In My Inbox
I get so many emails every day from some of the many websites where I am registered. Most of them are health related (becuase I am still waiting for that cure). Usually I can hit delete on many of them because they don't appeal to me for some reason or another. Then I move on to the rest of my day (after the USA today crossword puzzle, checking Facebook, and my blog).In my inbox this morning was a startling, shocking, upsetting email. Its title was: " Is having bacon good for fibromyalgia? " . First of all let me say that I really hate emails that start off with a question. They are just click bait. And I hate th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 21, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: bacon fibromyalgia food inflammation Source Type: blogs

An App for Lymphedema Self Care
I am on the fence on this one. At NYU, a bunch of really smart people have developed a prototype ofan app for self-care for lymphedema. They have tried it on about 20 people. They realize that they used their app on patients who are highly educated and tech savvy. A great idea. Right?Not. They realize their audience is skewed in one direction. But I think I could be put in that group myself of well educated and tech savvy but I am not going to jump on my phone or laptop at every twinge. Not happening.I think I blogged about the idea of'cool'apps for anyone over 30. Not so great. I like the idea of helping with self-care fo...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: lymphedema medical care technology Source Type: blogs

I Don't Heal
Part of one of the many'joys'in my life is that my body heals very slowly. When you have RA or other auto-immune disease your treatment often includes a immune suppressor, such as Methotrexate. I get a weekly injection of it (courtesy of my husband). It suppresses my immune system so am very vulnerable to germs and heal slowly. A cold doesn't go away in a few days, it can take a few weeks and can result in ear infections and other'fun'ailments.A few examples: I have this stupidass wart on my foot that the doctor froze off September 1. Of course it turned into a big blister but is it healed yet? No. Its only 49 days later a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 19, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being sick healing immune system Source Type: blogs

Finally Back Home
I have spent most of the past two weeks travelling. First it was a needed break with my husband. Then it was a road trip to meet some people who were very important to me but I had never met. I am also now getting over a cold. My husband shared his cold with me last week and I have had it since. To be fair he has been sick for a week as well.While it may not have been the best idea to over do things for several days in the row, emotionally I needed it.Anyway, now I am back home and relaxing instead of getting up to go somewhere. I am way behind on rest and sleep. My fatigue level is too high. Basically I need to nap for th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 18, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer support travel vacation Source Type: blogs

On The Road Again
This weekend I am on the road again. It is a real road trip. I drove with a friend (well she drove all so far) about 840 miles to the middle of Indiana from Massachusetts. We spent a night at my brother's and two nights in a hotel and then we will go back to my brother's and home. A road trip without the Thelma and Louise business.Why am I on a road trip like this when I am among the least health people in the country? Because:I wanted toIts a great change to do something completely differentI am meeting some people I have known online since 2007 but have never met in person. Reason number 3 is the most important to m...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 15, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer bonds coping travel Source Type: blogs

Pre-Treatment Education
So you get a crappy diagnosis, I have had a few, and you instantly want your body fixed! Quickly you rush to the surgeon and get the nastiness removed. With cancer, after surgery you usually get more fun with treatment such as chemo and radiation. Then pow, your body starts protesting and you instantly end up with multiple side effects, including ones that could cause permanent damage to your body and require additional surgeries.This scenario is not that uncommon with breast cancer patients. Women want that thing out! They have surgeries and chemo and radiation. I have friends who ended up with problems with their mastect...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 13, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer treatment doctor questions education medical decisions Source Type: blogs

Back and Forth
Adding to yesterday's post on the evil voice, I can go weeks, even a few months, and feel that I am doing okay and I am in status quo of a semi-healthy state. Then I go over to the other side and think my body has let me down and I have some new ailment. Or an ailment has decided to act up again.Its just unfair. Seriously.But I digress. I felt well for about a week. By well, I mean sort of normal. Then we came home and my back started killing me. And my knee hurts. And my neck hurts. Then I am sure next week at least for a few days, I will feel fine.The hard part is the balancing. Every day I wake up optimistic and then I ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 11, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments bad news good news ouch Source Type: blogs

