When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2016, I started a journal. When I went to see the doctor that day, I knew I was going to have questions and because of my emotional state I probably wouldn’t remember what she told me. I recorded everything in a notebook from that day forward. I wish now I had used something prettier.
I recorded everything in that notebook. It has the dates and times of doctors appointments, what the doctors told me at those appointments, the plan for treatment and what I could expect going forward. It includes dates like when my hair started falling out and when my head was shaved. I recorded how I felt each day and after every treatment, what I ate, when I exercised and what I did, how I performed at work, how much sleep I got, and much more.
It became a great resource. It contains a lot of details but I wish I’d written down even more. This morning I looked at it for the first time in over a year. There were things I had forgotten and it was interesting to read through again.
Looking back, I wish I had put all the papers in a 3 ring binder but I didn’t think of it then. All my paperwork is paper clipped together by category and in a big envelope. It contains the journal, copies of results from surgery and tests, information on the chemo drugs I received and possible side effects, prescription information, all bills associated with my treatment, instructions on how to measure for a wig, information on the port I received, and more.
I’m sharing this in the hopes that the information will be beneficial to you or someone you know. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is very overwhelming and emotionally draining. Hearing what other people did was helpful to me. I want to pass on something that ended up being very important during my journey.
These things can also make a big difference: stay positive, be as active as you can, have faith, and fight hard.