Its Day 1
I am so excited! I am so looking forward to having needles stuck in my spine - you wouldn't believe!This is what the procedure will be like. No beverages or food after midnight, clear liquids till two hours before arrival. We arrive at 815 am, check in, change in to the LOVELY gown (ugly so no one steals them), vitals checked, and IV started.Eventually I will end up in the procedure room where I will lie on my stomach, they will crank up the IV and I will mostly be asleep. They will stick me six times in the spine with some kind of local anesthetic. Then they will stick in six heated needles in the same place (between the ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 25, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: procedures happy back pain Source Type: blogs

Basic screening tests take on a new meaning after cancer
Most people, by this I mean people who have never had cancer, go to the doctor for check ups and get sent for tests and don't think twice. They get nice negative results sent to them in the mail and they don't think twice about it.Throw in a few cancer diagnoses, and any screening test takes an ominous turn. Of course any screening test will show that you are doomed. There is  no way you will ever get a clean result again. One test will lead to another which will lead to another which will lead to another and then surgery, chemo, and more and more and more. Or so the little voices in your head tell you.It is perfectly...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 24, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: test results sanity stress medical tests Source Type: blogs

Doing whats good for you
Yesterday we did something that is good for us. We went to the beach. I am not saying we went and stayed all day but we did go and stay for a few hours. Thanks to my back, I couldn't walk in the loose sand. I also found I could walk in the hard packed sand but only if it was flat.I went for a nice long walk on the beach, which successfully made my back hurt because the sand was either tilted or bumpy. But it was worth it.We had very healthy fried clams (gluten free) on our way home but I did have a salad with home made hummus for lunch to counter act it.It was a very nice day. But today I will go to the gym, run some erran...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 23, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: beach exercise resting Source Type: blogs

Count down day 4
I have been pretty miserable these past few days. My pain meds are my friends. I take them everywhere. I wake up hurting. I hate my back. It might even be making me a touch cranky. Everything I do makes my back hurt.Therefore I have a plan.If everything I do makes my back hurt, I might as well skip the things I dislike (laundry, cleaning the kitchen, etc) and do the things I like (going to the beach). I mean if I end up in the same boat either way, I might as well have fun before I end up in pain.Today we are going to the beach. Low tide is 430 or so. We will go around 1, get there a little before 2, leave around 530 or so...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 22, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: procedures fun back pain Source Type: blogs

Cancer is cancer
This is a very interesting video on thyroid cancer and the stigma of having it.Here's the premise: You are told you have thyroid cancer, you are told its the 'good' cancer and you will be fine. Then it turns nasty, and you feel like you were mislead and go through the whole cancer roller coaster. And you are being treated by an endocrinologist who may not have all the psycho-social support services available in the oncology department. Its the crazy cancer roller coaster.Let's take it another step.You are diagnosed with any type of cancer, early stage, and your doctors think you will be okay. You are on the cancer roller c...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 21, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer diagnosis support medical roller coaster Source Type: blogs

I hate heartburn
I really, really, really hate heartburn. I am at the point where I could even say I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hate heart burn. I get heart burn all the time.I take Prilosec (or the cheaper version from Costco) daily. I take tums as needed. I watch what I eat.I have a  hiatal hernia which is on the border between being big and small. It is 3cm and small is considered 3cm, so I guess its middle sized. It helps contribute to heart burn.I am also on meloxicam for my back which is an anti inflammatory and has a tendency to irritate stomachs. But if I don't take it, I get more aches and ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 20, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: heartburn Source Type: blogs

Blah, blah, blah - with your medical history we have to be sure
Yesterday I had my annual physical. Or Woman Wellness Exam or whatever the correct term is for it these days.It did start off interestingly while I was waiting to check in at the desk, there was a woman who was being told she can't call the doctor's office every day making demands, should go back to her psychiatrist, and perhaps become an inpatient at a psychiatric facility. We'll just say that I was very happy that was not me. My health/mental stability is not that bad.My primary care, who I like, just had a baby and is out for the summer on maternity leave so I met with her nurse practitioner who was one I had not met be...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 19, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: procedures blood tests stress waiting Source Type: blogs