That little evil voice
After years of medical crap behind me, I still get those nasty niggling thoughts that something new might actually be wrong with me. What is the reason for that'new'problem? Is it cancer again? No I can't get cancer again. I have had my share already thanks. My body can't take much more please. I admit to having some not so good thoughts about pains in the past few days that are leading me to making new appointments with a couple of doctors. This does not make me happy. But sometimes I have to just calm down that little evil voice that causes me so much stress. But since its a Monday morning I have to wait a bit to ca...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 10, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: stress unhealthiness Source Type: blogs

Changing Your Wardrobe For An Ailment
I couldn't sleep last night (again - thanks to back pain) and started wondering why women with breast cancer instantly start wearing pink and accessorizing with all things pink upon their diagnosis? Why do they feel the need to do this? I just don't understand. I admit when I was diagnosed with breast cancer I did go out and purchase one pink breast cancer t-shirt which I wore to chemo once and then donated it. I was also given breast cancer t-shirts by family and friends after they participated in an Avon walk. I never wore them either.What if your ailment didn't have a'pretty colored'ribbon, would start wearing that colo...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 9, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer bonds pink washing pinkification Source Type: blogs

I took a break from reality
We just spent six days in northern Maine where there is sketchy phone service and minimal wifi - if at all. I kept my phone on airplane mode so I wouldn't kill the battery with it searching for a signal. Because there weren't any. We couldn't phone home if we wanted to.Actually it was very nice. A break from everything. I didn't blog which was very minor. But I also didn't worry about medical issues. At all. I pretended I was healthy and did what I could.We had fun. It was peak foliage. We took a boat tour on Moosehead Lake. We drove 10 miles down a dirt road to look at ruins of a plane crash - which was eerie and creepy t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 8, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: reality vacation Source Type: blogs

I Have Learned
Unfortunately because of my health I have learned a lot about dealing with doctors and ailments. Its the one thing I can still do.Someone I know has been dealing with a significant medical issue and now has gotten some more news which could impact the rest of his life permanently. As someone who has dealt with multiple medical issues I could relate to his concerns.I shared what I would have done based on my experiences with ailments. I guess I have learned a lot in the past ten years or so of medical disasters. This is what I have learned:Step one: education. Find out as much as you can about the body part with the problem...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 2, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments coping doctors Source Type: blogs

I Survived the Week.
I blogged that this was going to be an awful week. It was. My biggest problem is that I was tired all week. I didn't get enough rest and felt exhausted all week. Every time I wanted to take a nap, I couldn't because I had to go somewhere or someone was going to be here.Finally last night I got into bed around 8 or so to read. I didn't read very long before I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and fell back to sleep pretty quick. I woke up at 830. That means close to 12 hours of sleep. I needed that sleep.I feel much better today.Its amazing how important sleep can be. If you do not get enough rest your body ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - October 1, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: lack of sleep nap rest Source Type: blogs

The Snoring Controversy
Do you snore? No of course not. You have never heard yourself snore. So of course you don't. Sometimes its possible your spouse/partner/significant other will infer that you might snore a tiny bit. But that doesn't mean its really true. Does it?Last night I had the oh-so enjoyable sleep lab test. I had a sleep test about two years ago so it wasn't all that unfamiliar but I don't remember squat these days.... But because of my blood oxygen levels and my feelings of fatigue it was time for another one.I got there at 830 last night and was escorted to my'comfy','little'(hospital) bed. They gave me time to change into my PJs a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 30, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: lack of sleep rest Source Type: blogs

On Not Blogging About Breast Cancer
So yes my blog is called Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog but I haven't been writing about breast cancer as much. Why? Because of several reasons:My health is not focused on breast cancerI try not to live in the'all cancer all the time channel 'Honestly, my health sucks but its not all about cancer. I have plenty of other chronic ailments to cope with. And I also try not to focus on my health all the time. I have other things going in my life - weaving, knitting, travel, gardening, reading.... I can't remember anything else. Oh, cooking. I like to cook.I wish I could cut all the focus in my life off my health. There was a tim...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 29, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging health Source Type: blogs

