Life Inside the Bomb Cyclone
All of a sudden the meteorologists are giving us their fancy vocabulary instead of allowing the media to create terms like'snowmageddon'. So instead of living inside a blizzard (or a snow globe), we are inside the bomb cyclone.What is it like? Today when I woke up it was not snowing. By 8am it was snowing. The black cat (Evil Kitty) came in with snowflakes on him. I am also watching the barometer (because we have one finally). It was at 29.8 last night, 29.4 this morning, and is already down to 29.3. I am being such a geek.I did some planning yesterday afternoon. We have been home for days on end. We went out to dinner las...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 4, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: planning snow storm Source Type: blogs

Hibernation
I think today and tomorrow I will hibernate. Today is supposed to hit 28 degrees, the first time over 20 degrees in over a week so I might go out for a bit. Overdue library books might motivate me. The cats are going out for a bit. Tomorrow we are due to get a foot of snow. We will both be hibernating with the cats. Friday I will go to the gym and have a friend over for tea.Hibernating is good and bad. The good thing is I don't go out and slip on the ice and snow and I won't get frostbite. On the down side, it does not help my stress levels. Hibernation can mean isolation. Today I am home alone. Tomorrow, I assume with the...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 3, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: coping depression isolation winter Source Type: blogs

Blogging In The New Year
I have many plans for 2018.For my health, I hope to have a healthier 2018 than 2017 was. Honestly I do not think I can deal with any more ailments. I hope I can be healthier.For my blog, I hope to go back to blogging regularly. I started blogging about breast cancer and have continued to blog through the roller coaster of the rest of my health. This all started in 2007, more than ten years ago. While I have been blogging almost every day, in the last few years I might have slowed down a little and skipped a day here and there.Then last summer, I made the decision, due to travel and other plans, to take my blog off line for...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 2, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments blogging coping stress Source Type: blogs

Cancer again....
Did you know that if you have cancer once you have a 3.5-36.9% chance of getting an unrelated second cancer (been there, done that). And that 70% of cancer people have a comorbid condition which requires better medical care for the rest of their life. So maybe you smoked and got one cancer, 15 years later you find you have lung cancer, eve though you quit smoking at your first diagnosis.No I don't make this stuff up. Someone finally did a study on people who have cancer once and rates of developing a new cancer. They found out lots of interesting things:Many people who have cancer once do not take steps to reduce...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 28, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer awareness cancer detection cancer risk Source Type: blogs

Favorites During Chemo
When you are starting chemo, you are warned not to eat your favorite foods during chemo because if chemo makes them taste bad you will never be able to enjoy them again. It's also true of activities that you are able to enjoy doing during chemo.When I was in chemo, I spent a lot of quality time watching bad tv with the cat sitting next to me. The cat would sit next to me all the time. Watching tv was okay because I could barely focus and could watch the same movies over and over again. They were peripherals.I still have not gotten one shrimp or scallions. If I smelled scallions during chemo I would have to leave the room b...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 25, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds cancer treatment hobbies Source Type: blogs

Recommendations vs. Medical Standards vs Patient Preferences
How often do you get your teeth cleaned? Every six months, just like the ADA reccomends of course. Unless you have bad teeth like me and go every three months (and I hate having my teeth cleaned). There are guidelines that tell us all sorts of things - get the oil changed on your car, get a flu shot, get a colonoscopy, and get a mammogram.We usually follow these guidelines because they give us structure and a sense of how often we need to do these things. We listen to them because they are all in the'preventive'category - they help make us more likely to live longer and healthier. We may not understand all the reasons why ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 24, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer screening changes education Source Type: blogs

The Young Adult Ignored Cancer Patients
This is one of my pet peeves. Children with cancer have their mature, sane parents advocating for them. Adults with cancer can advocate for themselves.The young adults - 15 to 30s - often don't find the same support or resources. First they are still trying to figure out who they are and what they will do with their life. Second, they are learning to be independent and should be focusing on their education and careers, not going to chemotherapy. There is hope now that online resources can help fill the gaps for the patients and maybe for the doctors as well." In addition, they will probably go on to live long lives an...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 22, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds cancer treatment side effects young cancer patients Source Type: blogs

