Saturday, April 22, 2006

April 22, 2006 - The Cancer Blogosphere

The word "blog" has been up-front in the national consciousness for a while now. It is, of course, a shortened form of the word "weblog." Both "blog" and "weblog" are still such new words that they cause my word-processing software to flag them as misspellings.

When the news media uses the word "blog" and others related to it – like "bloggers" and "blogosphere" – they're generally talking about political blogs. From the way some news commentators talk, you could easily get the impression that all blogs are political. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The political-punditry blogs may grab the lion's share of media attention, but in fact there are thousands upon thousands of other kinds of blogs out there – including this one you're reading.

An e-mail I recently received made me realize that my blog is part of a larger phenomenon known as "cancer blogs." The e-mail came from Dr. Deborah S. Chung, Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky. She's engaged in a research project on how blogs are changing the world of cancer treatment and care. Dr. Chung is asking cancer-blog readers to complete an online survey. (If you have 5 or 10 minutes, then why not click on the link in the sidebar to the right, and let her know what you think of this sort of resource?)

Not long after I started this blog, Tarun – a physician-in-training and a Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma survivor from India, with a cancer blog of his own – somehow found my blog and made contact with me. He and I have struck up quite an online friendship. I've since discovered several other cancer blogs, and have incorporated them into my links list (in the sidebar to the right).

I continue to be amazed at the power of this technology to shrink the planet, tear down boundaries and shine light into dark places. Cancer is tough to deal with under any circumstances, but the going is easier when there are fellow-travelers to talk with along the way.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hello Carl! I am a friend of a fellow blogger @ tamisjourney. I was so glad to see your post on her blog. Actually I didn't realize that there was a cancer blog phenomenon. Tami left WV for Texas 7 months ago to receive treatment. I set up her blog so that we could all stay in touch with her while she was gone. She has received several posts from around the world. What a tool to witness of Christ's healing power. It is also good to speak with others who are going through the same journey. Friends, family, all of us who in some way are touched by the ordeal of cancer. I recently lost my father to Pancreatic Cancer, and during his fight we found a chat room for patients, family, friends, and survivors. We made friends with people from around the world who were experiencing the same diagnosis and treatments. We were able to share our experiences, and encourage one another. I will definately visit Dr. Chung's site, and I appreciate your spreading the word. I will say a prayer for you that the God of all our yesterdays will be the God of your today! Strength to you for your journey, and as we all say on Tami's blog, "Stay Godstrong"!!!