Being rebellious
We all have the desire to run away and join the circus or drop everything and take the day off for fishing/skiing/golf/shopping. I usually go from required space to required space and not whine too much. My life is focused on these places: my job, my house, the hospital for doctor appointments, and the gym with side trips to the grocery store, see my parents, and occasional other events.Recently I have been feeling over tied to my house and the hospital. I have been stuck at home because of the weather and car problems. I have been at the hospital too DAMN often recently. On Tuesday morning I have a doctor appointment - wh...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 16, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: rebelling whininess Source Type: blogs

Young adults and cancer
I read an article on the Atlantic about the plight of young cancer patients. First of all, please do not use the word 'plight'. A plight is defined as: a condition, state, or situation, especially an unfavorable or unfortunate one. To me its another one of those sneaky, snarky labels with negative overtones. And the article also calls them survivors which is not my favorite term as well. A double negative for me.Yes, life sucks after a cancer diagnosis. Particularly if you are younger and there are no others around with cancer to help you cope. I was one of them and I do not think that I had a plight. I had a life to live...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 15, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: labels normal stress young cancer patients Source Type: blogs

Little bits of happiness in the medical worlds
The medical world does not need to be sterile and boring. Most waiting rooms have big screen tvs now. Chairs are comfier. They are trying to relax the patients a bit more.I have been taking a family member for treatment to an area at the hospital where I haven't spent much time in a few years. I have noticed they are expanding the creature comforts for the patients and their family members. There is art. There is a lending library. There is saved seating. There is free coffee. Just nice little touches for long waits.Then I saw this online:A bunch of young men were seen running around a parking garage roof which is visible ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 14, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: fun happiness humanity humor Source Type: blogs

A (Short but) Very Stressful Trip on the Cancer Rollercoaster
Yesterday I went to have my annual check up with endocrinologist. When I first saw her about five years ago, I was sent for a baseline thyroid ultrasound because I hadn't had either an ultrasound ever or an endocrinologist in a very long time (decades?). Big surprise there when they found a 'something' in the thyroid bed where the thyroid used to be but wasn't supposed to be anything.We started following it with ultrasounds to see what it was. It was clearly in the evil category of 'big enough to see but too small to do anything about'. So six month and then, as its stability became established, annual ultrasounds were the...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 13, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer history fear recurrence stress thyroid cancer Source Type: blogs

Winter weather interfers with medical needs
If you ask any medical professional, they will probably tell you that they are essential personnel and  when the governor or someone else important decides non essential people get to stay home because of the weather, they do not - the same as for police and fire. They will be at their appointed place all day long through rain, sleet, snow, etc. The hospital is always open.Patients have a slightly different perspective. If there is a snowflake or a rain drop they may change their schedules. Usually it does not make a difference. No big deal, an appointment is rescheduled for a slightly later date. The only time this i...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 12, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: doctor appointments weather Source Type: blogs

How rude, tasteless, insensitive and completely stupid
The UK based Pancreatic Cancer Action recently ran a series of ads saying such lovely things as "I wish I had breast cancer". Please close your mouth if you are gaping at this. And the woman in the ad says she would do it again.How bad is this? Let me count the ways.The organization claims it is hard hitting on purpose - a shock campaign to raise awareness. Well tough cookies. I know you want to be hard hitting but you could do it with out being offensive. And rude, tasteless, insensitive and completely stupid. Where were your brains people? Where was your reality check on your ad campaign?The woman in the ad say...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 11, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: breast cancer cancer diagnosis insensitivity pinkification rudeness stupidity Source Type: blogs

Who reads your blog?
This is a real question. I started writing my blog to keep my family and friends up on my cancer adventures in 2007-2008. Very few of them every read it. I know my mother reads my blog. An old family friend who lives in France reads my blog. The rest of my family to the best of my knkowledge does not read my blog.My husband does not read my blog unless I prod him but his point is that he is living it so I give him a lot of slack on that.He usually knows more about me than my blog does.Of my closest friends, one who lives far away, reads my blog regularly. I have one good friend who lives locally who reads my blog regularly...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 10, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: blogging friends writing Source Type: blogs