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
I have found there are two key conferences to follow to keep up with the latest cancer news annually. First of all, each June there is the annualASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncologists) conference held around the country. As oncologists come together and the outcome produces a slew of new research news for all types of cancer translated into normal English.Second, is the annualSan Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium held in early/mid-December each year in San Antonio TX. That was just held and so much news was just released. There was so much new news that you should go read it all yourself if you want to stay up on the...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 21, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer research cancer treatment learning medical research Source Type: blogs

Screening Recommendations Based on Doctor Personal Experiences
Recently in JAMA," ...a research letter... explores howsocial interactions with friends, family and colleagues who have been diagnosed with breast cancer may affect a physician ’s recommendations to patients. "What it found was that a doctor's personal experiences impact what they recommend for their patients. They did not necessarily follow the current guidelines. " Physicians familiar with someone with a poor prognosis who was not diagnosed via screening were much more likely to recommend routine checks for women between 40 and 44 years old and those over 75. "“Describing a woman whos...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 19, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: arthritis treatment cancer history cancer screening medical history Source Type: blogs

Aggressive Breast Cancer In Younger Women
Younger women with breast cancer always seem to (my tiny non-medical mind) be either very late stage and/or aggressive and require more aggressive treatment. And somenew research may explain why." Researchers at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom found that women aged 15 –39 who had early-onset breast cancer possessed specific gene variations that were associated with increased disease progression.Lead study author Dr. William Tapper — from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton — and team say that their results not only shed light on why younger women with bre...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 18, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer research genes Source Type: blogs

Time Sense With Cancer
I lovexkcd.com (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 17, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds Source Type: blogs

Feel Like I'm Back Twenty Steps
Finally I am feeling better and my post surgery recovery seems almost complete. The signs are there because I actually felt able to bring in the empty trash barrels and recycling bins (put everything in the big barrel and wheel it down the driveway). This is the first time since early October I have felt up to that. My husband even noticed.I was all set to go to the gym this week for the first time in months but I woke up Monday with a temperature (101.5) and thought I had the flu. It wasn't the flu. It wasn't an ear infection. It was just your basic run of the mill cold. It set me back - I postponed everything from this w...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 16, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: exercise gym knee surgery physical therapy Source Type: blogs

Clinical Trial Exclusions
Arecent SEER report looked at the incidence of  previous cancer diagnoses in newly diagnosed patients. An average of 18% of newly diagnosed cancer patients have previously been diagnosed with cancer. (25% of  patients over the age of 65 and 11% of those under 65.)  All these people will also probably exempted from any clinical trials for their new cancer because of their previous cancer." The investigators concluded: “A substantial proportion of patients diagnosed with incident cancer in the United States have survived a prior cancer. These patients may be excluded from clinical trials and underre...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 15, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: clinical trials exemptions medical history Source Type: blogs

Tumor Evolution
It turns out that tumors do evolve. And the result ofthe evolution is that sometimes the cancer treatment stops working." A new study by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah observed how breast cancer tumors evolve over time and demonstrated how changes within tumors may contribute to the process by which cancers no longer respond to treatment. Further, the research identifies that some of these changes may be shared across certain treatment-resistant breast cancers. "The problem in examining tumors is getting samples because that is that can be invasive. You can't really say t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 14, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer breast cancer treatment cancer research change tumor Source Type: blogs

Friendships
This has come up time and again but for some reason I have seen it more often in my Facebook feed in the last few weeks. Friendships - they come and go. We make friends and we lose friends. Some friends we lose when we change and move on - maybe we used to work together, live next door to each other, go to school together, or some other commonality which held us together but doesn't any more.Other times we opt to lose our friends when they appear to have changed. The point is from your perception you don't really want them as a friend any more. For instance, if you had a friend and they did something unethical/illegal woul...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 13, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation changes friends Source Type: blogs

