I Started a New Blog
I started this blog when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Blogging really helped me cope with my cancer and its treatment.However my life has moved on. I have blogged about it in the past - that my life was changing - breast cancer is no longer the main focus in my life.My chronic ailments have replaced that focus. While breast cancer never really goes away it turns more to be chronic illness than a terminal one, unless metastases appear. So I have a total of four chronic illnesses - breast cancer, thyroid cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I also have chronic physical ailments - bone spur, desiccat...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 25, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments blogging breast cancer chronic conditions Source Type: blogs

Living With Limitations in the Family
This is the misunderstood side of my life - how I live with limitations. The other day, I visited my mother who also has RA. We went for a walk. I don't usually go for walks because I get plenty of exercise at the gym and going for walks isn't a great exercise for me. My back hurts and I get tired.Other family members insist my mother go for walks too. They give her directions like if she would walk further she can get in better shape. She also should do her exercises, which she does. And she rides her little stationary bike while watching the news for 30 minutes every night. She gets plenty of exercise and really can't do...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 9, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: limitations vacation walking Source Type: blogs

After Cancer Coping With The Instant Cancer Bond
So after you get diagnosed with cancer, it seems like everyone you know has cancer because:You have met a lot of other people going through cancer treatment while hanging out at chemo, in support groups, your oncologist's waiting room, etc. That part is kind of nice. You find out you aren't alone in this cancer business. You have an instant bond with new friends.Then you start hearing about all these other people who are diagnosed with cancer. You feel like you are supposed to be their friend too - because of that cancer bond thing again. Your cancer friends tell you about everyone they know when they are diagnosed with ca...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 8, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds cancer diagnosis coping friends guilt Source Type: blogs

Blogging Peeves
I love blogging and I love reading other people's blogs. But I have a few peeves (of which I cannot claim I have never committed) that just irritate me.Select the correct word. There is a huge difference between they're, their, and there; and reign and rein; and its and it's. And I can go on. If you aren't sure, look it up ondictionary.com orthesaurus.com for help. It will really help people decipher what you are writing about.Spelling, spelling, spelling. If your blog app indicates a word is wrong or autocorrects to something you don't understand, correct it. How many people's resumes include the term that they were ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 6, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging Source Type: blogs

What A Stupid Policy
I guess I am back to blogging. I woke up this morning and read the paper. I could not believe this policy." Breast cancer screening is offered to all women aged 50 to 70 in England every three years; they are sent invitation letters to make an appointment for the test. "Apparently in the UK, patients are'sent invitations'every THREE years for a mammogram. The parts that piss me off are that patients are only invited for a mammogram (shouldn't it be automatically scheduled by their primary care's - or another doctor's - office?) everythree years. What's wrong with annually? Or is it too expensive for the NHS?And t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 3, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer diagnosis mammogram stupidity Source Type: blogs

Blogosphere, Here I Am
I'm finally back in the blogosphere. (I'm not sure I like that term but I'll use it). Blogging really helps me cope with life. Its where I share my emotions and thoughts and I've missed it. But I did need the hibernation.Since the middle of February, when my father stopped his chemo and was gone in two weeks, until now, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I have been lucky enough not to have lost a family member since my grandmother passed away in 1983 so this was very difficult. In addition, my health made it more difficult for me to do much to help the rest of my family pull together the memorial service, help c...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 2, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging emotional toll stress Source Type: blogs

Coming Back to Life
We are slowly coming back to life. We are all still very sad about my father's death. But his service is finally this weekend. At the last minute he decided to donate his body to benefit others. However due to his age, 89, and his cause of death, cancer (love those circulating cancer cells), options were limited. He donated his body to Harvard Medical School for research. They will keep his body for up to two years, but more like 12-18 months and then return his ashes to us. In the meantime we are having a celebration of life type service at a local Unitarian church this weekend. The service should provide some s...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 19, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: death family grief recovery Source Type: blogs

