Monday, March 21, 2011

Telling your story

I never thought of blogging until my second cancer diagnosis. I mean with the first one, there was no internet (only the Arpanet) and computers were hidden away in computer labs frequented by geeks only. My reasons for starting my blog were totally self serving - I didn't want to have to talk about how I was doing over and over again with people on the phone or to send out emails regularly. I just started writing in my blog and I am still writing.

Storytelling, whether oral or written has therapeutic effects. I quote from an article this morning: "There have been more than 200 studies over the past 20 years confirming the benefits of putting one’s medical story into words.".

People can argue with medical and scientific facts but they listen to or read stories about problems similar to theirs. People also benefit from writing or telling their stories about their problems - whether medical, emotional, physical, or other.

I work for a local non profit which provides support groups and wellness activities for those touched by cancer. We have had a writers group for several years now. We have also been approached by a journalism professor who wants to offer another writing class based on the need she sees in her classes. She has students that write about their friends and family members with cancer or other diseases and they just write and write and write to get it out of their system. It is their coping mechanism.

Oral storytelling has been around for thousands of years. As literacy grew over centuries, then the daily habit of keeping a journal or diary appeared. Now with the internet, we have blogs which are our new way of telling our stories.

Now I am still blogging. If I was healthy, would I stop blogging? Maybe. I still have a story to tell so I am still here. Maybe I can help others with my blogging while I help myself.

3 comments:

nancyspoint said...

I know telling our stories matters. It just does. The internet is a real blessing people today fighting cancer have that those before us did not. Writing, story telling, blogging, whatever you call it, IS how I cope and hopefully help others at the same time. Thanks for this post which agrees with me!

Cynthia said...

Here, here. I thoroughly enjoy reading both of your blogs.

I have also really enjoyed hanging out on Crazy Sexy Cancer boards - giving and getting advice.

But this has all happened after I had started to heal. In the early days, I found cancer blogs too hard to read. I wish I had been braver about mining them for information in the early days.

Hope you're both well and enjoying spring-like weather!

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