Stress is Bad for My Waistline
This isn't a good week. (I swear I do have good weeks, just not right now.) The reasons why it isn't a good week is that I had an MRI Monday night so I was up way too late - meaning after midnight. Today I have a deep cleaning at the periodontist. This means they will inject Novocaine and then scrape way under my gums. I expect I will have soup or scrambled eggs for dinner. Then tomorrow night I have the sleep lab so I don't expect to get a good night's sleep again. I know Iwhined blogged about this earlier this week but I want to whine some more.Yesterday I needed a two hour nap to recover from Monday night. I also needed...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 28, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: eating food stress whininess Source Type: blogs

When To Get a Flu Shot?
This is part of the big conspiracy to confuse patients. When am I supposed to get a flu shot? In previous years I would go to my primary care physician and get a flu shot. I saw her a couple of weeks ago and was told it was too early. I should wait until the hospital has its clinic in October or go to an other flu shot clinic I find. Hmmmm...So I did some research. Thelatest wisdom is to get a flu shot between Halloween and Thanksgiving. But there is other evidence that it may be different for over 65 or the medically frail. Am I medically frail?I don't know. I do know I am confused. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 27, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: confusion flu shot Source Type: blogs

The Political Season
We are far into the political season. I am just happy it will end in six or seven weeks. I don't know how soon it is and I don't really care. I just know the following:When voting for a candidate you are not voting for the best, you are voting for the least worst. This is especially true this year. No one is running around saying which candidate is better. They are only saying which candidate would be the least bad.We all have the opportunity to weigh in on election day by voting. I am not interested in discussing anything political and especially will not have any conversation with someone who doesn't vote.That's it. You ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 26, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: MRI politics Source Type: blogs

Why Can't I Sleep?
So I am always in pursuit of the land of nod. The only way I seem to be able to sleep is to take a sleeping pill but that doesn't guarantee a full night's sleep. If I get so exhausted I can't watch tv I usually get a couple of hours of sleep. Sometimes I can even sleep all night. But I'll tell you my secret for sanity in the middle of the night. I pull out my tablet and play computer games until I can fall back to sleep.I am always looking for help with sleep. WebMD can always provide assistance with all things medical. They sent me an email the other day on theCauses of Fatigue and Seepiness and How to Fight Them. It...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 25, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

Not A Good Week Ahead
This coming week is going to be long, stressful, and sleep deprived. I don't know what I was thinking but I think the real answer is I wasn't thinking. This is my week:Saturday (today) - craft show where I will have a table all daySunday: Lunch and dinner reservations with two different groups of people. Lunch at noon and an early dinner at 4 PM. Monday: 930 PM MRI for my neck. I should be home by 11. I never stay up that late.Tuesday: Deep cleaning at the periodontist with novacaine. How fun! Wednesday: The only good day because there is nothing on my calendarThursday: Lunch plans with a friend. Sleep lab overni...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 24, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: appointments lack of sleep MRI planning Source Type: blogs

How Long Do I Have?
When we are first diagnosed with cancer, one of the first questions we ask is'how long do I have?'We assume/hope/pretend we will beat our cancer and live a long life. But for me, the little voice inside has always asked'will I live a long time after the beating my body has taken, mostly due to cancer treatment? 'With two cancer diagnoses behind me, I have wondered how long I will live. My family mostly lives into their 80s, my parents are currently 86 and 88, my maternal grandmother lived to 96. I have always thought I will make it a while longer, being very indeterminate. I don't think I am dying anytime soon.My body is n...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 23, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer life living with cancer Source Type: blogs

More Needles????
I hate needles. I really hate needles. If a needle is near me I can't look. If a needle is near anyone else, I leave the room. (Actually sewing needles and knitting needles are fine. Its those icky medical ones that cause me problems.)Now it looks like more needles are in my future. Ick. Double ick!Yesterday I went to see neurosurgery because of increasing pain in my neck. Real pain in my neck, not the literal kind. I do have to deal with the literal pains in the neck (like insurance companies, hospital billing departments, and poor bedside manners). Back in 2014, I was having problems with my right arm. I was sent to see ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 22, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doctors more pain MRI neck pain needles physical therapy Source Type: blogs