Recovering credibility
Earlier this year Komen announced that they have basically cut in half the number of three day walks they will offer in 2014 - essentially saying they are not doing as well as an organization.Yesterday they announced they have a new CEO, Dr. Judith A. Salerno, who has a background in medicine as well as in running non profits. I am not sure what Nancy Brinker's background was other than promising her sister to paint the world pink and earn lots of money from donors. Ms Brinker will still be around as Founder and Chair of Global Strategy.I think the biggest problem Dr Salerno faces is regaining the credibility of the organi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 18, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: pinkification change komen Source Type: blogs

Count Down - Day 9
I am day 9 of my count until the day of nasty needles. I can't wait. that tells you how much pain I have been in if I can't wait to be sedated and stuck with  numerous needles into my spine.I am on am opiate pain patch that provides 10 mcg/hr of pain meds. That works wonders but its not enough these days. I also have another prescription pain pill which I can take up to two every six hours with  no more than 8 tablets in a 24 hour period.I used to take one every 6-8 hours. Now I take one every six hours. Yesterday afternoon I took a second one two hours after the first one because it wasn't making a dent even tho...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 17, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: procedures pain levels back pain Source Type: blogs

Unplugging
It is the easiest way to fill in free time these days. Go online, watch TV, read your ereader, text/call on your smart phone. I know I do it.I come home from work and am exhausted so I sit down on the couch, turn on the DVR and watch one of my many recorded shows, sometimes I even play games on my ereader at the same time or text on my phone. Three pieces of technology at one time.I go to the gym to destress and exercise and either bring my mp3 player or my ereader and watch TV while listening to music or read during commercials. I grab my ereader for waiting in doctors office where I used to bring a book. My husband one t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 16, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: technology stress relax Source Type: blogs

Breast cancer over hype
"...breast cancer has become the most heavily promoted disease in this country, women walk in with information, misinformation, strongly held beliefs, opinions, and frequently a literal army of supporters." I completely agree with this statement which came from this article which I found to have brought up many thought provoking points. There is no other ailment which has an army of patients, painting the world pink, with the best of intentions, and share good and bad information.The author, an oncologist with 30 years of practice, concludes with:"The point is that breast cancer patients are a particula...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 15, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: hype breast cancer social media Source Type: blogs

Victory in the Supreme Court
I have always wondered how Myriad Genetics was able to patent the two BRCA genes. I always thought it was a little funny because they are essentially a body part. Now the Supreme Court has agreed (9-0) that genes cannot be patented as they are naturally occurring.Its about time.Patents are awarded for inventions and new ways of making things. So I never understood how Myriad Genetics could own the genes. They had the market cornered on the BRCA tests and charging $3300 for the test. Even though most insurance companies pay for it, this overcharge is just another way that insurance costs are paying for vastly inflated price...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 14, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: patents activism genes Source Type: blogs

Warning - I have been thinking!
I'm sorry I don't mean to do that, think that is, very often. It often gets me into trouble in one way or another.I wrote a post the other day about how time flies and how I am coping better these days - or so it seems. Being sensitive and thoughtful (hah!) I decided it was time for some inner-contemplation on my developing coping skills.First, am I any healthier than I was six years ago? Absolutely not. I have so many new ailments that are the chronic kind that follow me around wherever I go, I think I have lost count. I definitely have many more doctors and doctor appointments (these seem to go hand in hand) than six yea...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 13, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: coping healthiness humor stress Source Type: blogs

Rheumatoid treatment options
When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid last fall, I was already fairly aware of treatment options as my mother has had RA since 1989. The current theory for treatment is to hit it fast and early to slow progression and joint deformities.I was immediately put on plaquenile and prednisone. Plaquenile is an old drug from the 1930s or so and has successfully been proven to treat RA but it is slow working - months to have an effect - so usually prednisone is given for a brief period of time to get the swelling and  pain down faster. That was bad news for me because I turned out to be allergic to both.I was then put on methot...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 12, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: treatment options stress rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

