Monday morning and I need a nap
Last night I went to bed pretty early to get ready for a Monday where I actually have to go to work. I did wake up around 330 and wasn't sure I would get back to sleep. Then I was informed by my husband that I slept through the alarm and the snooze alarm. I guess I was tired. I need a nap.But its not to be. I will go to work and then meet a friend for a walk (I hope). I'll go to bed  early tonight to make up for it.I have been a big fan of four day weekends recently and find I barely make it through a 3 day work /18 hour work week. Today I have to go to work because of my doctor appointments on Wednesday and I have pl...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 6, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: tired procrastination Source Type: blogs

On being cynical or jaded...
Yesterday I thought my blog post was a bit cynical. Someone on Facebook said it was a bit jaded maybe but understandable.My health keeps giving me hits - if its not one thing, its another. I spend more time rearranging my life for doctor appointments and at those appointments than anything else. By the end of this week, I will have had 18 medical appointments in the first 19 weeks of the year. I am down to an expected rate of about 50 doctor appointments for the year. This is the lowest since 2006.My therapist (of course I need a therapist with all these medical issues) tells me I am in chronic mourning for my health becau...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 5, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: health cynicism being a patient Source Type: blogs

What is so 'feel good' about cancer?
I'm working on this one. I haven't come up with much. There was a recent article in the New York Times about our feel good, pinkification war on breast cancer that has never done much for me. There is also that year 2020 breast cancer deadline which I find just stupid. Seriously in 7 years there will be a cure? We have come a fair distance in the past seven years but that doesn't seem to have us in a position to be done in the next 7. Some pretty little blue bird of happiness will have to drop something off unexpectedly that will do the trick, get through FDA testing and all that, and then drug companies will still gouge t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 4, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: pinkification satisfaction cancer research Source Type: blogs

The Best New Doctor Reaction Yet
He laughed.I went to see a physicians assistant in the rheumatology department yesterday about the bump on my arm (not on a log). He was a very nice man and spent some time talking to me.He said what I have is probably a ganglion cyst and he could stick a needle in it and drain it but it might come back. I said lymphedema arm. He said 'oops, no needle'. I said when I move my thumb around it makes it hurt more, he said I could give you a thumb splint but that would make your arm swell up.So we left it that I will monitor admire it, and if it does become problematic, I would be referred to a surgeon to see if there was anyth...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 3, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: treatment options ganglion cyst rheumatoid arthritis doctor appointments Source Type: blogs

How we cope
I have always said that unless you have walked the walk, you can't talk the talk. If you haven't had cancer, you have no idea what it is like - you can't shouldn't even pretend to get it. But those of us who have been there know.So that opens us up to all the emotions of the cancer diagnosis and treatment process again and again as we hear stories about others.A friend called me yesterday because a friend of hers who just gave birth to a new baby two weeks ago, was just diagnosed at stage IV for a recurrence of a rare childhood cancer. There aren't a lot of treatment options - either chemo or surgery - available for her. S...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 2, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer diagnosis coping story Source Type: blogs

Now its my back
Lets return to the 'if its not one thing, its another' category. My back is being very bad lately. When I say bad it is causing me pain of the kind that makes it difficult to remain vertical for any length of time. That makes it hard for me to do things like walking around, cooking meals, cleaning, emptying the dishwasher, going to the grocery store, going to work, and feeding the cat among others. Nothing much. It also tends to hurt when I am sitting or lying down. What can I do that does not cause me pain. I'm thinking. I'll get back to you when I come up with something.I think what has happened is that the last treatmen...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 1, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: medical treatment being a patient back pain Source Type: blogs

I was unenlightened
I broke down and called my rheumatologist's office yesterday about the bump on my arm (not on a log). The problem was who to talk to.The nurse practitioner I saw a couple of weeks ago is on vacation.The rheumatologist I saw first left and I have not yet met with my new rheumatologistI ended up talking to the physician's assistant who has never met me. We will meet on Thursday afternoon.He did tell me it sounds like a rheumatoid nodule - I said that I am rheumatoid factor negative and statistics say I should not be getting nodules. But I did switch to injectable methotrexate which could be what caused it so I might need to ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 30, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: treatment options nodules cysts rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

