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, that shares intimate details that others need to know about the disease 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, raising awareness, funds for research, and providing 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.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my 2020 Summer Blogging Challenge, and I look forward to engaging with more readers and bloggers.