I started this blog twenty-seven days after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember testing out the idea in a conversation with my mum, before I knew I was going to do it. ‘Some people write a blog about it all,’ I said. Mum said she thought I should. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, and it makes sense to me to process things by putting them down on paper. I considered just writing it for myself, to keep a record, to remember the small details, but I decided quite quickly to make it public. It might help someone, I told myself. But I’m not convinced that was why I did it. I think I needed the support. And I got it, in waves.
So many brilliant things have come out of me blogging. Like me staying sane. Like a friend of a friend telling me about Mummy’s Star and Younger Breast Cancer Network. Like meeting other women in the same (bigger than I thought it was) boat. Like being told I’ve made people feel less alone. Any one of these things would have made it all worthwhile. All of them together make it a decision I’m thankful for every day.
Yesterday, I found out that my blog is a finalist in the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2017, in the Inspire category. I found out in a strange way, after a fellow blogger announced her finalist status and I checked the link she’d posted. I had received an email to tell me the news, but it had gone to my junk and I hadn’t seen it. I’m not sure whether it’s because of that or because I feel so out of my depth in this world of professional bloggers, but I’m completely astonished to have been shortlisted.
Breast Cancer and Baby is up against seven other blogs, all of which look a hundred times more professional than mine and are full of great images and slick navigation. I’ve been sent a voting button to add to my blog, but my package is too basic to accommodate it. If nothing else, this nomination has given me the kick I needed to give my blog a bit more love and attention.
I realise the following is going to sound a little like a winner’s speech. That’s because I feel like I’ve won to get to this stage. I want to say thank you to everyone who’s read my blog, shared my posts and got in touch with kind words of support and love. A handful of times, someone has said to me that their sister’s friend or their friend’s sister or someone else who is impossibly young has got breast cancer and that they’ve passed on the link to my blog. That makes me so proud, and I wish all of those women well. I hope some of them are reading this post, and I hope they’re winning the fight.
If you want to vote for me to win this award, you can do so here (I’m shortlisted in the Inspire category). Thank you.