Declining Health Abilities
Yesterday, a friend and I went to the NH Sheep and Wool Festival. We are knitters,weavers, etc and bona fide yarn junkies so it was the perfect trip. However, we got exhausted. We even went and napped in the car in the afternoon so we could make it to the events we wanted to see.On the way up, we talked about our declining parent's health. Her father is in his early 90s, my parents are in their late 80s. All of them have physically declined over the years, as would be expected for their age, but mentally are going fine.This morning the two of us feel beat up and are exhausted after yesterday's walking and sitting. And napp...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 14, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aging health issues physical abilities unhealthiness Source Type: blogs

Losing Track of Time
I haven't worked really in a year and a half. I have no reason to watch the clock very much - except for doctor appointments. I never look at a calendar. I have to think to figure out what day of the week it is - and am often wrong.I completely lose track of time.I was talking to a friend yesterday and she said that her problem she couldn't remember anything. I never can remember anything either but I find losing time is more important. Priorities I guess.This also causes me to forget to blog.Maybe I should try wearing a watch again. But I can't because of lymphedema and RA. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 10, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging memory time Source Type: blogs

Taking Charge of My Medical Crap - Again
I try to be in charge of my medical care. I really do. I take notes at appointments and I write little notes to myself in my calendar on things to ask my doctors at each visit. I am not sure if I am weird for doing this or not but I have no brain so I can't remember anything.In recent months, I have a new pain management doctor who has been very good at talking to me about different pain medications and what are options. I am very happy with this. Basically he is helping me switch to new medications to replace the ones that I have with ones that work better - fewer side effects, reducing the number of medications I am on, ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 7, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doctor questions health issues medical crap organization Source Type: blogs

A Rerun: Helping People With Cancer
I know this is a popular subject with people with cancer - how and how not to help them. Some people are idiots. I can tell you story after story about ones I have met along the way.You aren't going to get cancer by mentioning the word'cancer'. Seriously? Its an ugly word but its not an obscenity that will cause someone to pass out. You can't ignore the elephant in the room. Ask how their treatment is going, how they are feeling (but not that vague, polite'how are you today?'bullshit). Never tell them about your cousin's neighbor's dog walker's hair dresser's sister's cancer treatment. You are not a doctor. It probabl...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 6, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient cancer death humor idiots Source Type: blogs

This is How Tired I Am
This morning I slept through my husband's alarm. I heard him shower and thought he was a taking a late night shower before bed. I did get out of bed for a minute and got a cup of coffee to sip while in bed. I woke up to a cold cup of coffee two hours later. It has taken me another two hours to get out of bed to my computer.The problem is I need to leave here in another two hours and be alive enough to go to the gym and then a doctor appointment before driving home in a torrential rainstorm. I can't wait.But I get to sleep late again tomorrow.This is fatigue for me. I get so tired that I can't function. The reason i got so ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 5, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: fatigue lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

I Need A Nap
I am so tired these days. I haven't been getting enough sleep. I have been doing too much. Now that is not new but we did go away for the weekend and I have been busy all week with a bunch of things. These have involved getting up early in the morning which I am not good at any more.This fatigue reminds me why I no longer am working and trying to get SS Disability for the past year. But all I know right now is I need a nap but I need to cook dinner and tomorrow I get to pick up my father at 7 am, meaning I have to leave here at 630 - not my favorite time of the day. I think I will take a nap when I get home.Grrr.... (Sourc...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 3, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: fatigue frustration naps Source Type: blogs

Finding Good Medical Resources
This always amazes me. People get diagnosed with a medical ailment and then don't use the good medical resources available. If you need medical information, you need to do a little research to find the resources.A good patient takes time to learn about any significant medical ailment so they better understand their health. If you are educated you will be less stressed and potentially handle your ailment better. You really do not want to just jump on the internet and google your ailment. That is the worst thing to do.A good first step is to ask your doctor who diagnosed you on where you can get good information. Its their f...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 2, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments medical research stress Source Type: blogs

