149. The cancer blog

I am utterly flabbergasted (and rather flummoxed) by the response to my blog last week. I thought people might be interested and perhaps concerned to know why I won't be around for a while, but I really didn't expect this... Over 5000 people have read it in just a few days.

I have received HUNDREDS of personal messages.

Hundreds of friends, relatives and complete strangers who took the trouble to reach out to me on email, whatsapp and social media. Some of you even sent me flowers and cards (how on earth did you find greeting cards with owls on them, so quickly? Love them!).

I have read all your messages, but do forgive me for not responding to each one. This blog is my response, and I'm not promising to keep that up either. Here is one message that made me reach for my hanky:

Blog & write a diary if it helps you - if it doesn't, enjoy your garden and your music & leave us to look after ourselves for a bit.

Thank you Pink Champagne Friend (you know who you are), I shall take note - and if anyone is disappointed by my lack of blogging, they can blame you.

But for now, blogging does help. It's my way of distancing myself a bit from the difficult parts of having cancer, looking at it like a story-telling researcher (shout-out to Richard and colleagues: that's called ETHNOGRAPHY. I'm my very own ethnographer here!)

I do feel a bit of a fraud though. Yes, cancer is bad, but it's not that bad. I'm glad my cancer blog was appreciated by so many people, but I'm not sure it deserves the status as My Most Read Blog Post. I'd much rather that honour goes to my work blogs, so let me send you in the right direction... HERE's one I wrote a few days ago.

Which also shows you how I'm coping. Since my cancer diagnosis, I've spent every single day working. So many great projects that I'm sorry to have to step away from for a while, so I'm trying to cram in lots of things I was planning to do over the next few months. On Saturday I told myself that enough was enough, time to stop and rest, but it was no good. Stopping doesn't mean resting. Stopping means finding my breathing goes a bit too fast and my fingers start tingling. Best to keep staring at my computer screen so I don't see the elephant in the room, sitting right behind me.

Perhaps cancer is quite bad after all, and blogging is justified?