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Monday, June 22, 2009

How Many Blogs do you have, is the question . . .

When I received an email from Jeanne who blogs at the Assertive Cancer Patient that she was suggesting some of her fellow cancer bloggers blog on the same topic, I thought that sounded like a good idea. Her post titled How Many Blogs do you Have? is about the topic and following is my own long winded take on the topic. Warning - I ramble pretty far afield.Before I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma in 2005, the concept of blogging was very foreign to me. I thought blogging was something young people do and I never thought I'd have one much less two blogs. I was born in 1957 so although I'm not exactly old, I'm not a teenager either. My first experience with the internet beyond research, work, and email was when I started participating on an online melanoma support group, the MPIP. The first time I went there, I stumbled across it doing a web search to see if anyone on the face of the planet had a surgical drain in after a groin lymph node dissection for as long as I did.
It was reassuring to discover that although most people were able to get their drains out within 4 weeks, I wasn't the only person to have one in for twice that long. At first I was shy about participating on the bulletin board but before I knew it I was diving in and finding it very helpful to exchange information with people going through what I was going through. Some of the MPIP participants mentioned that they had blogs. My ears/eyes really perked up when I saw people in their 40s and 50s mention that they couldn't believe they were doing it but they had a blog.
When I started visiting some of the melanoma patient's blogs, I thought for the first time that blogging might be something I'd find helpful. This was my first blog and I started it initially as a way to organize some of my research links as well as work through some of the health issues I was going through. I had some funky scans ("worrisome for fdg avid malignancy") as well as lymphedema, myalgia, blah, blah, blah . . .
From the very beginning of my blogging on this site, I found myself using my garden photography as a way to get started. By that I mean that it was easier for me to write if I was writing around pictures that took the bad taste out of my mouth from talking about cancer, fears about recurrent/metastatic disease, the aftermath of surgery, etc. ect. At first the only blogs I visited were blogs which other melanoma patients had. Then I started visited blogs by other cancer patients (not only those whose cancer was melanoma). Then I started finding out about photoblogs and photography themes. Gradually I found that the photographs I posted weren't surrounded with posts which primarily dealt with health care issues but were more and more about gardening or photoblogger themes I started doing. I am still followed by a medical and surgical oncologist, dermatologist, and pain specialist and I get annual full body PET/CT scans so I still have reminders of my lymph node positive melanoma. However, having gone 4 years without a recurrence, I find myself blogging more as a hobby connected to the photography than as a way of dealing with my cancer diagnosis.
I even started to feel self conscious about talking about my health issues on my blog. That's when I came up with the idea of starting a second blog called Carver Cards which would be a photojournal with few or no words and this blog would be where I would feel free to babble about health worries and anything else on my mind. The funny thing is that both of my blogs are really more about gardening, photography, etc. at this point. I do occasionally post about scans or health issues on this blog, but less and less.More and more people are on facebook and I finally set up a facebook page but I don't go there very often. There are a lot of melanoma patients I know with facebook pages as well as other friends but for me, facebook is a habit I don't have yet and I'm kind of glad. There does come a time when online time becomes too much, at least for me. I like being able to check and see how friends with facebook pages are doing but I don't post there very much.
I think my post has been more of one long digression than it has been an answer to the question but I've enjoyed writing on a topic like this one. As I said, Jeanne has posted on the topic in her post titled: How Many Blogs Do You Have? The Cheeky Librarian has posted How Many Blogs Can a Blogger Blog Penelope has a post titled Why Two Blogs? Susan's post Climb over the Balcony is what gave Jeanne the idea of this as a topic. I am looking forward to reading those posts and those of others who, like me, join in after Jeanne's initial round up. I wanted to go ahead and put the links to those who are participating so far. In case I didn't answer the question within my digression, for the record, I have two blogs.

15 comments:

Cezar and Léia said...

"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
(Albert Einstein)

Sweetie friend!We love your two blogs!Great post!
God bless you
Cezar & Léia

Leora said...

I love all your gardening photos and your honesty. I don't think I could talk about any personal issues in the way that you do. I use my photos and art as a way of expressing what gives me joy and sometimes what makes me sad or angry.

Best wishes to you and may you continue to be healthy.

antigoni said...

I have only one blog and nothing else. I love your photos.

Dora said...

The flower in the 3rd pic looks interesting.

Judith said...

Two is a good number. Apparently if you're a law student with a job, you should have no more than one, haha. I haven't updated either blog in months, and that 365 days of judith blog just went down the toilet. And now I'm planning *another* blog, a book blog, but it will only have very short posts like "this is why what I'm reading right now is stupid/interesting/inspiring." I think how many blogs you can have depends a lot on the content. For me, remembering to post a photo every day was impossible, but I might try it again next year.

Daryl said...

As one survivor to another I say blog on .. whatever it takes! And of course I am SO glad you are in remission ...

Jeanne said...

Carver--this is a great post, thanks for writing it. And for adding the gorgeous photos. I especially like the fluffed-up robin.

dAwN said...

Gosh..I was here earlier and thought I left a comment..
Sometimes wierd things happen in cyberspace!
You have a lovely heart felt blog. with wonderful photos.
Congrats on being cancer free..and a survivor! wishing you many healthy blogging years!
I can only handle one blog.

jmb said...

You are a truly superb photographer Carver so if your blog has evolved (and haven't all of ours done so?) over time into a blog of flower photos I think we don't mind. Especially since we enjoy your ramblings in between the photos.

I have a main blog ( along with one which I practice technical things on), a back up blog which is identical to my main and I belong to a group blog called Wet Coast Women, plus I am the administrator of a different group blog.

How did life get so complicated?

penelope said...

What a great post. I went to MPIP when you directed me there and got good information, but forums aren't a web area I'm as comfortable with. So I stick to blogs.

Your photos are beautiful, they jump off the page. I especially like the hibiscus and the rolled purple one.

Rambling Woods said...

I have more than one blog, but only one main blog. I used to participate in more medically related BB's, e-mail lists and blogs...but I thought that my life had become all medical and I needed to find something else to talk about..Good thing we moved and my nature journal was born. I think that blogs need to be what we want to talk about and not what we think others want us to talk about.. maybe that doesn't make sense.....Michelle

Ascender Rises Above said...

The photo and story under the MPIP comment made me very sad; your photos are amazing for the story they tell alone; combined with your words they leave one with much to think about and little to say.

Sabine said...

I Love this post Carver - and your usual way of illustrating it. :)

Wish you a happy Sunday. I'm making myself so rare that I should probably wish you a lot of happy Sundays...

PS - You're on facebook? I'll look you up! :)

Ayie said...

i usually go on my way out just to take photos of flowers. It's such an interesting subject.

Anonymous said...

yeah. amazing thread ))