Bonnie Annis is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2014 with stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma with metastasis to the lymph nodes. She is an avid photographer, freelance writer/blogger, wife, mother and grandmother.
Blogging carries great responsibility, especially when the cancer community is concerned.
A few years ago, when I began blogging for CURE, I had no idea the results those posts would achieve neither did I realize the great responsibility attached to that opportunity.
Writing has been an important part of my life. For many years, it has been a wonderful hobby. Not long after being diagnosed with breast cancer, a door opened for me to share on a broader platform. At the time, I was unfamiliar with CURE magazine’s purpose and had no idea the volume of readers it garnered.
As I began sharing about my cancer experience, some readers would make contact via email or Facebook. Most wanted more information about an article they’d read. Some just needed a little encouragement. It was amazing to find people from all over the country who’d taken time to read something I’d written. At first, I felt honored to be contacted and then realized that this was serious business.
My intention was to keep the majority of the posts informative and light hearted, but sometimes, I found myself sharing more than intended. Writing about personal experiences allowed me to process in a cathartic way and at the same time, offer tidbits of advice or information to others.
One month, the article on alternative therapies, brought many responses. At that point, I realized there was not only a dedicated readership for the magazine, but there were many men and women in the midst of their own cancer battles. It was exciting to know these people were interested in learning how to fight cancer without conventional medication. At the heart of each contact received was a sincere desire to live.
Being a voice for CURE has allowed me to find purpose. It’s given me a chance to help someone else not feel so alone in their walk. By helping others understand we’re all vulnerable, we’re all scared and we’re all looking for solutions, a unique bond is formed. Though our paths may never cross in real life, it is comforting to know there might be something I’ve written that could touch a life in a way I never could have imagined. With that in mind, it’s so important to be very careful sharing information. Research must be backed up with factual evidence. Personal experiences need to be carefully considered and thoughtfully conveyed.
Each CURE voice is unique. Readers often find favorites and check in often to read material posted. As responsible bloggers about cancer, it’s important to remember we’re impacting real lives of people who’ve been given a hard road to tow and just like many of us have already discovered, it’s usually a life-altering road.
Finding a place to tell our stories is important, and thankfully CURE finds value in allowing our voices to be heard. Each of us have different experiences, have faced different challenges and have found different ways of coping with the devastating effects of cancer.
Voicing our opinions is vitally important to helping others understand cancer is not something that needs be faced alone. Taking take time to speak up and speak out, our voices will be heard.