When I was pregnant, I had a large spiral notebook that accompanied me on a daily basis. It went to every doctor’s visit, every ultrasound and all of the classes. I used it to keep track of the things I needed to accomplish, the items left to purchase and the research I did throughout pregnancy. Once Jacob was born, I often looked back on those notes to find an answer to a question that I had or to jot down the questions that I had for an upcoming checkup. I still have the notebook now, though I don’t use it like I once did. I smile when I happen to glance at it, knowing all of the scribbles and love it is filled with.
Though the yellow spiral is no longer my go-to notebook, it has been replaced by multiple notebooks. I’ve mentioned chemo fog before, and I promise to spend more time on it in a future post, but I had no idea how real it was until I was in the thick of it. I consider myself a relatively organized person and I now find myself needing to write down everything to keep my head straight. Setting aside work hours, my weeks are filled with follow-up phone calls, checking on claims, (re)submitting documentation, scheduling (and rescheduling) appointments and trying to figure out who I need to call next. And that’s just for me! Then there’s the day-to-day activities of bill paying, little man’s checkups (and surgery consults) and everything in between. Life is quite busy and I need a way to keep it all straight.
So, I turn to notebooks. I have a notebook for each activity in my life. The ones that you see pictured are the ones that I touch almost every day. Two are filled with notes about the two weddings that I’m blessed to be a part of this year, one contains the ins-and-outs of everything that is cancer related (and has lots of post-its for easy access to the parts I need often), one for little man’s adventures, one that is filled with writing specific to my cancer experience, one that is filled with ideas that I have for the book that I want to write….and that doesn’t include the planner that I carry in my purse to keep track of the appointment times and locations. I try to put it all in my phone but sometimes it’s easier to see it on paper.
It’s a lot…but it keeps me sane. All of it. I write it all down so that I can clear it from my head and yet go back to it later and be able to recall the conversation or the outcome. I carry them with me so that I can grab one to jot down a note or two when it comes to me.
I’m anxious for the day that I will be able to look back on the cancer notebook and no longer need it – the appointments and the labs and the claims no longer needed. Though, I don’t think I will keep it around to remember fondly like my yellow spiral notebook…I think I may have to burn it. That doesn’t count as burning literature, right?