WHEN Emma Tickle was diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumour at the age of 29 repeatedly explaining her plight to her friends and relatives became emotionally draining.
So too was trying to find information about sarcoma, the soft tissue cancer which caused an aggressive 31cm long tumour to form in her right thigh.
As she sat in Royal Liverpool Hospital, trying to face up to her devastating diagnosis, the difficulties she felt in responding to the many text messages checking on her wellbeing grew.
It was at that point Emma, from Newton-le-Willows, decided to keep an online diary of her cancer battle.
The customer service manager, who lives with partner John McCloskey (32), set up her own blog and via her iPad she is chronicling her fight against the disease. However, what she intended to be a commentary to keep friends, relatives and other patients up to date has spread to a much wider audience - with the blog racking up more than 20,000 views inside just a few weeks.
Emma, who underwent a four hour operation to have the tumour removed, told the Star: "I have such a large family and amount of friends and everyone wanted to know how I was doing.
"Replying to so many text messages meant I was getting really emotional. So I thought if I write it all down in a blog perhaps it would be easier.
"It just says how I feel but some people tell me they have been crying reading parts while others have been laughing at stories I've posted about being in hospital - like when a woman kept on waking me up in the night.
"When I was diagnosed we tried to find out about the cancer but could find very little other than what we were told by the surgeon and MacMilllan. There was no one I could turn to.
"If my story can begin to help just one person it will be better than what I have had to go through.”
Emma had initially believed the lump in her thigh was simply down to the muscle growing after she had been hobbling around on crutches since breaking the big toe in her left foot.
However, when it became increasingly painful and her mobility was restricted she went to the doctor. After being sent for a scan it swiftly became clear that it was serious.
She added: "The scan showed a tumour of 21cm - by the time I went in for surgery a fortnight later it had grown to 31cm.
"I've been left with a 44cm scar and because it was a grade three tumour I need to go on a six week course of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge.”
To read Emma's blog go to: http://dizzytix.wordpress.com/