There is nothing so sobering or hopeful as the niche of cancer blogs. It would be better if this niche didn’t need to exist. But because it does, people who have cancer find help, hope, and support. Even as they struggle through their often debilitating treatments, there are those bloggers who gather enough strength from inside to write about their terrible journeys online.
In a simple Google search for “Blogging Cancer” there are almost 4 million results. It would be impossible to pick the best or the most relevant. Instead, focus for a moment on Susan Niebur’s blog, Toddler Planet. There, she tells the story of battling cancer for the fourth time in four years. During that time she has become well known for her advocacy of women who have breast cancer. She has championed donations to help patients afford lymphedema sleeves – which are crucial to post-mastectomy therapy but not covered by insurance. Through it all she has fought to care for her young children, continue her work as an astrophysicist, and publish her moving words.
From “Us Lucky:”
…my oldest was in my office (when he shouldn’t have been), and he asked me about the lego figure I keep at my computer, the Princess-Who-Can-Defend-Herself, complete with eyeglasses and sword, and he smiled with recognition as he responded, “I know! She’s you! She’s inside you, fighting the cancer!”
And so she is.
And so the community has taken up the fight alongside her, albeit a much less physically taxing fight. Inspired by Niebur’s LEGO princess, Amie from Mamma Loves created a special badge for bloggers to put on their sites. For every badge posted in support of Neibur, or for every comment left on a blog post about this, Amie and several other bloggers donated money to Crickett’s Answer, Niebur’s charity of choice, which provides support to women with breast cancer.
The list of bloggers who are answering the rallying call is growing. In response, Niebur posted an incredulous and grateful message, that ended like this:
Together we fight, as the drugs I take each morning fight and starve and cut off the cancer cells so that they can’t grow any more.