My cat doesn't understand me.
Many people may say 'my spouse doesn't understand me' or 'my family doesn't understand me'. I am an exception - well I always was a rule breaker so I'll always be the exception, never mind all my health crap.First I need to state the cat was in no way harmed by the writing of this post. I was pestered to nearly to death from my point of view. The vet just said his blood work is very good and he should be good for another 19 years. Yes, 19 years. My husband does understand me pretty darn well (sometimes its scary). Its just the cat.You say, train the cat. Have you ever tried to train a cat? They are above that. Have you eve...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 9, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: cat health pets sleep stress Source Type: blogs

A very unsettling conversation
Yesterday, as part of my day to myself, I dragged my sorry a$$ to the gym. As part of my getting ready ritual, I pulled on my lymphedema sleeve. An older woman entered the previously empty locker room and asked me if it was a lymphedema sleeve. Often I just say it is a compression sleeve so as not to enter the 'what is lymphedema' conversation and get into my medical history with a virtual stranger.She looked somewhat on edge. I told her it was a lymphedema sleeve. She said she had been diagnosed with breast cancer 28 years ago when she had a lumpectomy and radiation. Then she had a recurrence 7 years ago (I am pretty sure...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 8, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: breast cancer cancer bonds lymphedema recurrence Source Type: blogs

A day to myself
Even though I work part time, I seldom have days to myself. I usually am running all over with volunteer work, errands, doctors appointments and whatever. I did stay home on Wednesday this week but that doesn't count. There was a blizzard and I couldn't go anywhere. And my husband was home so I spent time with  him. Not that there is anything wrong with spending time with him but it wasn't a day to myself.Today I dropped my husband off at work because the car is being worked on. Now I am up early and have time to do the things aI want. I will go to the gym on my own schedule. I will deal with the garage and the car re...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 7, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: avoidance relax Source Type: blogs

A cancer diagnosis is not time to start using the past tense
Yesterday Curt Schilling, former NBL player for the Boston Red Sox and elsewhere, announced he was diagnosed with cancer. He did not say what kind of cancer nor his prognosis, which is really no one's business but his own.And the media immediately started using the past tense when speaking about him and eulogizing him.Hello! A cancer diagnosis is not the time to start putting someone in the ground. It is a time to give them respectful privacy so they can deal with their illness and its treatment.According to this morning's news, he is 'dealing with a health crisis'. Well, yes its not a good thing but let the man have some ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 6, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer diagnosis coping Source Type: blogs

Cancer Immunotherapy
That's a mouthful. But Science Magazine has named Cancer Immunotherapy as their breakthrough for the year. So what exactly is that?"“Immunotherapy marks an entirely different way of treating cancer — by targeting the immune system, not the tumor itself,” Science said... Based on the idea that the immune system can be trained to attack tumors in the same way that it targets infectious agents, cancer immunotherapy exploits the ability to harness different types of immune cells circulating in the body."Researchers have already made some progress with this way of thinking with both melanoma and leuk...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 2, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: award cancer research progress Source Type: blogs

Holiday gifts!
Christmas is not about gifts. It is supposed to be about the spirit of giving and enjoying the season and all that. However Christmas gifts are given and received and are supposed to be enjoyable. But not always.There are always the BAD gifts. You know the ones you want to regift them. That really ugly sweater. The electric wine bottle opener. The seventh calendar for the same year. The ham that was the biggest joke at a Yankee swap last weekend.Or the gift of spending too much time with family members where all those old childhood issues begin to resurface as the time lengthens.But then there are the nice ones. The things...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 31, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: family giving holidays Source Type: blogs

A day off from blogging
I missed blogging yesterday. I meant to blog but time got away from me. My brother and  his four children (ages 8, 11, 14, and 16) are visiting. This means chaos. The poor cat  had to recover from over affection from children.They are a lot of fun but some how take a lot of time. Breakfast seemed to last for a few hours as people wandered through and ate and left, came back for seconds, etc. Very different from the quiet mornings with just the two of us.After my nephew learned how to make lasagna yesterday morning, my sister came over and the volume increased. Then all of us went for a walk in the woods on very i...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 30, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: blogging fun tired Source Type: blogs

