I’m excited to participate in the 2020 summer blogging challenge hosted by Nancy’s Point. Amid the pandemic and uncertainty, it’s an excellent opportunity to have a little fun and support our fellow bloggers. I’m entirely new to blogging, and it’s an honour to be part of a broader community and learn from others. I encourage you to also participate in the challenge even if your not a blogger! Please visit Nancy’s Point Blog Challenge for more details. Thank you so much, Nancy, for organizing and hosting a fun event to help bring us together during this stressful time.
Blog Challenge Questions
1. Who are you? Tell us whatever you want about you and your blog.
My name is Gogs Gagnon, and I’m 3-years NED after prostate cancer treatment. At first diagnosis, I completely shut down and thought my life was over. I found it difficult to accept and was emotionally overwhelmed. However, I soon learned that talking was extremely therapeutic and helped me realize that I wasn’t alone. Therefore, I decided to promote prostate cancer awareness by writing a book, named Prostate Cancer Strikes: Navigating the Storm. In the book, I share intimate details that others need to know and what I would have done differently. As a supplement, I created a YouTube channel with several short videos to help those newly diagnosed. I’m new to blogging and recently became a member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation BC. In this role, I help raise awareness, funds for research, and provide support to men and their families.
2. What has been your biggest blogging challenge during this pandemic, and how have you been tackling it (or trying to)?
My heart goes out to all affected by the virus, including my dad, who lost two good friends to COVID-19, and our neighbour who is still not well after being diagnosed over 4-months ago. Let’s please continue to follow the safety protocols, and wash our hands, practice physical distancing, and wear a mask when in close contact with others. My biggest challenge is not being able to visit family and friends. Although I’m grateful for the technology that allows us to stay connected, I’m missing the human touch — hugs, kisses, handshakes, pats on the back, and sitting side-by-side. As a result, my wife and I sit close together on the couch, hold hands and cuddle while watching TV. But we yearn for the day we can hug our family and friends again. Another challenge is overcoming the feeling that I should refrain from posting new blogs during the pandemic. But I quickly realize that cancer has not disappeared and that I must continue to raise awareness, even during all the turmoil happening in the world.
3. What is something you’ve accomplished with your blog that you’re most proud of?
I’m finally starting to find my voice and have a few interested followers. I never expected to get cancer, but I’d like to use my voice to help others, and I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come since diagnosis, and my efforts to raise prostate cancer awareness.
4. Share two of your best blogging tips.
I don’t feel I’m qualified to answer this question, but I’ll do my best.
1. Follow other bloggers where you have a common interest and engage with their posts.
2. Write about what you know and find your passion.
5. What is one of your blogging goals this year?
To gain more followers and engage with other bloggers.
6. When things get hard, what keeps you blogging, even if not regularly?
Since becoming a member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation BC and co-leader and speaker at various support groups in my area, I have met several men diagnosed at stage 4 who were unaware of testing. If tested years earlier, their cancer most likely would have been detected before it spread. In my case, I had no symptoms, but yet my cancer was in the final stage before spreading. Even when life gets me down, I quickly realize how important it is to continue raising awareness.
7. What is a dream you have for your blog?
My dream would be for my blog to help make a positive impact on the lives of others facing prostate cancer or are curious about it. The ultimate goal would be to reduce the number of men that are having to face stage 4 by encouraging all men to ask their doctors to include the DRE (digital rectal examination) and PSA blood test as part of the annual checkups. Early detection offers the most options, including active surveillance.
8. Share a link to a favorite post you’ve written that you want more people to read.
Due to the pandemic, I would want people to read my blog on finding solace.
Blog Hop Links
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my 2020 Summer Blogging Challenge. I look forward to engaging with more readers and bloggers.
I’m proud to be included in the 2020 summer blogging challenge hosted by Nancy’s Point and honoured to be a guest blogger. You can read all my posts under Guest Blogs.
If you’re newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and living in Canada please order a free Reef Knot Kit, which includes a copy of my book. For more details, please read the Announcement in my local paper.
Great to get to know you better!! Your voice matters. ❤️
Thank you so much, Abigail. It has taken me a long time to open up, and I appreciate your support.❤️
I totally get it, it took me some time too. We all get to this point at our own pace. ❤️
I’m so glad you decided to participate in my challenge! I hope it helps bring a few more readers to your blog and book too. I love supporting fellow bloggers, and my annual challenge is a fun way to do that. Plus, it’s fun to learn more about one another and to share some of our goals and challenges. We can learn a lot from one another and not just cancer stuff. And as Abigail said, your voice matters!
Thank you so much, Nancy! It’s taken me too long to open up, and it’s still a struggle. I’m more than thrilled to participate. You have found a fun way to bring people together and help bloggers write about themselves. It’s an honour to be included and to learn from others. You rock!
Great to connect with another prostate cancer blogger and vlogger!
Nice to meet you, Gogs! I’m glad you have your wife to snuggle with. For me, it’s my dog. I remember when my ex-father-in-law got prostate cancer. It had spread outside the prostrate, but surgeons were able to get it all. 15 years later he is still alive and ornery as ever, but it changed his life completely. I’m sure those DRE’s are no fun, but neither are the consequences of prostrate cancer. I’m so glad you are writing about it. It does matter!
Nice to meet you too, Ramae! I’m so lucky to have my wife, and we totally understand the comfort a dog can bring. We had two but lost one last month. She got sick in the middle of the night and passed away in the car as we rushed her to the emergency vet hospital. Her name was Maya, and she provided me with extreme comfort during my cancer diagnosis and treatment. I’m happy to hear your ex-father-in-law is doing well. At first diagnosis, I didn’t feel much like talking about it but have found it extremely therapeutic and even wrote a book! Thank you so much for your message, and it’s so great to connect.