Today is April Fool’s Day, but Chemo Class was no joke.
This was an incredibly useful 90 minutes. We got information on what to expect, how to apply for a free wig, signing up for make up classes (because chemo can screw with how you look and that affects your mental outlook), a nice expanding segmented folder to hold all the reports and excess papers I’ve collected, and a very comprehensive “Chemo Quick Tips” list. All presented by a Nurse Educator who covered what we need to do to care for ourselves during the period of our chemo treatments, things to watch out for and who to call with questions or concerns (they have a phone center of oncology nurses that can help!)
But the real prize is a 3-ring binder that’s a “guide for self-care through cancer therapy.” This is provided free by a group called Cancer101. From their website:
CANCER101′s mission is to empower, inform and engage cancer patients and their caregivers to take control over their diagnoses and partner with their healthcare team to make informed decisions by navigating the cancer journey. Our tools are designed to empower patients and caregivers to take control over their diagnosis from the moment they learn they have cancer through the next ten years of follow-up care. C101 helps anyone touched by cancer including the newly diagnosed, those with a recurrence, metastatic disease, survivors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.
Everything is spelled out in this binder. How to handle pain, decreased appetite, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, infection precautions, low blood cell count, safety precautions, nausea, vomiting, nutritional guidelines, oral care instructions (very important!), and an FAQ. And that’s just the first section! Other sections include a calendar planner (to track doctor appointments), an address book (to keep track of doctor information), a medical history tracker, a symptoms tracker, medical/insurance bills tracker, questions to ask the doctor, information on clinical trials, cancer information resources, and a dictionary of cancer terms. Whew! This will be like reading “War and Peace!”
If you are dealing with cancer, click the above photo and order a planner — it’s free and it will really help you get organized whether your the patient or the care giver.
I’m in the process of changing over from my spiral notebook to my new C101 planner. Updating my documentation is energizing!