Over-Awareness, Focus, Hype and Expectations
The media did a damn good job about making sure we all knew about Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy. She went public, if I recall correctly, to raise awareness about the BRCA gene. I respect this decision and congratulate her on a brave decision to take something very personal and make it public.In a recent survey, three quarters of us did know about her surgery and decision. Considering that it happened less than a year ago and and was much less significant than a war, earthquake, typhoon, etc 75% is a pretty good number.I would also like to point out that all those years of breast cancer awareness and pinkification have...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 28, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: awareness genetics healthy living Source Type: blogs

Over-Awareness, Focus, hype and expectataions
The media did a damn good job about making sure we all knew about Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy. She went public, if I recall correctly, to raise awareness about the BRCA gene. I respect this decision and congratulate her on a brave decision to take something very personal and make it public.In a recent survey, three quarters of us did know about her surgery and decision. Considering that it happened less than a year ago and and was much less significant than a war, earthquake, typhoon, etc 75% is a pretty good number.I would also like to point out that all those years of breast cancer awareness and pinkification have...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 28, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: awareness genetics healthy living Source Type: blogs

How I spent my evening or a day in the life of the eternal patient
This is truly the life of a long term medical patient. I spent last evening watching TV with my husband and making lists of questions to ask my doctors in upcoming appointments. I have had the luxury of the past few months with out a lot of doctor appointments. Now I have a big clump of them coming up over the next six weeks or so.I know I have my rheumatologist and then my endocrinologist and then my back pain doctor. These visits require planning and lists on my part. I need to think about what I want to ask them and decide if I want to do any more research before they see them. Finally I want to think back to the last t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 27, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: being a patient doctor appointments doctor questions Source Type: blogs

The neighborhood you live in and all the little block parties
Think about this for a minute with me. The neighborhood you live in  has a big influence on your life style.If you live in a city, you walk many places, carry  things home or sometimes take cabs or public transportation. There may be some not so nice areas near by that limit your walking around - unsafe or unlit at night. If there are bad influences in the neighborhood - gangs etc - you may be stressed and trapped inside your residence.If you live in a suburb you might have a good combination of places to walk and get exercise but you probably hop in your car to do shopping. So while you may get some exercise you...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 26, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer research medical research Source Type: blogs

Happy Holidays
Today is Christmas and a celebration among Christians of both a religious day for some and a holiday celebrated by the spirit of giving and sharing by all. I hope you all spend a day sharing the things you enjoy with your friends and family. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 25, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: holidays Source Type: blogs

A newsflash: Your behavior can impact the likelihood of developing cancer.
How astounding! I never would have thought. Ha ha. Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames.This video is actually from 2009 but it still applies today. What we did 30, 40 or 50 years ago could cause cancers to show up in our bodies today. Or more precisely, may have given us a greater risk of developing cancer now. A much newer article talks about how young women in college may not realize that their behaviors in college, smoking, drinking, lack of sleep, little exercise, could increase their risk of developing breast cancer. (Let me note that this article is one of those press releases for some medical th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 24, 2013 Category: Cancer Source Type: blogs

LAME advice from an oncologist on breast cancer
I believe this article was originally an announcement of a new doctor at a teaching hospital in Houston. But was later retitled "Oncologist advises what to do when after breast cancer diagnosis"It is very LAME advice. I actually do not consider it advice, may be on a very basic level. “My advice for any woman who suspects she may have cancer is that she ought not delay seeking treatment, even though it can be very scary and anxiety-producing,” she said. “My advice for newly-diagnosed patients is to bring one other person to your visit. It is very helpful to have extra eyes and ears to help you r...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 23, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: breast cancer medical advice Source Type: blogs

