Call me Ms. Grumpy
I am very grumpy these days. I think part of it is juggling my medical issues. But its also that I have been dealing with a lot of pain, and in new body parts. I am still on that never ending roller coaster of'wait its another doctor appointment'each week. Also, my stupid CPAP machine doesn't help me. I have given up even using it because the mask doesn't work for me.Last night I almost cancelled all my plans for today to stay home and pout. But I realize pouting never got anyone anything so I ditched that. I did get some good sleep last night which helps. And my reward today is getting my nails done this afternoon after I...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 24, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments crabbiness stress Source Type: blogs

Hobbling Around
Yes, I do hobble around. Some days more than others. But yes I do hobble. Why do I hobble? Because of my bursitis in both hips, my arthritic feet, my bad knees, my bad back, and more. (Occasionally I have been known to'hobble'if I was getting dirty looks because I use my handicapped placard.)However, hobbling along I get to go lots of places, provided I can rest routinely and amply so as not to stress myself out. As I hobble I get to places like the grocery store, the gym, my knitting group, and, of course, doctor appointments (can't have enough of those).I sometimes even meet friends for coffee or other stationary activit...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 23, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: back pain bursitis feet hobbling knee pain Source Type: blogs

So What Causes Your Depression?
Today at my therapist's, she asked me if I thought my pain issues cause my depression. I don't think so. But we had a discussion on the subject.I think my emotions have been screwed up since my thyroid cancer diagnosis in 1981. Honestly, don't you think that a cancer diagnosis without any emotional support wouldn't cause depression? It just took a long time for me to realize how screwed up I was. Then at my second cancer diagnosis I decided I needed to be proactive about getting emotional support.Then my health collapsed and you wonder why I still am depressed. Add some chronic pain into the mix and a bunch of other ailmen...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 22, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: depression emotional toll therapist Source Type: blogs

I Need to Stop Reading Medical News
I usually like to read the latest medical news. Mostly because I have a lot of medical crap going on. I like to see what is going for advancements and research. I mean maybe some day someone will find the cure for me and all my ailments and I can go back to being a healthy person.But sometimes the news isn't what I want to hear and isn't very good. Liketoday." Fibromyalgia Worsens Function in RA " This is not what I wanted to hear. Also there is a higher prevalence of fibromyalgia in patients with RA. But there are treatment options for patients with both RA and fibromyalgia.But still, I don't like the part about...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 21, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: fibromyalgia medical crap medical news rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

We Can't Be Mad About Our Cancers (Ailments)
I read someone's blog post or article about someone else who died so mad about her cancer. This is wrong. I can tell you from personal experience. When you have cancer, you do not have the luxury of being'mad'about your medical crap. Its not worth it.There are the five stages of acceptance. One of them is anger. We need to get past this as easily as possible. By working on our emotional side as well as our physical we can more quickly get past the anger and then learn what it is like to live with cancer.When first diagnosed with cancer, I did everything wrong. The biggest thing was I never talked about it, discussed it, fi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 20, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: acceptance anger breast cancer coping Source Type: blogs

Our Cancer Friends Become Most Important
After years of living in cancerland, I have learned our cancer friends become most important. Before cancer, you meet someone with a cancer diagnosis, and you can get stuck in this awkward pause thing.Am I supposed to ask how they are doing? Or will they think I am prying? Do I mention cancer, or not? Do ask I when they are going to a hospice? Do I ask to bring them a casserole? You aren't really sure. And you really do not want to offend them, because, well, they have CANCER! And you cut them some slack if they aren't up for socializing.... is cancer catching?Once you have a cancer diagnosis under your belt, you understan...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 18, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds friends idiots Source Type: blogs

Breast Cancer Fake News
The'secret'breast cancer cure, that the pharmaceutical industry has known about and hidden from patients in an effort to make money, has been revealed and been approved by the FDA. Now you can just get an (side effect free) injection and are immunized from any potential cancer diagnosis. One lifetimeCures are also in the works for congestive heart failure, emphysema, Alzheimers, AML, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. These should be approved by the FDA by the end of the year.As a result the world's population is now increasing at an exponential rate. NASA is developing new plans for colonies on Mars in the next d...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 16, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: fake news wishful thinking Source Type: blogs