Breast Cancer the Socially Acceptable Cancer
A breast cancer diagnosis is no fun. Actually any cancer diagnosis is no fun. We all know that. But maybe because of all the'awareness', it is now more socially acceptable than other forms of cancer. Isn't that just weird? I think so.Meanwhile, a woman in New Zealand was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer andshe wonders if breast cancer would be better because of the stigma surrounding smoking and lung cancer.I think lung cancer is the only cancer which is regarded as'self inflicted'.  Face it, as normal human beings we associate lung cancer with smoking. But not all smokers get lung cancer and not all lung cancer pa...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 12, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer bonds cancer stigma lung cancer support Source Type: blogs

That Lingering Risk Thingy
I can't say how much this just aggravates me. You get breast cancer. You get treatment and then they say we will see you once a year. You are NED (No Evidence Of Disease) for now. If you are hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) you get to take a little pill (tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors) that should help you stay that way.But there is always that lingering risk of recurrence. That's the one thing none of us want. A newstudy which looked at data from 88 different clinical trials over more than 20 years found that the risk of recurrence lingers after the AIs are ended." Researchers from the Early Breast Cancer Trial...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 11, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer recurrence cancer research femara Source Type: blogs

Personalizing Personalized Medicine
What is personalization? Its making things for the individual. This is seen all the time online. If you visit Amazon's website and search for toothpicks, you will start seeing ads for toothpicks popping up all the time. Until you search for something else.... Amazon's site is responding to your needs by reminding you about your recent search - meeting your needs.Personalizing personalized medicine means not doing the same thing over and over again, and taking into account patient's individual needs. However, we talk about personalized medicine and then discuss starting mammogram screening for all women at age 40. Where is ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 10, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer diagnosis mammogram personalized medicine Source Type: blogs

I'm Tired
I'm watching the new season of Top Chef so I can say I got myself in the weeds for rest this week. I think the term of being in the weeds is a restaurant kitchen term. It started when I had a two day craft show last weekend, followed by houseguests all week. They were my cousins and I was glad to see them. But I didn't get enough rest.Today I'm staying in bed and resting. For tomorrow's craft show and a friend's party. And making brownies for the party.But in the meantime, I am lying in bed as long as I can today. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 8, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: resting tired Source Type: blogs

Waiting for Cancer Research
After 12 years (how the heck did that happen?) of breast cancer coping, I have actually seen some cancer research go from new or in clinical trials to become standard of care. This includes length of hormonal treatment for breast cancer patients. But it does not include many, many others.Some cancer'breakthroughs'are still in trials, or have vanished because they didn't work. They provide us cancer people with instant elation at the possibilities it hints at, followed by deflation as we realize it is years or decades in the future.An example of this is this news that at UVA they are working to find a wayto stop triple nega...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 4, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer research clinical trials waiting Source Type: blogs

Post Surgery Recovery
Its exactly 8 weeks and one day since my knee surgery that made me rest more for longer than I have had to in many years. I was told 4-5 months of rehab for my meniscus repair. Now I am at the end of month two and realize I still have many more weeks of rehab in front of me.The first month I was not allowed to drive so I sat around and gained back the ten pounds I had just lost. I got a lot of reading and knitting done and binge watched way too much TV. The cats liked me to be home and sit around a lot so they got attention. I had to postpone many doctor appointments. The only thing I did get to do was go to physical thera...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 1, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: frustration knee surgery recovery Source Type: blogs

Not My Story To Tell
One important issue when you have cancer or anything else'yucky'is that well meaning friends and relatives often take it upon themselves to retell your story, with embellishments, to others. Its not their story to tell.As the patient, you have the right to decide who to tell, what to tell, and when to tell about your ailment. This is one of the big reasons I have a blog. I get to funnel the information and tell what I want after I have a chance to digest it, when I want to tell it.You might have noticed I do not write about other's health challenges. I might mention someone but I don't tell their story. Its not my story to...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 30, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments being a patient story Source Type: blogs