Time passes by
I used to keep a running list of things I wanted to ask my doctors at upcoming appointments. For instance if a doctor said 'we need to keep an eye on that' I would write it down and then next time I went to see them, I would ask about that.Next week I think I have my annual physical. I am scrambling to put together my list of questions. I started it last night, lost the piece of paper (already) and thought up a bunch more things to ask about. And will now have to start another list on another piece of paper (that I can potentially lose as well). I may be up to a notebook by the time my appointment rolls around sometime nex...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 11, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: lists doctor appointments Source Type: blogs

Count down
I am on day 16 of my countdown until my next back procedure where they will sedate me and stick nasty needles in my back and kill off the evil nerves which cause such pain. My back has gotten worse and worse over recent weeks causing me to decline fun events.I am managing my resources so I can get through my work week. Last week I called in sick and to make up for it, I am working four days this week - which will be a stretch for me. It is my goal but I might not make it.This weekend I had to decline offers for fun events and stay home to rest my back. Not fun but I did get some gardening in. Only 16 days to go. (Source: C...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 10, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: procedures counting back pain Source Type: blogs

Whoops!
I forgot to blog today! I slept late. Is that a good excuse? (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 9, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: boring Source Type: blogs

What I have been doing with my time
With a little help from Mother Nature.LilacsTriple Peonies - scented as wellRhododendron Azalea DogwoodIrisTwo types of peonies and roses - all scented. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 8, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: flowers gardening Source Type: blogs

A taste of my new life
Yesterday I had a fairly enjoyable day. Well not perfect but pretty darn good. Wednesday night was methotrexate injection night, where I keep my eyes closed and my husband injects me. We used to do this on Wednesday mornings but have found that I feel nauseous and pretty awful for a few hours so we decided let's switch it to evenings so I won't be trying to work through it.So much for that idea as I spent the evening nauseous and woke up at 1130 at night running to the bathroom. I didn't throw up but I felt like I would. Then I slept off and on for the rest of the night. In the morning I was a wreck so I actually called in...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 7, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: fatigue resting side effects Source Type: blogs

What to eat
I am confused. In an age where the latest trend is to eat healthier food, buy local, and all that, I really do try.My first motivator is the Mediterranean diet because it is supposed to be healthy and because I like the food. This means eating plant based food like grains, fruits and vegetables, less butter and more olive oil, less red meat and more fish and poultry. I can do this. Except my husband likes steak so when we eat red meat, I have gotten us smaller portions. This works pretty well for us.Then there is the fibromyalgia diet which is lots of plant based food and lean protein which sounds pretty similar so that sh...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 6, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: diet healthy eating food Source Type: blogs

We knew this would happen
Not to make light of an other's misfortunes but I think that we knew this would happen. Komen (for the Cure) has clearly been on a downturn since the mishandling of the Planned Parenthood epic in 2012. One of their main fundraising efforts has been their three day walks. There used to be 14 around the country. Starting in 2014, there will be 7.The Three Days are cancelled in Boston, Arizona, Cleveland, Chicago, Tampa, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. This will leave only Atlanta, Dallas/Ft Worth, Michigan, San Diego, Twin Cities, and Seattle.And example of their recent numbers is here:"On May 11, thousands of breast...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 5, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: funding events cancer awareness Source Type: blogs

Balancing
As I now am happily employed at one job instead of two and have cut back at some volunteer efforts, I feel I am achieving some kind of work/life/health balance where I might be able to get enough rest as well as cash flow and not feel as if I'm running from one thing to another all day long.My other job is almost at its end. I do need to tie up some last loose ends but that's it. I think they think I am leaving to work full time at another job but I'm not. Its because I have to cut back. This is very frustrating to me. But now its over.I will miss parts of that job but life is all about balance. And my health is taking mor...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 4, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: work fatigue resting Source Type: blogs