If its not one thing, its another
Friday I noticed a little bump on the side of my wrist that appears to be on the end of one of the bones in my lower arm. It is solid and hurts. I had noticed some previous pain in the area but since I always have pain somewhere, I didn't really think about it.Its about the size of a pea and might have gotten a little bigger this weekend. I have no idea what it is. I did contemplate that evil cancer word for a few moments. Dr Google told me it would be very unlikely to be any kind of cancer.I have often been asked by my doctors if when I had my last flare and my response is I don't know because I am not sure if I have had ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 29, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: nodules pain rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

Meet my oncologist and her cookbook
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I had an oncologist who I really liked. He was nice and would explain numbers and statistics to me and give me detailed explanations on treatment options and why he chose one over the other.At the end of my active treatment phase, he left. He was not given permission for this and I was upset. One big trauma point for cancer patients is when the active treatment portion ends and the come back and see us in six months starts. They go from caring about every sniffle to 'see-ya!'.I was pretty stressed about the change and did not know what to expect from my new oncologist. But I wa...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 28, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: oncologist healthy eating cooking food Source Type: blogs

I do have a healthy body part
Yesterday was a relatively normal day in my life. I went to Costco, went for a walk, and then got my nails done. Aren't I exciting?Later at the salon they had a special client appreciation event where they did hair treatments, make up, had a pop up store for consignment clothes, food, awesome fruit punch (with a bottle of Absolut on the side but I did not partake).While I was getting my nails done, they were setting up the popup store - note to the woman in a blue dress: while your dress may be vintage and pretty, it was not appropriate for setting up racks (we did see your underwear THREE TIMES) and I believe it (the dres...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 27, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: fun health Source Type: blogs

Doctors getting on the cost bandwagon
I have long been whined commented on the high price of medications. I find the high price of new medications combined with the laughable rationale given by the drug manufacturers ridiculous.Not to put a dollar value on a human life, but a drug that costs upwards of $10,000 per month and may extend life only a few months, is crazy. You can say that few actually pay the full price but we all pay the prices in the form of higher insurance premiums.A group of more than 100 doctors, mostly oncologists, from fifteen countries, have banded together to blast the high cost of cancer care."The doctors and researchers, who speci...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 26, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: insurance costs cancer treatment rebelling medical costs Source Type: blogs

That was a bad day!
I don't like needles. You might have heard this from me before. I was very clear with my oncologist when I was diagnosed that it was not an option for me to self inject. Ever. Last week I was told that my RA is not responding to oral treatment so I need to switch to injections. I was a bit stressed.I had no idea how stressed I was. Tuesday night I took an ativan so that I would be able to sleep and reduce some stress. Yesterday morning we had the teaching lesson with the nurse to learn how to self inject.I woke up with hives, a knot in my stomach, and extreme stress. Hives? That was a bit extreme. I have only had hives fro...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 25, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: needles stress fear Source Type: blogs

If you don't have your health, what have you got?
Some of us look at the rich and famous, the Hollywood stars, and others and think they have it all. Beauty, riches, and fame seem to be everything.But they are wrong. If you don't have your health, what do you have? Sofia Vergara had thyroid cancer 12 years ago. A recent article about her provides her reactions to thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment."She said that you realize that no matter how much beauty, money, and success you have, if you don't have health, you have nothing, because you can't do anything."Personally I think I am as healthy as a horse on the way to the glue factory. It only took Sofia 12 ye...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 24, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer diagnosis emotions health Source Type: blogs

