6 Things A Cancer Survivor Wishes You Knew with Guest Blogger Sam Kuhr

Samantha (Sam) Kuhr is a longtime Erin Condren employee, travel enthusiast, boy mom, cancer survivor and travel blogger. She can be found detailing her incredible travels, beautiful family and courageous health battle on her blog, My Travelling Circus. Sam is a beloved member of the planner community and active planner conference moderator and speaker. Today she’s bravely guest blogging and sharing first-hand tips for navigating a conversation with someone with cancer.

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Three years ago my life and body changed forever when I discovered I had stage 2 breast cancer and needed many major surgeries and possibly chemotherapy and radiation. I had two cancerous tumors removed, both breasts, and 13 lymph nodes.

I’m grateful for each day I get to walk this earth, and couldn’t have survived without the outpouring of love and support from my ‘village’, however, I’m permanently changed.

Here are six things a cancer survivor wishes you knew:

1. Sometimes I’m so nervous when I go to my oncology appointments, I vomit in the bathroom of the waiting room. But I put on this brave face when you ask how my appointment went as though it’s no big deal.

2. I prefer to hear success stories, not horror stories. Please be sensitive when sharing stories about your friend who had a double mastectomy at 38, only for the cancer to come back three years later and now she’s dead. It’s not that I don’t care about your friend, I really do…but this is a cancer survivors greatest fear, and it’s hard to go there.

3. I no longer have control over my body and emotions. The chemicals I take on a daily basis are totally running this ship. Some days I barely feel them, and other days I don’t even know who this crazy person is. None of this is deliberate. Please don’t take it personally, and please forgive me. I’d love to not take these drugs, but you see, those same chemicals that sometimes turn me crazy, are the same chemicals that are supposed to keep me alive.

4. Sometimes it feels like a bad dream, and I can hardly believe this happened to me, until I see my Erin Condren LifePlanner™ filled with dates, test results, business cards and future appointments.

5. When people say “You’re all good now right?”…. what I want to say is that I’m all good unless these cancer cells in my body decide to grow and take a tour of my body again. You see this is how it works for me now. If my cancer returns, it’s not because I did or didn’t do something… it’s because those are the cards I’ve been dealt.

6. I honestly feel lucky as crazy as that sounds. It’s amazing I’m still here. Instead of feeling angry cancer paid me a visit, I feel I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to celebrate another day. I also know there are no guarantees. For any of us. There never were. And yes, I worry about ‘recurrence’ more often than I want to, but I remind myself we’re all here temporarily on borrowed time and each day is a gift.

Throughout my journey, I’ve had the good fortune to meet an incredible network of people involved with breast cancer awareness. I feel incredibly grateful that Erin Condren is a huge supporter, and generously donates 50% of sales back from her breast cancer awareness collection. I’m thrilled she has partnered this year with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and look forward to supporting research and prevention of this horrible disease that affects so many of us.

Let’s make a pact to live life large each day we’re here! Who’s with me?

 

We Love Teachers & Giving Back!

ecxdonorschoose_960We’re honored to announce that we will be partnering with DonorsChoose.org again this year to celebrate the unofficial Back to School season.  For every Teacher Lesson Planner sold now through June 30th, we will be donating $1 to projects of YOUR choosing.  In August we will open up a nomination period in which we will ask you, our customers, to nominate projects on the DonorsChoose.org platform that you think are deserving of being funded.  The Erin Condren staff will then select projects from those nominations and other projects near and dear to our hearts to fund using the money raised.  

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First look at the NEW (hardbound!) notebook!

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I’m so excited to share this sneak peek with y’all! I’ve had a vision of a stylish HARDBOUND notebook for a while now, and I am so happy to see this idea come to life! This sleek, stylish, satin finish book is is the perfect addition to the EC collection.

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EC Gives Back in 2016

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‘Tis the season for giving, and this year, we are so proud to have donated funds, resources, and our time to organizations near and dear to our (and our customers’) hearts! With well over $300k worth of monetary and product donations to various organizations such as DonorsChoose, Pink Lotus Foundation, School on Wheels, Baby2Baby, it feels so great to be able to give back to our community- especially during the holidays   ❤️

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Our Texas office prepped whole pallets of fun products to send to our friends at the Central Texas Food Bank! They partner with over 250 agencies across the state and were so grateful to receive the supplies they need to keep doing great work.
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At Baby2Baby, the Erin Condren team enjoyed a day of wrapping gifts and packing holiday surprise bags for families in need. Team members sorted through the thousands of donations to help distribute necessary items to low-income children ages 0-12 years. By distributing to non-profit partner organizations including homeless and domestic violence shelters, Head Start programs, and children’s hospitals, Baby2Baby will serve more than 125,000 children this year and we were so glad to be able to help out a great organization such as this!
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Thanks to all those who contributed to our charitable donations in 2016; your support has helped countless children, families, and schools in need.

3 Reasons You NEED Neon!

They say trends come full circle, and after working in a creative environment for the last ten years, I’ve come to realize it’s totally true- and in the case of neon, totally AWESOME! How can you not be drawn to the energy of these bright, brilliant hues? I’ll leave my big hair and headbands in the eighties, but neon is never going out of style!

1. Blossom and ikat were the perfect picks for the neon prints- against bold backgrounds, it makes for a fun twist on classic designs! The repeating patterns contrast against the lunar blue, lift off lemon, outrageous orchid, and plasma pink colorways are enough to get anyone’s pulse racing!

2. When we set out to design this collection, it was extra-important to me that we do justice to the vivid colors that set neon apart from its sister shades. That’s why we selected specially dyed paper to pump up the palette as much as possible! Furthermore, to make our patterns pop, we needed a special white ink to create contrast. This is not something that’s easy to find in the printing world – but we really wanted to nail it with neon, so that’s exactly what we did!

3. It’s amazing to see just how beautiful these designs are in person, especially when you mix and match them. We were so struck by how lovely they look, we knew we couldn’t stop at just books. Keep your eyes and ears open for matching neon elastic bands coming soon.. how radical is THAT?!

Need a closer look at neon? Shop the full collection here!