Looking for holiday spirit
Its the holiday time of year. Holidays are fun. They are supposed to be enjoyable. You are supposed to anticipate them. I am not sure I have much holiday spirit this year. It seems to be missingNow I am not the religious type so telling me its about the birth of our savior will not too much for me. But I can appreciate the significance for others. You can tell me its about Santa - I stopped believing the year I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and saw my parents putting gifts under the tree. Santa also had suspiciously familiar handwriting.You can tell me its about gifts. I am at the age where the la...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 22, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: family holidays Source Type: blogs

The polar bear is not the remarkable part of the story
This young woman was returning from a Halloween party in Churchill, Manitoba and was attacked by a polar bear. She survived due to the efforts of her friends, a neighbor who came out and hit the bear with a shovel and due to the medical flight that took her to the major medical center to be saved.While this woman is very fortunate to survive. She will be okay in the long term but has to pay of $10,000 for the cost of transport to the medical center for treatment. I would have thought Canada's national healthcare system would cover this type of cost. Never would I believe that the patient would be stuck with this type of co...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 21, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: Canada health care medical costs Source Type: blogs

A lame blog post
Yes, this is a lame blog post. Sometimes I wonder why people read my blog. I mean sometimes its really about nothing - just like a Seinfeld episode.I have a cold still/again. I did make it to work yesterday and stayed until 300pm. I will admit that it was the day of our holiday party which makes it one of the best work days of the year. I wanted to stay until 330pm but at 300 I started to feel awful so I headed home with the intent of going to bed immediately.My commute is usually about 30 minutes. It took over an hour because of holiday mall traffic and some unknown gremlins who slowed down the highway. But then I did fin...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 20, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: blogging cold health Source Type: blogs

The damn cold
This weekend we had a bit of a cold snap around here. While New England gets its share of cold weather, those of us nearer the coast around Boston usually don't go below 10 degrees or so. Any time a single digit forecast is involved all the cold warnings go up.Both Saturday and Sunday mornings I had to go to craft shows where I had a table. I was overjoyed to pass by thermometers showing a tropical 9 degrees on Saturday. We later celebrated when the temperature went up to a balmy 14. Sunday was a bit warmer but still frosty. Monday morning was down nearer to zero than I prefer to think - but at least it was not a negative ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 19, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cold Source Type: blogs

14,000,000
That is the number of cancer cases diagnosed in 2012 worldwide. That is up from 12.7 million in 2008. The number of deaths increased as well from 7.6 million to 8.2 million.To put it in perspective, 14 million is larger than the population of:Cambodia or Burkina Fasothe state of Illinoisthe entire Los Angeles- Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area or the Buenos Aires metropolitan areaThat's a lot of people. Unfortunately for many of them, they may not have access to good medical care to get treatment early or any treatment at all. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 18, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer diagnosis Source Type: blogs

I was never a believer
Okay this is not along the lines of my usual blog posts. But this news crossed my attention span this morning so it is my topic of the day. In my opinion the best antiseptics known to man are:Alcohol - Scotch and Vodka might disinfect your insides but I mean the kind for the exterior of your body.Soap and water.Mother's spit - when they spit on a tissue and clean their child's face and hands.No where on this list is antibacterial soap. I never believed in them. I have friends who buy them by the caseload and use them to disinfect everything in range. They use antibacterial soaps in their kitchens and bathrooms and use anti...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 17, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: germs Source Type: blogs

Then there's that survivor thing
I started this post in March of 2009. I keep a bunch of posts in draft format that because I change my mind, something else catches my attention, or I just forget (most common). They can sit for months or years and then the links I was going to write about go away or I change my mind and decide I am still inspired.I know I have posted on this before. I do not consider myself a cancer survivor. I am someone living with two cancer diagnoses.  I am in a special little class of people (I like being called special. I like calling myself special. Its better than calling myself a survivor to me.) When asked, I do not say I a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 16, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer history nice people survivorship Source Type: blogs