Hibernating, or Looking My Wounds
Often when I am extremely stressed, I find I need to hibernate a bit, and'lick my wounds'as they say. For the past month, since my father died, I have been craving time by myself, lots of time alone. (Cats optional.)The only day I usually have nothing on my calendar is a Tuesday. I have had something on my calendar every day since. Yesterday I was supposed to have a doctor appointment but it was cancelled because the practitioner was sick (instead of the patient being sick). That meant my calendar was empty. I got to stay home.I enjoyed my solitude and got lots of things done - like laundry. But also I focused on my weavin...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 28, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: isolation Source Type: blogs

Coping with Other's Cancer
When you are diagnosed with cancer, you are faced with the World of Oncology. Inside that world lies the answers to your questions and how to keep you alive. As you go through diagnosis and treatment, you get to educate yourself on your illness and what's involved in getting through it.Oncologists have to go to medical school to learn all this crap. Us patients get the express pass and learn it much faster and more intimately. Doctor's say'may cause nausea and hair loss'. We know it means we will watch our hair fall out as we shop for a wig and try to keep something in our stomachs. We learn what the truth really is and ho...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 24, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer diagnosis cancer information cancer treatment coping Source Type: blogs

That Drama Queen Friend
And this can apply to males as well. But we all have the drama queen friend who spends hours/days/weeks/months agonizing over their latest ailment - a bunion, or a boil, or a blister, or whatever they have.Maybe they got new shoes that caused their feet to develop problems or they tripped and slightly skinned their knee (and ruined a pair of brand new tights). They are in agony with every step. There was so much blood. And it still hurts three days later. I am not trying to minimize real injuries or ailments but just the ones who act like they are on an episode of the " Kardashians " or " Jersey Shore "...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 22, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being healthy emotions friends Source Type: blogs

Pancreatic Cancer Sucks
I haven't been blogging recently because I have been emotionally stressed. It may take me a while longer to get back to it. Myfather, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last May, had metastases by August 1, and was in chemo until Feb 13, died on Tuesday February 27.Since his diagnosis with Waldenstrom's lymphoma back in 2013, I had become his oncology interpreter/assistant. I went to the important appointments and answered his questions that the doctor's don't want to answer.Due to vein damage from chemo for his lymphoma he needed a port. When he did finally get a port, his first question was'when do I get it out?'Th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 18, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: death depression family sadness Source Type: blogs

Reprioritized
You may know I live outside Boston, MA. We had two'little'snow storms in a row. The news is that we lost power from 10pm Wednesday until 7pm Saturday. Nearly 70 hours of now power makes one rethink everything.Yes we have nearly 12 hours of daylight each day. But it seemed to get dark very early each day. The indoor temperature reached 46 degrees yesterday. On the plus side we were relatively well equipped to lose power. We have a gas stove (hot food), gas hot water heater (hot showers), and a fireplace (some warmth). We also have lots of flashlights and a few lanterns and one tiny solar phone charger. The two cats were ver...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 11, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: taking care of me Source Type: blogs

Apps Aren't Helpful
I found an article inCure Magazine (if you have cancer and aren't a subscriber, you are missing out) on this'cool'newapp for people living with cancer, called LivingWith. Its supposed to help those of us with cancer in dealing with their disease and its treatment.' With the number of moving parts associated with a cancer diagnosis and its treatments, patients now have a “one stop shop” to help them navigate their journey. 'An app? Seriously? How can an app do that? I am skeptical to start. First, are you sick and dealing with your cancer and you need to find an app and start using it to communicate with your fr...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 7, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer diagnosis cancer resources coping online Source Type: blogs

Hidden Scars from Breast Cancer
Yes there are lots of hidden scars in breast cancer. I have discussed the emotional side a lot - which boils down to PTSD for some. But there is also the physical side. Every time you look at your body and see your cancer scars, you are reminded of  your cancer misadventure. Its only a scar that will fade over time but its still there.Back in 1984, I found my first breast lump. Due to the limitations of surgery at the time, I had to have an excisional biopsy. And because of my medical history (three years after thyroid cancer) they had to be sure. (And if you are trying to calculate my age, I am still only 37). So I h...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 6, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment lumpectomy progress scars surgery Source Type: blogs

