Colour Me Well: Creative Journaling for Breast Cancer Patients [transcript][audio]

sharon-stoneGuest: Sharon Stone

Presenter: Tabetha Moreto

Guest Bio: Sharon Stone has over 25  years of business experience encompassing HR and coaching across a wide range of industries and organisations. Her qualifications include a Masters of Career Development & Coaching and a Diploma of Positive Psychology & Wellbeing. She is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) and has accreditations in Strengths Profile and MBTI. She is passionate about philanthropy and has volunteered for many not-for-profit organisations and created pro-bono programs and coaching for new migrants. Sharon created Colour Me Well in 2017 as a personal tool to manage her own cancer treatment. After much encouragement from friends and medical professionals she has released colour me well kits for all patients to use.

Segment Overview: In today’s interview, Sharon Stone joins the program in order to promote Colour Me Well, a personal tool and wellness calendar kit that she created in 2017 to journal her own cancer treatment. Now it has been release so other cancer patients can they can journal their treatment in a creative manner for both adult and child patients.

Transcript

Tabetha Moreto: Hello everyone. Welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host for the day, Tabetha Moreto. Our guest today is Sharon Stone. She has over 25 years of business experience when it comes to coaching across a wide range of industries and organizations. Today we’re going to talk about something very special. It’s called ‘Colour Me Well’ – a personal tool and wellness calendar kit that she created to manage her own cancer treatment and now it’s been released for other cancer patients. Without further ado, welcome to the show Sharon. It’s very nice to have you here.

Sharon Stone: Thanks Tabetha. Thanks for having me.

T: My pleasure. Please tell the audience more about yourself and something about your background.

S: As you mentioned, I’m an executive and career coach with a lot of work experience. I suppose currently I’m working predominantly with not-for-profits and charities and I work with them on the things like leadership development, values and culture, team building and then I do individual coaching with staff on personal development or leadership skills or whatever it is they need to take their performance to the next level. I do this from positive psychology viewpoints so I have a qualification in positive psychology which I think gives me some great tools to work with them.

T: Very fascinating. Now, tell us about Colour Me Well.

S: The beginning of last year I was unexpectedly diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. I had no symptoms. I had no lumps. I had no illness and in fact I thought that I was just at the top of my game with everything. I was really looking forward to the year. I had a routine mammogram which picked it up and it was a really big shock to me and I was at my lowest and very angry about it because I followed all the protocols about diet, exercise, physical, emotional health, all those things. I had no genome in my family either, so it was kind of came off the ball, out of the blue. But I guess nobody is prepared for that. I had successful surgery and then that had to be followed by a course of radiation which I was really reluctant to do because I felt really well and I really felt very reluctant to do radiation when I didn’t feel that there was anything wrong with me that makes sense. I did decide to embark on the radiation and I decided to mark off each day by drawing up the calendar. I felt like I could see the progression. I felt like I was working towards the end of the treatment. And while I was drawing up the template, Colour Me Well, the term just popped into my head and I put that at the top of the template. It’s been natural then to actually color in each square to mark off each day rather than just to put a cross in the box to say, well that’s day 1, day 2 etc. The first day I had the treatment and then I came home and I colored in to mark off the 1st day done and it seemed a bit plain. Then I drew a heart in there and got some other pencils out and so forth. I did this for a few days and some friends around and they saw it and they said to me, “That’s really fantastic. Why don’t you put it on Instagram.”, and I said, “Oh really. I think it’s fairly childish but it’s kind of really good for me and it’s helping me to get through it.”. But anyway I listened to them and I did put it on Instagram. It really took off and it just became a fantastic tool for family and friends to see how I was doing on my journey, without having to keep asking me. It does helped me each day to process everything that was happening and how I was feeling through the art of coloring in. By the time I got to the end of my treatment I recognized that this is something that could help others and so the day after my treatment was finished. I registered the Colour Me Well business name and have now just launched the business.

T: That’s a wonderful story. That’s a good thing that you posted it on Instagram.

S: Yes.

T: Can you tell us why is this relevant to health professionals?

