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My constant in all the change

This summer I made a choice to switch over Peyton’s site to a different format.  I was concerned that the change of look and putting ads on it would alienate readers who’d been through each day of her treatment, perhaps they would feel I was selling out my daughter.

And there were definitely those who felt that way.  There were some who thought that I should keep things as they were, just a daily journal of Peyton’s cancer, dedicated solely to her treatment and what that world entailed.  Some thought that I would become less genuine, I would write to gain readers.  I would sensationalize or glamorize our lives to attract attention.

I didn’t even know what a blogger was.  The only real blogger I read on a regular basis was Dooce and that was only because a friend had told me she was funny, not because I was seeking out bloggers to read. I had never left a comment. I was a lurker, I guess. I knew nothing about social networking, I didn’t get the community of bloggers, I was totally clueless about what I was about to get myself into.

To be completely honest, I fully expected to fail and fail miserably at trying to take this site more public.  It was Peyton’s site up until that point. The moment I made a change to it, it became MY site.  It was my words, my feelings in a whole new light. To an entirely different group of people. Who would want to read a cancer child’s site?  Yeah, it was about my whole family.  There were funny parts, but there was also a tremendous amount of sadness that went with it.  Nothing about our lives was remotely stable, from day to day I was never quite sure what was going to flow from my fingers.

Why would anyone WANT to read that?

The more I read, the more I was sure that blogging was not for me.  I could write about Peyton’s treatments and the adventures that were a part of our family, but I couldn’t write as funny as some, I wasn’t as thought provoking as others and I had to be on my best behavior, which meant I couldn’t be as outrageous as that whole group of bloggers over there.

I just continued to write as always.  I tiptoed into the social world of blogging, I began striking up conversations, emailing strangers….always surprised when they emailed back.

I was making this transition as a bulk of the blogging world was preparing for BlogHer, a huge conference for women bloggers to connect and network and learn from each other.  Me?  Not so much, I was so lost in the Blogher-this and BlogHer-that. It sounded like fun, full of parties and swag and new clothes.  There was even dancing.

What amazed me was that it brought out the insecurities in practically every person I read.  I’m too fat.  My clothes won’t be nice enough. I don’t like to meet new people. What if no one talks to me. What if someone does? What if no one knows my blog?  How do I introduce myself to others?  Will it be all cliquish? Will the cool kids let me sit at their table during lunch?  What if I’m only funny on the computer? How could these people who stick it all out there for the world to see be so freaked out by people actually seeing it?

It struck me that all of a sudden I was very aware that people were judging me.  I wondered if they thought I was a bad mom because I posted pictures of Peyton at her sickest…I wondered if they thought I was funny, not laugh WITH ME funny, but AT ME funny….I wondered if they saw our lives as some fictional existence instead of the bizarre reality that it is. I was considering people’s perceptions of me in a way that I had never been when it was “Peyton’s site”, now that it was mine I worried what people were reading into what I wrote.

Although I had said that I wouldn’t change just because I mixed things up a bit, I did.

I began to see what I was doing as a job…not in a bad way, but as something that I applied myself to each day and took more seriously.  I did allow it to take on more of my voice as a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, a creative soul….not just Peyton’s mom, a cancer mom.  It became this vessel to share our lives and to raise awareness of what this cancer life is about, not just a tool to update about blood counts and side effects.  It allowed me to embrace that life was moving beyond the all-encompassing cancer.

Can I tell you how glad I am to have this blog as I transition from one phase of this life into another?  We are ending this treatment stage and moving into the hopeful future and it’s going to be harder than I ever dreamed. I will have to start weaning myself from the cancer support that has been a day to day part of my life….slowly, people, don’t expect cold turkey from someone like me…and trying to get used to being a “normal mom”.

And in a very real way, I have been building up my own support group in the blogworld.  I’ve met people…both readers and other bloggers…who are kind and full of love, some who lighten my days with laughter and wit, others who understand the frailty of life and the fears that go with it. This blog is a constant.

