Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blog Your Way to Better Health

I have been a blogger for over 3 years and have taught students and teachers about blogging. Read more about my passion for blogging.

When my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago she asked me to help her start a blog, Living in The Moment, which has blossomed into an impressive account of her journey. However, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer a month ago I was practically frozen with fear and the last thing I wanted to do was to blog about it. In fact, I shut down most of my other blogs. Then Carol sent me this article, gently nudging me to reconsider. Finally, twelve days after the diagnosis I decided I would blog about my journey through breast cancer.
I know you might feel uncomfortable visiting my blog. Every time I checked Carol's blog I felt so guilty peering into her private thoughts. But it's just the opposite for those of us with "blogger blood". We really want people to visit our site as we bare our soul and find our voice. We want to build our own support group of people who will encourage us as we fight this battle. More importantly, if there is just one other newly diagnosed cancer patient who finds answers on our blog then it has served a greater purpose.

Blog Your Way to Better Health, Health Monitor
I have so much to say and need an outlet to vent.
I wish there was a way to keep my friends and family in the loop.
I want to share what I go through with others who can relate.
If these thoughts sound familiar, you may want to consider starting a blog, or online journal.
Blogging can help you better manage your daily struggles—and help you feel better in the process. In fact, cancer patients who journaled prior to their chemotherapy treatments responded better emotionally and physically, according to a study in the journal Oncologist.
Not sure where to start? Free blogging websites like wordpress.com or blogspot.com make it easy. If you have an email address, then you’re ready to begin. Give yourself a username, password and blog title. And don’t forget to personalize the look of your blog to make it your own. If you don’t consider yourself creative, choose from a variety of ready-made templates.
Then, start writing your entries! You can blog about anything you want, from your diagnosis to your daily activities. Some prompts to get the creative juices flowing: What was your doctor appointment like today? Did you discover a new chemo-friendly recipe? Would you like to share any inspirational quotes?
It won’t be long before you’re posting like a pro. The more you update your blog, the more you will build a regular readership. Plus, establishing a community of readers will motivate you to write even more.
A blog can also bring hope to others. Be a teacher; offer advice on what has and hasn’t worked for you. Your audience will benefit from your guidance, and you’ll feel humbled giving and receiving support.
Just remember to play it safe: Don’t post personal information about yourself, including your home address, birth date and phone number.
Updated June 6, 2012