Taking A Break
It was our anniversary - marriage, not cancer - so we went away for a long weekend to the beach. In Maine. In April. It was 70 something degrees on Saturday - which is a heat wave there. (One of the weather people on TV said it took him a while to adjust to 80 degrees.) The hotel filled up overnight as a result. This is where we were:We really needed a few days off to ourselves. Honestly I think its important to spend time together as a couple without distractions. For a good relationship, you need to work on it. You can't expect a happy relationship if you ignore it. We have another trip planned in about three months to k...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - May 1, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: beach being healthy Source Type: blogs

Biting My Tongue (Or Letting Others Learn By Themselves)
At one's first cancer diagnosis, you arewelcomed shoved into Cancerland, where no one wants to be. You learn about your cancer and probably a fair bit about cancer in general. Eventually you go on to learn more about cancer than you ever cared to know.You get to the point where you can talk about cancer and its treatment and have a general idea of cancer treatment hell. You also understand staging and what different stages mean. You never wanted to know all this but you do and you can't deny it.Then someone else you know is diagnosed with cancer. Do you tell them everything you know about cancer? Or, do you bite your tongu...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 28, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer diagnosis cancer support care giving learning Source Type: blogs

You Can't Put A Big Bow On A Cancer Diagnosis
When acancer treatment commercial airs, the people are happy and smiling. The drug or medical center promises they will cure you and you will be back to yourself soon. They want you to believe that they will make it all better.They are full of bullshit." Patients and families are bombarded with the news that the country is winning the war against cancer. The news media hypes research results to attract readers. Drug companies promise  " a chance to live longer " to boost sales. Hospitals woo paying customers with ads that appeal to patients'fears and hopes." I'm starting to hear...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 27, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: advertising cancer treatment hype lies Source Type: blogs

Am I or Will I Get Better?
I get asked often, am I getting better? Have any of my doctors found a miraculous treatment for me?The answers are and always will be a big fat'no'.There are different kinds of ailments out there. They are (in my non medical terminology):Acute - an ailment which happens and gets better. Think a cut, the flu, appendicitis, Lyme disease.Chronic - an ailment which occurs and lasts and lasts and lasts. Think things like arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerating disks, etc.Terminal - an ailment which will kill you. "Terminal illnesses or infections are consideredincurable when there are no conservative therapies available whic...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 26, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments chronic conditions medical treatment pain management Source Type: blogs

Stepping Back to the Big Picture
Sometimes I just need the big picture and skip the details. Yesterday I saw my knee doctor. I asked him to update his notes on my appointment on the big picture state of my knees. I need this information for my SSDI application and I sometimes just need the big picture for myself.The status is, and I quote, " At some point they will end up being bone on bone and we will need to talk knee replacement. That could be in ten years or two. " In the meantime, I can continue to get steroid injections in them and possibly arthroscopic surgery to clean up the right one.I hate all this medical crap. Sometimes I get too bog...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 25, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doctor questions knee pain medical crap Source Type: blogs

When Are We Done Healing and Grieving After A Cancer Diagnosis?
Is there supposed to be a secret moment that you reach and realize that you are done healing and grieving after a cancer diagnosis? I know there are the five stages of grief or whatever where you end up at acceptance. But does that mean you are done healing and grieving and don't carry around your emotional and physical scars?I think probably after a good 20 or 30 years or so most surgical scars are pretty much invisible but I am not sure about the emotional ones. We carry those around a lot longer. We may reach acceptance but that doesn't mean we are emotional healed. The wounds run very deep.This summer marks 36 years si...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 24, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: acceptance cancer bonds grief healing Source Type: blogs

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
So my life is having its normal ups and downs. There are definitely the good, the bad, and the ugly.What is good? A whole bunch of things:I actually got enough sleep for a couple of nights. I slept late two days this week which helped. Spring is actually springing. I planted some spinach and peas. Both are cold weather tolerant. Spinach actually will not grow in the heat of the summer. I finally see some progress on my SSDI claim. This means I actually heard back from SSDI for more information for the first time in six months. My husband and I went to the beach for a day last weekend when it was 80 degrees.&...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 22, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient life Source Type: blogs

