I have a web site: http://www.kennywithcancer.com. Original, I know. But now what do I do with it? I mean, other than feeding my ego (a little bit) and providing a more central/accessible location for my nearly 350 cancer columns (published every week since June ‘09) — and the occasional non-cancer and/or sports-themed column, what is the point of it, really?
I can’t really say it’s to bring awareness to the cause of this non-celeb because I know very little, even now, nearly eight years post diagnosis. And reading what I write is hardly news or noteworthy. Oh sure, the columns are mildly amusing and moderately informative, but compared to what exactly? Nor do I provide resources for other cancer patients, families or interested parties to educate themselves about this dreaded disease. I offer few facts, few figures, few recommendations, but lots of feelings. I only know what I don’t know which, given its rather ample supply, has enabled me to maintain this seven-plus years output of weekly columns, having never missed a deadline during the entirety of my treatment, even during the early days of heavy-duty chemotherapy when occasionally I was down, but not quite out.
I suppose my columns do chronicle a cancer-patient’s journey, so to speak, in real time; hopefully not in a boring, self-indulgent tone that turned some of you readers off. Perhaps there was still some meat left on the bone that offered some observations and emotions that drew you in and better acquainted you with the trials, travails and tribulations of a characterized-as-”terminal” stage IV, non-small cell lung cancer “diagnossee.”
Writing about that diagnosis and my life as a cancer patient has come naturally to me. It has enabled me to share, which in a way, has lessened the burden on me, almost as if we were all in this together (strength in numbers and all of that). And I suppose that’s sort of true since I’ve involved you regular readers in so many intimate details. I’ve held nothing back: the good, the bad and the ugly; no, not the movie. As a result, I imagine, I have received correspondence encouraging and commending. I assure you, none of it has fallen on deaf ears. And to be honest, I’ve not written about my having cancer for the greater good; I’ve not written about it to make friends and influence people, nor have I written about it to affect any policy change. I’ve simply written about because it has made me happy to do so.
And what little anecdotal agreement exists in the cancer-patient/treatment world, it is that happiness, laughter, positivity, etc., helps patients in ways that medicine in and of itself seems not always capable of doing. Unfortunately it appears not to be something which can be prescribed — in pill or liquid form, but something nonetheless that needs to be discussed and behavior-modified to attain, especially if it seems not be happening by itself. I’m living proof of that. Rather, I hope my columns are living proof of that. In my posted-columns-to-be, if there is a joke or funny popular culture reference in my column, we will link it to the original, if available in the public domain so visitors can see exactly what I’m saying. I want my site to be more than just for sore eyes, but a sight to see as well; living and breathing, just like me.