Crap, crap, crap
I have been a bad person. Once again I didn't break any laws or get arrested or anything. But this weekend is my last two craft shows of the year. I have been knitting like mad to get as many UFOs (Unfinished Objects) completed so I could sell them. I usually try to space out my knitting because of my arthritis so I have less self induced pain. I wasn't very smart this week. I am done knitting for a while.Yesterday I drove on a gray day an hour away to a craft fair that was a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It was in a lovely old building's basement. That had two sets of steep stairs to get in or out.While I wa...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 15, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: pain stupidity Source Type: blogs

Healthline - online help for medical issues
Healthline is an online resource for many health issues, blah, blah, blah. I discovered them when they discovered my blog a few years ago I think, or maybe I signed up with them before. I have no idea now (thanks to chemobrain, fibro fog, etc). Anyway, they have nominated me for one of their best breast cancer  blogs (vote for me - and Ann at But Doctor I Hate Pink here - she's in first place but we want to make sure she wins. I just want votes for my ego. I have 11. She has 2900).Then they asked me to link to their best breast cancer videos of 2013 which you can see here. They emailed me this request a month or two a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 14, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: medical information Source Type: blogs

Always admire the man in the pink tutu
This German gentleman showed support for his wife during breast cancer and is now raising awareness and funds for the Carey Project. He only wears a pink tutu and takes pictures in surprising locations.You can read more about the Tutu Project here.And admire some pictures of him in a slide show showing up in unexpected places. They are also selling the prints to raise funds.Imagine this. His wife gets breast cancer, he shows support and travels the world in his pink tutu, and they end up turning it in to a fund raising program which provides financial support for women with breast cancer, after treatment, and for their fam...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 13, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer bonds cancer support Source Type: blogs

I really hate it when they change their minds in breast cancer treatment
You know the story. You go through some oh-so-not-fun medical treatment and then you find out afterwards that maybe you didn't really need it. Well they did it again. The announcement was made at the Breast Cancer Symposium in San Antonio yesterday where the focus on less is more. In some ways I am for it.I am against over treatment. I have experienced some of what could be over-treatment for some women with breast cancer and am just as happy to never repeat it. Some of the recommendations are:If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer which has already spread, is surgery to remove the original tumor really necessary? If a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 12, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer research over treatment Source Type: blogs

Am I that bad off?
These days it seems that people who know me are constantly asking me how I am doing. Hmmm.... Am I that bad off? I know I do have a fair number of ailments but I don't think I am that bad off.I know yesterday I was driving to work and realized that I forgot to bring a wrist brace to work, so I stopped and bought another one. My arm was already hurting on the way in so I knew I need one to get through the day.I did two craft shows this weekend and people were telling me on Sunday and Monday that I looked and sounded tired. am going to the gym after work tonight and my husband has instantly assumed that he will have to ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 11, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: health issues healthiness healthy living Source Type: blogs

Justice is served
A few years back, a French company was accused of selling breast implants that were prone to rupture and possibly even filled with toxic contents. Lovely. They were sold in 65 countries world wide and affected 300,000 women. There was even a suspected death from a ruptured implant in 2010.Usually when we hear about these cases, companies are fined and the executives who made the bad decisions end up in tropical exiles living out their days on the company's funds. Not this time.The president of the company will spend 4 years in a French prison. He was also fined something like 75,000 Euros. And four other executives also go...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 10, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: justice procedures Source Type: blogs

I'm trying for remission - from RA that is
There really isn't such a thing as remission for solid tumor cancers like I have had. You can get to remission from systemic cancers like lymphoma or leukemia. With solid cancers basically there is just no evidence of disease, or NED.But I do want to get to remission from Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is supposed to be the goal of RA treatment. It is not very common. The rates range between 5-50%. How optimistic.True remission is defined as no symptoms, and xrays show the disease is stopped, joints are no longer being damaged. I could live with that. Clinical remission means you feel better but joint damage continues. And nea...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 9, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: healthy living remission Source Type: blogs