Chemo Without Losing Your Hair!?!?
I had heard about these when I was in chemo -cooling caps to prevent hair loss. They were knew and being tested and not really available. Now new research shows that wearing a cooling cap seems to prevent hair loss for most patients during chemo for breast cancer. Sounds easy doesn't it? No pills, no real side effects. I could wear a hat during chemo easy, peasy.I think (based on what I have heard and am not sure I remember all the details correctly) that patients wear a cooling cap during their chemo session and then keep it on for another 45 minutes or so. Small studies have shown that women who wear the cooling cap, los...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 15, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment hair side effects Source Type: blogs

More Evil Cancer Cells
So I didn't know (or maybe I kind of knew and was pretending I didn't) that some cancer cells go hide in your body to come out later as metastases. However,current research has been working on this issue." ...researchers have discovered the conditions by which specific signals in primary tumors of head and neck and breast cancers can pre-program cancer cells to become dormant and evade chemotherapy after spreading. "How nice. Or actually how evil! I think it is pretty nasty when cancer cells hide so they can recur and try to kill you. The elude conventional treatments including chemotherapy.However I think its pr...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 14, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer cells cancer recurrence cancer research Source Type: blogs

Exercise, or Reducing AI's Side Effects
All of us'lucky'people with hormone positive breast cancer, get the'benefit'of being able to take hormone therapy or aromatase inhibitors (AIs) such as Femara, Aromasin, etc. These lovely little pills potentially reduce your risk of breast cancer recurrence (that most dreaded of all possibilities).However these aforementioned lovely little pills cause nice side effects such as bone loss and joint pain. I have friends who had to discontinue AIs because of these side effects. They can be THAT bad.So anew research study (because we always need more research) has come up with a cure for these issues: Exercise. Parts of me says...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 13, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment exercise hormone therapy side effects Source Type: blogs

Every One's Cancer Is Different
I now know many women, dozens, probably more like hundreds, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly not all are still with us.The one thing I have learned is that everyone's cancer is different and presents differently. A case in point is a friend went to see another friend who was newly diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Two months after her diagnosis she cannot walk with out a cane because of the mets in her hips and her arm is huge with lymphedema. Two months! Her first symptom was hip pain.I have a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer at stage IV about four years ago and she was gone within 8 weeks...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 12, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer breast cancer treatment outcome Source Type: blogs

Sleep Deprived
I have had this'dumb a$$'CPAP machine for 12 days now. I hate it. I hate the little mask over my nose that squishes it even though I have loosened up the strap as much as I can.I hate the way the hose from the mask to the machine comes from the back of my head so I can't sleep on my back without the pillow under my shoulders and neck so the hose is off the pillow so it doesn't stick into my head.I hate the little online app that is like big brother and tracks how long I use it, if the mask is sealing, how many apnea'incidents'I have each hour and how many times I take it off and on each night. It also has a little scoring ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 11, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: advances lack of sleep medical crap Source Type: blogs

Deciphering Test Results
As a result of my RA and its treatment, I need to get blood work done every two months, or more often. How fun.Yesterday I went for my first blood work of 2017 to find out that the doctor's standing orders in the hospital's computer system ended at the end of 2016. I had to call my doctor to get them reinstated. Then the tech tried three times in my elbow (I have little scrawny veins and only one available arm after chemo) before trying twice in the back of my hand before getting in.Now I have the results back and I am trying to decipher them. What exactly do they mean? I know a few of them, but not all:My red blood counts...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 9, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blood tests doctor questions Source Type: blogs

Breast Cancer Update 2017
Several organizations have posted their latest information on the status of breast cancer in the US in 2017. I just foundthis overview with links to various resources for more information. So go read up on (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 8, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer breast cancer treatment Source Type: blogs

