Dear Teresa Wiltz,

November 25, 2007

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