When I first started working in a cancer research laboratory, I quickly learned that being a scientist was not glamorous work. When people asked what I did for a living, however, I was always amazed by how people reacted to my given industry. Many people I barely knew volunteered very personal stories about how the disease that I was studying affected their lives and the lives of the people that I cared about. It didn’t take long for me to realize that everybody’s lives are touched by cancer in one way or another.
When I started writing for Battling Cancer, HART was kind enough to trust me with the freedom of this blog’s content direction. Now that I’ve been writing here for a couple of months, I’m getting a better feel for the kind of information that people are looking for when they stop by.
I’ve learned that lots of individuals who land on this website from a search engine are looking for specific pieces of information like financial assistance for cancer survivors or the relationship between cancer and antioxidants. Most surprising to me, however, is that many of this blog’s most successful posts were written for with caregivers or the casual reader in mind. One of my goals for 2008, inspired by Deborah Ng’s writers’ challenge, is to provide the most useful content for readers like these to learn more about cancer.
Thus, I propose the following changes:
MORE actionable information for cancer patients and survivors. There are plenty of great general information articles about cancer are abundant on the internet and even on this website. One of my goals is to offer more practical advice that individuals battling cancer can really use.
MORE information for caregivers. Here’s where I go out on a limb a little bit — I tend to define “caregiver” loosely because, while people living with cancer patients no doubt have a unique set of issues to deal with, little is ever written for those on the periphery who want to help but don’t know how or what might be appropriate. When I wrote “What Your Friends and Family with Cancer Want You to Know” , I was overwhelmed with the response that I got via email from people who said, “Yes! I’ve been there, too!” We care because, as humans, we are compassionate. So many times we fail to respond, though, because we’re scared of “stepping over the boundaries.” I’d like to take a look at that phenomenon, because I believe that paying it forward can be beneficial to all parties involved.
MORE about cancer at the benchtop. I love talking about what’s coming out of the laboratories and into the doctors’ offices. While I’ve covered new chemotherapeutics previously in this blog, I’d like to take a closer look at other approaches to clinical trials, such as gene therapy and complementary approaches to medicine.
MORE about cancer in the news. Did you know that Abe Lincoln may have had cancer? I’ll keep you up-to-date on the interesting stories that you may have missed in the your local news headlines.
MORE from YOU! I’d love to hear your opinion on what we cover here. What changes are you looking forward to most? What do you want to see? Let me know in the comments! Also, make sure not to miss a thing by subscribing to the RSS feed!