Research for Cancer People
I would be happy to participate in research that might benefit other cancer people in the future. However, I am always told that I have too many other ailments and am not eligible. Insert'Unhappy Face'here.But I was overjoyed to find out that there will be a program on this Friday February 10 at 12 pm ET that will talk about how people with cancer can participate in research. Its a webex session meaning that you can participate remotely.I learned about this program by being subscribed toJohns Hopkins Artemis (which provides the best information on new breast cancer research). If you have breast cancer and aren't subscribed...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 7, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer research Source Type: blogs

The Difference With A Good Doctor
This morning I had a wonderful experience having injections in my spine around T8 and T9 where I have a couple of desiccated discs. (Apparently I did something to my back in the previous years - my money is on the time I knocked the wind out of myself in front of the upper ski lodge with a deck full of skiers.) Desiccated discs are common in older adults (70+). Once again I am proving I am less healthy than most people 20 years old than me.Today my new pain management doctor did the procedure. He was nice and talked to me first. Then he asked me during the procedure if I could feel anything and he would add more pain meds....
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 6, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: back pain doctors medical adventures pain management Source Type: blogs

World Cancer Day - Was Yesterday
I forgot. Well maybe someone said something yesterday but I missed it. Yesterday was World Cancer Day. Iblogged about it in 2014 and have since forgotten about it. (Maybe chemo brain?) Its supposed to be a day to debunk the myths surrounding cancer among other things.But if us cancer people can't remember it, its not going to work. I almost feel like its another'Hallmark'holiday. I don't think it has much significance to me. Especially when I can't remember it and have to go look it up every year.I guess its just not working for me. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 5, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: holiday Source Type: blogs

The Bigger Problem Than Lack of New Cancer Treatments
I constantly read articles on the advent of new cancer treatments. I think they are wonderful. But they are not always instituted.In 2014, new guidelines started to recommend sentinel node biopsies instead of full axillary node dissections to detect cancer spread. They are told not to do axillary node dissections (AND) if the patients cancer is under 5 cm and if breast cancer was only found in one or two sentinel nodes." Sentinel node biopsies are done on early-stage breast cancer patients to stage their cancer and determine if it has infiltrated the lymph node system, a common signal of cancer spread. "Axil...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 4, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment cancer research uncertainty with doctors Source Type: blogs

A Really Good Reason For Not Eating Tofu
I have been aided in avoiding tofu by the confusion over whether eating soy contributes to breast cancer growth. I really hate tofu. My mother fed it to us as children and I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. I might eat a little bit in my hot and sour soup but I will never order a dish which is tofu based.But now (finally) we have clarification on the soy or no soy for women with breast cancer:The issue is eating soy products seems to give women protection from breast cancer. Asian countries where soy products are eaten regularly have much lower rates of breast cancer than the US. But the estrogen-similar stuff ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 3, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer recurrence cancer risk soy tofu Source Type: blogs

Coping With Breast Cancer with Friends
After living with breast cancer for nearly 10 years, I have some thoughts about how we all cope with it. I know personally I have gone from total, sheer panic to somewhat calm acceptance with a large dose of humor.Humor has always been my'go-to'when coping with anything. If I am not cracking jokes, I am really stressed. I mean I sometimes crack really bad jokes when stressed but if I get to the point where I am too stressed, my sense of humor vanishes. That means trouble.I have noticed that most of my cancer friends do the same thing. We all have kept our sense of humor as we cope with life with breast cancer. We have all ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - February 2, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer breast cancer bonds coping Source Type: blogs

I Don't Care if People Know About My Cancer History
I used to hide the fact that I had cancer. There are people who knew me for decades before I told them about my thyroid cancer diagnosis. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I was a bit more open about it but I still kept it private to an extent.I think I cared more about it when I was working full time. I didn't want any potential employer to know that I had cancer because, even though people are not supposed to discriminate they do. If you are looking at two potential employees who have the same credentials, the one with a history of cancer will probably not be selected because they might'get sick again'. This is a r...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 31, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer history thyroid cancer Source Type: blogs