Cancer and the common cold, take 852
I have been  known to whine blog about the lack of cure for both the common cold and cancer. I first actually blogged about this in March 2008 (http://carolinemfr.blogspot.com/2008/03/cancer-vs-common-cold.html) if you have been reading along. I mean they both basically suck and neither has a cure.The common cold is just going to make you miserable for a short while; cancer will make you miserable for a longer period and is more likely to put you in your grave.But now some rocket scientist medical researchers said "What if we start treating cancer like the common cold?". To my chemo and fibro fogged brain, t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 8, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer cure cancer research cancer treatment medical research Source Type: blogs

$1.50/day
It took several government studies years of research and multiple governments speaking up to figure out it only costs $1.50 per person per day to eat healthier. This means make healthier studies like lower fat content in ground beef, etc.I have a couple caveats:This is based on 'normal' portion sizes. This means a serving of beef is 4 oz - or the size of a deck of cards.... If you eat normal sizes, you can expect to spend an extra $1.50/day.$1.50 means different things to different people.For a family of five on food stamps this would mean another $7.50 each day which quickly adds up.For someone who stops for a coffee ever...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 7, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer risk food healthy eating Source Type: blogs

Welcome to my life outside of cancerland
I do have a life outside of cancerland and being a patient. Actually I do lots of things but one of them is a direct result of having breast cancer. I knit and crochet. It helps pass the time between doctor appointments or waiting for test results.Back in the fall of 2007, I must have been very whiny because a friend told me I needed a hobby. I started crocheting again. Then knitting. Then everyone in my family got a scarf, maybe even a bad one.Then I started giving them to my friends. Then I amassed a huge pile of scarves.Somewhere in there a nice woman named, Lorna Miser, contacted me through my blog and wanted to quote ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 6, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: being a patient hobbies secrets Source Type: blogs

Cancer and neighbors
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I did not go out an tell my neighbors. I live in New England where people have more of a tendency to keep to themselves. I figured it wasn't really their business. We had only lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years and most of the neighbors were new.  Also, I really did not want a non-stop supply of casseroles that might be common in other parts of the country.We live on a street with five houses on it. When we moved in, two of the houses were under construction and empty, an older man lived in the house across the street who stayed home by himself mostly but would come...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 5, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer history friends Source Type: blogs

The patient hand off
How many times have you been the patient and been handed off from one shift to the next? And  how often does that happen in a slightly overheard conversation between one nurse and the next or one doctor to the next? There never seems to be a formal system of it and it always seems to be rushed. It is a key place where misunderstandings over a patient's care can occur which result in medical errors.I have learned things about my care from hearing the nurse tell the next nurse that my gall bladder surgery did result in some fairly significant internal bruising during the surgery. The nurse had previously told me that it...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 4, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: being a patient hospital medical errors safety Source Type: blogs

Cholesterol and breast cancer
All these new studies, or at least one which was noticed by the media who are in the process of over-hyping it, tell us that cholesterol 'fuels' breast cancer. Well, woop-de-doo I say. This is one of those things that I figure I can ignore.My doctors have said my good cholesterol was nice and high and my bad cholesterol was nice and low with a total number that was just about right. But now they say my cholesterol could have helped cause my breast cancer.I am confused. For decades we are told low bad cholesterol for heart health, blah, blah, blah. Now its fueling breast cancer? What are we supposed to do, give up eating? O...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 3, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer cause cancer research Source Type: blogs

A Day Off!
Today is my first day off in months. Seriously. You may be thinking but she only works part time, she has lots of time off. My life is full of lots of obligations.Doctors appointments - none this week.Volunteer workCraft fairs - almost caught up.A huge DOD peer review project which ended just before the holidays (and I was very honored to participate but it took a lot of time).Research - webinars etc for workPlanning, shopping, and cooking for Thanksgiving Spending time with familySpending time with friendsCleaning, making beds, and spending time with house guests Not getting overtiredYesterday was recovery day from the Th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 2, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: normal relax special day Source Type: blogs

Telling your story
In recent months I have alluded to friends and family with health issues. I haven't provided details as it is not my story to tell. If they wanted me to share their story I feel they would tell me. But as this is my blog and not their friendship circle I doubt that would happen.You are probably also aware that I don't always tell my medical (mis)adventures until I am ready. I have many reasons for this:Sometimes minor medical issues become overblown because of my medical history. Its one thing if my doctors say to me 'with your medical history we have to be sure' and send other me off for another series of pokings and prod...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 1, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: health issues privacy Source Type: blogs

