Dear Teresa Wiltz,

Dear Teresa Wiltz,

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I’m writing in response to your recent piece in the Washington Post entitled “With Cruelty and Malice for All: It’s Dark Out There in the Blogosphere.”  While I’m sure that your piece represents the situation surrounding the death of Kanye West’s mother, I take issue with your summary that it’s dark out there in the blogosphere.

I’ve had a very different experience, in fact.  Five months ago, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer — the baddest, quickest moving, most deadly breast cancer out there.  I have two little boys (then only 5 months and 2 years old), a busy lifestyle, and a few good friends here in the D.C. suburbs.  But I needed to talk about the diagnosis, the possibilities, and my fears without scaring my friends and family.

I was terrified.

I didn’t know who to talk to, so I opened up and told the blogosphere, these good friends of mine in cyberspace.  They responded — in a major way!  Swiftly they spread the word, writing about me on their blogs, and telling other women and men about this rare form of breast cancer that masquerades as mastitis.  At last count, over 415 women had written about me and inflammatory breast cancer, warning other women and raising awareness.  A thousand visit me every day, raising my spirits, offering me support, and letting me know above all that I am not alone.

I am not alone.

In this fight for my life, I have the support of thousands of friends in the blogosphere, many of whom I have never met.  Some have little children like me, some have grandchildren, and some are single.  Some live in nearby suburbs and D.C., some live in California and Canada, and some live in Australia and the farthest reaches of the world. 

All are precious to me.

And so, when I read your article last week, I was impressed at your depth in the blogosphere but I think there is another side to it.  If you’d like to see this other side, you are welcome to visit me and my blogfriends at Toddler Planet.  Come see the bright side of the blogosphere.  The supporting side.  The side filled with love and laughter and children.

This part of the blogosphere is saving my life.

I want the world to know about it. But mostly, I want you to know about it, because there is so much more to the blogosphere than what you’ve seen and reported.

Sincerely,
Susan

26 Responses to Dear Teresa Wiltz,

  1. Jessica says:

    Kudos to you… Well put. I read the piece as well, and I couldn’t agree with you more…

  2. Fabulous job there. I couldn’t have written it, cause it would have been full of expletives. But you know that is me🙂

    If it wasn’t for the blogosphere I would never have discovered you. And my life would have been less for that. You are in my thoughts and those of many of my bloggy and real life friends. You, your kids and IBC are part of our life now.

    Because of the internet. Because of this blogging family. My life is richer. And when in history could a chick in Hicksville Australia say ‘I was talking to so and so in the US/England/Alaska this morning?

  3. Lindsey says:

    You’re precious to us, too. That’s why we’re here.

  4. fizzledink says:

    Thank goodness for the bright side of the blogosphere. I can’t imagine my life without it – without knowing you! Hope you know that you’re in my prayers these next few weeks of the chemo. (((hug)))

  5. Colleen says:

    Such a beautiful response to her article. The “blogosphere” is a world of it’s own. There is good and bad. That’s just the way life is. I’m so glad that you’ve found such a support system… and helped others to find the same.

  6. I’m so torn. Internet-powered humanity often makes me want to live off the grid, and what Teresa writes about in her article is true of much of the web… the vast majority, I’d guess.

    But then, every word you wrote speaks to how I feel, too. Comforted and accompanied through darkness, wrapped in light by the wisdom and kindness of strangers. Two extremes…..

  7. Jenn says:

    It is bright and sunny here, isn’t it?

    I think we all know that there is truth to what Teresa writes; but there is also the truth of what we know here.

    This is the truth that I choose to know and live by. And I’m so glad it’s helping you with the living part, too.

    Wonderful post, WM.

  8. WorksForMom says:

    You rock WM. There you go shining light once again.

  9. Jacquie says:

    Once again, well said! WM rules!

  10. Carrie says:

    Very well said. I’m sure that if TW reads this, she too will understand the depth of compassion, sisterhood and support that you have received. Rightly so!

  11. Emily says:

    I hope she reads your post. I also hope she reads my comment. The blogosphere was the only safe place for me to write about my family. The support I have found here allowed me to write my memoirs. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of people I have never met (including you, btw).

  12. Char says:

    You go girl! I hope that she reads your post. There’s always more than one side of the story!

  13. NoRegrets says:

    It’s another case of the media blowing things out of proportions or only showing one side in order to sell more ads. Wonderful response.

  14. I agree with you! I’ve had nothing but niceness. Maybe it depends on what vibes you put out.

    My blogging buddy Tiv (individual voice sent me here). She thinks it’s in the blogging karmic laws we should meet. This is to let you know one more soul is sending you love, cheer, and healing.

  15. Rose100 says:

    The Internet is no different from real life.

    There are good folks, there are bad folks.
    Except that most bad folks are also cowards, so they gain the ability to come out and be obnoxious, because of the perceived anonymity of being behind a screen.

    As in real life, you “delete” the bad and keep the good.

    Why this woman would focus on the bad apples, and give them more exposure by featuring them in an article, is beyond me.
    Oh, wait. It’s the media. Of course they’d focus on the negatively sensational.

  16. Bon says:

    i missed this, but am so glad you wrote it. i’ve been finding the same positivity and support in the blogosphere lately, and am deeply moved by it, by how much difference it makes.

    sure people take cheap shots at celebrities on blogs…anonymity doesn’t bring out the best in people, sometimes.

    but blogs can go way beyond anonymity, as you’ve dared do with us…and can be sources of some of the most positive healing communities i know.

    sending you love and good things.

  17. christine says:

    there is lots of sun in the blogosphere. LOTS.

  18. Jennifer says:

    I’d love to know if you received a response! Great post, WM!

  19. Gidge says:

    I get tired too, of hearing how negative it all is.
    I’ve seen some spatting, some shitty stuff said – but really isn’t it just a microcosm of the WORLD as it is?
    Good, bad, indifferent.
    It’s all about what you embrace.
    Just like the world.

  20. mcgearstella says:

    Great post, excellent letter!
    My life is a little bit richer because of finding you and all of my blogging friends. I turned to strangers when I needed support and I found people who also needed support and we are all here for each other. That’s so wonderful that we have been able to find that!

    Thank you

  21. Ally says:

    Well said, WM. I hope that she can find the kinder side of the internet. And I’m so happy to hear that 1000 per day visit you! I like to think about the healing power of love, and that every visit knocks down your cancer a peg or two.

  22. Chaotic Joy says:

    Absolutely. Thank you for sharing this.

  23. zamejias says:

    So touching and I love it. Go girl!

  24. motherofbun says:

    People like to rip on us moms who blog. But they don’t seem to realize that our network is one of support and understanding. And that is SUCH a precious, wonderful thing.

    So glad you wrote this letter.

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