Supporting Your Friends Through Your Cancer
Say what? You know that line'don't my your problems, my problems'? This is clearly the case here. Yes, sometimes your friends want emotional support because of your illness.One of my closest friends mostly vanished from my life during my treatment. Yes she has a very busy schedule and she had a small child at that time. Her mother was also very ill. But I missed her emotional support during that time.Currently and in the past, we would talk at least once a week and get together once a month. But during that treatment time period, I didn't talk to her for months. I had other friends but I missed her. Later one of our mutual...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 29, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer support friends stress Source Type: blogs

Cancer Friends
For the past two days I have spent time with different cancer friends. I call them cancer friends because I met them all through cancer situations - one group from my old support group and two others I met at different cancer retreats.What was the gist of all our conversations? Our health and our numbers of ailments. We all have ailments we are coping with. Some of us have new or potential ailments which bring us concern. Some of the ailments are side effects of our cancer treatments. We do not all have cancer concerns right now but that always lurk in the background. And we all know it will never go away.We shared test re...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 28, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds cancer support friends Source Type: blogs

More Not Blogging
I have been very busy the last fewday weeks. Now that I can drive, I have been driving and going places and thus wearing myself out and making my knee hurt. I had Thanksgiving prep for food and house guests and dinner for 14. I also have had some doctor appointments that were postponed from when I couldn't drive. I still have lots more appointments for the same reason as well as PT for my knee.So now that I am getting back to normal I have things on my mind for blogging topics. They will not get all the coverage due  because I have been a slacker for my reasons above.I have pondered the issue of losing friends and mak...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 26, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation ailments blogging friends holidays Source Type: blogs

Celebrate the Holiday, Without the Cancer Advice
Over onCure Magazine, Martha Carlson, who is living with metastatic breast cancer, provides a bit of advice on how to enjoy the holiday, even when confronted by the unwanted offers of'advice'from the'helpful'friends and family you see at family gatherings. Everyone knows this type of people. They think they know more than you do about how to treat your disease, because:They read something about it onceThey saw something about it on TV or onlineThey are smarter than you and just know these things that your poor brain cells could never have found on your ownThey know someone who had a similar ailment a long time ago and...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 23, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments coping family holidays relationships Source Type: blogs

What A Concept!
I met with a pharmacist yesterday or a pharmacologist. It was great. When I had my annual physical with my primary care doctor in September, she was concerned about my medications and interactions.The pharmacologist went through my entire list of medications - prescription and OTC - and asked why I was taking each one. Then she went through and looked up possible interactions with them. She gave me some advice which I found very helpful.Because I am on Prilosec for GERD from a sliding hiatal hernia, I need to take it in the morning, 30 minutes after my thyroid medication and then wait another 30 minutes before eating. I wa...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 21, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doctors medical advice medications prescriptions Source Type: blogs

Not A New Ailment
So I had a medical test recently that came back abnormal. It was then repeated. Then I had another test which also came back not so good and now a referral to a new kind of doctor that I have never had before.My doctor sent me a note over the weekend with a referral for the new department. I asked for a copy of the latest test results and if she had a preferred doctor for me to see.I'm pissed.I'm not allowed to have another ailment.That's it.F**k.I'm really pissed.More when I feel ready to talk about it. I just needed to vent. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 20, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation ailments Source Type: blogs

Maybe I'm Lying To Myself
I can't tell you how many times I say things like'I'm fine','I didn't sleep well last night', or other creative lies about how I am doing, physically and mentally. Sometimes these are lies, to myself and to those who I am speaking.Over atThe Mighty, which is an awesome website for people with health issues. I only found it recently but immediately signed up for their emails. (That says something in itself because I think I spend more time unsubscribing from email lists than anything else these days.)They say:" The Mighty is a digital health community created to empower and connect people facing health challenges and d...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 17, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: anxiety depression emotional toll support Source Type: blogs

Just Because We Can, Doesn't Mean We Should, And Who Pays For It
Back when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I first learned about the OncotypeDx genomic test for women with breast cancer. Of course I was not eligible for it. I can't remember why - whether it was because it wasn't my first cancer, or I had a single tiny positive node.I am never eligible for anything because my health is too complicated to be eligible for anything. I have way too many ailments, previous or current treatments, or something. But I digress.I watched all these other women get the tests to find out their risk of recurrence. Over the years, genomic testing has expanded from the OncotypeDx test to inclu...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 16, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer diagnosis emotional toll genomic tests Source Type: blogs