Show me the data but don't charge me an arm and a leg
In the past the biotechnology industry enjoyed a cost and procurement system where drugs were provided at the cost set by the provider. Now there is change coming in the industry where the value of the drugs must be proven before being accepted. They now will be forced to sell good outcomes and at a lower cost.While the industry stock levels are running at a long term high and the FDA has approved a record number of drugs, the winds of change are shifting on through. On Monday, there was an executive meeting at the Biotechnology Industry Organization convention in Chicago where this issue was discussed in detail. &quo...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 23, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: manufacturers health insurance medication costs Source Type: blogs

Breast cancer risk reduction
There is a new trend in women who are deemed to be  at high risk for breast cancer to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. A mastectomy is not minor surgery and comes with its own set of risks. Women who then want reconstruction can be faced with months of additional surgery as well as the issue of implant replacement later in life. Other side effects can linger such as lymphedema for a lifetime.A new government task force (who is spending our money on these things) announced that high risk women should consider taking either tamoxifen or raloxifene to reduce their risk. While the drugs carry their own risks, the...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 22, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer risk breast cancer treatment Source Type: blogs

Misconceptions about breast cancer risk
Last night we had dinner with a friend who's mother had breast cancer more than 15 years ago. She was talking about her concern about getting breast cancer. I think both her grandmothers and a couple aunts had breast cancer. Several of them had bilateral mastectomies. This is dating back decades to the 1970s and earlier.She has not been tested for the BRCA genes because it would require her mother to be tested and she didn't want to put her mother through that. That was probably 15 years ago and she hadn't asked since. She was very concerned and sounded like she was sure she would get breast cancer.I asked her a couple que...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 21, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: genetics cancer risk cancer diagnosis stress Source Type: blogs

Paying the price
Yesterday, I had a lot of fun (and they caught the last bomber) and today I am paying the price.I got up and went to the gym early so I could get to my doctor appointment before playing hookey. After working out, I checked my phone and found that my doctor had cancelled. She lives in one of the towns which were in lock down. So we got a slightly earlier start.We went to Portsmouth, NH and had popovers and breakfast. Then we did some shopping. I really like my new orange fish planter - my husband thinks its weird but he'll have to get over it. Then we went to the outlet stores and I finally got a Le Crueset pan that I have ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 20, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: tired fun Source Type: blogs

Playing Hooky
Yesterday I posted about my crappy week. It got even better. After working until 230, I rushed to a dr apt and then rushed home to a meeting that last until after 6, and then got THE call. 730am on Wednesday 4/24 we will get a lesson on delivering medication subcutaneously. What that means, they will expect me to stab myself with a needle. I will need an ativan for that.The news this morning is all about the shootouts overnight to track down the Marathon bombing suspects. One is dead, one is on the run, police officers are dead. These guys are armed and dangerous. The subway and bus system is shut down city wide. Some town...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 19, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: hookey needles stress Source Type: blogs

This has been a bad week
This has not been a good week for me and a lot of other people. First off all, the marathon bombing on Monday turned lives upside down. And it seems to be the only thing on network television these days. All my regular shows I record so I don't have to stay up late, have been superseded by more news coverage showing the same things over and over again.I have a very busy schedule this week. I had a meeting after work Tuesday that went relatively well. I met with my boss at the job I am leaving to talk about transition and was pleasantly surprised to find out they have two replacements for me - which is good for them and mak...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 18, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: needles stress medical treatment rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

Semi retirement
As a result of my health disasters changes through the past six months, I am going into semi retirement. This does not mean I am going to stop working completely - SEMI retirement only. Instead of working two jobs - one 20 hours/week and the other 18 hours/week, as of May 10, I will work one job 18 hours/week.It was a big decision that I really thought about. I had to choose which job to leave. I made my decision based on the fact that one job is completely 9-5 and the other job requires nights and weekends and running around town picking things up, delivering things, attending events.I cannot go from one job to the other ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 17, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: retirement work pain Source Type: blogs