Making Treatment Decisions
A recentarticle on making dialysis decisions prompted me to start thinking. Basically, just because a treatment is available, do you really want it? Its your choice. I know dialysis is not a cancer treatment but my point is there.I am a strong believer in that doctors give you advice and how you choose to follow it is your decision. I usually follow my doctor's suggestions with medications and tests and other recommendations. But if something isn't making me happy I'm quickly going to stop it - and inform my doctor's office of my decision.My quality of life is very important to me. I don't have a great quality of life beca...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 20, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: medical decisions treatment options Source Type: blogs

Thoughts on Not Blogging
I get up every day and say to myself'I am going to blog this morning before I do anything else'. As you can tell this hasn't been happening. Why? Well there are lots of reasonsI have been distracted by spring time and gardening (finally).I have been routinely over doing things which has tired me out (because I was trying to have fun). I have been lazy.But the biggest reason is I haven't felt an overwhelming need to blog. My blog was set up to give me a way to express my thoughts on issues relating all my medical crap. I guess I haven't had huge medical crap to deal with right now.On the plus side is I really have not ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 18, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging medical crap relaxed Source Type: blogs

Hanging Out with My Peeps
If I take a look backward, I realize that I have the best time hanging out with my cancer friends, or'my peeps'. Sometimes I feel like I hold back on my health with everyone and more so with people who don't have cancer - a/k/a the people who don't really get it. I mean they try.I have many friends with varying understanding of what its like to live with cancer. One friend, who has RA and has lost a husband to cancer, is very, very close to understanding the life I live. Then I also have friends who barely know what fibromyalgia is.Part of it is me. I tend to not be very open about my medical stuff until I am ready to talk...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 14, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer bonds friends knitting Source Type: blogs

I Was Thinking
I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't spend time thinking because it can cause all sorts of problems. I know. I should stop spending so much time thinking. I'll think about that for a while.Anyway, I was thinking because I read an article on the giantRheumatoid Arthritis Time Suck. When you have RA you spend a lot of time going to the doctor to deal with doctors for RA and then all the time dealing with the side effects of your RA medications. And your low immune system which makes you high risk for everything. And blood tests every 8 weeks. And more and more.But then I get to add in the fibromyalgia time suck which causes time wa...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 13, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments thinking time Source Type: blogs

No Tofu for Me!
I hate tofu. I have never been a fan. And now I have reasons for not starting to eat it.There has been a lot of discussion on whether soy is good or bad for breast cancer. Now finally,new research has exposed the answers.If you have always eaten a lot of soy your breast cancer risk is lower, and your recurrence rate is also lower.If you have not always eaten a lot of soy, your breast cancer risk is at normal levels (whatever they are but I didn't want to use the word'worse'when talking about cancer rates).If you have not always eaten a lot of soy, starting to eat soy after a breast cancer diagnosis, doesn't help you and co...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 12, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer risk soy Source Type: blogs

A Care Plan?
A long time ago, back when I was in a support group weekly, I was offered a care plan to complete with my doctor to make sure I kept track of my cancer treatment.... It was several pages that were copies of copies of copies and difficult to read. I got the point but decided to skip that.There were several reasons (besides starting with the s-word) that I avoided it.First of all, it only covered your cancer diagnosis. It didn't include other issues, like additional cancer diagnoses, and other ailments. It only covered one cancer treatment.Second, I keep better records than my doctors. I started a spread sheet of my medical ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 11, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer history medical records Source Type: blogs

Another Try At Being A Normal Person
Yesterday wasn't the greatest day. Between going to the walk in clinic for my stupid tick bite and the antibiotic that upset my stomach, I wasn't as productive as I might want to be. So today I plan on attempting to be a normal person again. It shouldn't be that difficult but you never know with me.My plans are to warp my loom for another project, meet a friend at noon to go see another friend's new garden center, and then maybe one more errand when I get home from that. Any bets on whether I can make it?I just get very frustrated by trying to be a normal person and ending up spending a day or two or three recovering from ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 9, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: annoyance frustration normal Source Type: blogs

