Nancy’s blogging challenge 2021

I read a lot of cancer blogs.  One of my favorite is Nancy’s Point.  During August she asks those of us who blog to answer some questions, place those answers in our blogs, and then she prints them in her blog. I appreciate Nancy so much.  She was the first blogger who ‘spoke’ to me about what I was going through and she is constantly reading and sharing information with her readers.  If you are in the cancer world, I urge you sign up for her weekly blog.  I guarantee you will get valuable information.

So here’s my contribution to her 2021 Summer Blogging Challenge:


My 2021 Summer Blogging Challenge Answers:

Who are you? Tell us your genre, how long you’ve been at it, who or what inspires you or whatever you want us to know.

   I am a 66 year old in the Second Act of life, a wonderfully loved wife and mom, an oldest sister of seven. 

     Oh, and I have Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.

     And I’m a Unicorn.

     Well, as of last night my new identification is UNICORN. My dearest and longest friend (since 8 years old!) and I have long phone calls about once a month. They are highly therapeutic, giving us a chance to clear our heads about what’s going on in our lives. Since we are from big families (she’s in the middle of ten and I’m the oldest of seven), we need those two hours. Mary centers me and I hope I do the same for her, too. Inevitably we wander into dark waters, and this time as we were ending the conversation, I asked her to share something happy. For both of us, it was something to do with our grandchildren. She’s been reading The Boxcar Children to six-year-old Jackson and I had spent the afternoon watching four year old Emmalyn play in her pool.


Hafta get a picture of this cutie in somewhere.
 
     I confided that I need to always search for a positive in whatever I do. If I have a superpower it’s Resilience, but it is easy to fall down into a depression pit when you have Stage 4 cancer. Some blogs, while entertaining and informative, can trigger my descent and it takes everything within me to resist. As I told Mary, the standard life span for a stage 4 MBCer is 2-4 years; I want longer. If I reach that, I would be a Unicorn, an unusual thing. She fed my positivity. “That’s it, Linda! You must be a Unicorn!"
 
     A new goal is to change the way I am identified – I am more than cancer! – and to change the way I identify people. Forgive me, but if I find out that someone falls in the LGBTQ++ world, I use that as their main identity. They are so much more than that!

For my own therapy, I write romance novels and although I have yet to identify myself as a successful author, I love each of my books. Writing is part of my Second Act since I retired as an international student advisor sixteen months ago.


Here's my shameless plug for the new book coming in September, available on Amazon.

2.      What’s been your biggest blogging roadblock this year and did you come up with a way to get around it? 

     Grief kept intruding on my writing/blogging between November 2020 and now.  One of my kids asked if my family got in the way, but they are always allowed to bump the time I set aside to write.  Family is everything to me.  This past year I lost my godfather to Covid, had time with a new baby granddaughter stolen by Covid (because we have to protect the little ones as well as the aged and immunocompromised), lost a sister to heart disease, and learned of the death of one of my most favorite students in a fall in the mountains of Peru.  Each time one of these things happened, I took time to grieve, think, ponder about them and my relationship with them.  It is overwhelming, but necessary.  But unfortunately, I don’t write much during those times. Only now, six weeks after that student’s death, I’m finally coming back to myself.

3.      What’s something you accomplished with your blog this year that you’re proud of?

     My blog is nestled into my author website (https://www.adelynzara.com/).  My current romance series is about those undergoing struggle. It’s called Tales of Resilience. The blog became a way to express how I had personally undergone some of the calamities I wrote about, but it also gave me a chance to vent, if you will.  So, when I was diagnosed with lymphedema this past November, I wrote a blog entry about it.  It appeared in Nancy’s Point, but also went out to my readers. https://nancyspoint.com/lymphedema-never-think-youve-dodged-a-bullet/


The glove I must wear every day.  No fun.

 

4.      What are a couple of your best blogging tips?

I don’t really have tips to share. I’m still learning. I imagine I write things that are way too long. One of my readers asked me to send out two emails a month since the emails tend to be llooonnnngggg. I know I’m being authentic and perhaps blunt. I hope that some of the things I share are helpful.

 

5.     How do you handle negative feedback or comments?


I wish there was more feedback – positive or negative.  I’ve had a few comments and I always respond to them.  But I’d love to hear more.  I am also a unicorn among writers in that I am a true extrovert – I get energy from others.  When the ‘others’ don’t respond, it’s sorta lonely.  Let me know what you think!

 

Share a link to a favorite post you’ve written RECENTLY (since last year’s challenge perhaps) that you want more people to read.

It's his birthday today.

Of all my children, my son Patrick is perhaps the biggest fan of my writing. He’s always there to help me (I am severely technologically challenged), has done all my marketing videos, and even though he’s not a reader, he loves that I like to write.  A year ago, when my first book Finding Peace came out, he wrote a blog about his pride: This Book Should Not Exist. (I just reread it – and cried.)  As I said before, I write as a kind of personal therapy.  I may never be a well-known author or an important blogger.  But I enjoy it and posts like Patrick’s keep me going.

And so, how I ask you:  Should I have a separate cancer blog?

Comments

  1. Hi Adelyn! It's nice to meet you in Nancy's Blog Hop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adelyn, I'm still new to blogging and so happy to have connected with Nancy. This is my second year participating in Nancy's Blog Hop. Here is the link to my answers to the challenge; https://gogsgagnon.com/2021/08/17/gogs-accepts-2021-summer-blogging-challenge

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for commenting! I subscribed to your blog. My grandfather died of prostrate cancer many years ago. It was my first introduction to it. My husband keeps close watch since his father had to have his prostate removed. I'm sure you're a wonderful educator.

      Delete
    3. I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. I hope your father-in-law is doing well. I wish him and your husband good health. I'm now following your blog too!

      Delete
  2. Hi Adelyn - it is hard to get comments these days but that doesn't mean people aren't reading :-) Nancy is a great supporter when it comes to comments - it's one of the things I like the most about her - her support of the community.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So true. I think when we don't get remarks on our writing or blogs we fear that people don't care about what we are saying. Thanks for responding!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice to meet you! As a fellow stage iv endurer, I wish you mighty unicorn status. 👊

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you! I wish all we MBCers could attain a unicorn status.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Adelyn,

    It makes me happy to see you participating in this year's blog hop. It's a fun way to hop around, say hi to fellow bloggers, perhaps discover a new blog, leave a trail back to yours and to offer (and receive) support.

    You've been dealing with so much loss, so much grief. I hope writing helps. I think it's fantastic you write romance novels. Best of luck with those. I'm not sure you need a separate cancer blog. I've always heard every author must have an author website, but I don't! I can only manage one site, but you could easily add a cancer page/blog or whatever you want into your present site via the menu. Or, if having a separate cancer blog appeals to you, do that.

    Keep writing and happy hopping!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment