The breast cancer journey is filled with decisions, doctor visits, tests, treatments, medications, side effects, and stress. Below are some tips to help a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer take control of this overwhelming experience.
Four Tips for Organizing Your Journey
1. Request copies of all your cancer treatment records and set up a personal medical file. Your file may include lab tests, pathology reports, x-ray results, prescription regimen, and follow-up care instructions. Over time, it’s easy to forget when you were treated, who treated you, and what kind of drugs you were given.
2. Buy a journal to organize your thoughts, take notes, and document your experience. Some days you may feel like writing in your journal and other days you won’t. Don’t worry about the entries being sparse; even a few notes can help you remember important emotions or milestones. Keeping a journal can be a great defense against feeling overwhelmed or afraid.
3. Use a directory to maintain personal and medical team information so it will be handy when needed. A directory is a good place to organize information such as physician names, office addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for people you need to call in an emergency. You can also use the directory to record insurance policy information, contact names, and numbers.
4. Keep track of all of your doctor’s appointments, treatment dates, medicine doses, work schedule, and social activities in one calendar. In addition to recording your upcoming appointments, you may want to describe how you feel from one day to the next. This information will help you and your doctor find ways to make you more comfortable.
Staying organized during your cancer experience will help you stay calm and in control and will give you the order needed to focus your energy on becoming well.
About the Author: Kim Regenhard is a breast cancer survivor. In spring of 1998, Kim Regenhard discovered a lump in her breast. When tests confirmed the lump was cancerous, Kim felt her world had been turned upside down. Although shocked and scared, Kim quickly decided her best strategy would be to remain positive, active and to educate herself about the disease.
Now cancer free, Kim has used her skills and experience to develop a tool that will help others navigate the physical and emotional course of cancer. With the help of other breast cancer survivors, Kim has created A Survivor’s Guide for the Breast Cancer Journey, a gift from those who have walked and survived the breast cancer journey to those who find themselves taking the first steps.
To learn more about Kim Regenhard, RiverStone Journals, and Kim’s first book, A Survivor’s Guide for the Breast Cancer Journey, please visit www.riverstonejournals.com.
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