Devices
Where does the time go? I was looking at my calendaryesterday a few weeks back and I had so many plans for January. Now I have to shift all those plans to February. Or the rest of the basement and the dining room will never get painted.The biggest plans for this week are for devices:First I am getting a CPAP machine today. I am not looking forward to it. I have no idea if I will be able to sleep with something on my face. But if it makes me sleep better I am happy. Sleeping better can help you lose weight and feel rested. I would be happy with either result. I get the machine today and have to pay a total of about $200 ove...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 30, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: lack of sleep medical devices pain relief technology Source Type: blogs

A Conversation
I had a conversation with myself last night, with a few insights from my husband. Let me say I was very tired yesterday. I didn't get through my whole workout and my husband cooked dinner.After dinner, I made a mistake. I should have gone to bed and not sat down to watch TV by myself. This was the conversation:Me:I'll just watch a little more TV and then go to bed.Husband:Don't fall asleep in the living room (or you will be cranky tomorrow because your back will hurt.Me:Of course not. I'll be there soon.My inner self: Of course I'll be there in a few minutes but I need to get comfy for a bit.30 minutes later:Husband:Don't ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 28, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: humor lack of sleep television Source Type: blogs

More Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
What good is a treatment if it could kill you in the end? A new study (because we all need more research) shows thatmore than half of breast cancer patients have severe or very severe side effects after treatment, especially after chemotherapy." Overall, 45 percent of participants reported severe or very severe forms of at least one of these side effects. When women got chemotherapy, the odds of severe side effects were twice as high, though the side effects were just 30 percent more likely when chemo was paired with radiation.“We did know that some of these side effects were associated with these treatments, bu...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 27, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment side effects Source Type: blogs

I See Potential
I finally met with my new pain management doctor. I liked him. He actually read my whole file (or at least the most recent relevant parts - the entire thing is probably close to the size of the complete Proust) before seeing me. Then he listened to what I had to say. Asked questions. Appreciated my seriousness - I was actually taking notes - and that I go to the gym. I think I am happyHe did tweak some medications but asked me what I thought about it instead of just saying'up that dose'or'here's more pills'. I am going to have injections in my back in a couple of weeks and follow up after that.There is such a difference wh...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 26, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: appreciation doctors happy uncertainty with doctors Source Type: blogs

News I Didn't Want To Hear or Dumb A$$ Cancer Cells
This isn't political news but it is really news that I didn't want to hear. Tamoxifen and AIs (Aromatase Inhibitors - Femara, Aromasin, etc) work by cutting off the supply of estrogen which feeds cancer cells. However thenew research (because we need new research forever) shows that cancer cells can evolve to develop their own food supply if it is cut off by the treatment." Approximately 70% of breast cancers are estrogen receptor positive which means they feed on the hormone estrogen. Breast cancer drugs such as tamoxifen and the aromatase inhibitors work by limiting access to estrogen thereby starving the cance...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 25, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer bonds breast cancer treatment Source Type: blogs

Coping
Because I had an awful cold over the holidays , we postponed Christmas. It was yesterday for our family. It meant a ton of cooking, houseguests, and a big  family meal with three generations. It was nice. But I am exhausted. We have enough leftovers for a week. That means I don't have to cook all week. And can nap.  Daily. I am exhausted (did I say that already?)Friday at the gym I was seated on the stepper next to one of the local'characters'who reminded me that we need to treasure those family events because not everyone will be there forever and we need to appreciate them why they are here.Yesterday I enjoyed ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 22, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds coping death family friends Source Type: blogs

Blogging at the Gym
Im at the gym,blogging during cardiovascular. My laptop is having another momentary lapse after downloading Windows 10 updates. The guy at the computer repair place says it might be hardware. I disagree and am thinking in the old days I would have booted from a floppy and recovered. But since floppies are now obsolete, I can't use that option. So I am stuck with my tablet and can't access my non-backed up files on my laptop.In addition to my computer issues, it's been one hell of a week. Basically I  had an unexpected cancer freak out for delusions in my brain but am fine. It looks meant four doctor appointments ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 20, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer hoax family gym holidays Source Type: blogs

