Wow! Sometime in the last couple of days, this blog has hit a milestone I never anticipated: 20,000 page views. This is something that merits celebration, and gratitude.
I started my cancer blog after a short career as a geaneablogger (about family history) mostly as a way to keep family and friends aware of how my treatment was going. I knew many were getting the info through my mom and their parents. I'm sure some details got lost in translation. It was also difficult to tell the whole story over and over. My blog gave me a chance to write it down, once and for all.
My secondary purpose for the blog was to raise awareness of breast cancer. For a while, I gave my readers a monthly reminder to "check your boobs!" I think I felt that I might have caught my cancer earlier if I had done regular self-examinations. Then, as I became more educated about breast cancer, I realized that self-exams and mammograms aren't the be all and end all for finding cancer. That's when I dropped the words "breast cancer awareness" from the blog's title and went for the straightforward "Kate Has Cancer."
I received some criticism for the change. Is it defeatist to call myself Kate Has Cancer on the blog and Twitter? No, it's realistic. Remember, I have Stage IV breast cancer. I have had advanced cancer since they found it. Chemo, radiation and the other therapies have shrunken my tumours -- you can't even feel the one in my breast -- but many of them are still there in my liver and bones. My blood tests are fine. so I figure, if my liver can live with these tumours, then so can I!
Over time, another purpose for my blogging has emerged. I hope that others with advanced breast cancer can find, in my blog, some peace, some information and some hope. I don't focus on the latest news from clinical oncology. I talk about my treatments and the resources available to me here in Ottawa. Judging by the Blogger Stats, my most popular post, with nearly 600 page views, is perhaps my most practical one, on PICC line covers. I hope my link to a crochet pattern helped someone with cancer or even someone who wanted to help someone with cancer. I've had 800 views of my About Kate page, which I imagine could use an update. Almost 400 read my early post about how I started onto this cancer roller-coaster. Around 300 read two of my glimpses into the terror of Stage IV cancer, Reflections on Recent Deaths and Someone Took the Monster Out of the Cupboard. I have seen my readership rise to, on average, 200 page views per post. I never expected this. I may be Italian, but I don`t have that many cousins!
That brings me to the grateful part. I thank you readers for continuing to read and support me. Your comments on the blog have given me new perspectives and great support. I also thank God that I'm still here to write! Every day, every post is a blessing. I must also express my appreciation to my fellow bloggers who have directed considerable traffic my way: Ann at Breast Cancer? But Doctor....I Hate Pink!, Nancy at Nancy's Point, Jenny at Putting the GRRRRR in Grimes, and Nancy at The Dirty Pink Underbelly.
I hope to be here many more years. And I hope you stick with me. Thanks for coming.