Being High Risk
Normal people get exposed to something and they get told'call us if there are any changes in whatever it is that is bothering them'. They get sent home basically with a'take two options and call me in the morning'.Me? I'm not a normal person. With my medical history? Of course not.We live in a wooded area with lots of deer and mice outside. Our two cats like to go in and out and in and out and in and out. They bring us home presents and usually leave them outside. But sometimes they don't.Yesterday I came home from the gym and took a shower. The cats went in and out and in and out. I decided it was time to treat them for f...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 8, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments Lyme disease Source Type: blogs

Sleep Problems, and Solutions
I might have mentioned before that I have problems sleeping. This isn't new. I have had problems sleeping since my 30s. But its only recently that it has gotten much more complicated than just a bit of insomnia. Add in things like:Back pain so it can be really hard to get comfortable to sleep at all.Fibromyalgia which causes both fatigue and insomniaRheumatoid painSleep apnea and an evil CPAP machine which keeps me awakeShould I go on? I can....In the past, I have been known to get up and wash the dishes and clean the kitchen in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep. Trust me, I have been all over the house doin...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 6, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

Note To Self: Stop Playing Doctor and Self Diagnosing
I have no medical training whatsoever past what I have learned from my doctors in their appointments. So why do I waste any time trying to figure out what is wrong with me? Last night I was lying in bed and trying to decide what was causing the pain in my ankle? Was it referred pain from my knee or hip? Or is it a new pain and what could be the source? Is it worthy of going to the doctor any sooner than my scheduled appointment at the end of the month? I really don't want any more doctor appointments but pain is pain.And am I trying to self diagnose myself so my doctor can just confirm what I thought it was?I have no idea ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 4, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cure dreams pain relief Source Type: blogs

Treatment Changes
As I near a decade (how the hell did that happen?) since I was diagnosed, I have noticed how much breast cancer treatment has changed in the ensuing years. When I was diagnosed, it was slash, poison, burn. There was potential new treatment in the future but it was looming years ahead.I remember being in a support group meeting and we were all overjoyed to be told that cancer was now being treated as a chronic as opposed to being a terminal disease. That was a great shift in the treatment protocol in our minds. We still mentally held our hands as our friends went through chemo, radiation and surgery. We hoped for treatment ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 3, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment treatment options Source Type: blogs

Emotional Stress
About a year ago, I met a young woman who had had cancer since age 18 when she was diagnosed with an inherited pancreatic cancer. She had never thought she would make it to 40. But last year she did make it to 39 so she had lots of hope. Until last fall when everything changed.In the fall, she found out nothing more could be done and she would be on hospice until the end. She got hospice at home and slowly began to decline. All of us who knew her were on pins and needles waiting and hoping. We got periodic updates on how she was doing. She was losing weight, she was not eating much, she wasn't getting out of bed much.Then ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 2, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds death fridns hospice Source Type: blogs

What A Beautiful Day!
After I stretch, I'm going out for my last long run before the Boston MArathon. I'll stick to a few shorter runs between now and then. I did well enough int he New York Marathon two years ago to qualify for Boston. Next year, I might run London again or maybe switch to tris...I mean why not, I'm doing pretty well these days.Tomorrow my husband and I are going to clean out the garage and power wash the floor. We have a lot of heavy stuff to move out but I think I can do it. I'll probably paint the dining room later.Next week, I'm going to focus on weight training and do the spring yard clean up. Its full of debris from the ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - April 1, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient having fun Source Type: blogs

My Health Is Trying My Patience
What if I could be normal and when I tried to be a healthy person I could actually do it without having to spend time recovering?Yesterday by the time I got home I was exhausted. I had had a very long day. What did I do? Got my hair cut, went to the gym and a doctor appointment. I had to lie down for a while. I left my house at 1030am and got home at 430pm. Six hours?My original schedule for yesterday included a 930 appointment at the gym. I decided that would probably be too much for me and rescheduled. I knew I had down time during the day and was going to go visit my parents for a bit. But then I got the brain storm to ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 30, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient doing too much frustration Source Type: blogs

A Useless Appointment With My CPAP
I go to a very good hospital for all my treatments. I usually have good productive appointments and don't feel I wasted my time. Yesterday was completely different.Last week I blogged aboutRebelling because I hate my CPAP machine so much. I was waiting to find out about my oh-so-important desensitizing process to be able to use the damn thing. Yesterday was my big appointment where I was to be educated. This is what I learned:In order to get more comfortable with my damn mask, I should wear it around the house so I can get used to wearing it and then I should be able to start using the damn thing. That was not very enlight...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 28, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: appointments CPAP dreams lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