I am way behind
Yesterday was National Cancer Survivors Day. How did I miss it? I should get to celebrate twice or something. But I wish it didn't have the S word in the title. How about National People Living With Cancer Day?Also, this weekend was the ASCO conference. I usually read what is announced each day and now have to catch up.Here are a few details so far:Extending Tamoxifen to ten years from five years reduces risk of reccurence by 15%Sorafenib Shows Benefit in Radioactive Iodine-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid CancerSurveillance in Breast Cancer Survivors: First Do No Harm - which discusses over testing after treatment ends. ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 3, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: medical news cancer research asco Source Type: blogs

Thyroid cancer facts
The Huffington Post brings us Thyroid  Cancer: The Five Things You Really Need to Know. One little factoid jumps out: UP 274 percent since 1997. That would make it the fastest growing cancer in the country. But it affects a relatively insignificant number of people - around 60,000 this year - so it doesn't get a lot of attention.Number one to know is it is not the good cancer. There is no good cancer. The term is derogatory and misleading.Number two is that taking a pill every day is not that easy. You need to replace the vital thyroid hormone but if they give you too much you will be hyper and if they give you too li...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 2, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer information normal thyroid cancer scars Source Type: blogs

Some clarification here
I got some feedback yesterday that my blog about the patient who didn't get a needed scan in time now has weeks to live. I said the patient needed to do more and be proactive in their health care. Some one said that we can't blame the patient because we depend on our doctors.What I see of the issues are the following:The woman complained of severe headaches and pain down her arm. Her doctor told her it was arthritis and treated it as such. She also complained several other times to nurses and was told she didn't need scans. If the diagnosis didn't resolve the problem, more testing should have been done to get to the root o...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 1, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: doctors medical tests Source Type: blogs

I hate these stories
about the tragedy befalling someone because of missed medical tests. They are 'tragic' and the media picks them up and tells us about the tragedy and this poor person is going to die. This is one about a woman in England who had breast cancer and now has brain tumors and was told that she has weeks to live. The media tries to blame this one on the health care system. I'm sorry and its a tragic story but still the patient should have done more on her part as well.If you go to the doctor and they tell you its whatever - arthritis - and gives you medication. You take the medication and it doesn't work, you need to go back to...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 31, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: being a patient tragedy dying Source Type: blogs

The big pink wall
Whoop-de-doo, Ford Motors just announced its Warriors in Pink 2013 program. Now you must get excited. You can buy pink appaarel from their program and a portion of the sale of each garment, $5-$20, goes to one of four charities and you get to choose which. Komen, Young Survivors Coalition. Dr Susan Love Research Foundation or the Pink Fund. Isn't this just so great. You get to buy pink gear, I must need some more! I'll check my closet and get on line now.This is just like Pinktober again isn't it? While I admire the Ford Motor company for thinking right, they could have done it without the pink.A recent study points out th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 30, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer support pinkification breast cancer Source Type: blogs

More on the breast cancer treatment gap
A few weeks ago I blogged about the breast cancer treatment gap where women who are told they are BRCA positive only have surgical options to lower their risk of breast or ovarian cancer. It turns out this is growing in significance because of genetic testing progress.This started when Angelina Jolie announced she had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy because she was BRCA positive. Unless you have been living under a rock you couldn't have missed that story in the news recently.While many people are supportive of her decision, some are not. Here is an article on the other side of the issue - which shows how some people a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 29, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: insurance costs genetics cancer risk breast cancer Source Type: blogs

A long weekend
We were supposed to go camping this weekend but didn't due to the weather so we had an unexpected few days at home. If anyone cares to think we are wimps I would like to state that it was snowing about five miles from the campground we were going to on Saturday.We didn't go outside much because it has been cold, rainy, and raw but did make it into Boston to go the museum on Saturday. Sunday we cleaned out the basement some more - there is always more on that project. Yesterday we finally were able to grill outside. And my husband mowed the lawn.One thing I have enjoyed is that I finally got caught up on my rest. Not just s...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 28, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: lack of sleep fatigue resting Source Type: blogs