Friends
We all have our best friends, our close friends, our coffee pals, our nod across the street friends, and our sort of friends. Then us special people have our cancer friends.I have two best friends, one from college who has lived 1000 miles away for the last 20+ years. We get together as often as we can, to cause trouble until about 9pm when we get tired and go to bed early. My other best friend lives about half an hour away. We can't get together to often because she has a big career and child and her husband works long hours as well. We do get together for lunch and shopping as much as we can. Both of them are the ones I ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 18, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds friends Source Type: blogs

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
I found thispicture  andarticle and then learned about the organizationWorldwide Breast Cancer today. (I thought I knew about all breast cancer organizations,  but obviously I  am not as smart as I thought.)It's not a new concept but it uses a dozen lemons to show what breast cancer can look like. Who knew it could be so easy to show women  what to look for instead of thee vague'something different'. This started 15 years ago and has been translated in 70 languages. And if you go deeper into their site  you can see more in depth explanations. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 17, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer diagnosis Source Type: blogs

I Took A Day Off
My husband has a long weekend so yesterday we took a day off. Together to just hang out and relax. It was nice.We drove up to the ocean. It was high tide , windy, and cold. But we walked a little on the beach. I made a big mistake and turned my back on the ocean . (NEVER turn your back on the ocean.) A wave came up behind me and I got sea water and sand in my shoes. Not a good idea. But then my husband got the bright idea to put my socks on the dashboard in the sun. And I turned on the defroster and dried my socks. And dumped the sand out of my shoes.Then we did a little shopping, had an unhealthy late lunch with  vie...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 16, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: having fun husband relaxed Source Type: blogs

Bad Dreams
(Subtitle: How to drive yourselfinsane crazy.)Life on a medical roller coaster sucks. As a potentially sane person you do your best to tamp down any part of those'what if'fears during the day time. This is a big part of learning to cope with a crappy medical diagnosis, especially a cancer one.But then comes night time. You are trying to sleep and you dream about'bad things'. All those evil little'what ifs'come lurking into your head. Then you can't sleep. Then you are cranky because you are tired. And you can't control your brain because you didn't get enough rest. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 14, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: crazy dreams lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

Health Insurance
I am very concerned about the potential changes in the national health insurance program that is in place. In principle I like the idea of national health insurance so that patient's are not victims of their health insurance company or are tied to jobs they hate just to keep their health insurance.I also like the idea of no pre-existing condition clauses, young adults can stay on their parents insurance longer, and no lifetime insurance caps. And I want all of these items to stay. I also want every American to be able to get health insurance if they want.I would like to see changes that help reduce costs of insurance and n...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 13, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient changes health insurance Source Type: blogs

Facing Anniversaries
So I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of May 2007 which means I am almost at my ten year mark. When I was diagnosed I hopped online for a lot of emotional support where I met a bunch of great people who really helped me learn, cope and adapt to this new phase in my life.I got online immediately (probably within a week of my diagnosis) and met so many people who were already through most of treatment and were diagnoses up to a year or two before me. Now I am still in touch with them and watch them celebrate ten years out from their breast cancer diagnosis. I am happy for them but I am not sure how I feel about me...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 12, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: anniversary breast cancer bonds Source Type: blogs

More Confusion
So a recent study shows that one third of all breast cancer diagnoses that are treated unnecessarily. I find this statistic a bit appalling.First of all, we are all aware of the issues of over treatment for breast cancer and other ailments. Technology is advanced to the point that it can find little teeny tiny things that may or may not turn out to be nasty. Second of all, the standard these days is to treat all these potentially bad things as bad things because there is no way to know which are good and which are bad.And that is my point. Since we don't know which ones are bad (i.e. potentially fatal) or not going to do a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 10, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient breast cancer treatment cancer research confusion over treatment Source Type: blogs

