[Admin: I have only once before had guest posts on my blog. That was last summer during a writing exercise for the Pledge of Allegiance that myself and several friends worked on. I’m doing so once again today, this time for Melanie Bowen, a part-time blog contributor at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. She had contacted me a few weeks ago and kindly asked if I would help her to spread her words of encouragement and once I read her work I was happy to oblige.]
People blog and keep journals for a number of various reasons; however, there is no particular reason to why a person decides to put their thoughts on paper as opposed to a blog for others to read. Many say it is because the ability to read their words is a way they can go back in time and experience their emotions – both good and bad. Others say it is because they write when they are particularly emotional; to go back and see how they handled a certain situation. However, some choose to catalog their feelings as a way of learning more about themselves. Reading their past words gives them insight into what makes them tick, what makes them happy and how well they handle life’s trials, tribulations and happy moments
Whatever the reason for keeping a journal or blogging, one thing is certain; when a person puts their feelings into words it is a therapeutic way of dealing with their emotions. For a person that is suffering from cancer, such as the rare and deadly form of mesothelioma, the idea of keeping a journal or blogging about their experience is a way they can help not only themselves but others, too. When a person is faced with their prognosis and they put in on paper they are forced to feel and experience their emotions. Additionally, a large number of cancer patients have stated that reading the blogs of others going through the same treatment has helped them to go through treatment because they feel stronger and more capable of survival.
In addition to blogging or keeping a journal to document and experience emotions, many people use their journal or blog to make lists. Lists as simple as what to pick up at the grocery store during their next trip to more desirable lists such as the places they absolutely want to visit during the course of their life or the goals they want to accomplish during their life. Focusing on the future – life after cancer – is a way that patients improve their quality of life. Seeing tangible reminders that life goes on, such as their list of places to go during their life, is a reminder that one day they will be walking the beaches of Italy or skiing the slopes in Aspen. Quality of life is essential to cancer patients because it helps them fight their battle by improving their immune system and making treatment seem more promising.
Not everyone who keeps a journal or a blog chooses to share it with the world. Some people find their emotions are too personal to share and others look past their own feelings and consider those of others who might need an encouraging word throughout their treatment.
“Melanie Bowen is an awareness advocate for natural health and holistic therapies for cancer patients. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illness in her efforts to increase attentiveness and responsiveness on like topics. Here she will be writing about the benefits of tracking your thoughts and goals—because thoughts are merely thoughts but writing is the first step to taking action, organizing oneself and being proactive.”