What a tragedy yesterday in Boston
It was a normal Marathon Monday for me where I watch the wheelchair races and lead runners on TV and then move on to other things for the day. I did a little gardening and went to the gym. While I was at the gym, everyone started watching one of the TVs and started talking.That was when the bombs had gone off. One woman, her son in law was at the finish line, was very concerned. I knew my sister and brother in law usually volunteer for the marathon - they were at the start line, not the finish line. I heard from two other friends who were about 200' away from the explosion giving water to runners when the first explosion w...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 16, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: terror pain horror Source Type: blogs

Breast Cancer Patients Go to Washington
Today is a big day. Around here it is Patriots Day which means there are parades (mostly yesterday), Revolutionary re-enactments, pancake breakfasts, award ceremonies, a little road race called the Boston Marathon, and a minor hint of spring - its a tropical 32 degrees right now.In Washington DC, its typical pomp and circumstance, the ego battles, and political denials, as well as oral arguments in the Supreme Court on the patent-ability of human genes and the genome. The ACLU, breast cancer patients, scientists, Biotech companies, and more are all meeting together to hear the oral arguments and then the Supreme Court will...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 15, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: genetics legislation testing Source Type: blogs

I get so confused on all this progress business
I saw this video and thought 'wow this is great news, more progress in treating late stage breast cancer'. Then I started thinking, did I see a different article on this new drug before or is a new one that I hadn't seen before. I get so confused.I do think this is progress but I don't know if its 'new to me' so to speak or if I did blog about it previously. Well, either way its a nice story and its nice to see progress. But further testing is needed, its only available in clinical trials, and more trials may be required so it is still months or  years away from being available. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 14, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: progress medical research breast cancer treatment Source Type: blogs

False positive test results
One of the complaints about annual mammograms is the possibility of false positive results. They can cause emotional trauma years later.Any false positive test result can be very scary. I am very sympathetic to this. No one wants to be told they have something 'bad' and to be told that they have something 'bad' and then be told that they were wrong, would be worse. But from my point of view (with my medical history) I can say having something 'bad' is infinitely worse than not having something 'bad'.To understand my point of view, look at my medical history.In 1981, I was told I probably had a goiter on my thyroid or somet...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 13, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: medical tests Source Type: blogs

That battle thing
Earlier this week, we went to see the rehearsal for the Battle of Lexington, which will be held at 530am on Monday morning if you wish to see the real thing. (I'll be sleeping thank you.) That is a battle, which led to a war, which led to the Constitution, the United States, and somehow to where we got to today with a polarized government, financial problems, and global warming. But I digress.There has been much talk recently about Roger Ebert and how he lost his battle with cancer. He didn't lose his battle. He lived his life and then died. Where did we get this battle thing regarding cancer and other ailments anyway? A b...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 12, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: death ailments cancer Source Type: blogs

What if your doctor sued back?
We all do it. We all complain and sometimes even compliment businesses and professionals we deal with. I always rate restaurants and attractions I go to (I'm going for my next badge on TripAdvisor).Some people rate their doctors, dentists, and more. I haven't gotten that far. I do blog about my doctors from time to time but I usually keep a line of anonymity and privacy do not blast them using their name. I try not to be negative as a rule on other people.This one man did blog about his unhappiness with his wife's doctor after she died from cancer. Then the doctor sued him for damage to her career in response. This isn't a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 11, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: opinion reviews doctors blogging Source Type: blogs

Just say no to cancer
This is the attitude we should all take. We should say no to cancer. Its not going to run my life.Or through this link. At my first diagnosis I said 'What the hell is going on with me?' and decades later had unresolved issues. You may call me a slow learner compared to Gloria Borges. It too me to my second round to be a bit more proactive.Repeat after me: cancer will not suck the life out of me! (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 10, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: resistance quality of life cancer bonds Source Type: blogs

Why don't have I have a patient navigator?
I need a patient navigator. The idea behind a patient navigator is to help newly diagnosed people deal with the mysteries of all these new doctors, treatments, and help them through the process by being there as the go-to person. Its part of the new patient centered care which is a great idea. An experienced person is assigned to a newly diagnosed person. The experienced person can be someone who simply is more familiar with the hospital and how it works or can be someone who has been through the same ailment (s). My health is complicated and I have lots of doctors so why don't I get a patient navigator? I think the real a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 9, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: support hospital being a patient Source Type: blogs

