Cancer: it’s a difficult subject, but not a rare one. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 11.1 million people in the United States are currently living with cancer–either fighting it or living as a survivor–a number which suggests that most people will battle cancer either themselves or with a loved one within their lifetime. Some choose to be vocal about their battle, shedding some light on their conditions and their world, and here we bring you some of the best and most riveting among those voices.The JOURNEYThese blogs live in the now — each of these authors is fighting cancer presently, and their blogs invite you to follow them on their journey from here to recovery.
1. Punk Rock Mommy — This blog started as the journey of Andrea Collins-Smith, rockin’ tattooed loving wife and mother of six, and her fight with inflammatory breast cancer until her passing in July of 2008. Though the blog was discontinued at the end of the year, the entire story–including her family and friends’ updates in the wake of her death–is touching and well worth a read.
2. The Adventures of Baldylocks — Miss Baldylocks was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006. Her site states that she wants nothing so much as to be “normal” again, but in the meantime she keeps a sweet and funny blog chronicling that journey back and her redefining of what “normal” means to her.
3. Cancer is Hilarious — Kaylin Marie refuses to take her fight with bone cancer lying down. This college student’s blog diligently documents her story with heartbreakingly honest passages on the emotional rollercoaster of chemotherapy, peppered with frequent moments of dry and irreverent wit that attest to a fiery and optimistic spirit.
4. Baldie’s Blog — Hillary St. Pierre notes that this blog was started years ago by a British journalist with blood cancer; the journalist she has since passed, but the torch has been passed to St. Pierre, a former nurse from the U.S. living with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She blogs about her life and her battle, and promotes the live-saving gift of bone marrow donations.
5. Cancer Banter — Susan Carrier was a successful marketing executive and freelance writer when her life was first flipped upside down by Stage 4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Now she is a consultant, but the freelance writing holds strong with several blogs, one of which chronicles the ups and downs of chemo, stem cell transplants, multiple recurrences, anxiety, and the little things that keep life normal.
6. Miss Melanoma — Living with melanoma since 2005, Miss Melanoma uses this blog both to promote skin cancer awareness and to share stories from her life and all things funny and optimistic amidst a world of uncertainty.
7. What’s up with the Doc? — Lisa Woody is an occupational medicine physician, and has been fighting stage IV lung cancer for the past year. Her insightful blog gives a unique perspective on cancer, with the knowledge of a doctor and the introspection of a patient all at once.
8. My Blood Hates Me — Matt is living with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia: his blog, written thoroughly and with constant wit, chronicles his many experiences with his life, his marriage, and his rebellious bone marrow.
9. Chronicles of a Cancer Patient — David J. Hahn is currently in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma and writing a blog on forging a career in the music industry. While he aggressively battled it from 2005 to 2008, however, he kept a blog so good and chock full of useful information that it was featured in several newspapers and lauded online.
10. Cowgirl Attitude — A Nashville country girl transplanted in Chicago takes the bull of colon cancer by the horns, blogging about the positives and negatives of life with a can-do attitude and brutal honesty.
11. To Keep You, A Breast — This extensive and well-written blog follows the life and times of Melissa and her ongoing journey with breast cancer, both in keeping and in replacing.
12. Running for My Life — What happens when a writer finds herself derailed by leukemia? This esteemed journalist (and avid runner, hence the title) is fighting back, and finding an outlet by blogging her way through the process.
13. Living With Cancer — Daria has battled cancer successfully twice, and this blog projects the cheery voice of an optimist as recurrence leads to a battle begun anew.
SURVIVORSThe journey of cancer doesn’t end abruptly with the “remission” diagnosis — it’s a tenuous and delicate tightrope walk back to health and normalcy. These blogs chronicle those bold steps farther and farther still away from the edge.
14. Everything Changes — When choreographer Kairol Rosenthal was diagnosed at 27, she noticed a lack of resources or adequate support for young adults grappling with cancer. In response, she wrote the book Everything Changes, an “insider’s guide to cancer in your 20s and 30s.” Now a full-time writer and patient advocate, Rosenthal continues to blog on cancer issues as they relate to media and youth culture.
