Trust me when I say that when going through any cancer treatment, there are multiple doctor’s appointments, treatment plans, test results, medications, medication changes, surgery and treatment dates, questions, answers, notes upon notes that you take and it’s critical to keep track of this information. I know – I went through this almost 20 years ago. For the cancer patient, treatment brings emotional ups and downs along with fatigue and mental fogginess. It’s an added burden to try to remember and log this very important information in one place. And this information becomes a cancer survivor’s history, one that they refer to for years to come. That’s where the Ready for Recovery Cancer Treatment Planner comes in!
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Grimm, who has become a good friend. Julie, a cancer survivor herself, came up with the idea while literally undergoing her own treatment in the chemo infusion room. The Cancer Treatment Planner is for patients and caregiver support. It’s a place where one can keep detailed, organized information, and track every aspect of one’s treatment plan.
It is my pleasure to introduce Julie Grimm to you! Here is her amazing story of recovery AND creation. Through Julie’s difficult journey, she created these beautiful products to help make others’ cancer journeys easier. She really thought of everything! I wish I could have purchased her planner when I was diagnosed! Thank you, Julie!
Julie Grimm – Founder, Ready for Recovery
You never know what’s coming your way, you can only hope you’re prepared for it.
Six months pregnant with my first child, I spoke at my very dearest friend’s memorial service. She had been battling breast cancer for years. It was awful. It still is, and has stirred a fire in my belly and my conviction to never let this disease interfere with my life again.
I’ve always been very health conscious. I eat well and exercise lots. Living in Colorado, I love the outdoors – how could you not? I even love to sleep. There is no history of breast cancer in my family although, to be safe, I convinced my primary care physician to order me a baseline mammogram at 37 years old. The results: dense breasts but no sign of cancer. Relief! Now, I could shelve that unwarranted fear.
Until 2005 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent my very first surgery ever. My husband, Cork, and I were raising two young daughters; Sadie, 6 and Samantha, 3. One thing I was sure of was, nothing in this world was going to take me from them. Thankfully, the tumor was benign but the experience was still terribly frightening.
As life returned to normal I was sure I had dodged a bullet and paid my dues. I was back to work as an account executive at Boulder Magazine, enjoying yoga again, riding my horse and playing in the mountains. Life was good and my most recent mammogram had just came back clean. Relief!
Until February of 2008. Just three short years later and to my utter and absolute astonishment, I too was waging war on breast cancer. Overnight I became inundated with complex information to process, terminology to learn, decisions to make, schedules to juggle, medications to track, a family to comfort and an emotional roller-coaster to ride. Needless to say, that fire in my belly was reignited.
I had no choice but to create some type of order out of the chaos and a way to keep track of the endless information, appointments, and treatment options that came my way. I was determined to become educated and prepared for the decisions, the procedures and the emotions I was facing daily. Interestingly, the more organized I became, the more in control I felt and that control gave me the strength and confidence to persevere. The planner I had created for myself had become a lifesaver and because of its tremendous impact on my journey, my life took a turn!
Literally, while in the infusion room receiving chemotherapy I decided to create what is now the Ready for Recovery Cancer Treatment Planner. Suddenly, I had a new mission in life – the need to share my tool with fellow cancer patients in order to help them navigate their journey with dignity, support and inspiration from someone who has already been there.
Designing Ready for Recovery™ became an important part of my own therapy. The Cancer Treatment Planner is a comprehensive tool to help patients and their caregivers from initial diagnosis through recovery, no matter what their treatment plan. There is a specific place for tracking everything from diagnosis, pathology, side-effects, questions and notes. Ready for Recovery Cancer Planners organize patients, enhance caregiver communication and support a patient’s preparation for each medical appointment. They inspire, guide, create community, lessen isolation and give survivors hints to help them create an even better daily life for themselves after cancer.
Our mission at RFR is to to get these helpful planners into the hands of as many newly-diagnosed cancer patients across the country as we can. In so doing, we’ve recently expanded the line to include a version for any type of cancer appropriate for both men and women and have a Spanish version along with the English one.
Along with the planners, we’ve expanded the line to include a 3-ring binder to keep track of appointments and medications and a journal, which many, including myself, found very helpful when going through this difficult journey. And, we continue to pursue other supportive products and ways to make the journey easier.
Who knew breast cancer would be a blessing. Six years later, I am cancer-free, pursuing my passion helping cancer patients and, in so, feeding my soul everyday in a way I’ve never done before. Life is good! Relief!
The Cancer Treatment Planner is the perfect gift to give yourself, a friend or a loved one facing a diagnosis. To find out more, please visit our website: http://cancerplanners.com.
Julie is both the founder and designer of Ready for Recovery Cancer Treatment Planners helping newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families navigate the emotional, physical and spiritual journey through cancer.
Julie acknowledged early on that a cancer diagnosis is tremendously scary and difficult on top of her role as mother and wife, and with her work schedule. From her cancer experiences, Julie learned how important it would be for her to create a tool that would help her stay organized and prepared every step of the way through her battle with breast cancer. As a veteran advertising sales professional, experienced graphic designer and co-owner of a small bike shop, Julie jumped into creating a tool that would make others’ cancer journeys easier, including her own.
In 2012 with the addition of a business coach and ever-changing legislation guiding whole-person care in the cancer industry, Julie updated the breast cancer planner and added a multidisciplinary product to meet the needs of cancer patients and their caregivers for any kind of cancer. Ready for Recovery Cancer Planners organize patients, enhance caregiver communication and support a patient’s preparation for each medical appointment. They inspire, guide, create community, lessen isolation and give survivors prompts to help them create an even better daily life for themselves after cancer.
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