For personal circumstances I needed to withdraw from Blogging and Online Communication Techniques Summer intensive session and begin again in trimester one. To be honest, my personal life has dramatically changed since December, and has deeply affected several of my values whilst also serving as motivation to finally get around to doing things that I had shelved for a later date.
Whilst protecting privacy of my family, someone in my life was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer in early December. Cancer.
However, this diagnosis and world shift has in several ways exposed me to how we communicate with topics we’re afraid of. How we communicate with those who are scared, the unknown, to finally cast off inhibitions and really get things out in the open. Actually, internet communications is becoming quite an impact in this person’s cancer treatment in the way of internet support groups and youtube discussion. This is phenomenal, that for those who are critically and chronically ill that they can still be apart of any conversation without being judge on their physical conditions. I have noticed people are treating this person differently now that she has lost her hair due to chemotherapy, and the radiation has given her pain affecting her physical stamina, so face to face communication has been a little challenging. However, communicating across the internet – the ability to be anonymous, at least in her position her name is still her full name but she chooses to not use her photo – she can get some normalcy back.
Never did I think that such a horrific time in my life could give me a new perspective in just how individuals, and even societies, communicate with those who are terminally ill. You’d be surprised at how different tone is, and how people are ever so careful in choosing their words. Afraid that may make a Freudian slip, or a faux pas. Sometimes it is a little like seeing people not know how to talk.
This post is just me rambling mostly, but it also serves as a reminder of something I wish to accomplish throughout this subject, and that is to understand further how blogging and online communication serve as advocacy for those with illness and also how digital communication tools enhance their communication experience. Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing articles on this blog and through twitter that explores how digital platforms and communications are linked to the cancer community, as well as how these technologies help those with other chronic illnesses.
It will be a challenge this trimester, as I am assisting this person with some of their cancer care, as well as keeping up with a 4 subject load. Deadset, I know this is going to be very hard, and I’m not setting myself up for any excuses. By sharing this information, I want to be transparent with my life, and also put in to writing a public motivation for me to keep going. I consider myself warned.