer is very different to the one I might have had a number of years ago. For several reasons, including medical advances and being treated in Thailand. But the biggest factor has to be – the Internet.
I have discussed Google and the fact that we have access to so much (possibly too much) information from the first suspicion of something perhaps being awry.
We also have specialist sites such as the Breast Cancer Care site which is more UK based, and Breast Cancer.org which appears to be more US focused but of course both are global by virtue of being internetty. In addition to having a heap of information readily accessible, each has a Community and Discussion Forum. This is where those who are affected by breast cancer can discuss any topic you could think of as well as connecting with others who are going through similar treatments, have the same or similar diagnosis or other points in common. There is a lot of sharing, caring, humour, creativity, venting and “very lively discussion” and on these and many friendships forged.
There are also many blogs by other women with breast cancer, as well as family members who have someone close who has breast cancer. Each has its own perspective and character. A glance to the right of my page will reveal a list of my “Breast Cancer and related Blogs” which is a selection of some of those I follow regularly.
I feel as if I have made friends and got to know many other people, mainly other women who are also living through this breast cancer life through the Forums and the blogs.
I have also been very clear that my own blog is a coping strategy for me. When I record what is happening it helps me to process it and deal with it. I am aware that I am forgetting much of the detail of what happened earlier on and do not want to lose this into the aging grey matter which hosts my own memory stick.
Now, however, I have discovered a new gadget which is providing great enjoyment and silly levels of amusement. You may have spotted the Visitor Map on the right of the page. This is the best thing since the invention of Jaffa Cakes. It notes down the country of each new visitor to the blog – along with a mini map. It is so exciting! Apparently there have been visits to the site from a total of 21 different countries since I installed my fabby toy. I have had such an interesting range of callers, many of whom are from the UK and US. There is also a wonderful footprint from visitors from countries I have lived and worked, as well as from friends and colleagues who I have met there. These have brought flags from Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mongolia, Uganda as well as Algeria, Armenia and even Bhutan!! I have also had visitors from Russia, Brazil, Japan and my very latest one is from – Kazakhstan!! How cool is that? I even had a visit from Samoa but for some reason the map didn’t appear. So unfair.
So if you want to make a sick woman and a rapidly cooking gecko very happy (there’s nothing wrong with a bit of emotional blackmail), do visit the blog whenever you are in a new country. At least once 😉 ! And do feel free to spread the word to the rest of the world ;)!!