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By Alanna Kennedy

Cancerblog

Survivor Nan Higgins considers life after treatment

By Alanna Kennedy


In March, 55-year-old Nan Higgins of Austin, Texas, was diagnosed with stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After a friend introduced her to blogging, Higgins decided to start her own online journal to keep in touch with friends and co-workers. During her treatment, Higgins is on leave from her job as a marketing consultant at the computer company Dell.

Higgins updates her blog almost every day, chronicling her treatments as well as the struggles and high points in her life since her diagnosis. “I have found that the [blog] has helped me so much to share my experience with my friends and family,” she says. “So many people are following my journey with me via my journal, which has helped me so much. … I like it better than just writing it for myself in a journal on my nightstand. I find it very freeing.”

July 5, 2006: Thoughts
I have been thinking about the transition from cancer patient to cancer survivor. I feel the need to transform myself to be a better person and to do more with my life. If I could afford it, I would stop working and devote my time and efforts to volunteer work. There is so much to be done (Meals on Wheels, church, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, JDRF, Habitat for Humanity, Caritas, etc). The list is endless.

My next to last treatment is tomorrow. I am eager to become a survivor but am worried about getting cancer again. I have met so many women with breast cancer that I am very afraid. I know I cannot live my life in fear but it is there.

I am almost to the end of my treatments and I am feeling a little depressed. It will be hard to go back to work and to the stress that comes with it. It will take some time to get my strength and endurance back to 100%. While I should be happy it is almost over, I am afraid. Afraid that I won’t make a big enough difference with my life, afraid that I have not done enough for my family, afraid that I am not superwoman. Perhaps I have watched one too many Oprah shows?

To read more of Nan Higgins’ blog, visit purplemartin.livejournal.com. CR endbox


If you would like to recommend a blog for CR’s Cancerblog column, please e-mail Kennedy@CRmagazine.org.