Accountability
I am a strong believer in accountability. I also often think that big pharma is not held accountable for the costs of their medications to patients and only to their stockholders. I have been following two cases on-going in the media. The first is the idiot Shkreli who raised prices on medications and smirked at Congress when asked about it.The second case is the one of the CEOs of New England Compounding Center who is on trial for 25 counts of second degree murder as a result of thenational outbreak of fungal meningitis in 2012 which killed 64 people." In 2014, federal prosecutors charged 14 former owners, pharmacist...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 9, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: accountability crime pharmaceutical manufacturers Source Type: blogs

Cost of Exertion
I read an article over atRheumatoid Arthritis.Net on thecost of exertion. What is the cost of exertion you ask? Basically, if you run a marathon, you might be a little tired the next day if you are a normal healthy person. Or, if you are me, you go to the gym and the grocery store in the same day, and you need a nap.If you have a chronic illness (or ten) you have a greatly limited ability to do much of anything. Learning to accept your limitations is an important part of coping with your ailments.Yesterday I met a friend for lunch and then we went shopping for just over an hour (because it started snowing like hell and we ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 8, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments energy exertion fatigue Source Type: blogs

Sensitivity and Expertise
A few days ago, I blogged about theapology from an oncology nurse after she was diagnosed with cancer herself. I do feel strongly about this issue. This morning I received a comment from someone (anonymously) on this post:" I totally disagree with the premise that people must actually have a disease to understand or help those with the disease. Sensitivity is a wonderful characteristic and we hope that our care givers have it. But expertise, with or without sensitivity, is invaluable,and may spell the difference between survival or not. "I disagree with this statement and wanted to clarify my position on this poi...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 7, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient quality of care Source Type: blogs

Finding People Like You
What is the point of a support group? Finding people like you to talk about your issues - whether its widows, cancer people, parents of autistic children. Sometimes it helps to talk to people with similar issues - everyone has cancer for example. But sometimes you need to find people with the same cancer as you.Its pretty easy to find women with breast cancer because there are support groups for them everywhere. Its other types of cancer that can be hard to find.But then there comes the question: How do you find people like you? There aren't little registries for people with a specific kind of cancer to sign up. So how do ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 6, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer support emotional toll support group Source Type: blogs

The Wrong Doctor
Synopsis ofa very sad story: A man with horrible pain issues was cut off of pain meds by his doctor and as a result took his own life.The details: The man's pain issues were treated by his PCP who was concerned about potential opioid abuse and cut him off of medication. His PCP was concerned about losing his own license as a result of tightening laws regarding opioid medications due to the current abuse epidemic. His pain, when untreated was so bad, caused him to commit suicide.I think my big problem is that the man was not treated by a specialist who would have a better understanding of options for treating his pain. Ther...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 5, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: chronic conditions pain management uncertainty with doctors Source Type: blogs

A Post for Every Oncology Medical Practitioner
I have often spoke about how nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners just don't'' get it'because they have never been through it themselves. They also don't understand what they do not understand, because they haven't been there.It has been my greatest desire to have medical practitioners who have had the ailment they are treating. Especially oncology medical practitioners.An oncology nurse recentlywrote an apology letter to all her patients. She had not'gotten it'in all her dealings with patients in her care. Now she knows what she did not get because she has now been diagnosed with a stage III colon cancer. This ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 4, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: education nurses oncologist sharing Source Type: blogs

That Sleep Crap
So I haven't slept well in years. Back in the 1990s and earlier, I started having sleep problems. I have been known to get up and clean the house in the middle of the night.(Why not. I was awake?) Its not like I wake up dying to pee or need a glass of water. I just wake up and can't sleep.My husband tells me to relax and feel each body part slowly relaxing and then just close your eyes and fall asleep. I have tried everything you can think of, including and not limited to: exercise, sleeping pills, new bed, etc. I have even counted sheep.Two years ago my doctor sent me for a sleep study that came back as no apnea or a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 3, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doctors lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