Looking for Clues in Art
We think of art, whether modern, post modern, classical, or even neolithic, as a way to express the painter's thoughts on their surroundings. It doesn't matter if the scene is posed, still life, mythical or something else. The artist take that and makes their artwork a memory of their surroundings to last for centuries.Recently researchers looking atbreast cancer iconograpy through history found two portraits from the early 16th century showing late stage breast cancer." Signs of breast cancer can clearly be seen in " The Night " , painted by Michele di Rodolfo del Ghirlandaio, and " The Allegory of For...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 5, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: art breast cancer history Source Type: blogs

Because We Get It
I have been going to the same gym probably for eight years or so. I can't remember how long, nor to ask if they can tell me sometime while I am there. But its a great place for me and my ailments. It is also full of all kinds of other'not-quite-healthy'people. O2 tanks, rollators, walkers, canes, and other body supports are not uncommon.I have met many people there who I chit chat with while doing cardio and between resistance exercises. Its a very dedicated group who goes to the gym because of the extra attention we get for all our ailments. We get to know each other and notice when someone is not around for a while - is ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 4, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds gym support talking Source Type: blogs

More Annoyance
I try to eat and drink healthy. I try to avoid premade'chemical'food and use whole ingredients, meaning real, unprocessed food. In the mornings it may not be wise to get between me and my first cup of coffee. Later in the day, I like my herbal tea for its flavors and lack of caffeine anytime after 10 am. My husband makes fun of all the different kinds of herbal teas I have. I just like to be able to choose which one I am in the mood for.I also subscribe to tips from WebMD to help keep me up on how to be healthier, what to do or eat or what not to. Usually I find this helpful.But not yesterday.I got an email ongood and bad ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 2, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: annoyance breast cancer hormone receptor status Source Type: blogs

Cancer Not As Scary?
How scary is a breast cancer, or any other type of cancer diagnosis these days? Thisarticle, Thanks to advances, diagnosis of breast cancer isn ’t as frightening as it was, claims it's not as scary as it used to be due to advances in diagnosis and treatment. However I beg to disagree. That is not the only reason. And societally, we have not changed enough.Do you remember in the 1970s and earlier when people didn't talk about cancer? No, they whispered about it. So-and-so has cancer.... when's the funeral? Nice sequence there. But that is how life was. No one talked about cancer because it was a death senten...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 25, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer breast cancer treatment cancer diagnosis Source Type: blogs

What If The Pathologist Is Wrong?
And they won't review all the tests. This is a two part misadventure.First I was horrified by thisfirst story where two women were found to have been misdiagnosed by a pathologist at a hospital in Ireland. Their original breast cancer diagnoses were incorrect. One woman was diagnosed with DCIS in 2010 and had a mastectomy. Based on the original pathology she was not required to have any additional treatment. In 2012, to the surprise of her and her doctor, her cancer came back." Her original 2010 biopsy had shown invasive cancer but this had been missed.The hospital said this was a mistake that any pathologist could ha...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 22, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer diagnosis medical errors pathology report Source Type: blogs

How The Post Cancer Brain Works
I have lots of aches and pain. This is a proven fact. You can ask any of my doctors. And I am also a klutz. And I have the battle scars to prove it.Last week, I tripped over my father's wheelchair in the waiting room of the chemotherapy department. How embarrassing. In front of maybe 40 people waiting for their appointments. They all noticed.This is what happened. We arrived at the hospital and my father grabbed a wheelchair. He has a bad leg so he pushes a wheelchair around instead of using a cane or walker. It's easier for him. He checked in for his appointment and we sat down to wait for him to be called. He parked the ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 20, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brainless cancer bonds falls klutziness more pain Source Type: blogs

A Good Book Ruined By A Bit of Reality
I am a bookworm. As a child I always wanted to go to the library and didn't mind that if I read my newly selected books on the way home I might start to be a bit woozy from the wiggly New England roads. (Highways are much better for car reading.)In times of stress (read'medical disasters'among other things) I often turn to books as my personal form of avoidance. This was fine until my medical maladies kept interfering with my reading enjoyment. That would really suck.During college, after thyroid cancer, with my small paperback book collection, I would avoid studying or read in bed something less enlightening than any requ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 18, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: books cancer stigma coping reading Source Type: blogs