I am not blog worthy today
But in case anyone thought I might have dropped off the face of the earth or something, I thought I would say hi. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 27, 2013 Category: Cancer Source Type: blogs

Komen disparities again
Of course, Nancy Brinker, founder and president of the Komen Foundation for the Cure (because they trade marked 'for the cure') had to grab onto the Angelina Jolie announcement. She latched onto the disparities of availability of the BRCA test and affordability of breast cancer treatment for lower income women.Why doesn't this surprise me?Anyway I digress. She was very proud to announce that Komen has donated a whopping $34 million dollars for BRCA research since their start, out of the total $755 million research investment.$34 million is peanuts for them.In their fiscal 2012, Komen raised $342 million. In one year. So if...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 26, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: breast cancer donating cancer research Source Type: blogs

What would you pay?
Would you pay $4000 for something that is only should cost $99? Apparently women who get a BRCA test pay nearly $4000 for something that should cost around $99. This because of the monopoly Myriad Therapeutics has by patenting the genes. I know I have logged about this before so may you call me redundant.We are still waiting for the Supreme Court's response to the argument that gene's can't be patented. But Myriad is so sure that there will not be a problem for them, they are planning further profits later this year."Without competition, Myriad can effectively charge whatever it wants. Later this year, the company sai...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 25, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: genetics monopoly testing expensive Source Type: blogs

Living with pain
Every day my morning starts with 'ouch', 'ow', 'owie', and more. And my husband looks at me and says are  you sure you are are okay for whatever my day is planned. I say yes and suck it up. And maybe take a pain pill.Yes, that's my life. I don't ask for pity. I cope. I take steps to work on my pain.I have upped my arthritis medication and go back to my rheumatologist in July. I also have a 'procedure' (which involves sedation and lots of needles) on at the end of June which will alleviate a lot of back pain. I see my primary care (well her nurse practitioner becuase she will be on maternity leave) also in June where I...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 24, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: healthy living pain treatment Source Type: blogs

A Workout a Day Keeps The Cancer Cooties Away.
Maybe an apple a day too. When I was in treatment for breast cancer, I would go for a daily walk, every day unless hospitalized. It helped with destressing, medication side effects, and I really liked getting outside and stepping away from the doom and gloom.  No one ever told me not to walk. The nurses and doctors all thought it was great.Since then I have had to join a gym for dilapidated people where there are physical therapists and all sorts of people to help us do things like stand on one foot without falling over. I'm not kidding. I no longer exercise every day because I can't. I need a day off between working ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 23, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer risk walking exercise Source Type: blogs

Let the patients make the decisions
I'm not sure why we continue to let insurers make decisions for us on our care. I completely understand that an insurer wants to keep an eye on expenses and want preapproval so they can count their beans. But they should not be telling us what care we can get - with in reason.I agree insurers should not need to pay for cosmetic procedures for example. If someone wants to fix their nose, they can pay for it (through the nose). But decisions which relate to life and death care should not be theirs to make.A new study showed that women on Medicaid are much more likely to have a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy - 60% of thos...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 22, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: medical decisions surgery health insurance Source Type: blogs

Doing good hides being bad
GlaxoSmithKline has announced a partnership with Save the Children to help reduce the child mortality rates in Africa by providing drugs at cost. This sounds all very good and such. I am all for reducing child mortality rates and reduced costs for medications.However, you should also know that GlaxoSmithKline is the manufacturer of Tykerb which is used to treat several kinds of cancer, including metastatic breast cancer for the paltry amount of $6000-$7000/month. I did find the price online for $1000/month. This is only one of their many medications.What irks me about this supposed 'goodness' by GSK is paid for on the back...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 21, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: charity bad business medication costs Source Type: blogs

