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EMPOWERED supports 2nd edition of My Journal

07 March 2011

New Sarawak Tribune

PETALING JAYA: Being diagnosed with cancer can come about without warning, bringing about an overwhelming spectrum of emotions in a patient. To make matters worse, some groups of patients do not have adequate access to crucial information and support thus causing them to lose hope and be discouraged in their battle against cancer.

(L-R) Founder & President of EMPOWERED Dr Christina Ng, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Hj Abd Rashid Shirlin and Deputy Dean of The Faculty of Medicine of University Malaya Professor Rosmawati Mohamed launch My Journal {2nd Edition)

To alleviate fear and misconceptions that is brought about by a cancer diagnosis, the second edition of My Journal was launched recently by Datuk Rosnah Hj Abd Rashid Shirlin, Deputy Minister for Health. The initiative also received the support of EMPOWERED The Cancer Advocacy Society of Malaysia, in line with the society's mission of saving lives and eliminating suffering due to cancer, especially amongst underprivileged communities. My Journal is a nationwide community project that serves as a resource for cancer patients and survivors and empower them through their cancer journey.

The idea for My Journal was birthed by Dr Christina Ng Consultant Medical Oncologist and the founder and President of EMPOWERED while she was still serving with the government sector.

“I realised that many patients who came through my door were poorly informed of their condition, causing unnecessary fear,” explained Dr Ng. “It was then that I received inspiration to put together My Journal to serve as a point of reference and guide to help cancer patients better understand their condition and the rigours of treatment so they are better prepared for the days ahead,” she elaborated.

Based on feedback from patients who were using the first edition that was launched in 2007, key revisions and improvisations have been made to the resource in order to make it more informative and practical to its users, M Journal offers information on the types of diagnostic tests one may undergo, explains the types of treatment for cancer as well as counsels the user on the various impact cancer treatments may have such as effects on the patient's personal and family life. Additionally the second edition contains worksheets to help survivors organise their treatment diary, keep their doctor's appointments and maintain a list of prescribed medication.

What sets My journal apart even further is personalised nature of the book in the form of a Filofax, allowing patients to file their medical examination reports or articles that have been an inspiration to them. There is also a personal jottings section where they can indulge in cathartic journal writing activity. With the launch of the second edition, all this information is now available in the four main languages of English,. Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil, making My Journal more accessible to everyone regardless of background.

"Cancer is a physically and emotionally-draining disease* said Dr Ng. "Facing a cancer diagnosis can be devastating. A patient may experience intense emotions ranging from the initial shock to fear, sadness and anger.”

At the launch, Datuk Rosnah was presented with a copy of the survivor’s resource as a symbolic gesture EMPOWERED’s commitment to contribute to the well-being of the nation.

Four thousand copies of My Journal 2nd Edition have been allocated for donation to selected government hospitals with cancer units to further fulfill EMPOWERED’s access mission.

"The Ministry of Health is proud to support this noble initiative." said Datuk Rosnah. "The idea behind My Journal, which is to help cancer patients through their journey with cancer with adequate information and support, is certainly commendable,” she added.

“Cancer is not a death sentence. There is hope and life beyond cancer. My Journal empowers patients to think beyond their disease so that they can look forward to making their journey to recovery post-treatment” said Dr Ng.

My Journal 2nd Edition will be retailed at RM30 and will be available for sale at four participating hospitals - Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Medical Centre Petaling Jaya. Sabah Medical Centre and LohGuanLye Specialists Centre Penang. Additionally, interested parties can log on to to purchase a copy of the book.

For each copy of My Journal sold, the public will be helping one less fortunate cancer survivor own a copy of the resource guide. The drive to equip these people with knowledge for their journey to recovery will be made possible through proceeds from My Journal sales.

For more information about My Journal 2nd Edition or EMPOWERED The Cancer Advocacy Society of Malaysia, please log on to