IMG_2618Journaling has been an amazing outlet for me as I have gone through the breast cancer experience so for my LiveLaughLearn video I wanted to share this tip with other young women out there.

When I was 25 I found a lump in my left breast. This lump was diagnosed as breast cancer. I was soon overwhelmed with information about what would happen next and my various options. I also had a lot of questions and I found it helpful to write down as much as I could. This is how I began my journal.

I found keeping a journal super helpful. I gave me a space to vent about the experience of being a young woman with breast cancer and record the not so good days. It also provided a place to record the good days where I could see myself on the other side of what happening to me. It helped me to put into words all that I was going through, which I could then share with family and friends to keep them up to date about my journey. My paper journals soon became an online blog called Cancer Fabulous.

IMG_2627Looking back at my journal it is sometimes hard to believe what I experienced. But I also realized that by sharing everything I went through publicly, I could help another young woman facing breast cancer feel less alone. And that helped inject some optimism into the difficult days.

It is up to you how public or private you want your journal to be. If you want no one other than yourself to ever see it, that’s cool. If you only want to share selected parts with family and friends only, that’s perfectly fine. And if you want to share it with the public through a blog, for example, that’s great too. It doesn’t need to be writing – it could drawing or painting, making a video, recording your voice, or a combination of all of the above. The most important thing is to create a space where you can record your thoughts and feelings, your fears, and also your joys. You may be surprised how much keeping a journal can help.

Why journal:

  1. To stay organized and on top of information and appointments
  2. To keep track of questions for your doctor
  3. To work through emotions and vent – it’s healthy!
  4. To communicate with friends and family

In partnership with Rethink my journals have become a beautiful new e-zine called Cancer Fabulous Diaries. This inspirational memoir meets practical handbook contains my journal entries, information from experts, and lots of tips and tricks from real women to help you through the breast cancer experience from diagnosis to recovery. Plus, it looks fabulous! Check it out here.

p.s. In addition to writing in a journal, I also hand-make leather bound journals. There one featured in the video and you can shop for them here.

-Sylvia Soo

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