This journey started when I found out the doctor diagnosed my mom with uterine sarcoma cancer. The first thought that immediately crossed my mind was, "My mom has cancer, now what?" I desperately looked all over for an organizer to help me and my family gain a sense of control over cancer. When I couldn't find the tool we needed, I decided to create it on my own. Hence, the birth of CanPlan.
Three versions, two Kickstarters, and one determined heart later, CanPlan is now helping thousands of fighters claim victory over cancer around the globe.
The process of creating CanPlan
How did I get here? I ask myself this question all the time because quite frankly, I'm not a huge fan of the in-betweens. I want to get over all the inadequacies, uncertainties, missed chances, and cut through the process to get to the promise. And because I'm so goal-oriented and results-focused, I feel like I miss the entire thing. I get to the place I thought I wanted to be only to find my happiness waiting at the next level in a never-ending hierarchy.
And something I realized is that this gap between where you are now and where you want to be is where growth meets grace. It's uncomfortable, unnerving, unsatisfying, and yet it's the very place faith is fostered. God is incubating your dream, while double checking your desires. Are you after success or significance? Are you ready to be responsible or are you going to be reckless? You can only sustain the dream if you build the foundation with stone, not sand.
So what does all this have to do with CanPlan? Well, I started CanPlan with the mentality that I needed to get somewhere to feel happy. I had just come out of a long season of depression and was desperate to give my life meaning again. And through a series of miracles, I reached the goal I thought would bring me my happiness. I ran a successful Kickstarter project back in 2016 and held in my hands shortly after, a physical representation of grief that was embraced by grace. But something I clearly see now was how disillusioned I was as I moved forward from that monumental moment. My happiness quickly faded because it was contingent on a result. The feeling was finite, and I found myself back in this cycle of depression, once again questioning my purpose in life.
Fast forward to exactly one year ago, I was almost ready to give up on CanPlan after I hit a season of stagnancy in sales for my second version. I felt like I kept running into dead ends and it was just time for me to cut my losses and move on. But the more I acted on my selfish intentions and kept asking God to bless me in other ways, the more he redirected my attention back to CanPlan. I kept asking him to help me see his vision for it and one night I just heard it so loud and clear. He said, “Sharon, these people need to know how much I love them. They need to know that I’m fighting for them. Would you do that for me?” And I’m literally crying as I’m typing this because it just hit me so hard. That conversation changed everything for me.
So I worked day and night, not only on the newest version of CanPlan, but also on the newest version of me. I started keeping track of each day in my planner because I was tired of missing it. I didn't want to wait for happiness. I wanted to find it internally so that it wasn't dependent on anything externally. So at the end of each day, I reflected on everything that happened and tried to find gratitude in all that life had to offer, even in the messy and mundane. And what I've come to realize through my daily tracking is that the promise is actually in the process. You know, the part that we all try to avoid experiencing? Yeah, that's where you find the promise.
So this is the foundation for the newest version of CanPlan. It stemmed from my experience of sitting through the pain of the process and finding moments of clarity through the habit of reflecting and writing. And after a year of shaky but steady growth, I'm so excited to finally release the newest version. I can't wait to see the transformation it brings to your life.
An ordinary person who receives a call towards something greater by getting thrown into a difficult life situation and thus chooses to bring out their inner conqueror in order to defeat the Goliath in front of them. Transformed from the pain of the process, the now hero of the story brings home the “elixir” and shares the wisdom gained in order to assist others in their own journey.
CanPlan was created to be a tool to help the hero bring out their inner conqueror and acts as a tangible representation of the “elixir” discovered through the hero’s journey. It’s a planner that’s meant to be filled with both the daily struggles experienced by the sufferer, along with the moments of clarity where meaning is acquired from pain. Through self-reflection exercises, healthy habit formations, and positive daily practices, a hero rises from within to claim its victory and leaves a documented journey in the form of a marked-up CanPlan that would now bring healing to the hurting.
Although CanPlan started off focusing on cancer patients, the long-term vision is to broaden the scope of usage and extend the benefits to anyone facing a huge life crisis, whether it’s a disease, a mental illness, or even a circumstantial crisis.