Managing Weird Symptoms
So we all get these weird feelings sometimes. Something starts aching, or tingling, or twitching, or pinching, or just not feeling right. We start having little debates with ourselves (where it is perfectly acceptable to talk to yourself, ask yourself questions, and answer yourself back) how long has it been going on, is it that big a deal, do we want to go to the doctor, do we need to get some medical care (if dripping blood, the answer always apply pressure and get to the ER stat). Then we try to make decisions on what to do and when to call the doctor, or not.Eventually, it goes away or gets better (with or without medi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 27, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments being a patient being healthy symptoms Source Type: blogs

Making Breast Cancer Friends
You have breast cancer, I have breast cancer, we are now friends.... For life. That's just the way it works.It also works with people with other types of cancer or other chronic ailments. There is a bond.Stop by the chemo waiting room and you will find it full of people who become friends because they share a common bond - cancer.Before breast cancer, I wasn't as open about my health (and I was a lot healthier) and I wasn't as quick to jump on the cancer bandwagon and make new friends. But now, its different. If you are open about your medical crap with me and we have similar diagnoses, we will be instant BFFs.Many others ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 26, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer bonds friends Source Type: blogs

Damn The Mutations, Full Speed Ahead
So now they want to tell us thatcancer is mostly the result of genetic mutations, as opposed to other factors. I'm not sure how much of this I want to believe but I'll just say'damn the mutations, full speed ahead'.Cancer causes are supposedly:66% - mutations when cells replace themselves29% - environmental factors5% - hereditary factorsSo can we stop blaming our parents and our bad diets, and just assume none of it is our fault? Probably not.As a normal part of life, cells divide and multiply and little mistakes happen all the time. Its just that sometimes they turn into cancer...." Lifestyle factors still matte...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 24, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer cause genetics Source Type: blogs

I Am Rebelling
Sometimes I need to let my inner rebel out and stop being such a good patient. I usually try to be a good patient (and go to my appointments, take my meds as prescribed, talk to my doctors honestly and generally do what they want me to). But not right now.Last fall I was told I have sleep apnea and my doctors want me to have a CPAP machine for sleeping. I got my CPAP machine and hate it. I can't stand having anything on my face while I sleep. I am on my second mask and still cannot deal with it. I wake up and want to rip it off my face. If I sleep with the mask on, I don't ever feel rested and have the weirdest dreams.I we...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 23, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: apnea CPAP lack of sleep rebelling Source Type: blogs

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
I always hated that question: what do you want to be when you grow up? Or, the job interview variation, where do you see yourself in five years?I admit to asking it of potential candidates when interviewing them to find a new employee. I did ask it, not because I cared what they wanted to be or where they saw themselves, because I wanted to see how they responded when put on the spot.I digress. I finally have an answer to what I want to be when I grow up. I admit it may have taken me a bit. But now I know.I want to be healthy.That's it. Is that too much to ask? I don't see it as being unreasonable. I think its a great goal...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 20, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being healthy Source Type: blogs

The Really Bad Reason For Decline in Cancer Rates
There is a really bad reason fordeclining cancer rates. That is when people lose their health insurance and stop going to the doctor. New research has recently found that as people lose their jobs, they lose their health insurance and stop going to the doctor so fewer cancer cases are diagnosed." As the country plunged into recession between 2008 and 2012, something unexpected happened: An earlier small decline in the number of new cancer cases became a much bigger one. "And..." A2015 analysis in the Journal of Cancer covering the years from 1973 to 2008 found that the incidence and treatment of cancer in th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 19, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer diagnosis cancer rates politics Source Type: blogs