15. CrazySexyLife — Kris Carr is a vegan eco-warrior in love with life and in control of her own. In addition to making her own cancer battle the subject of a moving documentary, she blogs about healthful and lifestyle choices as part of a road to recovery.
16. The Journal of a Prizefighter — Duane Bailey-Castro has been in remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma since 2007, but that hasn’t stopped him from blogging on a variety of issues, raising money and awareness for cancer-related causes, and making his own success story a constant source of inspiration for others.
17. Chemopalooza — Kelly Kane has been in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma since 2007. Originally her blog covered her chemo process; now it covers many different facets of her rebound back to health, from thoughts on cancer support groups to the anticipation and dying of brand new hair.
18. I’ve Still Got Both My Nuts: A True Cancer Blog — Benjamin Rubenstein has battled cancer twice and lived to tell the tale. (Fully intact, at that!) He has a novel in the works chronicling this feat, and continues to update his blog with humorous posts about illness-related issues and a monthly “Girls of Cancer” feature.
19. In My Life — Cathy Bueti, author of Breastless in the City and frequent contributor to The Stupid Cancer Blog, knows a thing of two about dealing with cancer and loss. In her personal blog, she continues to write her memoirs of finding love and experiencing life after cancer.
20. They Call Me Galvez — With the appearance of a brain tumor, Eric Galvez went from physical therapist to a patient himself. Since the initial diagnosis he has beaten cancer, written a book, created a support network organization, become a major voice in the young adult cancer survivor community–somehow, he still finds time to update a great personal blog about his experiences.
21. Life With Cancer — When Glamour magazine’s bright young editorial assistant Erin Zammett Ruddy was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, she decided to take her fight public with a regular column, “Life with Cancer,” giving millions of women a firsthand peek at the ins and outs of surviving. Now in remission, her column not only thrives, but has spawned a book and a daily blog.
22. My Ride on the Hodgkins Bus… — Heather describes her blog as “sometimes-verbose,” but a more accurate description is interesting and informative, as it follows her diagnosis with Hodgkins Lymphoma, as well as her continuing journey through remission.
23. After Cancer, Now What — After diagnosis with breast cancer in 2006, Katherine Burton now lives as a survivor, blogging about cancer-related topics, famous cancer survivors, and personal accounts of what comes next.
24. Lynn’s Fight Against Prostate Cancer — Lynn Lane is a New York City filmmaker, prostate cancer survivor, and the creator of the groundbreaking online documentary project Voices of Survivors. He also blogs about his personal experiences with hospitals and on fighting his way back to health.
25. Asher’s Journey After Brain Cancer — Young children with cancer are underrepresented in blog form, but this blog follows the treatment and remission of six-year-old Asher Benjamin as his family cheers him on.
26. I Kicked Cancer’s Ass — This award-winning blog comes from Meaghan, survivor against all odds of advanced stage cervical cancer. Her goals are to champion cancer-related charities and causes, and to inspire hope in others by telling the stories her own struggles and those of fellow feisty survivors.
27. Who Says I Can’t? — The many adventures of a 52-year-old entrepreneur who never let cancer, chemo, or even amputations slow him down from getting everything he wants out of life.
COMMUNITYWhen dealing with an illness like cancer, one of the most important things in the world is to feel like you have someone to talk to about it. These sites bring people together, whether with events or research or just long-distance support and open conversation, and let you know that you’re never alone in your battle.
28. The Stupid Cancer Blog — The official blog of cancer movement I’m Too Young For This, the Stupid Cancer Blog deals with adolescents and young adults affected by cancer, bringing empowerment and inspiration along with knowledge and information.
29. Blog For a Cure — Cancer sucks and sometimes you want to talk about it out loud, and for this reason Blog For a Cure is there. It is a community of cancer survivors writing about topics as unique and varied as the writers. What they all have in common is a voice and support for each other. Do you have something to say? Starting a blog of your own here is as easy as signing up.
30. Being Cancer –Dennis W. Pyritz, BSN, has been a cancer nurse for twenty years and leukemia survivor for ten. His blog is written with the intention of promoting sharing and relating experiences, with the goal of bringing together a community of people whose lives have been affected by cancer.
