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?

 

How To Host A Planner Meet-Up

Erin Condren Rose Gold Custom PlannerHave you ever wanted to plan your own meet-up for local bloggers or fellow planners in your area?

We attended a Southern California planner meet up to connect in person with the incredible individuals we so often speak with online. You may have seen the hashtag #plannerfriendsmakethebestfriends on Instagram, and it’s true! This community is simply filled with organized and stylized people.

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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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BLOGGER TAKEOVER: Planning to Succeed in 2017

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Shannon H. Sullivan is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and plant-based cook, creator of the popular health coaching program Your Balanced Lifestyle, and web host/producer on Youtube where she posts weekly videos that inspire healthy eating and living. She lives in sunny Florida with her husband and Maltese, Mickey.

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Can you believe 2017 is right around the corner?! I don’t know about you, but I love to set new goals for each new year. The start of a new year, in my opinion, is the perfect opportunity to plan, organize, and specify my desires and intentions.

Over the years I’ve learned a few tips that help me when I plan and set new goals. I share this same process with my one-on-one clients when I begin my health coaching program. You want this to be a fun experience and something you can look forward to – so set goals that make you feel excited and challenged, but also goals that are within your reach! I tell my clients that small, manageable steps toward your goals are much more sustainable than making huge, drastic changes right away.

Every time I start creating new goals I first make sure to have a brand new notebook on hand. There’s something special about having a fresh, clean notebook that makes me super inspired to begin writing new dreams and intentions. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way right? 😉

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I chose the Erin Condren Notebook because it’s extremely customizable. You can choose your own interchangeable cover design (and personalization!), size, and the interior layout. The layouts come in three different styles – Productivity (my personal fave…because LISTS!), Classic Lined, and Dot Grid. Each Notebook also includes one sheet of flag stickers, which I love to use so I can organize sections and highlight special events.

When I write goals, I love to dig deep by asking myself, “What will achieving this goal do for me? What will be different in my life?” This allows me to gain insight into what the goal will actually DO for me – that way I won’t lose focus once it becomes difficult to maintain. I can be reminded of how it makes me feel, as well as my original vision – the reason behind why I started.

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After I write three big goals, I then hold myself accountable by jotting down a few weekly goals at the beginning of every week in my Erin Condren Life Planner. This helps me stay on track toward meeting my long-term goals for the year.

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I also like to set a theme for the new year by choosing one word that resonates with me and the tone I’d like to set for the entire year. Once I choose my word, I write it on the inside cover of my Life Planner. The covers are interchangeable, so you can switch them up and coordinate them with each season! I also love how the inside of each cover has a special spot where you can write down things you want to remind yourself of throughout the year. I like to write my word here because it helps me stay focused on the overall feeling I want to capture that year.

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I keep track of my daily schedule in my LifePlanner and use a List Notepad to track my daily to-do list.

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One of my resolutions is to take care of myself by making healthy food at home, so I especially love the Snap-in Meal Planner Dashboard. This meal planner snaps into my LifePlanner and helps me stay on top of my dinner plans for each week. I keep a grocery list on the back so I know what foods/ingredients I need to purchase at the end of each week. The Wet-Erase Markers make it easy for me to wipe off the board once I need to plan for the new week!

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I hope these tips inspire you to make 2017 your best year yet!

xx Shannon