Lymphedema and the lymph system
So as an extra gift with breast cancer, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I am very coordinated and fell on our icy front walk and landed on my hand. My arm swelled up and voila, I have lymphedema. I have a'lovely','skin tone'sleeve that I get to wear sometimes. It even provides some sun protection so I get a tan line on my wrist.So what is the lymph system? I had no idea until I fell that day. I sometimes try to find more information on the lymph system.First of all what is lymph? That clear fluid that seeps out of blisters and cuts sometimes. Its the other system in your body like your blood system but it has white blood...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 21, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer lymph nodes lymphedema Source Type: blogs

In Shock
We moved to our new neighborhood last January. January in New England is not a time when people are outside much (unless they are playing in the snow somewhere). People are not outside in their yards and being social. All socializing is inside.We met one family of neighbors a few weeks afterwards because we were outside dealing with snow and ice. We then met more neighbors as the weather got warmer. Because of the street's turns, we have one neighbor directly across the street and one next door. Everyone else is around a corner someplace. I met the neighbor across the street, B, in April or so. We talked gardening. She wor...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer death Source Type: blogs

I took a day off
from basically everything. Everyone is entitled to a break once in a while. Saturday we went to the beach for a few hours and out for clams. Yesterday I was lazy and did not accomplish much.I actually pretended I was healthy but wasn't dumb enough to try to do anything I shouldn't. Yes I took it easy. I played with my loom - I have been weaving more. I got some awesome yarn last week that I had to try weaving.Actually I needed a break from the'sick'me. Friday night I remembered to check my cell phone for voice mails. Unfortunately I didn't get them to call back two doctor office's before the weekend. I wasn't going to wor...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 19, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: beach resting Source Type: blogs

I Am Entitled To Change My Mind
Most days I blog about what is on my mind and it just sort of pours out of me. Sometimes its in reaction to something I saw, read, or heard. Sometimes its just what is on my mind. And sometimes I change my mind. Sometimes I read my blog again and think about what I actually wrote.Yesterday, I blogged aboutchanges I could make and a week ago I blogged about how I amdone making lifestyle changes. And I realized I totally changed my mind. But then I realized I didn't. I am ready to make changes that other people tell me to do. And I am ready to make changes that I want to do. I don't want to be told what to do. I am an a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 17, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: choices decisions healthy lifestyle Source Type: blogs

Changes I Can Make
My therapist asked me an interesting question the other day - do I eat specific items that could help with my fibromyalgia? I actually thought about it for a minute. (Me, taking other people's advice???? LOL) An email came through my inbox on foods that are beneficial for people with fibromyalgia - I got as far as seeing bananas on the list and I eat one every day.However that did prompt me to wonder what other changes I could make to my life to help me in some ways. I had thought that once I left my pastry filled job I would lose a few pounds. I did lose a couple pounds but then they reappeared. This indicates to me that ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 16, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being healthy eating exercise healthy lifestyle Source Type: blogs

Pie in the sky!
The lovely smart people atKomen have announced their new goal: To reduce breast cancer death's by 50% in the next decade. Um, this makes me think of theDeadby2020 people. Its so logical to to just come up with a great, yet unattainable, goal that makes an awesome headline so you get great publicity to get more donations for this unrealistic idea. Its all about the headlines. This is how the PR machines crank out buzz. Seriously. I used to work in marketing and PR and this is what they do. Now the organizations may think they are reasonable goals but if you think about them, they aren't. Can an organization d...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 15, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: #deadby2020 dreams komen Source Type: blogs

Sleep, Glorious Sleep
So in recent months I have developed the ability to take two hour naps and then get a full night's sleep. I just thought it was just because I need more sleep because some nights I get lots of quality insomnia. But no. My doctor doesn't agree.No, no, no, no.She is concerned that I get so tired that there might be something going on when I sleep (like snoring) and that my blood oxygen (not blood alcohol - which I often say instead of oxygen for some reason) level has been running lower and lower over the years. So I get to have a sleep test again.I just had one two years ago. I don't sleep well during a sleep test. I hate t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 14, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doctors lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

