Thank you, Cancer Curmudgeon for the nomination for Very Inspirational Blogs. There are rules that come with this nomination: 1) list 7 random facts about myself, 2) nominate 15 other bloggers for the award, and 3) tell the bloggers of their nomination.

I like the spirit of this positive and supportive pyramid (un)scheme so although I am not following the “law” of this, I’m going to try to make this good. So here is an annotated list of a few of the blogs I’ve found very inspiring over the years. Also, I don’t like the idea of choosing some of my fellow WordPress bloggers but not others, I am only talking about blogs outside of WordPress. I know, I am difficult but it is too difficult to choose, especially among my fellow breast cancer bloggers, all of whom I find extraordinarily inspirational.

1) Infertile Ground: On which I tread and sometimes kneel
This is a poignant and superbly written blog about a woman’s experience with fertility treatments over about a three year period. This blog, which I was so lucky to have encountered, was my first experience at seeing the power of blogs in helping people heal. This blog attracted a very devoted following of women struggling with infertility. They formed a very supportive community and it was clear from their comments that the blog was a wonderful resource for them. I no longer have this blog bookmarked because it was inactive for a very long time. But I see now that there has been at least one post this year and perhaps more to come.

2) Marta’s Memories, Etc
This is my mother’s blog, which she has kept since 2010. She and my dad’s lives are inspiring to me. They have been married for 58 years. They live is a big house in the woods where my five brothers and I grew up. My family of eight were supported financially by one salary, my dad’s as a sheet metal worker. And then there was my mom rearing six kids while staying active as a singer in church, which she has done since age six. My family did not live big. My parents set a good example of living within one’s means, being kind to others, working hard, doing things together as a family, and laughing hard. They now have a very happy and active retirement, spending lots of time in nature, in church, and with family. My mom’s blog has great old photos of her family, who started out as Italian immigrants in the greater Seattle area at the turn of the 20th century. She also posts about her life now, her garden, and their home projects. One of my favorite posts is “The wench with a winch“, which chronicles my parents’ use of a large winch to move a fallen Douglas Fir out of their yard.

3) Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life
This is the blog for the book of the same title, written by the late David Servan-Schreiber, M.D. Ph.D. and now carried on by his colleagues. Okay, so the purpose of the blog is in large part to promote the book. And that is my intention in listing it here, as well. Dr. Servan-Schreiber became a strong force in integrative medicine for cancer care after learning that he had brain cancer as young professor of psychiatry and neuroscience. Integrative medicine is not to be confused with alternative medicine. The strategies discussed in the book, which include nutrition, exercise, reduction of environmental toxins, and mindfulness meditation were intended to be used in combination with conventional cancer treatments. The program described in the book is currently being investigated at the highly esteemed Anderson Cancer Institute in Texas. This book had a very positive impact on my approach to my own treatment, which focuses on using multiple resources to help me live a healthy life. Although the long-term impact of my daily health routines remain to be discovered, eating healthfully, walking every day, and doing mindfulness meditation has made a very positive difference in my health right now.

I know that’s not 15 blogs but I did annotate them! Oh and I almost forgot the seven random facts about me:

1) When I was 14, I wrote an advice column for kids for the Seattle Times called, “Gotta Gripe.”
2) When I was 15, my mom and I got tear-gassed in the goat barn at the Western Washington State Fair.
3) When I was 15, I fell into a man hole (a square one that had not been put back properly) up to my ankle, falling quickly to the ground. Fortunately, I was carrying a big bag on my shoulder, which swung in front of my body, keeping my face from hitting the asphalt. (This occurred during the same week as the goat barn incident.)
4) At 47 years of age, I can still sit in the lotus position and put my foot to my head, though I am the absolute worst at yoga.
5) Although I always say I don’t have a favorite color, it is really red.
6) I once seriously considered becoming a nun.
7) Today my blog reached 1000 comments. Most of them are mine!