Guest blog by Samantha Kuhr, Erin Condren Ambassador Relations Manager, Blogger at My Travelling Circus, and Breast Cancer Survivor
Hearing the words, “I’m afraid you have breast cancer,” was surreal. In one instant life as I knew it ended, and I realized life would never be the same. My heart began to race, my head began to spin, and I immediately thought of my two young boys who could be left without a mother. There were so many unknowns, it was all out of my control, and my whole life flashed before me.
The following four weeks were filled with doctor appointments, tests, and procedures, as I began to formulate a plan for my treatment. My Erin Condren LifePlanner™ was my lifeline to keep my appointments and test results in one handy place. These appointments were often intense and were always stressful. However, when I walked into each doctor’s office with my beautiful organized system, it felt like my superpower. My LifePlanner™ gave me a sense of control in my new out-of-control world. Not to mention the nurses and doctors thought I was the most organized and stylized patient they’d ever had! 😉
My LifePlanner™ was my security blanket throughout this whole ordeal, helping me navigate my seemingly endless appointments, surgeries, physical therapies, and treatments. I’m so incredibly grateful to have this part of my life behind me.
Throughout my journey, I was truly grateful to work for a female-owned company, that not only supported me and my journey but embraced me and my journey. For several years now, Erin Condren has partnered with the Breast Cancer Research Fund (BCRF) to create special edition LifePlanners, self-care tools perfect for those with breast cancer, and gifts that give back 50% to BCRF through the end of October 2021.
In fact, when I was asked to assist our product development team with our Breast Cancer Petite Journal and our Medical Treatment Planner, I was honored to use my experience to help develop tools to navigate a truly devastating situation. The Erin Condren and BCRF partnership feels so meaningful to me personally, knowing we are helping those whose life changes the minute they hear those dreaded words. It fills my soul with joy.
Now I’m on the other side of breast cancer, I spend significant time speaking with women recently diagnosed with breast cancer, friends of friends who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, and survivors of breast cancer. One question I’m ALWAYS asked is, “What can I do? What does she need?”
Let me help you. Here are 8 ways to support someone with breast cancer, including useful, essential gifts that give back to breast cancer research:
- Erin Conren LifePlanner™: This is perfect for keeping track of ALL appointments and test results in one easy place when navigating treatment options. This information is referred to often.
- Breast Cancer Treatment Journal: A place to log and track treatment once a treatment plan has been established.
- BCRF Planner Charm: This gave me something to focus on when I didn’t want to look at the doctor, or when the scan images in front of me were too unbearable to look at.
- Gratitude Journal: Life feels dark, it’s important to track positive feelings too.
- Sherpa Blanket: This was my emotional and physical protective shield. It’s so comforting and cozy to wrap around a broken body – not to mention those treatment rooms are freezing cold!
- Bubble Gum Designer Mechanical Pencil: She’ll need a good pencil since appointments and protocols change all the time.
- Unconditional Support: Be there and show up. Listen, and I mean really listen. Resist the urge to share the article you read about the person who ate pineapple for a month and their breast cancer miraculously disappeared. Resist the urge to use the words “you should…..,” resist the urge to judge if your friend wants to drink tequila. Heck she’s just been diagnosed with breast cancer! Show up with unconditional support (and tequila!).
- Acts of Kindness: Don’t send a message asking, “What can I do to help?” While you mean well, she has no idea what she needs … her world was just turned upside down. Instead organize a meal chain, organize a carpool for children (if needed), drop off a green juice on the doorstep and text that it’s there (she’ll need nutrients and that’s the last thing on her mind).
My battle is far from over, and I could be sharing a very different story or not be here to share at all had I detected this disease later. I cannot stress the importance of staying on top of your preventative care annual visits. Unfortunately, breast cancer affects millions. Early detection really does save lives. If something doesn’t feel right; get it checked. If something doesn’t look right; get it checked. ???
Discover more self-care tools and gifts that give back to the Breast Cancer Research Fund.