Back to Breast Cancer Stuff
(So my plan is coming together and my life goes back to reflecting on breast cancer crap.)Earlier this week, the FDA approved a new medication to be used with Letrozole (Femara) or other aromatase inhibitors for hormone positive metastatic breast cancer patients. This medication (which I can't pronounce and just think of it as the'kis...') is calledKisqali (chemical name: ribociclib). It works similar to Ibrance... Not that that means much to me but as a reference.My real concern is the cost. Ibrance costs $9850/month for treatment. Not cheap. All new cancer treatments seem to cost so much. But I am pleased to learn t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 18, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer costs medication costs medications Source Type: blogs

Forming the New Plan (Part 3)
So, my new plan is forming. I done some thinking and some research. I also talked to my therapist and she gave me a few ideas. My biggest weakness is that I cannot over-schedule, over-commit, or over-stress myself. I need to pace myself.I have found some events to attend - a gardening as therapy event at the library and the next monthly Garden Club meeting. Of course they are only two days apart. I hope to get my husband to go to the first one with me as it is on a Sunday. He might.Going forward I hope to join the garden club, but their year runs September - June. They only have two more meetings this spring. I am also goi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 17, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: emotions gardening planning recovery Source Type: blogs

The Bad Plan (Part 2)
After moving and I came up with my'plan'on how I would adapt to moving to a new community and stop working at the same time. But it doesn't seem to work as well now.For the first months after we moved, I was really busy. I worked on our new house. I painted rooms, I started gardening, I got us settled in. Once you unpack you still have a lot more settling to do.My house painting skills have improved but I go very slowly. It took me two weeks to paint one hallway. I did one side one week, and the second side the next. I spackle one day, sand the next, wash the walls, tape, and then paint - primer and two coats.... I have to...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 15, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being healthy emotional toll lack of sleep new house plan Source Type: blogs

Things Are Not Working As Planned
Sometimes, things just don't go as you wanted or expected. Its a fact of life and we need to learn to cope, change directions, and move on.In the grand scheme of things, my original plans were that would I grow up, go to college, get a job, a career, married, kids, retire to a life of happiness and world travel. Well, we know what happened to that. I got as far as'go to college'when my health started taking over my life. One little cancer diagnosis has a big emotional impact and it took time to get my life back together.So I regrouped and started over at college, etc. The job and career went okay. I did eventually got marr...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 14, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being healthy housebound life new house Source Type: blogs

Okay, I Haven't Been Blogging About Breast Cancer
I just don't blog about breast cancer as much as I used to these days. Why? Because I like to pretend it will never come back and bother me again. That is the honest answer.When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I lived the all breast cancer all the time channel. Slowly over time, I managed to tune out for bits and pieces. Now I am trying to pretend cancer will never come back andbug me bite me in the ass again. I am pretending because I can tell you that with cancer twice in my life there are not many chances it won't come back again. The odds are not with me.Since breast cancer, or the mid 2000s, when my body started d...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 11, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cynicism whininess Source Type: blogs

Math Class is Important In Determining Your Cancer Prognosis
Who knew math class would be so important later in life? Here's the problem: You get a cancer diagnosis and your doctor starts spouting numbers at you. You survival rate is this, but if you do this treatment it could be more like this. All of us sit there in a daze looking at the numbers and blindly staring at your doctor and trying to make a decision.If you are lucky, your doctor says'take all these numbers with you and go home and think about it'. If you are unlucky you forgot all the math you ever took and can't decide if a 60% survival rate is better than a 40% death rate. And if you are afraid of math, skipped too man...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 10, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer risk doctor questions numbers Source Type: blogs

I Need A Vacation
After a lot of deep thought, I need a vacation. I mean a real vacation which does not involve medications, doctor appointments, and any aches and pains. I would prefer it include a beach, warm sand, and the feeling of health.Just a thought. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 9, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

Why Bother?
For some reason I have had a similar conversation with different women on the same topic: why take tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors after initial breast cancer treatment. Aromatase inhibitors are Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), and Femara (letrozole)The conversations all boil down to:What if I get side effects? They have heard they are awful and could cause them some real problems. But if you don't even try them how will you know if you will experience the side effects?What exactly do they do? They don't really understand that they would reduce their recurrence risk by being on themWhy do I have to be on th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 8, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doctors medications side effects Source Type: blogs

