This article is sponsored by AMP.
AMP Scholarship recipient and cancer rehabilitation physiotherapist Lou James has created a new support journal for women with cancer. Packed with practical advice from medical professionals and women who've had cancer, the book's main purpose is to provide space for planning each day and writing a personal journal.
"People with cancer often have a lot going on in their head, which they may feel they're not able to share with the people around them. Keeping a journal has proven to be a great way of coming to terms with what's going on and it's something a lot of women enjoy", says James.
Cancer affects someone for a long time. The treatments have varying side effects that can be both physical and mental for some people. They may not be ready to start looking ahead to their wider health until they've finished treatment and are into recovery. That's why the journal is designed to be started at any stage.
"The journal and planning pages are not dated, so you can begin tracking your thoughts, appointments and milestones as soon as you get it," explains James. "There's enough space for a year, so we simply called it 365 Survive to Thrive."
James has been working in cancer rehabilitation for more than 10 years. People who know someone diagnosed with cancer often ask her, "What do I do, how do I help?"
"Unless you're quite close to someone with cancer, it can be very challenging to find something you can do. You can't be practical like help them with their kids or cooking dinner. But now you can send them a book that's pitched in the right way and will help them with their recovery," explains James.
Cancer treatments not only kill the cancer; they also have a profound effect on the rest of the body, so people need help getting back to work and doing the things they love.
"When they look back on their cancer diagnosis, people often completely change their lives for the better. The cancer creates the impetus to do something about an aspect of life they've always hated," says James. "It might take some time to get to that point, but the journal helps create the foundation for planning ahead."
The AMP Scholarship awarded to James last year has made a huge difference. Financially, the $10,000 she received has enabled an update of her website pincandsteel.com, the front door for her rehabilitation work, and the creation of the journal which is promoted through the website. James says another big benefit is the significant increase in awareness and support that has come from being recognised by a large and respected brand.
"The AMP Scholarship programme is designed to help people do their thing. It has certainly done that for me. And through the journal the scholarship is helping far more people do their thing as well," says James.
The beautifully crafted journal can be purchased online from survivetothrive.co.nz. If you're buying it for someone else you can include a personal message, have it gift wrapped and send it anywhere in the world.
Do you have a passion you want to pursue? An AMP Scholarship can help you to do your thing. Applications are now open and close on September 18. To apply for a scholarship of up to $10,000 or simply get inspired, go to doyourthing.co.nz.