Comparing Prognostic Breast Cancer Tests
Back in the late 2000's, I heard about the new Oncotype Dx test that was just coming available for women who had early stage breast cancer and could help in the decision making process - whether to chemotherapy or not. The test was supposed to tell your risk of recurrence. That was great news (of course I was not eligible because of my medical history...) and many women found their risk and made the big chemotherapy decision.New research has looked at the results of these tests and compared them. They looked at these four tests: Oncotype Dx Recurrence Score, PAM50-based Prosigna Risk of Recurrence Score (ROR), Breast Cance...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 16, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer recurrence test results Source Type: blogs

Treatment Resistance Breast Cancer
Most breast cancers are hormone receptor positive or (ER+) and are treated with multiple therapies including chemotherapy and hormone therapies including tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. But the problem is then that after they metastasize,  a third of them become resistance to treatment and will cause your demise." Such endocrine therapies, including tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor drugs, can prevent recurrence of early breast cancer, and can slow the progression of metastatic disease. However, in about one-third of patients with metastatic ER-positive breast cancer, treatment with endocrine therapies l...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 15, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer research clinical trials metastatic cancer Source Type: blogs

Doctors As Patients
I think doctor's make the worst patients. A friend's father, she told me, was a doctor but ignored his own cancer symptoms and said he was fine until he wasn't. I have never met a doctor who rushed to be a patient....But I think the best training for a doctor is to be a patient - particularly a patient of the disease or ailment they treat. This would provide so much more understanding for them.Here is the story ofa British breast cancer surgeon who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and finally returned to work in 2017. She never expected to face this diagnosis. I don't anyone ever does." Doctors face particular...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 14, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient breast cancer treatment doctors surgery Source Type: blogs

Doctor Questions
We are always told to write down your list of questions for your doctors and even bring someone to write down the answers. This can be appropriate for when you are first diagnosed with something nasty. But it doesn't hold true for regular follow ups with  your other doctors.Over the years, I have learned not only to bring a list of doctor questions to appointments. But I have also learn to break it down into as few as possible, into two categories.Category one is for the list of issues you have noted since last seeing them. For example you had the flu in November for ten days. Or have been under a lot of stress from w...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 13, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: coping doctor appointments doctor questions Source Type: blogs

Brachytherapy for Breast Cancer Follow Up
Back in 2007, when I was diagnosed and treated for my breast cancer, I heard about this new technique for the radiation portion of treatment,brachytherapy. I was jealous. It was not offered at my hospital. The big thing I liked was that it took so much less time for treatment.Breast cancer treatment takes a LONG time. I was diagnosed at the end of May, after two surgeries that went into July, I finished chemo in December, and needed one more surgery (don't ask). I was then facing 7 weeks of radiation. I just wanted to be done. Since brachytherapy wasn't available I had the standard radiation treatment. I couldn't even have...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 11, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer research radiation Source Type: blogs

Genetic Testing and Non-High Risk
A person can be considered medically high risk due to their or a family member's medical history. If you are considered medically as high risk, you get popped into the category of give them lots more medical attention and'lovely'tests.Now withthe progress of genomic testing, its no longer a big expensive, rare proposition. However, why do we only test the high risk people? These are the people who already know they are high risk. But that leaves a lot of people who don't know they are high risk and could be. This doesn't make sense. Some new research asks if it wouldn't it make more sense to test more people who aren'...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 10, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer prevention genetic testing ovarian cancer Source Type: blogs

Up and Down, Again
Everyone has ups and downs in their life, especially with their health. Or maybe I have more ups and downs than the average person.  Okay, maybe my health has been on a downward slide for awhile few years now.However, I realized the other day that I was actually feeling pretty well for the first time in quite a while. I mean my back has been sore but the rest of me has actually been doing okay. Its kind of nice actually. And it makes me think how long its been since I felt that well.I had been feeling as if I was over-medicated in some ways for the past few years. I changed my pain management doctor and had reduced so...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 9, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being healthy healthiness tired unhealthiness Source Type: blogs