31. Our Cancer — Leroy Sievers documented his personal battle for NPR, with a blog called simply My Cancer. Although he is now gone, NPR has kept a space online for its readers to converse and share their own stories.
32. Mothers With Cancer — Twenty mothers, all from various stages and walks of life, blog about their experiences at different stages of cancer and foster a welcoming environment of support for fighters, survivors, and loved ones alike.
33. Everyday Health — Not so much a blog as a cluster of blogs where anyone, from trained professionals to everyday people, can update their story as it relates to any number of ailments. This is the section for cancer.
34. Voices of Survivors — Founded by documentary filmmaker and cancer survivor Lynn Lane, this site encourages fellow survivors to make their stories heard through the power of video, photography, and the written word.
35. SeventyK Blog — The official blog of SeventyK, an advocacy project promoting a Patient’s Bill of Rights drafted especially for adolescents and young adults dealing with cancer, with special attention to their oft-overlooked status in health care, and hopes to put an end to late diagnoses and improve recovery outlooks for the 70,000 young people diagnosed every year.
36. Cancer Survivors Network — An online community for cancer fighters and survivors from all walks of life to come together, share stories, and support each other in living life to the fullest every day.
37. I’m Too Young For This — With a vision of “a world where young adults are not affected by cancer,” I2Y aims to arm young people with knowledge about detecting cancer early and getting the treatment they need, and providing a community of service and advocacy for those who are currently fighting.
38. Planet Cancer — An online social networking community for young people dealing with cancer in their 20s and 30s, featuring articles, information, awareness and fundraising events, and even weekend retreats to help foster a support system and a welcoming place for young adults to speak out and be heard.
CAREGIVERS and FAMILYCancer affects much more than just the person with the diagnosis. These blogs deal with the trials and tribulations of caring for someone with cancer.
39. Hospice and Caregiving Blog — Maintained by the Hospice Foundation of America, this blog shares stories about all things hospice-related, from profiles of professionals in the field to articles on experiences in palliative care and grief counseling to media coverage of the topics at hand.
40. Why Her and Not Me — Rick Possert Jr. narrates his wife Rachael’s struggle with melanoma and, since Rachael’s death late last year, his own struggles as well as his championship of skin cancer awareness and educating people on the dangers of tanning.
41. The Price of Love — After losing his wife to breast cancer, this now-single father of two young started writing to make sense of the world and his place in it. The results are beautiful and eloquent pieces on music, movies, life, and memories. Look for it in book form shortly.
42. Linda’s Melanoma Journey — Until recently, this blog was written by Linda Ramirez, a well-received and praised voice in the melanoma blog community. With her passing this March, her husband continues to update on coping through life without her.
43. Flicker Days — Though it has fallen into neglect over the past few months, this poignant and picture-filled blog tells the story of a woman caring for her mother in the late stages of cancer, and dealing with the loss and grief in its aftermath.
RESOURCESNot all of these are blogs; all of these are, however, fantastic organizations and resources dedicated to advancing cancer research and advocating on behalf of patients everywhere, and are definitely worth checking out.
44. American Cancer Society — The first and foremost authority in the realm of cancer information and care.
45. The Melanoma Blog — Firsthand information and resources for melanoma patients, straight from the dermatologist’s mouth.
46. LIVESTRONG Lance Armstrong Foundation — In the fight against cancer, few things are more iconic than the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s bright yellow “live strong” bracelets. This is the official site.
47. Susan G. Komen for the Cure — Among the largest cancer research fundraising foundations, this organization is responsible for the iconic pink ribbon and the highly successful 5K fundraising races.
48. The Syrentha Savio Endowment — This grassroots project promotes cancer awareness and raises funds to help underprivileged women with cancer treatment costs in a very punk-rock way: band t-shirts.
49. Stand Up 2 Cancer — Both a community and a movement with a message, Stand Up To Cancer promotes a different kind of cancer research, with a focus on collaboration instead of competition between drug companies. Their site features news on cancer-related subjects in the media and arts, as well as profiles on movers and shakers in the medical world.
50. masskickers — From Eric Galvez, a site designed to give power to patients through knowledge and helpful information sources, promote cancer-related fundraising efforts, and promote courage and a take-control attitude in patients and their families.