I love this blog.  My heart overflows with love for each person who has taken the time to read, the lurkers and the commenters.  I had no idea what a blessing and comfort it would become for me. I never anticipated the community that woud rally around Peyton and our whole family as we fought this disease. I thank you all for being a part of our journey and I hope that as our lives begin another transformation that you’ll all still be a part of it.

14 Comments on “My constant in all the change”

  1. #1 Steph @ Problem Solvin Mom
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 7:43 am

    I visited your site for the first time after “the switch” and I have to say, I think you’re wildly successful at being funny, thought provoking, and outrageous! (the outrageous part mostly on twitter) 🙂 I’m so glad I found my way to your site.


    Steph @ Problem Solvin Moms last blog post..Babylegs Giveaway!

  2. #2 Adventures In Babywearing
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I think everything you are feeling here is something many bloggers (new & old) can relate to. I am excited for your next phase. I really hope that you can make it to BlogHer next year. I would love to give you a big hug!


    Adventures In Babywearings last blog post..Now That Is Scary

  3. #3 Melisa
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Nah…I’m done with you now.

    JUST KIDDING! I am so happy for you and your family and my thoughts and prayers are with you for this transition and beyond. I’m not going anywhere. xoxo

    Melisas last blog post..Happy Birthday, Dawndi!

  4. #4 Gwendolyn
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I’m so happy that you are moving into this new phase of your lives with Peyton. I will keep praying that everything continues to go well. And I will keep reading your blog, no matter what! :o)

    Gwendolyns last blog post..

  5. #5 Sammanthia
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 10:00 am

    See, I had no clue you switched, and even if I had, I would have cared less. I love your blog. And that’s all that matters. 😉

    Sammanthias last blog post..Spin Cycle: Election

  6. #6 PAPA
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I think you’re equally as funny, thought provoking, outrageous as any of the sites you listed. I would never quit your site unless you started talking about blister beetles or Western corn rootworms — and even then i’d probaby still read.

  7. #7 Greg
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 11:57 am

    You do a great job – and when the site first started it was the easiest way for concerned friends to know “how’s it going” without having to ask. I can only imagine the burden of having to answer that question repeatedly. Best of Luck with the “new” style of website this will become. My families thoughts and prayers will be directed towards you and yours for years to come.

  8. #8 chris
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 11:58 am

    You’re welcome. It’s a pleasure reading your blog.

  9. #9 Ashley
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Dude (if I may be so bold to use the word, at nearly 31 years of age)…I LOVE YO BLOG. For serious. I read the “old” and coverted along with you. I think it’s nice I get to hear about Peyton, and what’s going down in her world, as well as you and the rest of the family. 🙂 I for one, approve! 🙂

    Ashleys last blog post..A Crappy Story, A Ponderance of Puke, A Fable of Fever?

  10. #10 Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    GIRL!!!! If you left now, well we would just hunt you down and MAKE you blog. 🙂

    LOVE YOU!!!!!! and how EXCITING that treatment is finished! WOOHOO Peyton – big cyber {{{HUG}}}

  11. #11 Jen W
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I think the new format makes you more genuine. Don’t get me wrong, I think sharing Peyton’s story is great but behind every sick child is a loving parent just trying to make it and keep the family from falling apart. You did (and are doing) an amazing job. Thanks for sharing.

    Jen Ws last blog post..Jack’s Hello Song

  12. #12 Shash
    on Nov 3rd, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I’m SO excited to see where you take this blog on your new journey. I’m even more thrilled that you still keep this window open into the life of you and your family. I think that is equally as important as the journey you have just completed. Mazel Tov!!


    Shashs last blog post..Official Diagnosis: Migraine

  13. #13 Mary in ATL
    on Nov 4th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I like what you write. Keep it up. I don’t have kids, or cancer or a kid with cancer but you are on my list of “check in on” blogs. You have a lot to say, and now that you are finished with Chemo you’ll have more time to say it. Any news on Atlanta? I’m an unoffical local guide. A real NATIVE.

  14. #14 Mrs. Kitty
    on Nov 4th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    I know it must seem strange to have your life suddenly go… *gulp* nearly normal, but it really is for the better. Of course you know that, but I’m sure your routines don’t quite know that just yet.

    And since I’ve just “met” you, I’m super glad that you aren’t going anywhere!