Overloaded with Instructions
I get it. I have a lot of ailments so I am in a lot of groups and follow a lot of organizations for their health tips. So I get lots of email. Tons of email to be precise. Some of it gets the delete button right away - especially if the subject line doesn't tell me anything.But then Iread glance at a lot of them before deleting. But often they provide suggestions or instructions how to be healthier for whichever ailment. But now I am overloaded with instructions/suggestions this week:No more asparagus for me because itcan lead to breast cancer spread. I like asparagus. Damn.Exercise can reducebreast cancer recurrence. I'm ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 8, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer confusion fibromyalgia instructions rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

My Back Pain Break Is Over
Just over a year ago, I switched to a new back pain doctor because my old one was an idiot. I like my new doctor. I saw him a whole bunch of times through 2017. At my last appointment, he said to me " instead of scheduling your next appointment, why don't we wait and see how you do and you call me when you need to see me? " I thought that was fine. I have not seen him since November and have nothing scheduled.Unfortunately, my back is very unhappy with me in many ways. The pain level breaks through my pain patch. This has been going on for a week or so. I might wait another week or so before calling but I don't k...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 6, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: back pain doctor appointments doctor questions Source Type: blogs

Because Of Your Medical History....
Once you get cancer or any other'nasty'medical ailment, this little phrase follows you for the rest of your life'because of your medical history...'. If you have this phrase following you around, you are lucky when you are not sent for more tests or additional follow appointments start filling your calendar.As a child I was not the one (sister) who had ear infections non-stop or the one (brother) that went running around into and over and under things resulting into many minor injuries requiring stitches, etc. I was the reasonably healthy one, except for a few colds here and there.Boom, at age 19, I was diagnosed with thyr...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 5, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation being a patient medical history Source Type: blogs

More'Uplifting' News on Breast Cancer Recurrences
Sometimes I wish they would stop researching breast cancer so we stop getting such'good'news. New research was meant to look at whether some hormone receptor positive breast cancer patientscould stop taking tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors such as Femara, Aromasin, or Arimidex. However they found instead that ER/PR+ breast cancers can'smolder'(their word, not mine) for twenty years or more, before recurring.Aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen inhibit the production of estrogen which feeds these ER/PR+ breast cancers. The longer you are on the medication, the longer you are protected from a recurrence. However, some women e...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 3, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer research frustration Source Type: blogs

If Breast Cancer Doesn't Kill You, Heart Failure Might
File this in the category of the stuff we should have been told but weren't. Many women diagnosed with breast cancer, are given chemotherapy as part of their treatment. One of the drugs commonly used is calledDoxorubicin, also known Adriamycin or Rubex, or as us patients have been known to call it'red devil', which carries a significant cardiac risk.When you are given it in chemo the nurses put on masks and special gowns to protect them. No thought of the patients. I was told it could cause some cardiac issues but now I am learning that the danger is very real and very concerning." “Both breast cancer and cardio...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 2, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cardiac chemotherapy Source Type: blogs

A Useless'Perk' from My Health Insurance
I have found them most useless perk from any health insurance plan ever. When I was diagnosed with RA, my health insurance informed me that I was eligible for this perk called the Accordant Care in.What this plan includes is a quarterly conversation with a nurse on current medications and any recent heath issues I might have had as well as a monthly newsletter with health tips. The nurse is also available at other times if I have questions on any health issues.That all sounds good, right? Wrong.Every conversation with the nurse consisted of them reading me scripted questions that I had to answer: have I fallen in the last ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 1, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: caregiving idiots rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

A Carcinogen in My Coffee
I feel like this is another step in the plan for Big Brother to take over our lives and regulate us to death. Seriously. Or maybe its just another way for the lawyers to get rich over stupid lawsuits.There is a lawsuit making its way through the Los Angeles court system that wants companies who make or sell coffee to warn consumers that there is a potential carcinogen created in coffee brewing that could cause cancer. As part of Proposition 65 in 1986, California businesses need to warn customers that there could be a risk involved in consumption or use of a product. So the lawsuit claims that customers need to be warned a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 31, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer cause cancer risk coffee consumers idiots laws Source Type: blogs