S: I think that there’s a research that says, that there’s a frustration with oncologists about the fact that there isn’t a lot of emotional tools available for patients. Oncologists can help them deal with all the physical symptoms and what’s happening with the illness but when it comes to the emotional side of it, that’s different. Colour Me well I think it’s filling the gap and it offers a lot of benefits. First of all it gives you mindfulness and reflection which I think we all know these days have beneficial that is to well-being. It gives the creative outlet. You can focus how you’re feeling without actually having to keep thinking about it or talking about it. Then I’ve created an Instagram community so people can share it with friends and family and I mean even if they have a private page. Rather than people keep having to ask you all the time or how’s the treatment going, how do you feel, how long have you got to go which of course they’re very interested but it can become really tiresome. Just by looking at your post I can see all that information and they can show you on and it feels like you’re all on the journey together. Then I guess the other thing is that all the research shows that the more involved the patient is with their treatment, the more positive the outcomes are and the lessening of the side-effects. I’ve certainly found that myself and I came to this intuitively I guess and then I recognized the benefit by the time I finished.

T: That’s wonderful. It’s a good thing to know that somebody like you has created this Colour Me Well calendar kit not only for yourself but you have created this in order to help other people.

S: Yes, absolutely. What my aim is, I’ve started selling the calendar now but I’ve also asked people to start sponsoring it. I had a lot of very generous people responded to the calendars but my aim is to get it out to the corporate world and ask them to sponsor the calendars so that I can provide them to all the cancer centers around Australia. Then after that beyond there’s no reason it can’t go international, because I would like to give everybody the opportunity to have access to it and also 10% of profits will go back into cancer research. It takes a lot of boxes and a lot of different levels and I’ve also got ideas for other new product which I can add in it as it starts to build and develop.
T: Fantastic. What other products do you have in mind?

S: I currently have a funky book remark which has a colony logo on which I have a young friend who’s the most talented potter and just starting out in her business. So she’s been making those for me. I’m thinking of on the calendars actually, I’m having on the back page of each calendar having some diaries or reflection pieces and some motivational pieces. One of the other things that I would like to add in is some healing cards. So you get your cards like a show business card size and you can either go to magazines and newspapers and cut out pictures and/or motivational quotes. You actually make a card for somebody or they make them up and again it’s kind of one of those creative outlet. You end up with something that you’ve made yourself.

T: Excellent. What is your main takeaway message to all of our listeners out there, especially those who are cancer patients?

S: I think that the Colour Me Well benefit adult cancer patients, it benefits child cancer patients and families and especially children of cancer patients. The benefits are that you can do it as a family. In fact I think that there’s broader uses for this outside of cancer but for the moment I think as a family you can do it and I think it helps you on your journey. It helps others to feel like they’re on their journey with you. I had many people say to me who didn’t actually make any comments on my Instagram post, said to me at the end, “I really felt I was on a journey with you and felt like I was cheering you on.”, and I could feel that. I think it’s a positive way of having an outlet, an emotional and creative outlet at a time when you’re dealing with something that’s quite devastating in your life.

T: That was an excellent message.

S: Thanks Tabetha.

T: Earlier you mentioned you have company sponsoring the Colour Me Well calendar kit. For those who are interested in getting one, how can they do that?

S: If they go to the Colour Me Well website, colourmewell.com.au, all the details are there or they can call me directly. Can I give my phone number?

T: Go ahead.

S: It’s a 0414 82 4444.

T: Thank you so much Sharon for coming on the show. It was wonderful having you.

S: Thank you so much Tabetha. I appreciate your time.
T: That was Sharon Stone. We just have been talking about the amazing Colour Me Well wellness calendar kit she created in order for cancer patients to creatively journal their treatment experience. If you liked this interview, transcripts and archives are available at www.hpr.fm. We are on all social media platforms so don’t forget to follow, like and subscribe. Show us some love by subscribing to our HPR youtube channel. We’re also available for download on SoundCloud and iTunes. I’m Tabetha Moreto and you’re listening to Health Professional Radio.

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