Once Again I Wasn't The Patient
And it was nice. I went to visit my brother for the weekend. And didn't really see him. He had a kidney stone (and a lot nastier word to describe it) that caused him intense pain.I did get to go to Lowes with him to get parts of his upstairs sink. I also ran and emptied his dishwasher twice. Drove his children all over the place and visited him in the hospital. I fed his cat several times. I walked his girlfriend's dog a bunch of times - including in a snowstorm. I let the dog hog the bed one night and then I let the cat snuggle the next nights. I had dinner with his ex-wife and two of the children one night. I also drove ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 7, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient family fatigue travel Source Type: blogs

What An Oncologist Should Not Say to a Cancer Patient
We hear all about good doctors and not so good ones. But every so often we hear about the one's you really do not want.Yesterday someone told me about the recent visit to her oncologist for her breast cancer treatment. She brought her sister with her for moral support and to help her out. I think she said her sister asked the oncologist something about that after chemo the tumors would be gone. And the oncologist replied with'unless there are any other tumors'. I don't remember the exact words but the point is NEVER say that to a cancer patient.Seriously, what was she (the doctor) thinking? You want your oncologist to be f...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 3, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient breast cancer treatment doctor questions uncertainty with doctors Source Type: blogs

Some Kinds of Cheese Can Cause Breast Cancer - Really?
Okay, I am done. I do not care what about any more news about what can or can't cause breast cancer. I am done. The latest info is thatconsumption some kinds of cheese can cause breast cancer. That would be American, cheddar, and cream cheese. I never eat American cheese - because its basically'fake food'- but I probably make up for that in the amount of cheddar and cream cheese that I eat.But that's it. I am done. I quit smoking because it causes cancer (and it smells). But that's it. I no longer care about what might cause cancer. If I listened to all the advice that is out there, I would be living in a cave existing on ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 2, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer cause carcinogens food Source Type: blogs

I Am Not A Warrior
I cannot begin to tell you how much the tv commercial for theAvon 39 annoys me. " Warriors Wanted " is so awful on so many levels.The woman in this ad who is the'warrior'doesn't look anything like your typical breast cancer patient. She is too young and looks too healthy. Maybe she is supposed to be walking for someone else. But sorry no. Also, wearing a low cut tank top is not the best attire for a long walk. You want sun protection and a hat. I think the Photoshopped'pink'does nothing for her as well.Finally, the whole idea of being a warrior is so out of touch. For me it has the same implication of the s-word....
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - March 1, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: labels s-word Source Type: blogs

Talking About Medical Crap
This morning I briefly had the opportunity to read a wonderful blog post about why the writer writes about her medical issues. It was a great post that clearly spoke about all the issues us'less than healthy'people have in our lives. Now I can't find the link to it but it definitely spoke to me. So here are my thoughts on this, in a less well written post.I talk about my health issues because there is no reason not to. I am not going to be job searching again so I don't need to worry that a potential future employer would learn how unhealthy I am and therefore choose to never hire me. There is no way I am every going to be...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 28, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: communication health issues unhealthiness Source Type: blogs

My Capabilities
I just want to make a statement about my capabilities. I have been'accused'of only doing what I want and ignoring my responsibilities. That is wrong. I only do what I can. I need rest. I need time to recover from doing anything.Saturday we went to the beach for a couple hours. I mostly sat there and then we went out for an early dinner. When we got home, I was exhausted and lay down in bed. Yesterday I was too tired and we stayed home and I took a nap.I have to make sure not to over exert myself. I don't ignore my responsibilities. I just try to do as much as I can without exhausting myself too much. Topic closed. (Source:...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 27, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: exhaustion stress Source Type: blogs

I Love Social Media
I am active in social media. Believe me, I blog, I'm on Facebook, my blog is posted in a bunch of different places. I am Google+, I can't list all the places I can be found online because there are so many. I get feedback and comments from lots of places too. I get comments from friends and also from people offering all kind of 'miracle'cures provided I send in a few (hundred/thousand/million) dollars to help. And every so often, I hear from some very'odd'(odd, in the weirdest sense of the word) people.So yesterday I wasn't very surprised to get a comment back on "Call Me Ms. Grumpy" . It read:" stop be...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 25, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: death self pity Source Type: blogs