On Not Blogging About Breast Cancer
You might have noticed that I haven't been blogging about breast cancer recently. Why? Because my brain has been filled with non-breast cancer issues that take up the entire health section of it.My brain is full of knee, RA, fibromyalgia, and other health issues. Like why can't I stop taking a couple of medications (a couple of serious conversations are upcoming)? Or why can't my hands and feet hurt less even though I am taking all these meds to make them stop hurting? Or when will my knee be all better and get back to normal? And why did I manage to get so tired yesterday when all I did was go to a yarn store (and spend t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 15, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging breast cancer knee surgery Source Type: blogs

Being Busy
I have not blogged for a couple of days because I have been busy. It was wonderful to be busy.I have spent so much time by myself over the last six weeks. I have kept myself busy and on some levels, very productive. The only people I have seen with any frequency, other than my husband, are the physical therapists when I go to PT twice a week. I have been starved for the sight of other people. I needed face to face interactions.Normally I spend a lot of time on my own which I don't mind. But over the course of a week, I would go to the gym three times, go to the grocery store, the library, my parents house, and see a friend...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 13, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: busy isolation loneliness recovery Source Type: blogs

Driving Again!
This is a big day. I drove home from breakfast today. It was a whole three miles but my knee felt fine. And I am going to drive myself to my doctor appointments today so my husband doesn't have to. However, he will be drive me this weekend to craft shows because they are longer distances.All this means, I am just as restricted as I always have been. I will be coming home to lie down regularly.But I can go to my PT and doctor appointments without hunting for a ride or paying for a cab. And maybe I can get my hair cut next week.No gym until mid December either. Wah! But this is a start. I am returning to my normal life.... (...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 10, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: freedom knee surgery Source Type: blogs

Taking The Good With The Bad
Sometimes, or maybe most of the time, I never get good medical news. I swear, my doctors go off script all too often. So yesterday I got some good news and some bad news.First the knee doctor said I can start driving. But I need to take it easy. I need to be able to slam on the brakes with my restructured knee. Apparently the surgery did some restructuring but I am not a doctor so I don't really understand it. (All I know is I have lots of knee exercises.) First before driving, I have to practice driving in a big parking lot (like when I first learned to drive) or in our quiet neighborhood to see how it feels. And start dr...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 9, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation bad news doctor questions driving good news knee surgery Source Type: blogs

Today Is The Big Day
I have been waiting for this day for nearly five weeks. This is the day I go see my surgeon for a follow up. I have my fingers crossed that all is well and I am given the green light.... to drive that is.I have not been able to drive since October 5, the date of my surgery. Originally I expected that my surgery would be a minor arthroscopic clean up of my knee and I would be all healed by now. But now, during surgery they found what they really needed to do was to repair my meniscus so I don't lose any more stability in my right knee (I need all the stability I can get as my left knee has a torn ACL and likes to give way s...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 8, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: depression doctor appointments knee surgery stress Source Type: blogs

One Last Story on How Life Sucks After Breast Cancer
Okay, maybe I have been in a rut because I have been stuck at home after knee surgery because I can't drive. Or maybe because I have a cold that I am obsessing on crappy lives after cancer. Or maybe the internet gods had their stars align and all these stories ended up on my laptop in the same time period. But I hope this will be the last one for a while.Here's the story of a young woman who lost both her husband and her sister because of her lengthy cancer treatment." “The reality is that probably four out of seven days I’m in bed,” explains the 39-year-old, who lives with her mother at Bundall.&ldq...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 6, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient breast cancer bonds breast cancer treatment stress Source Type: blogs