Napping is so underrated
Yesterday I took an hour and a half nap. Spontaneously. I mean I lay down to read a book and fell asleep solidly. The result was I woke up this morning at 330 and had a hard time getting back to sleep. I should stayed up later.We have visiting family this week and are running around doing the things you do with out of town guests. Yesterday we did some Revolutionary War history - we live 2 miles from the Shot Heard Round the World. They do an annual reenactment at the crowd control time of 530am on Patriots Day which is next Monday, April 15 (as opposed to Patriot Day which is September 11). Yesterday afternoon was the dre...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 8, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: nap fun history Source Type: blogs

More about fibromyalgia.
One Minute Medical School on Fibromylagia, in case you were trying to figure out what it is.By the way, I hate swimming so that's not happening. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 7, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: education fibromyalgia Source Type: blogs

I got promoted
I now have enough ailments, or an important one, that allowed my insurance company to nominate me to get extra personal care. AccordantCare, which is part of CVS somehow, provides an information library and personal contact with a nurse who helps with dealing with doctors, treatment plans, and just some one to call and talk to about health issues.Due to my RA diagnosis and my insurance company's arrangement with them, I get this extra care. I think it could be helpful. In addition to the fact that my RA is still not under control, my rheumatologist is leaving and I am getting a new one, and its a relatively new diagnosis, ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 6, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: special care nurses rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

Further proof that thyroid cancer is not a good cancer
Robert Ebert died the other day of cancer. He had both papillary thyroid cancer and salivary gland cancer. I do not know which cancer was the one that got him in the end and does it really matter?People go around saying thyroid cancer is a good cancer. Its not. It kills people. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 5, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: thyroid cancer Source Type: blogs

Here's a big oops!
A bunch of cancer patients in Canada received less than the specified dose of chemotherapy. Nearly 1200 patients in a group of medical centers and then 186 at another. Oopsy! They do not really say how it happened but its clearly a problem. Chemotherapy doses, I believe, are based on body weight. I think the dose you receive always starts on the higher side to see if its tolerated and then the oncologist can tweak it down.But if the oncologist does all their math and then the dose is too weak, that's a problem.What is scary is this wasn't discovered until a pharmacy technician noticed it. The hospitals say they have steps ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 4, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer treatment chemotherapy Source Type: blogs

Put some cost pressure on the providers
Finally I think some pressure is being put on drug manufacturers to manage costs. There was a recent report out of the UK saying that the cost benefit analysis of everolimus, a new advanced breast cancer drug, led to the decision by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to not recommend its use.  Then another study in the US shows that the cost of drugs for Hepatitis C and Rheumatoid Arthritis account for more than 50% of the costs to treat those patients."In the first study, researchers found that despite the overall decrease in Hep C specialty drug use from 2008 to 2011 (17.2 percent v...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 3, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: prescriptions medication costs Source Type: blogs

Cancer treatment in stealth mode
I find this fascinating. Stealth mode makes me think of spies, CIA, cold war, KGB, NSA, guerrilla warfare, covert operation and all that.I found an article on Smithsonian.com, The War on Cancer Goes Stealth, which explains in detail what exactly they are doing - tricking cells, sneaking past the sentries, etc. I know it needs more testing and many researchers will be busy with this for a long time but treatments targeting individual cancer cells so patients can avoid chemotherapy and enjoy a good quality of life.Here is a TED talk explaining it more with links to more talks on it here. This intrigues me to no end. And conv...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 2, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer research medical research Source Type: blogs