Cancer Prevention (Or Why Me?)
I have a feeling I am bit cynical these days. This morning I found a post by Dana Farber's Insight blog on cancer prevention tips, which caught my cynical eye.I was 19 when I was first diagnosed with cancer. Okay, I admit to smoking some by then but I wasn't much of a drinker until I got to college (!!). I was pretty active. I was young. Any bad habits didn't have much time to turn into a cancer, or so I think. Then by my second diagnosis, 26 years later, I might have had a few more bad habits but I was pretty active and got check ups, wore sun screen and in good shape. This is my family history of cancer: one gr...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 2, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation cancer diagnosis cancer prevention frustration Source Type: blogs

Risk Vs. Worry
You get cancer, get treated, and they say'here, go on with your life'. (That last part is so helpful! NOT.) Somewhere in the middle of all that treatment crap, they give you all the numbers about statistics - which,as the patient, we interpret wrong. If they say you have a 99% chance of living five years, all us patients put ourselves into the 1% who are not going to make it. (And we ignore the fact that the entire 99% could be hit by a bus at any time.)Over at 'The Big C and Me' , I read today's post by Renn about' Five Years and Counting'and she included the American Cancer Society's statistic about survival rates for st...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - January 1, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer recurrence cancer risk statistics stress worry Source Type: blogs

The Years
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. --Abraham LincolnToday I was watching some old Blue Blood reruns. At the end of one episode, that quote was recited and rang a bell with me.We need to make the most of our years. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 31, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life Source Type: blogs

Another Year Goes By
We are at the end of another year. This one for the country has been filled with amazing ups and downs and controversy and more controversy. All I know is I have survived another year, even if I have yet another horrible cold. But what I don't know is how did I do on last year's resolutions?Do you keep track of your resolutions each year? I know I never do. But I'll get back to that.So each year, I make resolutions so that I will work on making changes in my life. I have a feeling, in fact, that I make the same resolutions every year. I honestly wouldn't be surprised about that at all. I think I probably want to lose weigh...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 30, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: diet health issues resolutions Source Type: blogs

Why I Don't Blog About Breast Cancer As Much Any More
I have been pondering this one for a long time, years. I used to blog about my breast cancer crap (and if it's cancer, it is crap) all the time. I mean, ALL the time. Because breast cancer was the center of my life. I was going through treatment and coping with diagnosis and all the fun stuff going along with it.So since I got through treatment and moved on to other ailments, I have not blogged about breast cancer as much. I have thought a lot about this. I have even considered renaming my blog.After a lot of thought, I have decided the reason I don't blog about breast cancer is that I am trying to bury all thoughts of bre...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 29, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging breast cancer coping Source Type: blogs

Germs and RA
I keep whining about this but its true. Germs and RA do not work well together. Here's someone else's story:" When you have RA, the last thing you want to deal with is germs. These germs that are airborne are a recipe for disaster. I want to tell those that refuse to cover their mouth, to please do so.The last thing I need is to get more sick when it can be prevented. Wash your hands, germs are on door knobs, money and all that we touch. Let ’s be mindful in this season of more germs that they easily spread. My desire is to be in great health this winter. I know first hand, dealing with RA and a real bad co...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 28, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cold holidays Source Type: blogs

Resolutions
As the year end approaches, I contemplate my wishes for the coming year. I may be a bit different than most because of my health but here goes:I wish for another year without a cancer recurrence or new diagnosis.I wish for another year without new significant health issues.I wish for approval for social security disability insurance.I don't think they are big desires but they are important to me. Like to be healthy-ish would be nice. And the disability insurance would help my wallet. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 27, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being healthy resolutions Source Type: blogs

A Request For All Those With A Cold
Please, a request to anyone with a cold who wants to go out and celebrate the holidays: Please DON'T!I have a compromised immune system and met some friends for brunch last weekend. One of whom, the one sitting next to me, had a cold and said she had had it for a few days. 36 hours later I started feeling like I had a cold too.Because she didn't want to stay home and take care of herself, now I have a cold and may or may not be able to celebrate the holidays with my family. Never mind all the other people she has exposed to her cold. She went to work every day except one that she took off. She went to all her family get to...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - December 26, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: germs immune system just a cold Source Type: blogs