Wednesday, September 23, 2009

An offer to consider

I was asked yesterday by a local organization if I would like to be featured in an article in the paper on breast cancer people. They are doing a series of five articles in October and would want to include me as one of the people they feature. Well, at first glance, an article about me? Cool, neat. No, I think.

I mean if I do it it would help provide a nice human interest story about cancer and what it does to people's lives. But then my name would be forever googled and come up with cancer. And, do I really want people to know my medical history? Thanks to the internet, what ever is out there is out there for good. You can't get rid of it. Professionally, if I ever want to apply for a job or something and they looked me up on line, it would probably come up. I was in a tv show last year where my name was included once in print on line. But a whole article?

Then there is the whole privacy issue. I don't want to be known as the person who had cancer twice (poor thing, did you know she had cancer twice? whispers around me). Yes, that does happen. The whispering thing. People who walk away when you say cancer. Or look at you like you are a freak because of cancer. Or want to tell you their medical history. I have a friend who said that when people look at him strangely because of his cancer, he coughs in their direction, which I think is actually a brilliant idea. Let me cough some cancer cooties on to you.

Also, then there is the labeling issue. I am not a cancer survivor. I am a person living with cancer. Can they do a story without calling me a survivor? I would want to know that up front.

I mentioned this to my husband and his first response was 'well you write in your blog all the time". But my blog is different. If you know me, you know my name and about me already. If you don't know me, you don't have the two pieces of information to connect (and aren't living in the same town). You might have found my blog through googling 'breast cancer blogs' or a message board. But its different. In some ways, while the internet opens up the world, it allows people to remain relatively anonymous (unless you post your information).
I have to think about this. I was asked yesterday and have gone back and forth in my mind on it several times. I don't know. I think I only have a few days before they need a decision.

1 comment:

JWH in Richmond said...

If it were me, I would listen to the little voice on your shoulder and politely decline. Privacy is a tough commodity to hold onto. If that commodity is important to you, then I think your first instinct (and the little voice) are right. If I had thought it out more thoroughly, I probably would have kept my "in home repair service" strictly among friends. Now, I have friends of friends and acquaintances of their friends calling up for repair services. It's flattering, at first, to be thought of so highly. However, over time, I realize that my priorities are not to this repair service (even though I was hot for the idea at first). As a result, my privacy has become somewhat compromised and it's been hard to reign back in. Obviously, the circumstances here are different, but I think the long term effect might be similar.