Want vs can
As I have been cutting back in my life, I have run into some misunderstandings. There are people who think that I am not doing as many things  in my life due to the fact that I don't want to. But the reality is that I cant do everything I used to do. I used to go for a daily walk. Yesterday I went for a walk because it hit 60 degrees (finally) on  one of my favorite routes through the conservation land that I used to do easily. When I came home and had to lie down for a bit and was hobbling around for the rest of the day and almost bailed on cooking dinner.I was at a meeting recently and someone said something ab...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 1, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: assumptions fibromyalgia change pain rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

A needle free future
I am elated, no, overjoyed, on cloud nine, jumping up and down with joy (as much as I can jump up and down these days) at this news. Companies are now trying to figure out ways to deliver drugs WITHOUT needles.I hate needles. I see no need for news programs and commercials to show people getting shots. If I have to have a needle near my body, I tell the doctors and nurses that I hate needles and can't look at them. When I had injections under my kneecap (I get chills up and down my spine just writing that), they were very good at distracting me.I have a coworker who is so petrified of needles he gets freaked out by doctor ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 31, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: needles injections fear medication Source Type: blogs

One of those blog posts
This is my third try to write a blog post this morning. The first one was on quality of life post cancer treatment. The second one was on the s-word. The third one is on my day because I am not inspired to write about the first two. Today is one of those days with a thousand things to do at home and around the house. My husband has a bigger list than me because I can't do all the things that need to be done. I am doing the laundry so I get points for that. And I will clean the kitchen in a bit so don't think I am lazy.Last night we went out to dinner and got our desserts to go so we could eat it tonight. Well, I got on the...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 30, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: boring pain Source Type: blogs

Comparisons and Standards
Take two people with the same ailment in the same room and one of the first things they will do is start comparing their ailments, doctors and treatments. This is normal. (People who have not had the ailment are not allowed in these conversations because they will insist on comparing the treatment their cousin's hairdresser's neighbor's dogwalker's mother in law had for a similar but different ailment, was treated by a different treatment protocol, and then died after month's in pain in a greatly emaciated state.)Its the same as two people who show up at the same event wearing the same shirt, they talk about where they got...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 29, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer treatment standards follow up doctor appointments Source Type: blogs

Day by day
These days I live things day by day. What I mean by this is I plan to have a normal schedule and be the normal me (as much as I can be considered to be normal) and then I start making alterations to my schedule based on how I feel. Some days I keep my schedule and some days, I make short cuts, go  home early and take naps.Yesterday I was supposed to go out to dinner with family but I opted to stay home.  I was sore, tired, achy, and felt my pink fuzzy pajamas were calling my name. We stayed home and had tuna sandwiches for dinner and I went to bed early.This week I am taking it easier than most. The accident did ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 28, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: nap schedules fatigue pain Source Type: blogs

That was stupid (on my part)
They (the all knowing all powerful they) insist that patients should get and keep all of their medical test results. They say its the smart thing to do. So being smart, yesterday I went off to get a copy of my CT scan results so I can read it myself and obey 'them'.Now I'm sorry I did.I know the value of having a doctor interpret the results but the ER doctor had already told me no injuries, just some arthritis in my neck.I also know that some things show up on test results that the radiologists comment on but aren't really important and can be ignored.But now I want to call my doctor to find out if I should be concerned. ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 27, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: test results stupidity back pain Source Type: blogs

Accident update
Here's the damage. There is a possibility the car is not totaled but the garage says its borderline. I had a very busy day yesterday dealing with the accident details. I went over to the garage where the car was towed with the intent of cleaning out anything of value and seeing if I could find my driver's license and eye glasses. My purse dumped out so I thought my license might be there. The airbag blew my glasses off so I was wearing a spare pair. When I arrived there the man who towed my car told me the other driver was arguing with the police when he was towing the cars.I packed up all sorts of stuff in the car - my Ar...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 26, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: car accident follow up insurance Source Type: blogs