Giving Back
Or helping yourself while you help others. After going through cancer, or other nasty medical misadventure, you are traumatized, and, as in the words of Arlo Guthrie:" ...you get injected, inspected, detected, infected, ... "You do not have fun for many months as you watch your hair fall out, your blood counts go up and down. You also follow your tumor markers more than the stock market, try to figure out how to get rid of your'chemo pallor', and lighten up any surgical scars. At the end you feel like you have been dragged through a swamp, up a mountain, and under the proverbial bus. You spend a lot of time ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 30, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds cancer support coping giving back Source Type: blogs

End Of Life Stuff
No I am not dying. But in the middle of the night I couldn't sleep and my mind wandered off to thebest and funniest obituaries that you see shared around the internet. (I have no idea why my mind wandered that direction.) But I was snickering about some of the funniest ones I remember parts of.But it made me think. I want to write my own obituary. And it will have to be a funny one. Because I want people to laugh about me or at me after I'm gone. And not mourn me sadly. But that should be in a couple of decades (I hope).So here are some thoughts on what I will include:She was so uncoordinated she could walk into a wall if ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 29, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: death organization planning Source Type: blogs

I Need A Nap - Or Reasons I Don't Blog
I haven't been blogging (as I promised) because I have been too exhausted. I meant to blog today, yesterday, the day before, and probably the day before that. But when I finally have a chance to sit down and gather my thoughts to blog, I am exhausted and just can't formulate words.I do need to blog as it helps me destress. But I haven't been able. Maybe I just need a tropical vacation.... (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 25, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging fatigue Source Type: blogs

New Breast Cancer Research Found A Factor that Doubles Death Risk
Isn't that a warm fuzzy feeling? Now I want toask my oncologist if I have this factor. But first let me see if I can explain it. This is the precis:" Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that the risk of death from breast cancer is twice as high for patients with high heterogeneity of the estrogen receptor within the same tumour as compared to patients with low heterogeneity. The study, which is published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also shows that the higher risk of death over a span of 25 years is independent of other known tumour markers and also holds true for Luminal...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 21, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer research cancer risk hormone receptor status Source Type: blogs

Early Detection
We do regularly try to detect some cancers early through mammograms, colonoscopies, and PSA tests. I think most of us (meaning the general public) are comfortable with these tests as we age. But what if there was a genetic test available which you could have done regularly, every few years or whatever time frame, to test you for several different cancers before they had a chance to spread.A new test,CancerSEEK, has been tested on more than 1000 patients and seems very hopeful." The CancerSEEK test looks for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer and eight proteins that are often released.It was trialled ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 20, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer detection cancer diagnosis medical tests Source Type: blogs

I Am Very Confused
I realize this must be part of the vast conspiracy to keep breast cancer patients confused. Nancy, over atNancy's Point, blogged about theAJCC ’s Updates to the Breast Cancer Staging System, asking if we are confused about it. Well, since I didn't know about the updates (or even who the AJCC is) I was and still am very confused.Let's start with theAJCC or the American Joint Committee on Cancer. Apparently they are the people who set up cancer staging criteria. They set the original TNM staging system in 1959. TNM means Tumor size, Nodes positive, and Metastases. " The panel recognized the need to incorporat...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 18, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer breast cancer treatment confusion staging Source Type: blogs

Some Days Are Better Than Others
Yesterday was not one of the good days. No, I did not have a health catastrophe. But I had a couple of emotional/stress related catastrophes. To recover I went to the gym and destress by abusing my body on the stationary bike for a while. (Until my phone started ringing and I had to take the call because of other stress issues.)And other stress happened. But I took a deep breath, had a glass of wine with dinner (a very yummy meal as we got some acorn fed pork from a friend). With dinner I made an apple chutney with cloves and a sweet potato hash. Cooking helps destress me. The fancier the meal the more stressed I am.I hope...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 17, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: stress Source Type: blogs

Okay I lied
I did say I would blog more often and get back on regular blogging as part of destressing. But it looks like I lied. But I have a good reason.My husband and I went away for a few days to take a real break. Luckily (if you want to look at it that way) the cell phone coverage was awful so we couldn't get any calls or texts from home.We needed a break. I got to walk on the beach (okay it was in Maine and was a bit chilly) three times. We did some shopping. We explored. We ate out. We were lazy. We were on the ocean.It was very nice. Now I can get back to blogging regularly. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 15, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

