Monday, August 18, 2008

Why Blog About Cancer?

It's a daily reminder that none of us walks this road alone.
Leroy Sievers, 1955-2008

Journalist Leroy Sievers wrote a blog for NPR called My Cancer, one of six blogs I regularly follow in which cancer is the raison d'etre. On Friday, at age 53, Sievers died from colon cancer that had spread to multiple organs. He lived with cancer for 7 years and shared his journey in his blog for the last two. He wrote about his illness in a way that was extremely honest and at times humorous. He once mused about whether it paid to buy new clothes, given the fact that he might not get much wear from them. If you're living with cancer, this line of dark but practical thinking may be familiar. You're hesitant to give voice to it though because it would unnerve people. I know because I bought much-needed running shoes last month, and admitted to my husband only last week that I'd finally decided I was going to live long enough to justify the purchase.

Sievers stated that he believed his blog to be one of his greatest achievements. This is a man who's won many prizes and awards for journalistic excellence over the years. He was willing to reveal his sometimes painful thoughts publicly not just because his words inspired others living with cancer, but because it meant he didn't have to walk the cancer journey alone. We walked with him.

If Pulitzer Prizes are given for blogs, My Cancer certainly deserves to win one.


Ronni said...

Thanks for writing about the My Cancer blog. I hadn't read it but now I will. As a fellow runner, I know what you mean about buying new running shoes. After my transplant when I could finally run a little, I wasn't sure that I was running enough to deserve the shoes. Now that you point it out, I realize that subconsciously, I was probably worried that I wouldn't live long enough to really deserve them. When I finally did buy my new pair of Sauconys, I felt just great. Ronni

Judy said...

When I discovered the power of googling names 4 years ago (actually I use I started looking up old schoolmates, college friends, musicians I’ve worked with, boyfriends, etc., with a surprisingly high success rate. It was early on in this venture that I came upon a couple of your charming stories of your life in Costa Rica. It’s been a few years since I typed in your name and hit the search button, but yesterday I did and I came upon the website of your friend Karen who is running in honor of you and your fight against leukemia for the past 2 years. Of course I was startled. Life goes by so quickly. It’s been over 16 years since I visited you at your home in Fort Green and it was about 18 years before that that I had last seen you as my college dorm roommate. I am not surprised that you are inspiring people with your energy and spirit. You were never one to take anything lying down. I just want to let you know that my prayers are with you. I’d also love to hear from you, to catch up, reminisce, whatever. It would be great to hear about your life. My email is

Judy Mareiniss