Erin Byrne Vidovich, who began chemotherapy two days after her 47th birthday, recently celebrated the five year anniversary of the day she received the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. In the cancer world, that’s known as beating the odds.
She’s also beaten the decades-old criticisms of a creative writing professor by blogging about her struggle on both Patch and Blogspot, an endeavor that’s garnered her a nomination in the Yahoo! Women Who Shine Contest in the "Survivor" category.
Sharing the ups, downs and even amusing sidesteps of her harrowing journey with stage 4 breast cancer, Vidovich has endeared herself to readers as someone who’s thriving, and who, in the process of rediscovering herself through the art of crafting of words, is inspiring others.
"If you suddenly thought that your life could be trimmed to only months or so, how would that change your priorities? How would you choose to spend your time and resources? How would this affect your thinking?" she ponders in one blog post. "It has really made me stop and examine myself as well as observe others. All the little things that consume our days, suddenly don't matter at all."
From comical quips of her husband’s mishaps in Kitchen Fires Show He Cares to the darker moments that accompany a life-threatening illness, as in Lay it At God’s Feet and Leave it There, Vidovich uses her vibrant spirit and faith to explore the many dimensions of life with cancer.
But what Vidovich is perhaps most known for is her uplifting messages in the face of adversity. As she said in the title of one blog, It’s Okay to Talk About the Cancer, because giving a voice to those battling for their lives can help healing begin.
"Cancer is a scary, uncomfortable topic, but just breaking the ice with three little words—How are you?—can express much-needed compassion," Vidovich wrote in her blog.
Read more of Vidovich’s blogs at her aptly named Erin’s Serendipity or on Patch, where her popular posts are read by tens of thousands of viewers.
Offering support for others through more than words, she also puts together care packages for new breast cancer patients with money from her own pocket.
To learn more about Vidovich and vote for her in Yahoo!’s contest, which runs through Oct. 29, click here.