Nancy’s Point 2019 Summer Blogging Challenge

I’ve never participated in a blog hop before and I look to Nancy Stordahl of Nancy’s Point as a bit of a trailblazer in the cancer blogging world. I read some of the responses to her blogging challenge last summer, but I didn’t really start blogging until this year. Blogging is, by definition, a mostly solitary endeavor, but I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed engaging with other bloggers, especially those of us who talk about breast cancer or other health challenges.I’ve had so many “ME TOO” moments and have used the musings of others as a spring board to talk about issues/ideas.

So, without further ado, here are my answers to the questions posed by Nancy on her challenge:

1.  Who are you? If applicable, share anything you want about your cancer (type, stage, when diagnosed, whatever.) Share something about yourself such as where you live, the name of your blog and it’s “mission” (no links here, though, or you might end up in spam), a challenge you have faced or are facing now, or whatever you want.

My name is Abigail Johnston (née Schroeder) and I’m a daughter, sister, wife and mother living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. I was diagnosed approximately two (2) years ago at the age of 38 and my life irrevocably changed. I’ve shared a great deal on my blog about my diagnosis and my efforts to adjust to the new challenges I and my family are facing on a daily basis. As I write and publish this blog post for the blog hop, I am gearing up for my newest PET scan, which will tell us for sure whether my cancer is behaving itself. I’m still on my first targeted therapy and am hoping and praying for a good long run. My husband puts up with so much and has supported me as we walk together through the worse experiences of our lives. My boys (now 6 and 4), don’t understand but often serve as the barometer for the emotional winds in our household.

2.  Have you ever participated in a blog hop before?

No! I’m a relatively new blogger (I started my blog in late 2018) so I’m still trying to figure all of this out! What has been super amazing about fellow bloggers is how supportive everyone has been. Even people who have a blog completely different from mine have followed and commented and engaged with me. I learn so much from other more experienced bloggers.

3.  What’s your favorite sort of blog post to write and/or read – personal story, informational, how to, controversial, political, opinion, rant or other?

I like reading posts that have a personal element/anecdote that also has a clear purpose or call to action. I do try to write this type of posts since I do think they are the most well received.

4.  Describe yourself in three words. Yes, just three!

Passionate Loyal Advocate

5.  Name three of your favorite books from your youth (whatever age that means to you.) that had an impact on you.

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engel
  2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  3. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

6.  What are you reading right now, or what’s on your to-read list for when you have time?

The Quantum Series by Douglas Phillips. I set a reading challenged in Goodreads for 2019 to read a book each day and I’m ahead of schedule! Most of the books I’ve read this week have been science fiction, which is a perfect escape when things get hard.

7.  What’s your favorite dessert of all time?

German Chocolate cake!

8.  Tell us about a special pet you have, had, or would like to have. (Never wanted a pet, that’s okay too.)

I love cats and have had one or two or three of them since law school. Maya is our current fur baby. She’s just turned 1 and is so much fun!

9.  What’s something people don’t know about you and might be surprised to learn?

I’ve pretty much been an open book on my blog and recently shared about the tattoos I’ve gotten since my cancer diagnosis to repurpose the areas of my body disfigured by scarring from my surgeries and procedures.

10.  Do you believe healthcare is a privilege or a right?

I am conflicted about this. On the one hand, I do think that the government has responsibility to care for its citizens. I believe it is often the lack of regulation/oversight and certainty in the marketplace that drives up the cost of healthcare. I believe the government has fallen down on its job here. I also think that people have some responsibility to stay healthy and to plan for health challenges. So, I guess my answer is “it depends” and “a hybrid”. I’ve also participated in the foster care system as it underwent privatization and while there were some bright spots, I believe the care of children in foster care took a major negative hit when for profit companies got involved. Overall, I think for profit companies have no place in health care.

11.  What’s your favorite thing about blogging and/or reading blogs?

Getting to know other people in their own words. For me, I blog as catharsis for dealing with the realities of terminal cancer and to leave a very clear record for my kids. That this endeavor has struck a nerve with others has been a bonus.

12.  What’s something you really suck at?

Holding space for others. My initial gut reaction is to jump into fix it mode. I’ve learned by experiencing this how difficult it can be when others jump into wanting to fix something or offering fixes. I’m trying to do better.

13.  What’s something you’re pretty good at?

I’m a good problem solver in a practical way. I know my legal background helps a great deal here and the fact that I’ve always been a but out of step with the “mainstream” in one way or another my whole life. I see things differently and I see different possibilities.

14.  How do you escape from cancer (or life in general) worries?

Reading. I love books that are very different from my life, like science fiction. I also enjoy reading thrillers (legal or otherwise) and I devour anything by Jodi Picoult and Diana Gabaldon just to name a few of my favorites. Check out my list of books on Goodreads!

Can’t wait to complete the blog hop and get to know other bloggers. Happy #MetsMonday!

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22 thoughts on “Nancy’s Point 2019 Summer Blogging Challenge

  1. Your health issue is certainly a matter of grave concern yet I feel that you will be able to fight it out till the end because you are very brave.I pray that everything may go well with you and your lovely family.God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m eager to find out the details! I understand that everyone posting their own articles and answering the questions will at some point post those links and explore other posts. Nancy at Nancy’s Point is the one who set it up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Abigail,

    I’m so glad you are participating in my blog hop. Gotta admit, I was a bit nervous – regarding the setting up part. Hoping this mini experiment goes well. Very happy you are part of the breast cancer blogging community. Well, of course, I wish you weren’t, too, but you know what I mean.

    Great to read your responses. Love the family pics. Your cat is really still a kitten! So sweet. And I’ll have to read a Jodi Picoult and a Diana Gabaldon book. I’m trying to get some fiction in, so I appreciate the recommendations.

    Wishing you all the best as you navigate this darn disease.

    Thanks again for joining in. Happy blog hopping!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! I would definitely recommend diving into the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon before you watch the series on Starz. The tv show is good and the author consults on the script but the books are so rich with meaning that is easy to miss on tv. 😉

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  3. Hi Abigail, Nice to learn about you and your life. I also loved Little Women and Wrinkle in Time, but I’m SUPER impressed that you actually liked Pilgrim’s Progress!! I had to read it in either High School or College and it was so hard for me to get through it — the language alone was tough for me to plow through, so I’m impressed that you both read AND liked it 🙂 I also love your tattoos. I’ve been kind of needle shy since my chemo, so I’ve avoided getting a tattoo but yours are gorgeous and make me think maybe I should get one. Best, Claudia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Too cool,love your ink and how you’ve penned your answers. I hope to return the favor of opening up the kimono a bit more so to speak. We do share many commonalities. Thank you Nancy for the opportunity to get to know our cancer tribe a little better.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Abigail, I really enjoyed reading this blog and getting to know a little more about you. Your tattoos look amazing, did it hurt much when you had them done? Also I love your photos with Maya. German chocolate cake sounds yummy! Thank you for sharing! Julia

    Liked by 1 person

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