Off to play doctor
No, not like that! Get your minds out of the gutter!I have an appointment this morning with my pain management doctor. My back has been hurting a lot recently. Having been through the medical school and now having the degree called 'Professional Patient PW' (PW=Perpetually Waiting), I am ready to tell my doctor the next steps,unless he has some wizardry that I don't know about.My back has caused significant amounts of pain recently which immobilizes me and makes me cranky. We were going to wait six months between visits but I opted for four months and then called and moved my appointment up  by two weeks because of th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 20, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: treatment options being a patient back pain doctor appointments Source Type: blogs

Relay for life honor those who have had cancer
Have you ever looked at the cancer walks/rides/races and thoughtThere is no way I could raise that much moneyI physically can't do thatI think all that pink stuff is just awful Honestly I'm lazy and not up for thatWell there is an option for you. The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life takes place across the country in thousands of cities and towns. I don't think they have much of a minimum donation but ask that people raise about $100 (I could be wrong here but it is a small amount). If you have had cancer, you can participate by attending and walking an honorary lap and have a delicious meal. And its free. At the ve...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 19, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer support cancer bonds Relay for Life Source Type: blogs

That other emotion with cancer
Survivor guilt often hits cancer patients later one. We are diagnosed and are hit with the why me mentality. Then as we come to accept and adapt to our cancer diagnosis, we tend to meet others who are also dealing with their cancer diagnosis. Then sometimes they are not so lucky and don't make it. Then we are faced with survivor guilt.I can sympathize with this. I had thyroid cancer in 1981.When I returned to school shortly after that I lived in a dorm on a coed floor. That year the school had a mural painting contest on each floor. On the other side of the floor was an artistic student, in fact his father was an art profe...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 18, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: survivorship guilt death cancer bonds Source Type: blogs

Price shopping for surgery
We all price shop for things. If the gas station across the street is five cents cheaper per gallon, we might go there. If one brand of milk is cheaper than the other, we will probably grab the cheaper one. Some of us coupon clip and research prices online.We also all have some splurges. Maybe its hand bags, maybe its shoes, maybe its chocolate. These are the items that we purchase regardless of the price. Maybe its that Coach bag or the Manolo Blahnik shoes that we want no matter what. We just blindly get what we want.So where should our surgery shopping go? If you think about it, most of us have been treating surgery in ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 17, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: shopping surgery health insurance medical costs Source Type: blogs

The breast cancer treatment gap
Technology is advancing along in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. We now have a genetic test which allows patients to find out if they have a genetic mutation which puts them at high risk of the disease. But then we have the gap - if you have the mutation you get two options:cut off healthy body parts essentialyor spend the rest of your life in constant monitoring through mammograms and MRIs.Neither of those are particularly good are they? If you have a mastectomy and an oophorectomy (ovary removal) as Angelina Jolie is, you put yourself instantly into forced menopause at a young age which causes its own set o...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 16, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer diagnosis cancer treatment breast cancer Source Type: blogs

Over committed again
I am over committed again these days. Combined with a lot of back pain, it is not a lot of fun. We spent the weekend away (without a cell phone and survived) but that cut in to my work time.I am working my one job, winding down my other job but do not have enough time to get everything finished and I have deadlines. I am also starting to do a little more volunteer work, and tomorrow is an annual event where I have to be there at 6 am - but  its only ten minutes from home. I usually stay the whole day but this year they are going to be lucky to have me until lunch. Between back pain and other things I need to do, I am ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 15, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: schedules time volunteer work overscheduled pain Source Type: blogs

Being social can help breast cancer outcomes
So even if you feel like crap from chemo and want nothing but to sit  in a corner and stare vacantly out the window, be social. A new study (because all those researchers need to keep busy) recently found that women with breast cancer who are social - have better social and community ties - have better outcomes and handle the disease and side effects better. What did I do at my diagnosis? I started a blog, then joined two in person support groups, joined Twitter, then cancer message boards, then Crazy Sexy Cancer, then Facebook, then so many other online communities I can no longer remember them, never mind keep up wi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 14, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: coping breast cancer Source Type: blogs

