Saturday, May 14, 2011

Who's reading this blog, anyhow?

Once in awhile I review the 'stats' on Blogger to see which articles are the most read or where the audience comes from. I started out writing this blog as a window on the world for a couple of people who were in the hospital with Multiple Myeloma (MM), a blood plasma cancer which is considerably more terminal than life itself. Some people with it have had Stem Cell Transplants (STCs) either with their own cells (autologous) or someone else's (allo) and some have had both or none and lots of chemo or medications. Knowing these treatments can create isolation for the patients (needed because of compromised immune systems) I wanted to bring in a little fresh air and fresh thoughts.

So my objective when I started was to provide some entertainment, different views of the world, and also to give my family some idea of where I was and what I was doing. I still try to meet my objectives and from some of the readers, it would appear I am doing that.
Three abandoned kittens were left in a carton near my casa.

But a couple of weeks ago when I looked at those 'stats,' I was surprised to see one (1) reader came from Burkina Faso. How many of you already know where that is? It used to be the Republic of Upper Volta when it was ruled by France in the western part of Africa, but their independence changed the name which now means "Men standing upright," or "Men of  Honor" and 'father's house,' a compilation of the two languages stemming from that country. Thanks to Wikipedia, you can find out more information on the link provided.

This was quite a surprise to me, and the reader never left a comment, so I have no idea what prompted him or her to stop by. (The statistics do not show me when the readers read a piece where they are from, only that on one day there were six or seven readers and over a week they were from five or six countries.) Was it a woman from Burkina who was frustrated with a country motto of "Unity, Progress, Justice" but finds her countryMEN less than enthusiastic about giving her a voice? I will probably never know unless that reader comes back.

What I also learned from Wikipedia is that the Burkinabes are fed up with a President who has a private plane and who has become very wealthy in 23 years of ruling the country and the people want the wealth to be more evenly distributed. Apparently there have been riots since February 2011 and as recently as April 28 when they held another protest seeking redress of their grievances. Have you read about this anywhere?

A few of my readers are ex-pats-to-be who want to know what it is like to live here, some are future travelers to Colombia realizing that it is no less dangerous than a supermarket in Arizona, USA, because there are crazy people with insane objectives all over the world and it seems to be a matter of timing as to whether or not you end up involved in that craziness.

I know I have more than a few readers who have MM, or their caregivers, people I have come to know as a consequence of a relative developing it. I have learned a lot about the disease from their blogs and become part of their blog family providing words of comfort or cheering on the sidelines when something is working and receiving the same here.

To me this audience is the most important because they have taught me that living life and writing about it is a day-to-day experience. Everyone has challenges to face and a timeline - known or unknown - in which to deal with it. 

Yesterday we had a 4.9 earthquake only 24 kilometers away. I really felt the shaking this time and so did Scott, the other artist's dog on the property. He was anxious and clingy all day afterwards.

Today I learned that Harmon Killebrew, 73, a nationally known ball player, has announced his plans to enter Hospice after a failed attempt to overcome cancer. I met this man in Boise, Idaho when I worked for a foundation that held a special event to honor native-born Idahoans. I don't really 'know' him well, not even an acquaintance. But his decision to live his life in whatever time he has left without further combat is a bold move and I can understand and sympathize with that choice. 

It was the mention of his name combined with yesterday's earthquake that caused me to reflect today on my own life and history and the importance of living... and giving what can be given. I hope my readers find the gifts offered up. And if you only like cat pictures, these are for you.

I decided to keep this little girl. Her name is "Sombra," or
"Shadow" in English. She is very small. The other kittens
were given to a pet store to find them homes.


  1. Oh My Gawd!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sombra is a beautiful little girl! I could kiss that little face off! I do hope that her eyes stay the color.

    Glad that you're safe and sound after your earthquake, and sorry for the loss of your friend, honey.

    Give Scott a sloppy doggy kiss from Aunt Nan.

  2. I read this blog! :-)

    The world is a wild and crazy place and we need people like you to blog to keep us grounded and realize the world is not as wild and crazy as the media makes it. I don't watch/read the news. I read blogs instead.

    Sombra is adorable. Give her a little kiss for me please. :-)

  3. Sombra is a beautiful looking cat. The way she is holding her head to one side makes her look intelligent too.

    I love our visitors from far away places, it makes me feel "interesting".

  4. I bet the reader from Burkina Faso got better reception in their traditional house than I do in mine!

    Sombra is so cute. :D

  5. Thank you, Special Readers, for your comments and good wishes!

  6. Hello from the exotic locale of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. For my blog, I have a hit counter that tells me not only where people are located (I've had lots of interesting hits from places like South Africa and the mideast, etc.) but what searches led them to my site. Many searches are about the rare form of cancer I battled (PMP), but just as many are for something random that I posted unrelated to cancer, like an out of the mainstream cartoon character I joked about once. It is interesting to see that some of the random, non-cancer folks stick around to read a few pages before jumping back into the internet.

    I love your writing and photos, keep sharing your thoughts!


  7. Keep at it, S. You are doing good. Like the photos. Thankful you are safe. There so many earthquakes nowadays...

  8. E says: "SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!" (she requested 12 exclamation points to emphasize just how cute that kitty is :)