Blogging and strolling…

In March 2007, when I created this blog, I thought nobody would be very interested in my story — the story of a woman with a relatively uncommon type of cancer (based on American Cancer Society statistics for 2014, U.S. citizens have a 0.7% lifetime risk of developing myeloma). And, as if my membership in a rare cancer club wasn’t enough, I was (still am) at the inactive or smoldering stage…not to mention my decision to ignore all the experts’ “just watch and wait…” recommendations, choosing instead to test a few scientifically-backed alternative treatments, mainly curcumin.

Ho-hum, zzzzz, boooooring…

Well, I was wrong. My readership kept growing…to the point where I admit I became somewhat “greedy”: I wanted have more and more readers. I wanted to be THE most popular myeloma blogger on the block. ;-) Well, okay, I’m exaggerating here, but it’s true that for some time I did get dragged into a sort of blogging obsession. I even tried to find ways to increase my blog “traffic,” that is, ways to attract increasing numbers of readers/visitors to my blog. Apparently the best system is to write a post EVERY SINGLE day. In fact, many bloggers write more than one post a day.

So for a while I wrote a post every day, too. Or I tried to.

But at one point last year I began to ask myself: 1. What’s more important…quality or quantity? 2. Should I go play cards with my girlfriends or stay home and write a post for tomorrow? 3. Won’t my readers get bloody tired of hearing about my cats or even the research I do for myeloma? Wouldn’t they prefer to know or imagine that I am out there, in the real world, doing fun/interesting things?

I finally decided that blogging every single day simply wasn’t worth it: it absorbed too much of my free time…and now I don’t really care if only ten people read my blog every day. Even though my blog is VERY important to me, and it will always be important, I have made my choice: blogging takes second place. I am going to enjoy my life as much as possible.

And, to be honest, even when I don’t publish anything for more than a week, Google Analytics tells me that hundreds of people are still reading my blog every day. True, those numbers usually go up whenever I post something new, but I’m satisfied even when they aren’t as impressive. I don’t need five million readers…_MG_2485Indeed, if I had millions of readers, I would NEVER be able to answer any messages. I’m hard pressed to answer the ones I already get (see the post I wrote on this topic a month or so ago).

Okay, let’s move on. Speaking of living out in the real world, yesterday I had a lovely (and very cheap for Florence!) lunch at the vegetarian restaurant with a couple of friends — one of my best friends, who lives in Arezzo (a lovely Tuscan city, about a 40-minute drive from Florence) and a college friend of hers whom I hadn’t seen since…well, since I was here in Florence doing my M.A….23 years ago…is that possible? Yikes. Time…_MG_2484

Anyway, the three of us had planned to meet at 12 pm, but yesterday was such a splendid sunny day that I took an early bus into town so I could stroll around on my own for a bit…and take a few photos…

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of these tourists (above) standing in line while taking photos of the Duomo (Florence’s magnificent cathedral) and Giotto’s bell tower (I took more or less the same photo after they’d left, as you can see). Too cute!

Well, okay, I guess that’s about it for today. I’m still working on a couple of posts, but Stefano and I have visitors staying with us this weekend, and I’ve been getting ready for that. Not easy, especially since we are still dealing with our newly adopted — elderly but feisty — kitty, Pammy. Speaking of Pammy, we figure that at least one of her ancestors must have been a barn owl. Seriously. IMG_9995Whenever one of our other cats gets too close to Pammy, she emits the loudest and scariest screeeeeeech I have ever heard…I mean, it makes me jump! And it makes the other cats run for their lives and hide. It’s understandable: Pammy has had to defend herself from other aggressive outside cats for the past 9-10 years. So she needs time to adjust…I just hope this screeching business will stop soon…uhm, my nerves, y’know… ;-)

And finally, speaking of cats, my sweet handsome little boy, Prezzemolo, would like to wish a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN to everyone! :-)