How to Create a Cancer Scrapbook

A Therapeutic Way to Chronicle Your Battle with Cancer

woman adding photos to scrapbook
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When you are diagnosed with cancer, the journey becomes an almost sacred part of your life. It's a time when you fight your toughest battles and scrapbooking can offer a therapeutic and creative way to chronicle your battle with cancer.

Each page can represent an important milestone in your treatment, from diagnosis to your first chemotherapy infusion to survivorship. A scrapbook gives you something that you can look through to see how far you have come since your diagnosis. Here are ideas to get you started.

Hospital Bracelet Page

Create a page that includes all of your hospital bracelets. Also, notate the reason for your stay, whether it be for surgery or the flu or even diagnostic testing.

Wig Shopping Page

This may be the most fun page to make in your cancer scrapbook!

When you go wig shopping, be sure to take lots of pictures of you trying on different wigs. Try on wig styles that you probably normally wouldn't wear and snap a picture. Use the pictures for your page with your reactions as captions.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow Page

If you have undergone chemotherapy and experienced hair loss, you can create a page that profiles you before the hair loss and after with pictures and journal entries. Think about things you loved and disliked about your hair, the do the same about not having any hair.

Hair Loss Page

Much like a page in a baby book, you can include a lock of your hair on this page.

If you like to journal, this is a great way to emotionally vent about losing your hair. If you shaved your hair, you can include a picture of the event.

If You Need Me Page

How many times have you heard "If you need me, I am here?" If you are like most people with cancer, you have heard it a lot but have only a handful of people who you can say truly meant it.

How about creating a page for those special people who helped you when you needed it the most?

Surgery Scars Page

This page may not be for everyone, but if you have had multiple surgeries, you can create a page that uses scars as symbolic imagery.

For cancer patients, scars are battle wounds and can serve as a reminder of what they have gone through. It is also a way to never let them forget how hard they have fought.

Some women with breast cancer have created scrapbook pages after having a mastectomy and during breast reconstruction.

Cancer Pals Page

It's likely that you have created friendships with cancer patients during your treatment. Create a page to honor those special friendships and to remember those funny or heartbreaking moments.

'Remember that Time at Chemo' Page

This type of page gives you the opportunity to chronicle funny, serious, and various events that happened during a chemotherapy infusion.

Round 1 Page

Create a page about your first chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

You can include pictures of your nurse or tech, the bay or room, and of course, you! You can journal how you felt that day and, perhaps, how it affected you mentally and physically.

Bathroom Blues Page

A good friend went through chemotherapy and suffered so terribly from digestive side effects that she created a "praying to the porcelain God" page in her cancer scrapbook. She spent so much time in the bathroom, she began to create a list of everything she wanted to remodel or change about it. Eventually, she did complete her remodel list and included before and after pictures on the page.

Paging Dr. X

You can also create a page dedicated to your doctors, no matter how you feel about them.

A close friend created a page about a doctor she did not care for after a rather belittling conversation she had with him. Today, the page serves as a reminder that even good doctors may not have the best bedside manner and also that a patient and doctor are a team working together toward a common goal.

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