Top 5 blog posts of 2009

Title Views  
Shaking the branches of the family tree 23,855 More stats
Did Grey’s Anatomy portray cancer accura 15,291 More stats
‘Farrah’s Story’ a tale of inner strengt 14,733 More stats
“Pink Out” for Amy Mickelson 4,768 More stats
ER star undergoes surgery for breast tum 3,136 More stats

My first blog post of 2010! I wasn’t sure what to write about to start off a new year of blogging, so I decided to check  out the top five most popular posts for 2009.  I see that “celebrity” cancer is the most widely read, although I was surprised at the no 1 post. It relates to a piece I wrote in response to some research on my own family tree.  I concluded that while a fun way to spend time, researching your family tree can also be extremely important in determining if there is a genetic link to cancer in the family. Knowing the full details of our family history can be an early warning signal and may be vital in a person’s treatment and survival.

The second most popular blog post of 2009, was prompted by a headline in USA Today: Did Grey’s Anatomy portray cancer accurately? and centered on a debate on whether the death from cancer of lead character Izzy was accurately portrayed. What kind of message do you think TV shows give out about cancer? Is it an accurate portrayal, given that TV shows are all about heightened drama? If you have any thoughts, pop across to that post and leave a comment- I would love, as always, to hear what you think.

‘Farrah’s Story’ a tale of inner strength was the 3rd most popular of all my blog posts last year. The blog had 10,000 hits alone on the day she passed away. We followed this iconic star’s story in her searingly honest documentary, “Farrah’s Story”. “Cancer is a disease that is mysterious, headstrong and makes its own rules,” Fawcett said in the documentary. “And mine, to this date, is incurable. I know that everyone will die eventually, but I do not want to die of this disease.” Sadly, Farrah passed away on the 25th June, 2009.

Golfer Phil Mickelson had a tough year when both his wife, Amy, and mother, Mary were diagnosed with breast cancer.  “We’ve been through a lot,” Mickelson told reporters, “and I’m very proud of my wife and my mom on the fight that they’ve been through.” Both are reported to be responding well to treatment. 

ER actress Maura Tierney, who resigned from her stint on NBC’s Parenthood to undergo treatment for breast cancer, is also reportedly doing well.

So, that is a flavour of what has been most popular and widely read on this blog in 2009. While I have written about celebrities who have cancer on this blog, I equally or perhaps even more so, make a point of featuring “ordinary” women who battle not just cancer but face everyday battles with health insurance, childcare, careers, financial worries. I have italicised “ordinary” women because I do not believe these women are “ordinary” in the dictionary sense, which implies they are of “no exceptional ability, degree, or quality; average” (according to my dictionary definition). The majority of women (and men) dealing with cancer are anything but ordinary – they are in fact extra-ordinary. They may not be celebrities on our screen and in our magazines, but they are definitely people of renown and heroism in my book.  So, I hope to feature lots more stories of these heroes and heroines in 2010, and I need your help to do so. Please send me your surviorship stories in the coming year. Simply e-mail them to and let me share your story with readers. While people will still search for the celeb stories, I hope they will linger a little longer here, and read the truly amazing stories of survivorship from those extra-ordinary people you won’t find on your supermarket shelves, but who nevertheless are the real unsung stars of this world.