Don’t know where to start looking for blogs?

As you look for cancer blogs, remember there are many different types of blogs (community, solo, institutional, advocacy). In addition, people who blog about cancer blog about much more than cancer. Their lives are regular lives, just sometimes they also write about cancer. It may be helpful to you to search their posts for the tag “cancer,” or you may prefer to situate their writing about cancer in the context of their broader and more mundane lives. I’d love for you to find a blog in whatever way you’d like, but here are some starting points if you feel lost: A clearing house list of personal blogs on cancer.

Blog for a cure Community blog site where people write about their experiences with cancer.

Cancer in Context Reuter’s reporter Deb Sherman’s blog about cancer.

Cancer Survivorship Blog Similar to the Macmillan Community blog, this is a community blog hosted from a medical perspective for survivors to share stories, ask questions, etc.

Diem Brown, blogger for People Magazine, reality t.v. star

Lisa Bonachek Adams Personal blogger about metastatic breast cancer, motherhood, and family life.

Macmillan Community blog: British site that allows lots of posters to share feelings/experiences with cancer.

Our Cancer Husband and wife Leroy and Laurie Singer Sievers blog about their experience with cancer. Hosted by Johns Hopkins.

Queasy Writer  Professor, Dad and Cancer survivor Rocco Versaci’s blog about health, extreme bike riding, and life.

Scienceblog on Cancer Research: Another UK blog site with a research focus

Reading Response Ideas for Week 2: Cancer in Film

Remember this week you have 3 critical articles to read, plus view “The Fault in Our Stars.” Please also find a blog about cancer and read a few entries to get a sense of how that blogger deals with his/her cancer in the context of an individual life, but also as a rhetorical performance of who s/he is. You should then post a response to at least 2 readings by Saturday. You can use any of the topics below as a basis for your response, or you can craft your own response. Goals: 750 words addressing 2 or more readings and citing specific examples/scenes to support your analysis.

1.) Do you see any of the military metaphors for fighting cancer, or opposite models of “contact” as described by Khalid’s article at work in “Fault in Our Stars” or in the blog you found for this week? Analyze 2-3 specific scene or moments that fit the metaphors for how to “fight” or live with cancer as described by Kahlid or Lorde.

2.) What adjustments to you think “The Fault in Our Stars” or the blog you examined made to appeal to a young adult audience (if you chose a blog targeted at Young Adults)? What kinds of experiences seem unique to the YA demographic in terms of representing experience with cancer–or do you not find this demographic to be unique? Is the performance of living with cancer the same, whether the author/performer/audience is young or old (feel free to use W;t as a point of comparison/contrast here if you would like).

3.) Rhetorically, do you find Deardorff’s article more persuasive when juxtaposed with the Petticrew et al article on attitude and cancer from last week? What mode of writing most persuades you on health care information, and why (journalism, memoir/blog, pop culture/news, or artistic?) What context do you find persuasive and why (year of publication, publication medium, writer’s background, etc.)? And finally, which article’s worldview about coping with cancer do you see more clearly represented in “The Fault in Our Stars”?

Full Holy Sonnet X “Death Be Not Proud”

John Donne (1572-1631)
Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud
1  Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
2  Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
3  For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
4  Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
5  From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
6  Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
7  And soonest our best men with thee do go,
8  Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
9  Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
10  And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
11  And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
12  And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
13  One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
14  And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Nice random YouTube video of Thompson’s version, compiled by Daniel Andrade

Want some ideas of how to respond to the readings for your 1/24 posting?

The goal for your posting is to focus on 2-3 ideas that interest you in the readings, and to connect between at least 2 of the readings. You want about 750 words, and a clear sense of an opening point or thesis, a set of examples from texts that you analyze to support your thesis, and a conclusion. Use a Works Cited page at the end, and be sure to cite paraphrases and quotes in MLA format.

Here are some possible approaches–I’ll add to the list after the facilitators for the week post the additional critical reading to Blackboard by Wednesday, 1/21. Your posting is due Saturday, 1/24 by 5pm, either on your MU Commons site or on Blackboard Discussion Board if you’re having trouble with the MU Commons.

1.) Apply Vanhoutte’s thesis about W;t to the play, and compare/contrast its reading of given scenes or moments of the play to your own interpretation. Do you agree with Vanhoutte’s response to this play?

2.) Ask the same questions of W;t and/or “Cancer Journals” that I had you ask of Tig Notaro’s broadcast, then compare/contrast how these performances address self-expression and the experience of cancer. How does each performance try to reach its audience? What are 2-3 of each author/performer’s key points about their cancer experience? How does their choice of artistic form affect how you as a reader or viewer respond?

3.) Using the “Influence of Psychological Coping” article, argue which approach you feel the main character in W;t or Audre Lorde are taking to their experiences with cancer–are they “fighters,” “depressives,” or some other category? What do you think of the argument that attitude toward disease doesn’t affect mortality or recurrence, and thus people should not be pressured toward one attitude over another? Do you see evidence that the attitudes of characters or authors of the performances you’ve seen can change from moment to moment or day to day?

Missed class on Monday 1/12?

Be sure to review all the course materials on this site, and follow the link to Tig Notaro’s podcast on the online course schedule (see menu at top). Then post your 750 word response to the broadcast before 5pm on 1/14.  Post your response either on your own MU Commons Site (don’t forget to email me the link to your site, and I’ll add it to this site as well) or to the Blackboard Discussion Board if you don’t have time to create your site before Wednesday, 1/14.

Your posting should address 1 or more of the following questions. Cite Notaro’s podcast as a source in MLA format, and have a sense of a conclusion to your insights.

-What’s funny in this podcast? when do people laugh and why? What topics does Notaro raise through her jokes that you might expect to find in other illness literature?

–Why do you think Nortaro chooses the form of comedy to talk about illness, and what effect does that have on your understanding of the topic as a listener?

Welcome to EN 429

This is a 400-level English course designed for English majors and others who have had 6-9 credits in humanities who are comfortable with advanced reading, research and writing in the humanities. Our topic this semester will be “Disease and Discrimination,” and we will look at how artists represent and engage cultural images of illness, as well as how audiences of readers and viewers respond to these images. Because we are dealing with illness and the human body, we will have frank discussions of sex, death, pain, and other topics which might be disturbing. Be sure you’re comfortable with this before taking the course. As an upper-level course, we will explore topics together, and students will take the lead in forming class discussion each week.

Bookmark this course site, since it includes detailed course policies from your syllabus, assignment sheets and a class schedule that is updated weekly.  Contact me with any questions you may have at