More on Life After Breast Cancer
Beth Caldwell is another story about life after breast cancer. But the really sad kind. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37, which is three years before she would have gotten a mammogram. Unfortunately she had a huge factor going against her with her diagnosis. She was diagnosed at stage IV.This is a very bad thing. This is not the good painted pink breast cancer. This is the really bad kind. This is the cancer that something like 7% (or so, I can't remember the exact number) diagnosis that women (and men) face.When you are diagnosed at stage IV, you are already past the point where everyone else is at and where...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 5, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging breast cancer bonds dying stage IV Source Type: blogs

Breast Cancer Changed Me Too
I like Joan Lunden. I mean I like what I saw of her on TV. She was very professional and did a good job on the air. I am not sure I would have'volunteered'to have a mammogram on television, even if it was to raise awareness of breast cancer screening.Now, three years after her diagnosis, she is through with treatment andsays that having breast cancer changed her. She has started awebsite to educate women about the benefits of early detection.Then another woman, much younger,Yolanda Jenkins, has also been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has created a platform to encourage young women to get checked and wants to get the ag...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 3, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: advocacy breast cancer education Source Type: blogs

Life After Breast Cancer Does Suck
Here's the truth. "The Secret Suckiness to Life After Breast Cancer" . Go read it. Judith Basya writes the truth. There is no new normal. Cancer lurks for ever. And life on some levels, really does suck after breast cancer. And they never told us about it and we don't get to talk about it.Judith raises some good points including this one which resonates with me most:" And why is my situation only to be discussed in therapy, while other people ’s job woes are acceptable dinner-table fodder? "Yes, really? Why don't we talk about post breast cancer suckiness in therapy and not at the dinner table? Ou...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 2, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer bonds coping friends questions secrets Source Type: blogs

Blatant Discrimination
I recently learned some surprising discrimination. A local committee part of the NHS in the UK hasdecided to institute what I call blatant discrimination." ...one local health committee in the UK has announced a controversial policy " to support patients whose health is at risk from smoking or being very overweight. "For an indefinite amount of time, it plans to ban access to routine, or non-urgent, surgery under the National Health Service until patients " improve their health, " the policy states, claiming that " exceptional clinical circumstances (will) be taken into account on a case-by-ca...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - November 1, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: bias discrimination health care Source Type: blogs

Happy Halloween!
Today is Halloween. But we will not have trick or treaters until Friday night. Significant portions of the town do not have power and there are still trees downed all over the place.We had a little storm on Sunday night with wind gusts here to around 50 mph but other places on the coast in the 80-90 mph. A little hurricane came up the east coast and joined up with another front moving east across the country. Their little party was slammed by a Canadian cold front which turned into a massive storm. We got 5 " (just think if that was snow) of rain. So no trick or treating for safety's sake for a few days. (But I think ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 31, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments appearances being a patient cancer awareness Halloween Source Type: blogs

Frustrated
I am very frustrated right now. I am incredibly limited by my health normally and now I add in my knee that I am not supposed to be fully weight bearing or bend more than 90 degrees and the fact that I can't drive. Yesterday I really overdid things with my knee.I am not supposed to bend my knee more than 90 degrees. I have a big (ugly, uncomfortable, awkward) brace to keep my leg straight that I no longer have to wear at home. I have smaller soft braces that are supposed to keep my knee straight but are much more comfortable to wear. It does make it easier on me. But doesn't protect my knee quite as much.Yesterday morning ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 30, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: frustration knee pain knee surgery Source Type: blogs

I Did It Again
Yes, I did it again. I over did things. I have to recover by spending a day in bed. I have lots of yarn to knit. I have an ice pack for my knee. I did some of my exercises. And I do plan to get up and take a shower eventually. But I have no plans to do much else today.We have a house guest again, one of my cousins. Yesterday we did what both of us consider to be fun. We went to an estate sale which had some craft materials and the New England Quilt Museum (worth a stop if you are near). My cousin quilts and I am a craft junkie who is about to add quilting to my repertoire. It was very nice to get out of the house and do so...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 28, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aches foot pain knee pain knee surgery resting Source Type: blogs

