Blog Love

When I started writing the blog, Jon O taught me how to check the statistics of the site. This means I know how many people read the blog. Where they live, how long they read, what type of computer, how many times they have viewed the site. Everything. Some people read it from Jefferson Hospital or Temple University. I know this stuff. Scary, right? The weird thing is that I know that people rarely log on during the weekend. This is so consistent that it makes me not want to write anything on the weekends. And when the number of people reading the blog drops I wonder if it is something I said. I take it personally.

It is kind of funny because it started out as just something I was doing to inform everyone about what was happening to me medically. It quickly evolved into what I was going through emotionally and spiritually. Soon many folks I did not know were reading and commenting. Where did they come from I would think. Why do they even care to read this silly nonsense. My blabbering on about how I hated chemo or my fear about surgery. I did like letting people know about IBC. I liked sharing my faith. I liked reassuring my friends that I still had good days or that they could help me.

And the blog did help. It helped me get rides and food. People now knew what we needed. It prompted loved ones and strangers alike to go to benefits for our family. It allowed people I did not know to pray for me and my family. It is hard sometimes to understand the interest or the appeal in what I write. I do not think it is all that profound. I just know I am learning stuff that I want my loved ones to be part of. Some of the lessons are really hard. Some are easier. Some of this cancer stuff has been very sad. Some of it funny. Some of it is just a pain. In the end I am just glad you all care to know what I am going through.

So since beginning the blog some strangers became avid readers and supporters. One of them is Dina. She has been reading and commenting almost from the start. She is a 4th grade teacher in Cherry Hill. Tuesday her class is having an in school fundraiser for us. She has been sharing my blog/ my plight with them and they wanted to do something to make my cancer go away. They are going to sell pretzels and fruit smoothies. They are going to do temporary tattoos at their “tattoo parlor”, and they are going to have an art auction. Each student did a painting with the theme “What I would do to cancer”. The children depicted cancer getting stomped, thrown off a building, tossed onto spikes and whirled up in a blender. Each child is excited and thrilled to raise money for our family. And I do not know any of them. I do not know Dina. But her concern and care for our family born out of this internet connection is amazing. God Bless you Dina, and all your lovely 4th graders.

And of course there are others as well. Karen’s friend Sherry did a fundraiser for us in Santa Rosa.Circle of Hope’s Art Shop event last week. And the Philly Tap Room is doing one this week. Rock School on New Year’s Eve. I do not ask people for any of this. To the contrary it makes me feel emotional and overwhelmed. Why are people so good to us? What did I do to deserve this?All I keep thinking is how amazing God’s provision is. God is good….all the time.

I am hoping that you all continue to read and respond to my walk with cancer. I hope that some things I say you will relate to. I hope that it helps you have insight. I hope you never know first hand what any of this is like. I pray that God comforts you the way He does me. And I thank you for caring enough to check in and see how I am doing. God bless you all. Much love, Andrea

9 Responses to “Blog Love”

  1. joshua says:

    you’re famous! i love you and the blog. your hope through it all is continually inspiring.

  2. Amy says:

    Hi Andrea,
    You are a celebrity…someone to look up to. No matter how unprofund you see your daily struggles, I get so much out of your blog and being able to put a face with cancer. I’ll tell you why I log on…I work for Amer. Society of Clinical Oncologists and we talk about the “c” word so often it becomes a distant concept. Your blog puts a face and emotion to the disease we battle. I appreciate having real human emotion and seeing this through your eyes b/c it can become a very distant force to those of us fighting it from afar. I appreciate your honesty and as I read about your struggles, I try to see where gaps in care for patients so I can bring this to the attention to our brilliant doctors.
    Your blog is helping me put into place care and services for others who fight cancer. Thank you for sharing as much as you do.

  3. Morgan says:

    Andrea,
    Like Amy, I work in the cancer field as well (Amer Assoc for Cancer Research), and it can become abstract. But I also have had my life deeply impacted through knowing you. I just wanted to share a bit of irony. I check in with you from work, while I am pumping milk for Quinn. I don’t like pumping, it’s a total drag. But I never mind it while I’m reading your words, because it’s all so relative, isn’t it? It shifts my perspective from, “Poor me, why can’t I be home with my baby? Pumping stinks” to “Thank God I have these healthy, functioning breasts.” And I will watch them very closely on your behalf and continue to tell my birth classes about IBC.
    I, too, thank you for sharing. And for teaching me so many things.

  4. debi says:

    Delurking here. Seems like the right time. Thank you for sharing your life and your family and everything else. I have found myself thinking about you as I drive down the road to Walmart, praying for you while I wash dishes and reading your blog as often as I find myself sitting here. Maybe it is God gathering more people to pray for you. I certainly feel like you are special. I think I feel that you can see things I cannot. Or do not. I want to appreciate the good things more than I do. You have such a wonderful way with words and I can’t get enough. Thanks Andrea

  5. Shelley says:

    Andrea,

    I think what is remarkable about you and your blog is how open you have been about your journey. Having grown up with a mom who battled cancer on and off for 10 years, I have a new appreciation for all she went through. I am learning what her life was like because you are sharing your life so boldly with me.

    I love you,
    Shelley.

  6. Jackie says:

    Hi Andrea. I want to be honest. I come here almost daily to check on your well being. Its funny, I care about someone that I don’t even know. But I also come here for your strength and determination to beat this thing! You give me strength to deal with daily life, even if its not Cancer, your true sense of strength strengthens others, even people like me that do not know you. Your will to destroy this disease is an inspiration to me and to everyone! Hang in there! Continue to be as tough and you will prevail.

    Love,
    Jackie B

  7. JN says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I have not touched base with you since the Spring. I saw you front page today in the Inquirer and I just want to tell you that I have always thought you were a strong, beautiful, funny, smart, and vibrant person and that comes through in the article and your blog. Call me if you need me.
    Jennifer

  8. Renee Khan says:

    Hi Andrea:

    I was turned on to your blog by an email from the IBC research group where they made us aware of your blog. I have been dabbling a little with myself to start a blog and after reading your blog about the lady finding a lump or the other people you have touched raising awareness about IBC it has kick-started me to start my own blog where I will also chronicle and try to teach people about IBC. Had I only known about it, even just seen a picture of it, I would have know what I had before it became too late. Thanks for your inspiration.

    Renee Khan

  9. Renee Khan says:

    Sorry Andrea, I also wanted to mention that I even named my blog after reading a previous post of yours with the Chinese proverb. My blog is circlingmyhead.blogspot.com

    Renee Khan