That Breast Cancer Bond Thingy
While I was at the gym yesterday, I was on the bike getting my cardio in when I two women who I know started talking next to me. Then one of them came over to said hi. I knew she had a lot of cardiac issues last spring and I asked her how she was doing. She said she is better now but still had some soreness on the side of her rib cage. That didn't seem like a cardio issue so I asked her what it was.She had a mastectomy because she had her third occurrence of breast cancer. Twice on the left and this third time on the right. And all three were different cancers. I thought wow three different breast cancers and now two separ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 13, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer bonds pinkification Source Type: blogs

How can I sit?
My newest advice is don't sit with your legs crossed. The reason for this with my bad knees is that the amount of torque that is put on your tibia when you do that is very high. My right knee (the one with the partially torn ACL) popped and I couldn't move or straighten my leg. It took about 15 minutes before it started to feel better.I asked the physical therapist at the gym. He was the one who told me I shouldn't sit with my legs crossed.So if I sit down on the floor, how am I supposed to sit? I can't sit with my legs out straight. I can't bend them to one side because my back would complain. Don't even think about kneel...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 12, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: knee knee pain Source Type: blogs

When Will I Learn?
The answer is not anytime soon. Yesterday I went to a craft show and had a booth. I had a blast. I sold tons of my stuff and had a lot of fun at the same time. I might have even made a new friend.But obviously I am not the best candidate to leave home at 620 AM to get to the show at 7 AM, set up my booth, sit and stand for hours, and break down my booth, and drive home to get home at 530 PM. I also lifted things, dragged things, set up folding tables and a canopy. I pulled things out of my car and then put them back in. I did all those things my doctors are telling me not to do - lift, carry, twist, push, pull, etc.Today I...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 11, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: craft fair education knee pain learning pain levels Source Type: blogs

So What Does RA Feel Like?
There is a big difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the kind from overuse that causes your knee/elbow/hand to hurt when you over use it, or maybe even when you aren't using it. Rheumatoid arthritis is systemic and starts with your little joints - like your feet and hands. The joints become achy and bulge and more.Thisarticle explains better than anything else I have seen on what RA really feels like:Like the fatigue and exhaustion after climbing a mountain or running a marathon.Like the aches and pains after a significant fall or being in a car accident.Like the full body aches and ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 9, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: pain rheumatoid arthritis stress Source Type: blogs

Finally Some Good News
You can balance out the damage of drinking by exercising. Doesn't this sound too good to be true? It does, and its also true.New research has been done over years that show:It is impossible to stop people from drinking alcohol - in general. They have passed laws and tried all sort so different things. Even in cultures where alcohol is forbidden, alcohol is still drunk and abused. Alcohol abuse causes a lot of damage to people's bodies. So researchers went on another tack. What can be done in order to help people's bodies recover from this abuse from drinking alcohol, not even when it is not abused. Meaning when p...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 8, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: exercise wine Source Type: blogs

I Am Done Making Lifestyle Changes
When I was 19 and diagnosed with thyroid cancer, after treatment the doctors told me to stay healthy, take care of myself, eat right and get plenty of rest. Um, great advice. I was in college so it did not exactly fit my lifestyle.But I did put some deep thought into how I was going to live my life. Having cancer sucks (if you want to disagree with that, please let me know). It was a big wrench in my life. A huge elephant in the room. And one I was not too sure how to approach (there was no social support for cancer people in 1981). However, I decided cancer was not going screw up my life.I made the decision that I would t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 7, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: changes healthy lifestyle Source Type: blogs

Sometimes We Just Don't Care Anymore
Yesterday I ran into a friend and we chatted for a while. I have been dealing with my usual ups and downs health wise and some emotional crap. She has also been through a round of health stuff and emotional stuff. We caught up on the most important things going on in our lives for a few minutes and touched on some of the items we have been coping with. We both said sometimes we just don't care anymore.Call it being overwhelmed. Call it whatever you want. But we just don't care. As a professional patient, sometimes you get so inundated that you really don't give a s**t about anything. Coping with our lives gets so comp...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 6, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: caring emotions friends overwhelmed Source Type: blogs

