Thursday, October 9, 2008

Me And My Blog

I was walking through a parking lot recently when a woman stopped her car, rolled down her window, and asked me if I were the "woman with the blog". It turned out she was the mother of one of Josie's former classmates. She said she'd been reading my blog and found it inspiring and helpful. I was surprised and flattered by the recognition and praise - almost like a celebrity, I thought.

Then later on that same day, a friend who's a radiation oncologist told me he thought I might have helped a hundred of his future patients because through my blog, I've helped make him a better doctor. Wow.

After I came down from the clouds, I thought about the impact my blog might be having on people. A number of readers have told me they find my blog interesting, inspiring, thought-provoking, and I dare to believe it. But I can see that I've put myself in a special position.

People are interested in what I have to say because I have cancer and might die soon. I've found myself an audience of folks who are curious about the insights or ravings of a dying woman because that's something we rarely get to see.

Through my blog, I get to show people what's on my mind. That doesn't make my thoughts any more thoughtful or my insights any more insightful than anything anybody else has to say. It's just that what I have to say is more interesting because I'm facing death and because this new literary form - this cross between a private diary and a public essay - allows me to ramble on about whatever's on my mind.

I have to remind myself to stay out of those clouds. But it's hard not to be deeply flattered by the kind of feedback I've been getting. So thank you. You're making me feel like I'm spending some of my remaining time wisely.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

dear Shin,
your blog has helped me and given me a lot to think about. I am not an outspoken person in general but do think a lot. I wish I had just an ounce of what you have. I grew up being a people pleaser/door mat due to family circumstances. (that's a whole other show) I, like you, love my family more than words could ever explain.

I loved your bubble comment!

I have been watching a programme about a medium named Lisa Williams, she is English but works in the US. She talks to the dead. John Edwards is another. They have both stated that we are all put on this earth for a reason and when our time is up we have to leave. ( I'm still trying to figure out why I'm here.)

I started reading your blog because I knew of you from Rosemount Kindergarten. At first, I was reading to get an understanding of what my beautiful friend must have gone through with her illness, very similar to yours. She spared me the details and was always very cherry and positive because I had lost my dad to cancer while she was sick. I could hear in her voice sometimes when she was in pain or tired but had NO IDEA of what she was really going through, so when she passed away and I got the phone call from her sister, it was the worst shock possible, I really didn't think she was going to die. It seems a silly thing to say, maybe I was in denial!!
I was angry at her for keeping me out. I felt I had let her down and wasn't there for her.

YOU have given me so much just by allowing me to read your blog and share your experience. I have even felt compelled to write and share with you and others (something I don't generally do).
I laugh and I cry.
You are doing the very best you can for your children now and only time will tell what the outcome will be, but that will be their choice!

YOUR PURPOSE IN THIS LIFE IS VERY CLEAR TO ME!
I'm sure others feel this way too.

On a lighter note, when you do make it to the "other side" can you find a way to let us know. My friend told me the other day that her mum came to her in a dream took her by the hand and said good bye. She had been very upset because she never got to say goodbye to her mum before she died and was due to visit the following week.
Nothing like that has happened to me, I would have been so happy if it had.

big HUGS to you. ML

Anonymous said...

Dearest Shin,

Thank you for starting this blog. It is not only benefit to those who are also suffering from cancer, to those who's family or friend who are suffering and Most important to healthy people like me, to start to realise what Life is all about. That we should never take things for granted. That we should cherish our loved one coz never know what will happen. For someone never bother to read about the content on things I buy( coz it's so boring!), start learning to pay more attention to what I'm putting into my body.

I will keep praying that you will continue to write and pray that everyday I will get to read something interesting, knowing that you are still fighting and that you will hang on so that there will be new drugs which will cure you.

Love you!
Mandy

writerinresidence said...

Shin, you are a great writer because there's no artifice or embellishment in your writing. It's clear, honest, and straight from the heart. It's as clear and undiluted as it's name, Shin's Cancer Blog. Miguel and I, like countless others I'm sure, speak often about how it really ought to be a book -- after all so many other blogs have been, and with great success. Which is one of the reasons why we wanted to get together with you for lunch. We'd be happy to produce it, actually - can we talk about this?

Anonymous said...

Dear Shin, am reading your blogs almost daily and just want to say very proud of you. Yvonne

Elizabeth said...

Hi Shin
It's not because you are dying that I read your blog. It'sbecause of the interesting and inspiring topics and the excellent writing of your posts.
Also because your inherent integrity and kindness shine through
Lots of love
Elizabeth

Christine Raza said...

Dearest Shin,

Dare I say you are wrong? I don't read your blog because you have cancer. I read your blog because I love you and you are half a world away, so this is how I stay in touch with you.

I read your blog because you are a brilliant writer who brings up thought provoking issues and dares to take a stand. You welcome differing opinions without judgment.

If you are miraculously cured of cancer 100% (please, please, please!) I would still read your blog every day. It is the first thing I do every day, and I really miss it on weekends!

You may have started this blog because you have cancer but it has become something much bigger. As you discovered, you have changed the lives of many people, myself included.

I hope I have made my point without being offensive. I just think you aren't giving yourself enough credit.

Love, love, love,

Christine

Shin said...

ML,

Thanks so much for your feedback. That means a lot to me.

Rosemount Kindergarten... is your son/daughter in Toby's class?

I've told my husband that we should come up with some sort of code in case there IS an afterlife and I'm able to communicate with him in some way. Or, I could just say that every time you see a rainbow, it's me saying hello and all's well, but I suppose that's pretty cliche and non-specific. I'll keep thinking about it.

Shin said...

Mandy,

Thanks for your comment. If my experience encourages you to lead a healthier life and maybe spares you from cancer or illness in the future, I'd be very happy.

