In 2005, Julie Grimm underwent surgery for a brain tumor. Just three years later, she discovered she had breast cancer. Rather than let this second diagnosis defeat her, Julie conceived an idea that became her lifesaver through treatment: The Ready for Recovery Breast Cancer Planner (RR). She has since helped hundreds of women with breast cancer, as they gain a little bit of control over a very out-of-control situation. Patients become more grounded and organized with a better understanding and a clearer plan of how to navigate through the treatment process.
It all started with her own store-bought planner, which Julie took everywhere to stay organized and on top of her treatment.
“I felt so empowered with it. I actually had a handle on the chaos, the terminology, the scheduling...” Julie says. “While going through chemo I realized I could use the knowledge I had gained from my experiences to create a tool to help others."
The logs are essential for a patient navigating through confusing treatment options.
“One of the things that was so difficult for me was remembering what pain medicine worked and didn’t and the reactions I had to them after several surgeries. You think you'll never forget, but you do,” Julie reflects. “Having had the medication log would have saved me the pain and anxiety of not getting the pain drugs right the fist time and it would have saved the docs money and time on wasted drugs,” she says.
Aside from the medical logs, there are calendar pages, an address book and plenty of space to write questions and notes, all with colorful tabs at your fingertips. The planner contains placeholders for receipts, business cards and a CD.
Along with its practical and organizational benefits, RR was designed to act as a security blanket; something comforting for a patient to hold on.
Julie decided that the planner also needed a voice, to carry on the wisdom gained from those who have battled cancer firsthand.
For this reason, you’ll see inspirational thoughts and helpful insights sprinkled throughout the planner.
“It would have been so valuable for me to have had someone tell me what I was going to be facing and how to best prepare and avoid mistakes.”
“It sounds really funny but I dug deep into my soul for the thoughts. It was all very fresh to me having just been through it and I did a lot of research, talked to patients, nurses and the administration staffs.”
Lastly, Julie included a treatment journal in each of the sets. She believes that learning to journal through a trauma can be very emotionally therapeutic and a patients’ emotional wellbeing is essential to healing.
As a graphic designer, sales professional, wife and mother of two daughters, Julie has much to share about keeping life in balance.
“I truly believe that your psychosocial health is imperative to complete healing. So find time and ways to be quiet, relax, reflect and do things that make you happy. Try to laugh every day. I know how hard it is find humor and how easy it is to be sad and depressed. But finding ways to laugh will keep that light shining bright at the end of the tunnel.”
Ready for Recovery is available in a 2, 3 or 5-piece set. The 2-piece is available in the breast cancer version or the general cancer version designed specifically for anyone facing any other type of cancer. A percentage of RR profits go towards cancer patient support.
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