That Upcoming Month
This month is September. You know that first month of fall where you can feel the first crispness in the air (especially here in New England), back to school, and all that. It is also:Childhood Cancer Awareness MonthNational Pediculosis Prevention Month/Head Lice Prevention MonthNational Recovery MonthNational Sickle Cell MonthNational Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness MonthOvarian Cancer Awareness MonthPain Awareness MonthProstate Cancer Awareness Month18 National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day22 Falls Prevention Awareness Day28 National Women's Health& Fitness DayThe full list contains many more awareness topics. (A...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 5, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brace yourself pinkification pinktober Source Type: blogs

My Achy, Achy Back
My back has been very uncooperative recently. Actually its been a real pain, or in a lot of pain. I went to my pain management doctor a while back and he said that my back has been so bad because I haven't had any interventional treatments (a/k/a needles in my back) in a while and its time for another one. That is due for this Thursday.But in the meantime, my back is giving me lots of grief (to put it nicely). Yesterday and Friday I was walking around hunched over in pain most of the time. My husband even cooked dinner because I was in so much pain.Last night, I got in bed before 8 PM and took a breakthrough pain pill, an ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 4, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: back pain medical adventures needles Source Type: blogs

Unmet Needs of Cancer People
Finally someone figured out that there might be unmet needs of people after a cancer diagnosis. A study was recently done:" Cancer[people*] face unmet needs. These are needs which lack enough service or support for survivors to achieve optimal well-being. Understanding the needs of cancer survivors can help guide services and support to meet the needs of [people*]. "To complete this study, they asked over 9000 people one question:" Please tell us about any needs you have now as a cancer [person*] that ARE NOT being met to your satisfaction " .Only one question. But they could answer ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 3, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer research post cancer Source Type: blogs

I Am No Longer A Morning Person
I used to be a morning person. Really. In junior high and high school I would even get up and go ice skating for an hour or two before school. This would mean being at the ice rink as early as 545 AM. I was never the kid who stayed up late. I always went to bed early. In college I only managed to stay up late and practiced the art of napping regularly. That way with a nap, I could still go to the keg party until 2 AM.When I met my husband, my big fear was that he would be a late night person. That was quickly proved wrong. We both think going to bed at 9 PM is normal. (And we like reading books.) As a military guy he think...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 2, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

A Post for Sick People
As a follow up to my earlier post forFriends of Sick People, here's a post for my advice for people who are sick.As a patient with an icky medical diagnosis, you need to remember the most important person you need to take care of is you. I know you love your children, spouse/partner, and other people close to you but you need to focus on you for a bit. You will need more rest and care than usual. You will spend a lot more time at doctors and other appointments. Any time when you are not at work you will probably be focused on your (lack of ) health. Nap time!You may find the need to set some rules and requests for other pe...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - September 1, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient doctor appointments nap stress Source Type: blogs

The Summer Ran Away
How did it get to be the end of August already? I do not know how that happened. It vanished. I do admit to having a decent suntan (just don't tell my dermatologist). I did spend the better part of two weeks floating in the ocean. My garden did pretty darn well considering the drought.But how did it get to be the end of August? Kids are going back to school already. I have seen fallen leaves on the lawn. I am not ready for the fall.Last winter was very mild for us, except one day of extreme cold. The year before was horrible. It was the year of 10'of snow around here that didn't melt for weeks. The long range forecasts are...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 31, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: life Source Type: blogs

Annual Physical
I am just fine. I am damn happy. And perky! And feeling no pain. No that's a big fat lie. I have a lot of pain. I ran out of steam yesterday. I was very tired by the end of the day. Apparently I did too much. All I did was go to the gym. And then the library and one store. That was it. I was wiped out. I even took a break after the gym.Next week I have my annual physical. I have two options: go in and lie and say everything is fine, or go in and tell the truth about how I feel. This could put me back on a medical roller coaster of a sort. At this point I am not concerned with out going back on the medical roller coaster as...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 30, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments doctor appointments doctor questions lies Source Type: blogs

