January 1, 2010, Newsletter Issue #112: A Personal Journal Helps Answer the Hard Questions

Tip of the Week

Studies have proven that people with cancer have benefited from keeping a personal journal. You don't have to possess special writing skills to keep a journal. There is no need to worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar. A personal journal is just that . . . personal! It is a book written for your eyes only. A trusted confidant. Most breast cancer patients find out really fast that family and friends try to keep the conversation “nice,” avoiding any reference to cancer, but sometimes it's more important to your health to keep the conversation “real.” So a journal is a place to ask questions that you can't ask because they make your family and friends feel uncomfortable. You need to ask those questions. “What if I don't survive this?” “How much more treatment can I endure?” “What did I do to deserve breast cancer?” It's a place to write letters to people that you never intend to send just to get the words off of your chest. It's also a practical place to record your medications, notes about your medical team and treatment, and your breast cancer research. Looking back on what you wrote years after treatment is over will amaze you. You'll remember things that you thought you'd never forget, and appreciate how far you have come!

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