Your Brain On Cancer
Once you enter cancerland, your brain takes detours all the time. Where do these detours go? BAD PLACES!" Is that a zit? No, of course not. Its a tumor. Must be skin cancer. "" A headache? No, a brain tumor. Dead in 3 months. "" Is that a swollen lymph node? Quick, leukemia or lymphoma, which one? "As you can easily see you brain with cancer goes down the wrong roads. Usually in the middle of the night. Or when your are stuck in traffic by yourself.You start making little deals with yourself. " I'll wait a month and see if its still a problem. No, a month? No three weeks. Wait, two weeks....
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 11, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer detection fear of cancer living with cancer stress Source Type: blogs

Running On Empty
Today I am running on empty. If I had any energy, I would be on my way to the gym. I am not moving yet. Well I had some breakfast but am back in bed. I will meet a friend for lunch later today and then possibly drag myself off to the gym after.I am exhausted.Maybe I should go to the doctor or something. No wait, I had three appointments on Monday. And I see my rheumatologist next week. I can nap every day between now and then.These days I am good for about 10 hours a day total. If I lie down each afternoon for a couple of hours, I can then stay up for dinner and go to bed early.Talk about lack of quality of life.----------...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 10, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: fatigue rest sleep Source Type: blogs

Until I Drop
Every day that I go out the door (which is not everyday), I go until I drop or that is what it feels like.Yesterday is an example: three doctor appointments at two different places 45 minutes apart, two stops at stores, one stop at my parents for 15 minutes, and then home. I was so tired by the time I got home, I was barely standing. I took the easy way out and got in bed for the next two hours.At my last stop, at the podiatrist that I have been going to since last summer, I ran into a friend who worked there. I knew she worked in a medical office but I didn't know she worked in that one. She only works two days a week whi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 9, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: fatigue fibromyalgia naps rheumatoid arthritis tired Source Type: blogs

Back On The Fitness Bandwagon
Finally, I am back on the fitness bandwagon. This week is my first full week of three days at the gym. Finally. I am excited, but exhausted.According to my card at the gym, I had an extended absence from October 4 to December 20. I was so excited to go back. But have forced myself to take it easy. With the help of the physical therapist at the gym, I cut back my exercise plan significantly. I cut down on the weight I use, the time I do cardio, and added a number of specific'knee strengthening'exercises. I also have spent three weeks only going twice a week.Its killing me.Every time I leave the gym, I am exhausted. and I co...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 8, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being active exhaustion fitness gym Source Type: blogs

Cancer Cure?
No there is not a cancer cure. We need to keep remembering that. We are told by our doctors that there is no evidence of disease or some thing along those lines - which just boils down to " we are not capable of finding it yet " . If your doctor tells you that you are cured, please find a new one asap.In this day and ageshould there be a new definition of cured of cancer? I'm not sure. I have friends who tell me they are cured. I try to figure out what they are talking about. Seriously, where did this cured business come from? I want to question their position on this but in some ways do not want to know." U...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 7, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient cancer bonds cancer cure cancer treatment lies Source Type: blogs

More Bacon Bad News
I learned back in 2016 that bacon is not good for fibromyalgia. That was very sad. Now I have learned that bacon, or other processed meats like sausage,can increase your risk of getting breast cancer significantly." From an analysis of more than 260,000 women, researchers found that the risk of breast cancer increased by more than a fifth for those who consumed more than 9 grams of processed meats per day, which is the equivalent of around two sausages per week.However, the team found no link between red meat intake and the risk of breast cancer. "Well that's good news about red meat. But I would rather have...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 6, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient being healthy cancer risk food pouting Source Type: blogs

Another Potential Cure And A Stressor
I do not know if I should be elated or frustrated or what. Here is another potential miracle 'cure' for cancer. No, I am not reading the back pages of some magazine but from a very reputable source. I realize these'breakthroughs'happen all the time but they do cause stress to us cancer people.I am not sure how much other people realize the amount of stress the constant barrage of potential news telling us about potential cures - with the supposition that it should be positive and provide hope for us. However, there are two problems with this.The first one is that not all potential'cures'ever pan out into something real. Se...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 5, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient cancer research frustration medical tests stress Source Type: blogs