A Post For Friends of Sick People
Barbara over at Let Life Happen blogged aboutvisiting breast cancer patients. I feel this is a greatly ignored topic and want to add my two cents on this. For the benefit of all patients, I feel that this is a topic that gets ignored by too many.First of all, before you visit a sick person, put yourself in their shoes. When are you feeling awful, do you want to entertain someone for hours? Do you want to answer dozens of phone calls asking the same thing? Don't you want to sleep or watch bad TV or sip herbal tea in your bathrobe with fuzzy slippers on your feet? If you are in pain, what is your preferred activity - lying i...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 29, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being a patient hospital Source Type: blogs

Good News/Bad News
So the good news is that heart disease is becoming less of a problem for many Americans and the death rate is down. But the bad news is thatcancer is beginning to take over as the leading cause of death of Americans. It is already the leading cause of death for Asians and Pacific Islanders.Well whoop de do. Does that make me any less likely to die of heart disease or cancer? Not really. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 28, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments bad news good news Source Type: blogs

Exercise for Memory???? Or Cancer Causes Stress.
A new study (because we all new more studies) says thatexercise can boost memory for breast cancer patients. What? I exercise and my memory is shot, getting worse every day. I don't believe it.The theory is that exercise alleviates stress and benefits women psychologically which improves their memory." A surprising finding is memory problems appear to be related to the high stress load cancer survivors experience, and may not be specific to chemotherapy or radiation treatments. "That's surprising? To me this is even more important than figuring out that exercise improves memory. Seriously, I could have told you t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 26, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: exercise memory stress Source Type: blogs

Stop Comparing
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I quickly learned every person's cancer is different - even if they have the same diagnosis. (This is why it is so hard to treat.) I learned not to compare myself to anyone else. In every support group, even if we had the same diagnosis, we learned how different all are.I get this. We are all different. We can't compare our cancers to each other.But.... why do I keep comparing my rheumatoid arthritis to others? I have to stop comparing myself. My mother has had RA since 1989 and a friend (exact same age as me) has had RA since the early 2000's. Their differences are striking. My mot...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 24, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: diagnosis rheumatoid arthritis whininess Source Type: blogs

Has A Cancer Diagnosis Changed How You Think?
I was reading over atKatyDid Cancerthat she turned 41. After being diagnosed with breast cancer before 35 she was never sure she would get to 40, or 41. (But now she is thinking 50.)This made me think. How do I think about how long I will live? And how would I think differently about how long I would live if I had never had cancer?At 19 (and invincible) I had no thought of how long I would live. Because I was barely an adult and between my freshman and sophomore years of college. And longevity was the last thing on my mind. I just assumed it would be shorter than without cancer.At 45 I was more responsible and married with...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 23, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: living with cancer quality of life thinking thoughts Source Type: blogs

I Am Feeling Stressed
I didn't blog yesterday and am a little late today because I hadn't really decided what was going on with me. Finally (call me slow if you want) I decided I am feeling stressed. And I am beginning to figure out why I am so stressed. I have a lot going on. Nothing major medically but just too much stress for me.Last month, in the spirit of doing something good, I decided to convince my husband we need to adopt a third cat. As soon as I asked about where are the good local shelters someone offered me her two cats that she needed to get rid of (because her son was moving home with his dog who didn't get along with the cats). ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 22, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cats guilt stress Source Type: blogs

I'm Not Suffering From Anything
I am not suffering from anything. I am living with a bunch of medical ailments, among them insanity.Suffering sucks. Living is good. Its all about attitude in life. I think if you let yourself only see the downside of life (the half empty), you will miss out on the positive (the half full). So live with what you have and stop letting yourself suffer.And enjoy your ride with your insanity (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 21, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments enjoyment insanity suffering Source Type: blogs

I Wasn't Up To Blogging
Yesterday I was not up to blogging. I meant to blog. But I didn't. I couldn't. I couldn't come up with anything to blog about because I was too tired to think.I haven't been sleeping well for the past week or so. I have been very tired and not able to nap for some reason. And every morning either I had to get up and go somewhere or I just woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. Thursday afternoon I was so exhausted. I wanted to nap but couldn't. I also had to take the (EK) to the vet. I just wanted to sleep. Thursday night even thought exhausted I didn't sleep well.Yesterday morning I also had to go to an appointment with...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: depression disability lack of sleep nap Source Type: blogs