Day Two of Pajama Girl
More pajamas for me. To continue yesterday's sagas, I finally got out of my pajamas in time to take my younger niece and nephew shopping with my husband. The kids were happy with books, ice cream, and a music store where a weird piccolo was purchased. We came home in time to watch a movie with popcorn. Then we proceeded back to my parents to eat left overs. After which I took my older niece shoe shopping for her birthday.I was tired by the time we came home so it was pajama time again. Today I am still in my pjs at 11 am and promise to take a shower shortly before going to an early dinner.The reason for my pajama girl disc...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 30, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: fatigue pain resting tired Source Type: blogs

Today you can call me 'Pajama Girl'
I have been very busy recently. I worked Monday and Tuesday. I made pies and did all sorts of things Wednesday. My brother arrived Wednesday evening with chaos (four nieces and nephews) and we had spaghetti and meatballs and salad for dinner. Yesterday morning we cooked more - my older nephew helped make a cabbage dish and my younger nephew helped make the scalloped potatoes. We went for a walk. I was exhausted by 2pm but went and picked up my aunt and uncle and we went to my parents house for a big dinner where we all ate too much. By 7pm or so, I was done for the day so my husband brought me home.I went to bed early so I...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 29, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: fatigue recovery tired Source Type: blogs

About them bones...
Cancer has a way of doing things to your bones. Never mind the evil metastases that can be rather nasty. But the cancer treatment can do a number on your bone. Some treatments cause bone loss. While our immune systems are compromised it is harder for the body to grow healthy bones. The result is osteoporosis which makes one more susceptible to broken bones.After cancer, we learn to appreciate life a little more. So on this Thanksgiving Day, take a moment to say thanks for still being here after cancer and take that wish bone and wish for a healthier life without cancer. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 28, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer bonds optimism thanking Source Type: blogs

You would think I had this under control
I never remember to take my pills. There I said it. Its a combination of being a space shot and well... being a space shot. I remember my morning thyroid pill 99.9% of the time. Its been 32 years so you think I had that one down pat. Then the rest of my day gets complicated.I have a whole pile of pills that I take at dinner time. 98% of the time that happens as well.But the rest of them, forget it.Here are the complicated ones:I am supposed to split up my calcium pills and take one in the morning and one in the evening in the 'pile'. That never happens. I have to take it four hours after my thyroid pill which puts it in th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 27, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: medications memory Source Type: blogs

Helping your cause or not
Yesterday at work a co-worker said she was trying to find a pink tool set for her home repair inept daughter who was moving into her own place. She said that Komen (for the Cure) had them. I said to her that she should not buy from Komen as their money does not go to cancer research but to pinkification and events. She hadn't realized this and was glad I told her.She is someone who has never had breast cancer (yes I really do know people who have never had cancer) and was really out of the whole cancer conversation. Her husband had prostate cancer but that doesn't have a pinkified bandwagon to hop on. But I digress. She wi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 26, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: donating funding hobbies Source Type: blogs

Blood tests for breast cancer?
You mean maybe we could skip the annual mammogram and just have another blood test? That would be too cool. Now I couldn't read the article without subscribing to another magazine but suffice to say the abstract is promising enough: "A new blood test may be able to detect the early stages of breast cancer, researchers say. Scheduled to begin vigorous clinical testing in early 2014, the test successfully identified the presence of breast cancer cells from serum biomarkers in preliminary testing, a huge step forward that could make breast cancer testing more widespread and more regularly detected early..."Wouldn't ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 25, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: blood tests breast cancer cancer diagnosis mammogram Source Type: blogs

Another Article I Obviously Missed
How to Fight Off Cancer:Eat rightExerciseManage StressGet Enough SleepCan I just say better late than never?Or, can I have a do-over? Or, I'll get right on that? (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 24, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer cause Source Type: blogs