I had a big adventure this weekend
This was not an an intentional adventure but an accidental one - literally. I will preface this by saying I am fine. But the car is not and is probably on its way to the big junkyard in the sky.Saturday afternoon after returning from a luncheon, I decided to run out to the liquor store to get some wine to have with the curry I was cooking. I live in a neighborhood of small streets with a lot of intersections without stop signs. People often coast through them and assume that no one is coming, which is often the case as the roads are very quiet.I turned off the main road and went one block up the steep curvy hill to turn le...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 25, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: car accident arthritis stupidity pain Source Type: blogs

I need to widen my interests
Yesterday I went to a luncheon sponsored by the New England Coalition for Cancer Survivorship with a friend. She has had breast cancer and remarked when we arrived that she wasn't used to seeing men at cancer events. Breast cancer events are mostly filled with pink clad women.The lunch was wonderful with recognition of many people who are helping people with cancer cope with life after treatment - a worthy cause. I knew several people there and made some new friends and connections.However I started thinking (a dangerous undertaking to say the least) and decided I need to get more involved with the worlds of fibromyalgia a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 24, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: support fibromyalgia pain cancer rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

Recovering after a very long week
In the past months, six or so, my energy levels are significantly down. I need to make sure I have enough down time and time to stay home and do nothing. I can tire myself out quite easily and then pay the price for days.I had a three day work week this week but am exhausted. I tried to sleep late this morning but the cat sat on me because he wants food and the sun was streaming in from the room across the hall. Note to self evict the cat and close the other shades. I will try again tomorrow.Emotionally and physically it was a tough week. I came back home after a 380 mile to visit my brother on Monday. Tuesday was another ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 23, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: sleep fatigue pain cancer Source Type: blogs

Too many screening tools
Now the big 'hoo haw' in the medical world is preventative care. You know they want people to have annual physicals and get certain screening tests - mammograms, PSA, and colonoscopies. I personally think a bit of prevention goes a long way.But we can't focus on that and test everyone to death (bad choice of words there?) can we? I mean its bad enough that I go to my PCP for a physical and I get sent for blood tests. I used to get annual chest x-rays because I have had a thingy in my lungs but after thirty years of annual commemorative pictures, they have changed protocols and said I no longer need those.I also still get a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 22, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: confusion medical tests being a patient Source Type: blogs

Share personal information or pay up
 This is such a load of crap. CVS announced this week that employees must share their body fat percentage and weight or pay an extra $50/month or $600/year for their health insurance. Excuse me but this is none of their business.The claim is that it helps the company save money in insurance costs because its a preventive measure and helping people get and stay healthy. I have a real problem with this on several levels.Its none of your insurance company's business as to what is wrong with you. This leads to bias and to loss of or lack of coverage. Body fat percentage is not a good value to represent overall health. Whi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 21, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: insurance costs health insurance stupidity Source Type: blogs

An even playing field please.
I admit to being a little confused here. Why aren't manufacturers of generic drugs held to the same standards of the patent manufacturers and vice versa? This is a tad confusing.There are lawsuits out there about side effects from generic drugs which are being heard in the Supreme Court.Basically a generic is the same as the original medication. Federal law requires generic drug makers to provide identical ingredients, warnings, and labels as brand-name products.If generics make up 80% of the drugs sold in the US, they should have the same accountability standards as the original manufacturer. And any side effects are ther...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 20, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: generics side effects medication Source Type: blogs

More research is needed
I ended my experiement and found that more research is needed:First of all I should have done a bit more planning. I would have found that it is really 380 miles to visit my brother, not 300 miles. I turned on the GPS in my phone and realized I was wrong. Crap. Not a good way to start.Then I should have brought more water with me. I brought one little bottle and ended up having to buy water - I hate buying water because of they are all the single serve ones (which should be outlawed as far as I am concerned).I also have some questions for the FastLane/EZ Pass people. In Massachusetts, they are 15 mph lanes. In New York, th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 19, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: research fatigue family Source Type: blogs

Experiment concluded
I survived my experiment. I will analyze my data and figure out my analysis. I have a feeling I will need more research because my back hurts and I need a nap. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 18, 2013 Category: Cancer Tags: research sarcasm Source Type: blogs