Cautiously Optimistic
I have a bit of optimism today. Nearly two years ago I stopped working because it was too tiring for me. I fell asleep at my desk a couple of times and would frequently struggle to stay alert on the way home after a long four hour work day.Pain isn't my enemy. Pain can be controlled. Fatigue can not be controlled. Its not that I need to nap every day. But I need to rest every day. I can't stand for any length of time or my back hurts. I need my rest. Call me a wimp but that's what it is.I applied for Social Security Disability in the spring of 2016. I have been denied twice so I had a hearing in front of a judge yesterday....
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 26, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: disability optimism Source Type: blogs

Is There Less Pinkification This Year
A week or so ago, I watched an NFL game and decided that something was wrong. It was october and players did not have pink shoes and pink towels. Then I have seen a lot fewer pink events. I haven't been out much because of my stupid knee, but I just feel like there is less pink around.This makes me happy. I would love to go back to the month formerly known as October and see orange and brown again, lots of carved pumpkins and zero pink ribbons. I don't need to have pink everything. And this is the first October in many years that it has not been covered in pink.What is wrong? Is the country burned out of pink stuff as a re...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 24, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: pink washing pinkification pinktober Source Type: blogs

I Need A Day In Bed
I am exhausted. I have been too busy. I can't keep up with my last few days.My husband came home from his business trip on Thursday night late. I stayed up to wait for him so I didn't get enough sleep. Friday he took the day off and we went to the grocery store, the library, PT, and more. Friday night my brother and his girlfriend showed up - after I went to bed so I got up and talked to them for a bit. Saturday I had a craft show and we left the house at 7am. I wasn't home until 530 and then we went to my parents for dinner. Sunday I had a craft show and we left the house at 8am. I got home at 5pm. Then we went out to din...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 23, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: fatigue guests naps resting Source Type: blogs

Being A Bad Patient Vs. Being A Rude Patient
There is a vast difference from being a bad patient as opposed to being a rude patient. Yes I know often when we go to the doctor we are not feeling are best and are probably prone to over reactions and stress. But there is no reason to be rude.So I was appalled when I readthis article on the amount of the abuse faced by doctors. Medical doctors have studied for many years. They know what they are doing. They are professionals who are trained to take care of people. They are human beings, just like you or me. So there is no reason to be rude to them." A wide-rangingsurvey of more than 800 U.S. physicians, conducted by...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 20, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: abuse discrimination doctors emotional toll patients Source Type: blogs

Self-Imposed Isolation
I have spent the past few days basically by myself as my husband has been on a business trip. Yesterday I didn't even talk on the phone all day. I did talk to my husband in the morning and the evening. I also chatted with my neighbor and her two little boys between my front steps and the street. The day before I talked to my parents, sister, neighbor, and husband on the phone. In between there I have cancelled and made doctor appointments and talked to my attorney about my disability claim. Otherwise, the TV has been on the background to provide some noise as I have stayed by myself.This is the most time I have spent by my...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 19, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: isolation knitting quiet time Source Type: blogs

A Sort of Medical Vacation
I can't drive for the next three weeks - until November 8. I was concerned about all the doctor appointments I booked for myself after this week's surgery follow up when I thought I would be given permission to drive again.Then I got a bright idea. I am going to take a'medical vacation'and not go to the doctor until after my next surgical follow up. I mean why not? A mental medical vacation is a great thing to do several times a year. I was talking to a friend who's husband had gone through colon cancer. She talked about having a week off as being a sorely wanted break. I want three weeks off. Because I am whiney. And beca...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 18, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doctor appointments stress vacation Source Type: blogs

Eek! Hair Dye Causes Breast Cancer!
How many women color their hair? I think most of my friends do. I don't and I am unusual among the women I know.But, brace yourselves, the news is now going to be filled with the warning that coloring your hair with anything but natural dyes will cause breast cancer and you will die very quickly. Why?Because a researcher in the UK said so:" Frequently dying your hair has been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.According to a study by London surgeon Kefah Mokbel, women who colour their hair have a 14 per cent rise in rates of breast cancer.Professor Mokbel, who works at the Princess Grace Hospital ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 17, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer cause hype scare Source Type: blogs