Thursday, June 16, 2011

Caregiver's Handbook

You'll receive more information and paperwork on this journey than you can possibly keep track of. Take control by making yourself a handbook: a loose-leaf notebook to hold everything and to write in.

Have the following tabs in your notebook:
• Names and phone numbers of the patient, caregiver, oncologist, all medical personnel, family, friends, and religious leader (pastor, priest or rabbi). You may lose your cell phone or use up its battery, so don’t depend on it.
• Notes taken at all appointments. Also write what happens with the patient at home, including changes in temperature, nausea, pain, or anything that requires help. Write what you did and how the patient was 30 minutes and 60 minutes later.
• Questions to ask the doctor. Write them down whenever you think of them. Ask at the next appointment and write the answers.
• A list of prescriptions and other meds the patient is taking, as well as the dosage amount and when. A triage nurse in the ER can just input this info from your list, saving you time at checkin.
• Medical info from the doctor: any pamphlets or papers you get.
• Results from tests. Put the most recent in front, so they'll be easier to find.
• Encouragement: cards and e-mails. These will come in handy if you end up admitted to the hospital unexpectedly. You will then have some words of encouragement to get you through.
• Insurance :Keep every bill or correspondence you get from your health care organization or Medicare.
• Planning for the future: Make a list of things you’d like to do when the cancer goes into remission, like a restaurant, ice skating, or Disney World. When you can, make one of these wishes come true.

For more info, go to and download the first chapter. It lists more sections and provides valuable information to help you. If you'd prefer, at this website you can order a notebook already created and ready to use.

Learn all you can. Knowledge is power, and you need all the power you can muster!
Love to you on your journey-

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Caregiver's Guide

My book, Stepping Through Cancer: A Guide for the Journey, is now available. Click on the link on the upper right corner of this page to go to my website.

You don't have to take this journey alone. This caregiver's guide will show you what to expect, how to handle it, and what to do with all the information you get. It's a way to take control when you feel everything is out of control.

The two most important things are: Don't give up. And don't go it alone. Many others have been where you are and can help you. Give them the gift of sharing with you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fear of the unknown

The worst part about cancer is not knowing.
You don't know
• how treatment will go
• what side effects you'll face
• how much pain there will be
• what tomorrow holds

And not knowing brings with it fear. That’s normal.

The best way to combat fear is to learn all you can—--about the cancer, the treatments and possible side effects, anything you can get your hands on. Research online, visit your local library or go to a book store. Don’t give up until you’ve found what you’re looking for. The more you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to face what today brings.

My book "Stepping Through Cancer: A Guide for the Journey" will be available mid-February. It’s a caregiver’s manual so you know what to expect, how to handle what today brings, and how to prepare for tomorrow. I'll let you know when it's available.

Keep learning!

Monday, January 3, 2011


The first time you hear the word "cancer", your life comes to a screeching halt. You have more questions than answers and you argue with yourself and with God. How? Why? When? What? Who? Where? Questions tumble over each other without making any sense.

Cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was. The American Cancer Society has statistics showing that most cancer patients survive. Most! We've come a long way. Now, there are multiple treatments and procedures available to customize for each patient. And you have choices in your treatment.

Make up your mind to fight this invader with every weapon you have. It's a fight that you can win. You're worth it, and your loved ones need you around. Just hang in there, and never give up.