Words from an oncologist
A few months ago, an oncologist wrote a "Letter To A Young Smoker From An Oncologist". I found it very touching and meant to blog about it at the time - but chemo brain made me forget. It is a great article to share with someone who smokes and knows they shouldn't. Maybe it will help them quit.Then the other day I found a sequel to the first letter entitled "This Is My Last Day On Earth" also written by the same oncologist, Dr. Craig Hildreth, MD. This is written from the patients point of view on dying of cancer and the issues that supported them and what they fought to the end.The patient writes speci...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 13, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: regrets medical advice oncologist dying Source Type: blogs

Komen-diculousity of course!
Today, MLB has decided to allow players to wear and use pink items to promote breast cancer awareness. I am not a big fan of sports teams wearing pink at all. But this one drives me crazy.There are pink bats made by Louisville Slugger, and hats and gloves and pads and all sorts of things so the manly guys who play baseball can be pinkified for a day. After the day, the pink items will be raffled off with the benefits going to charity.Not that this is bad enough but Nick Markakis of the Baltimore Orioles and Trevor Plouffe of the Minnesota Twins had special bats made by MaxBat because their mothers had breast cancer. These ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 12, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: pinkification sports komen Source Type: blogs

Living without a phone
Due to a range of circumstances I am phoneless for the next few days. My husband is convinced I will go crazy. I am sure I will be fine.I was an early cell phone resistor and didn't get one until the spring of 2002 when I was job hunting. I have found it useful but not required in life. I am capable of going off for a day without my phone - unless I am traveling long distance and need to be in communication with others.I do not feel the need for instant communication that so many others do. I am happy to be by myself and not have to talk to anyone who is not with me. Or text. Or email.It allows me to take the escape to the...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 11, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: telephone communication Source Type: blogs

Its been one of those weeks
I feel I have been somewhat introverted this week and pulling back a bit. I'm not sure why. I am doing okay. I have a fair amount of back pain these days and have moved up my appointment so that I can get some relief sooner as opposed to later. I have plenty of other aches and pains to boot.I have been tired all week. I have been sleeping fairly well. But have frequently felt the need to nap.  I did  have my annual mammogram this week which was a tiny bit stressful. Next year I will remember: If I feel something its nothing, if they find something its a problem. I felt something which turned out to be plain old b...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 10, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: tired mammogram pain Source Type: blogs

You cant tell other people how to feel
You can't tell someone else how to feel about anything, especially about a cancer diagnosis. In this morning's Ask Amy column and woman writes in about how her mother seems to be upset and feels that she is dying. The writer was treated for cancer and is currently fine. The mother is symptomatic of cancer, not yet diagnosed and thinks she is going to die, taking a woe is me attitude.The writer is concerned that her mother's attitude is so bad and that she needs to change it.Hello! Her mother isn't feeling well. She is symptomatic of something, may be not even cancer, but clearly not feeling well. I think that the writer (d...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 9, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer diagnosis emotions Source Type: blogs

The post cancer life
Life after a cancer diagnosis is never the same as before. They (this is the proverbial them) tell you that you will reach a new normal - whatever that is.Some people turn their diagnosis into a turning point in their life where they start eating organic food, take better care of themselves, and appreciate the little things in life.I can say that while I used to exercise regularly. Now I even belong to a gym - it maybe one for dilapidated people - but I even go to it three times a week. And attempt to go for a walk one time a week. I am pretty sure I reach the minimum suggested exercise requirements. I am also attempting p...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 8, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: exercise post cancer Source Type: blogs

Avoidance mode
Yesterday at work was the monthly sales meeting day which means it was chaotic from time to time. I was feeling relatively antisocial for some reason. I couldn't decide why. Then I realized its because of my stupid medical appointments tomorrow which are putting me in avoidance mode. Nothing like one bad mammogram to make you dread them for the rest of your life. But that is tomorrow. This is today. I will go to work today and then the gym and continue to avoid it all day and all of tomorrow as well.Stressed? Not me. Ha! (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 7, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: mammogram stress avoidance Source Type: blogs