Manage the Chaos:
Managing the chaos of a cancer diagnosis is a daunting task especially given a newly diagnosed cancer patients emotional state. Your world has suddenly turned up side down. You’re scared, overwhelmed and anxious. You’ve tried your best to listen and understand but your head is spinning. Take a breath, give yourself a minute to accept what’s happening and then get ready for your fight.
Organization is the key to grounding yourself during this stressful time. Chaos is never therapeutic. The more organized you can be, the more receptive, sensible and in control you will feel and the greater strength and confidence you will have when processing the information and making your treatment decisions.
There will be complex information and terminology to learn, decisions to make, schedules to juggle, medications to track, a family to comfort and an emotional rollercoaster to ride. There will be an enormous amount of information to manage and it is critical to start the journey with a good organizational system in place. Find your self a planner.
More importantly, one that is designed for the task.
Be Organized & Empowered:
Your planner needs to organize all of the information pertaining to your diagnosis, pathology and treatment protocols. It should have a place to log your medications and keep track of your questions and notes so everything is easily accessible at all times.
Just the simple act of participating in the organization and tracking of your personal information will help you process your emotions and better understand your diagnosis and treatment path. You will be able to refer back to your notes, charts and reminders to refresh your memory. You’ll have a place to jot down that question that wakes you up in the middle of the night, you’ll know what time you took your last meds and then there is “chemo brain”. Yes, it’s real and your planner will become your “brain” when you can’t remember what happened at breakfast. All of these benefits will help to alleviate some of the fear and confusion that goes hand in hand with cancer.
When you’re not feeling well, you can easily share your planner with your caregivers and medical team to bring them up to speed on your schedule, medications, side effects and anything else that’s important to communicate. Communication is key to keeping yourself supported. We suggest a paper-based system for many reasons. One of the most important being, there is no need to struggle with technology, batteries or passwords. Another is, the research that supports benefits when a patient uses writing for expression. There are also sensory benefits to holding on to something tangible versus starring at a screen.
Patients often refer to their planners as their security blanket or even their bible. It’s best to take it everywhere so you’ll have it with you in waiting rooms, at doctor visits and especially by your bed at night. You can write in it, draw in it or just hold on to it knowing it has all of your information safely tucked away. Ultimately, your planner will be a comprehensive and accurate medical history of your entire cancer journey which is an invaluable resource.
A Tool for the Task:
I know what it’s like to be unprepared and unorganized facing critical illness. After a very chaotic and stressful first round, I learned that lesson. Years later, when diagnosed with breast cancer, I designed an organizational tool to support me knowing that I wasn’t going to face the journey without it. It became a “lifesaver”. I took my planner everywhere I went, I referred back to it morning, noon and night and it always had the answers I was looking for. My planner kept me calm, kept me engaged and gave me a feeling of control and empowerment. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
And because it was so helpful for me, I’ve designed an even better one for you. The Ready for Recovery Cancer Treatment Planner will help you navigate treatment, know what to expect, how to prepare and how to organize all of the details. It is a lot more than just lined pages and boxes for information. It’s a comprehensive, easy to use, organizational system that will guide you through the process. There is a specific place for tracking everything from diagnosis to medications, procedures and
notes. The planner includes questions to ask each of your doctors, terminology, logs and charts. Additionally, the planner includes inspiring quotes, and tips on how to take care of your self from those that have been through the process and learned from their mistakes.
Many people today prefer apps and other electronic resources, but our paper-based method offers users more options, more expression, inspiration, guidance and the ability to easily share and communicate with caregivers. While your electronic device may run out of battery, your Cancer Treatment Planner never will. Take your planner everywhere you go, and remember the Ready for Recovery Cancer Treatment Planner is designed by survivors, for survivors – and that means YOU.