My Backstory and Disclaimer!

Who am I?
I am a wife, cat mom, hiker of trails, artist, vegan, and yes, a writer. Writing has always been a part of my life, in one way or another, since I was a kid. Starting with keeping a journal, completing writing assignments in high school and college, and then beginning a blog in 2008, the act of writing has always been a part of my life. The subject and the direction of the writing has changed over time, but the physical act of putting my thoughts into written words has remained a constant.

I am also a survivor though I dislike this term. I have been treated successfully with conventional medicine (chemotherapy and radiation) for Hodgkin Lymphoma. That lifesaving treatment came with a cost however and in 2012 I had what is called a "cardiac event" (a heart attack at the age of 42) and subsequently underwent a double coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) of two blocked arteries. I also have psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects a person's skin. Cells turn over much too rapidly and create scaly red patches on the surface of the skin. It's no fun to have psoriasis but I have learned to live with it.

So, what about any of that? Who cares right? Well, I do. I think having had some medical problems makes me a little more empathetic towards others who are having similar difficulties. My viewpoints tend to center around compassion and understanding, at least I hope so. I rarely talk about my medical issues with people unless it seems relevant to the conversation. It's a part of me though and so there isn't any use in avoiding that history.

And in as much as I try to acknowledge and respect that everyone is coming to the table with their own beliefs and backgrounds, I don't make any bones about the fact that conventional medical intervention saved my life. Without chemotherapy and radiation, bypass surgery and standard CAD (coronary artery disease) preventative drugs, I wouldn't be here today. I believe strongly in getting proper and appropriate treatment for all medical conditions. I do what my cardiologist tells me to do which is to take my medications, to exercise, and to watch my diet. I am hopeful for a long future and remain vigilant in my pursuit of wellness.

What Are My Credentials?
I hold a BA in Psychology from Cal State, East Bay (formerly Cal State Hayward). Additionally, I have completed an online Nutrition and Healthy Living certificate program from Cornell University. I have nearly 11 years worth of blogging experience. I have written about my own art and art related topics. Other subjects I write about include hiking, getting out and about in my hometown area, and most recently, wellness, spirituality, and nutrition. All of my writing is informal. It's usually just meant for myself, friends, and family. But, I am happy when strangers read my thoughts and they then comment on that content. The writing is meant to corral my ideas, to entertain to some extent, and to keep my mind sharp. If anyone gleans some much needed information and insight, so much the better.

Some Thoughts on Bias and Content:
I read a lot of blogs and other news articles and know this much: writing out there on the Internet contains bias. It's unfortunate too because many people turn to the Internet for facts and other kinds of information. People use the Internet as a tool to educate themselves and to make informed decisions. As great as the Internet is though and as careful as people are, it's important to keep a few things in mind when reading an article, a post, or any snippet of quick information. Who is the person who wrote that article? What are their credentials? What company do they work for and what is that company's area of concentration or influence? In other words, what is the inherent bias in that article? Additionally, what sort of credentials does the writer have? Are they qualified in any way to write about that subject? It's important to remember that not everyone is an expert and not everyone has the credentials and education to back up their claims and stories. Companies want to make money; that's what they do. Articles, posts and bits of information here and there reflect these facts.

I offer up the above information as a reminder. I would add too that I am no different from many people out there. My writing is biased and colored by my own history, by where I live, my socio economic background, my gender, etc. I try to be balanced in what I put out, but it's tricky. So, keep that in mind. It's up to the reader I feel, ultimately, to filter fact from fiction and to discover the hidden bias in any kind of content. Now, go and read something!

Questions or comments? Please email me directly. libbyfife@ymail.com

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