My Journey Online Tool

Over the past two decades, Breast Cancer Network Australia’s My Journey Kit has helped hundreds of thousands of Australians deal with a breast cancer diagnosis and plan their treatment. With the launch of the My Journey online tool, the kit has now gone digital, giving information to women that is relevant to their individual diagnosis and circumstances.

On 13 March, we were delighted to officially launch the My Journey online tool at an event with the BCNA board, health professionals, partner organisations and members all in attendance.

The tool has been developed with mobile, tablet and desktop in mind after women with breast cancer told BCNA they needed to be able to access information while meeting with their treating team, during chemotherapy, at work and from bed when they think of something in the middle of the night.

While the paper My Journey Kit was initially designed for people with early breast cancer, the My Journey online tool has information for people with different breast cancer diagnoses. For the first time, we are now able to provide information to people who are diagnosed with DCIS, early breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer all in the one spot. There is also information in there specifically for men with breast cancer. The tool also allows you to update your information in line with your situation changing, and provides information on treatment side effects, diet and exercise, travel, finances, returning to work and other relevant subjects.

The My Journey online tool has been designed by breast cancer experts in collaboration with digital experts and people with a personal experience of breast cancer, and has been funded by Cancer Australia.

Cancer Australia CEO Dr Helen Zorbas said: “It is estimated that more than 19,500 Australians will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. My Journey provides each and every one of them with ready access to valuable evidence-based information, to inform decision making and support their needs. Cancer Australia has been pleased to provide the funding to BCNA to deliver this initiative.”

If you have already signed up for the My Journey online tool, content is changing all the time, so please check back regularly for updates.

 MEMBER INSIGHT

Melissa Imer was diagnosed with aggressive early breast cancer in October 2018 at the age of 50. Treatment included a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. A breast care nurse introduced Melissa to the My Journey online tool at her first appointment.

What do you think of the online tool?
I signed myself up as soon as I got home and have been using it ever since. I like that I can access it anytime and that there are so many topics covered.

Do you find it to be user-friendly?
Very! It’s really easy to navigate.  I like that you can bookmark things to look back on, print out information and share it with others.

What features and sections of the online tool have you found useful?
Before I was diagnosed myself, I had no idea how many different types of breast cancer there were. It’s made me realise how different everybody’s journey is. I have read about my own diagnosis and downloaded things on chemotherapy side effects, hair loss and the use of a cooling cap to prevent hair loss.

How often are you using it?
I’ve used it a lot. Now that I am further into my treatment I am using it about once a week. It’s good that I can access it anywhere.

Is there anything you dont like?
I do find that for me it works better on my laptop than on my Android phone.

Have you shared the online tool with your family or friends?
I have bookmarked some things to show my mum and I have shared a section on travel insurance with my partner because we want to travel. What it has done is given me the information and confidence to talk to my family about my treatments. My partner tells me to keep on using it.

What’s your verdict on the online tool?
I love it. I know how busy my breast care nurse and my oncologist are and I don’t want to always bother them with minor things. This tool often answers all my questions and takes away much of the fear about not knowing what side effects are normal. It’s also good to read other people’s stories to know I am not alone.

The My Journey online tool will have information that is right for you no matter your breast cancer diagnosis. To sign up, visit bcna.org.au/myjourney

Watch three BCNA members share their experiences of using the online tool during their treatment:

Issue 84
Autumn 2019