Shin said...

Writerinresidence,

I didn't know other blogs had been turned into books. I've never seen one. I'm curious as to how that's done - whether it's straight from soft to hard copy or whether the posts are gathered by theme and by chapter, etc. This is the editor in me talking, I guess.

There are many people I wish I could see, but I've been pretty tired and dodgy lately and have limited my outings. Wouldn't mind a visit, though, if you'd like to pop over.

Shin said...

Elizabeth,

Thanks for our feedback. Interesting and inspiring topics you say... I think I'm running out of those. Do you have any suggestions for future blog posts?

I wonder what you and others would like to know from somebody in my shoes.

Shin said...

Christine,

We could change that halfway-around-the-world bit. Move to Singapore! We (family and country) would be lucky to have you here!

$uyI said...

dear Shin,
your blog is really inspiring me!!
I`m curently a radiation therapy student.I hope I can help many cancer patients.
Through your blog, it makes me realise that therapist is not just a therapist.The little little things that we did is really mean something to you.
U make me be more confident in myself during my clinical especially patient care.Really!!!
And, ur son and daughter are so so so cute!!!
Gambatte!!!
With love.

Lois Ann Beckwith said...

Your blog is full of questions that few would verbalize. Your battle with cancer pushes you to write them in your blog where you could get thousands of answers or even more questions. Your insights and questions are great for "real" conversations with people. Isn't it funny that impending death of anyone seems to allow us to bring forth all that you do. So I think the cancer thing is a catalyst only and we humans seem to need catalysts. I agree with Elizabeth and Christine. I think that I have said the same, but in a different. AND I do wholly support your writings to be published into a book. So much information, ideas and hear. Do it!!!! Don't know how,though. Surely someone will let you know how.
Lois Ann

Shin said...

$uyI,

Thanks so much for your feedback and for you kind words.

I'm very interested in the fact that you're a radiation therapy student. I had a terrible experience with the radiation part of my treatment when I was going through my first bout with breast cancer.

It was such an awful experience that after my first dose (one of 28), I was up all night and wrote a blog entry about it. I wrote it from 2 to 5 a.m., so it rambles on quite a bit, but I hope you read it and maybe gain some insight into a patient's experience.

To read it, click HERE.

$uyI said...

hi Shin,
I read your blog after the broadcast of "the journey of hope" from Ch news asia~~
I get ur blog link from thewonderwomen there.And, I read ur blog bout the radiation therapay unaccidentally.That`s why I so interested in ur blog and eager to wait for ur blog entry everyday~~hee^^
It`s reali inspired and help me much during my clinical.
My last week of clinical was end yesterday.I learnt a lot from my supervisors!!And so, I promised myself to give better care and concerns to every patient.I try to improve myself slowly to approach the patients.

Mylinh said...

What do I keep saying to you girl about your blog being of great impact to people?:) You inspire. I met you when you were in remission a year and half over now and I had no idea initially that you had cancer, but your conversations were still striking in their razor sharp clarity, strength of idea and welcomed intensity. Your witty commentary on any topic was also part of your charisma, so to me, you have always had something interesting to say even before cancer and time factor come into play. Thanks for giving us this gift that is your blog and I hope that you can keep writing but know you are tired quite often so only when you can. I love the photo slide show of your kids!Shin's Cancer Blog does sound like a great book though if its not too tiring to make a reality. Thinking of you.

Shin said...

$uyI,

Good luck in your plans to become a radiation therapist. Please don't ever forget that the patients are people - they could be your mother, your sister, your husband, your child, your best friend.

I think it helps to remind ourselves of the one basic rule all parents teach their children: treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself.

You seem to have gotten off to a good start already.

Shin said...

Mylinh,

You know how women feel attractive when they put on a sexy dress, high heels and do up their hair and make men's heads turn?

I feel that way when people give me compliments about my "striking conversation... razor sharp clarity, strength of idea... welcomed intensity... witty commentary."

You've made this bald, frail, sickly-looking woman's day!

Anonymous said...

I think if you die, and your blog gets published it shouldn't be called "Shin's Cancer Blog"
It should be called "Shin's Way"

Anonymous said...

If Shin's blog got published, what would be a good name for it?

A thought.

Anonymous said...

"A SHIN_ING LEGACY?"

MAM

Anonymous said...

Sorry, misused punction marks. I meant for it to be entitled, "A SHIN_ING LEGACY".

MAM

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin I hv just seen you on TV and I am glad to see the peace in you... pls stay strong and keep going... my mum has pancreatic cancer and her doctors said she will only hv 3-6 months life span if she doesn't want to hv any treatment done... but this month is her "one year anniversary without treatment offered by her doctors", todate she is still moving well and her doctor fm the cancer center hv been wondering why... I follow up very closing with her improvement after she change her diet completely with the help of organic vege and juicing that we learn from Taiwan. And she also practice Qi Dynamic every day... it is a very good qi gong we learn at the Botanic Garden on every Tuesday, I hope you can also pick up and improve your strength(pls check fm Google) or their volenteers can also visit you to help you to learn.
If you need any info pls feel free to email me and I will be glad to provide.

I have seen cancer patient survive ever at their final stage with the help of natural healing and I wish you will be the same, pls do not give up even doctors said something very negative about your life span.

take care and may God keep you in His good hand...
Germaine

Angie said...

Hey Shin,

My mum and I were having dinner when the show aired. Our rice got a little wet because we couldn't stop crying every time we saw you and the kids. And the thought that you might not be there with them just makes life so unfair. We feel so bad but we could not do anything but pray for you.

Nonetheless, you've taught me to treasure my loved ones, and to see that just being alive at this moment is a gift.

You're so brave, like a heroine!