Breast Cancer Retrospective
Before my breast cancer diagnosis, I was aware of breast cancer around me. A co-worker's mother, another co-worker's wife, my parent's neighbor, and more. But it never really touched me because no one I knew personally was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a disease of older women. I also felt because I had previously had cancer that sometimes people expected me to be more sympathetic to other's cancer diagnoses. I did feel some guilt because of this.I never expected to be diagnosed with another cancer. I felt I already had my share of cancer with thyroid cancer. I didn't'deserve'any more. Because I had a benign breast ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 18, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: acceptance anger breast cancer denial depression grief Source Type: blogs

I'm Not That Unhealthy
Last year I broke down and asked my rheumatologist if she would sign a handicapped parking placard application for me. After a long wait (several months) I finally received my placard but it was only good for one year.I had to reapply this year and did receive a permanent placard that is good for five years and then I will automatically receive another one for the following five years (until I am gone). But, I have no idea what my rheumatologist wrote on the application, the RMV wants my doctor to clarify whether I am healthy enough to drive.Honestly you didn't think I was unhealthy enough to have a handicapped placar...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 17, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: disability driving Source Type: blogs

I Keep Being Asked
My therapist and my meds therapist seem to think I should be getting over my depression. They call it'post-cancer depression'. I feel some confusion there. Am I supposed to be magically better because I haven't had a cancer recurrence? Seriously. I feel not confusion, but more of a disconnect.I was first told that I had depression when I first went to a therapist (years) after my first cancer diagnosis. I managed to keep my depression in check after a good deal of therapy and more years of being healthy. Then with my second cancer diagnosis, how funny was it that my depression returned? It didn't help that then my health r...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 16, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: assumptions depression therapist Source Type: blogs

Back To Reality
Groan! We were on vacation for two weeks. Most of the time we were on the ocean. We have been home for a few days already but I allowed myself to stay in vacation mode until this morning. In the past two weeks, I:Have not had a doctor appointment - that changes as of 1045 AM this morning. I have an appointment with my therapist. Later this week I see the periodontist and have a medical exam for my Social Security Disability application. Gone to the gym - I thought I needed a break. I haven't been sitting on my butt. I have gone and floated around the ocean and made sure I did get some exercise in.Taken care of housewo...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 15, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: recovery relax vacation Source Type: blogs

This Isn't Working
I haven't gotten enough sleep for the past several nights. Why? Because I wake up uncomfortable and can't sleep. Maybe its because we slept in a different bed for two weeks at the rental. Or because I haven't been to the gym for two weeks because we were away. Or because I floated around in the ocean most days. All I know is everything hurts. And it sucks.However, I have a plan:Take a sleeping pillTake a pain pillFind a really boring book to put me to sleepSo now I will take my great strategic plan and implement it and catch up on some Zzzzssss. I hope (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 14, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: lack of sleep pain levels Source Type: blogs

Downside of Cancer Blogging
In the cancer world, particularly the cancer blogging world, you get to know a lot of really sick people. The problem is that every so often cancer takes one of the people you know.Over the years, I have'met'lots of people and gotten to know them fairly well. One of them I have admired since I first met her, Jill ofDancing with Cancer, Living with Mets. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 when she was in her late 30s. It then returned and metastasized. She blogged about her treatment and her travels and other adventures regularly. While she dealt with all kinds of medical problems related to her cancer, she didn't...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 13, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging Source Type: blogs

New Questions To Ponder
Sometimes I think I should stop receiving and reading emails. I got too many this week:Is Your Fibromyalgia Primary or Secondary? Basically from which ailment your fibromyalgia is manifesting it will indicate the correct direction for a more successful treatment protocol.New Guidelines for Adults with Chronic Pain and a History of Cancer - Oh, joy. Just another example of how cancer changes everything..." If a patient reports new onset of pain, clinicians should evaluate and monitor for recurrent disease, second malignancy, or late-onset effects of treatment. "How does that sound? Because with cancer, every ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 12, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments complications prognosis Source Type: blogs

Changes
Lots have changed in the last 24 hours. I am in a better place. Physically we returned home this morning. A few days early for the same reasons as last year. I had issues with family members, my sister to be exact. Is it me? I don't know. I will talk to my therapist about this. I don't like it when this happens. I just feel like I'm stuck in'Ground Hog Day'with my sister. But one thing I do know is that we will not be back next year.How bad was it? My sister pulled her usual passive-aggressive crap. After yelling at me because my brother and I made a decision to go to the big museum from the house museum we were at so we w...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 11, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: change family vacation Source Type: blogs

I Think I Should Go Back To Bed
Sometimes the day just doesn't start off right.Somehow my laptop screen is cracked. It was fine last night.  I have no idea how this happened. I can order a new one and have it home waiting for me when we get back. (I get to use my husband's in the meantime.)I get an email that says people withRA have lower cancer survival rates. Need I say more?We are at the beach and its cloudy. Where's the sun?All reasons to go back to bed.... (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 10, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggr cancer rates computer rheumatoid arthritis Source Type: blogs

How Much Pain?
Yesterday I found a stupid list of a series of doctor office signs. Of course I had to read it because the first one caught my eye, and share it on Facebook (because I have nothing better to do).Last night we went out to dinner. For some reason the kitchen was backed up and we were sitting in uncomfortable chairs for 45 long minutes between when our appetizer and salads were finished and our entrees arrived. During that time, my back started hurting to the extent that I could barely walk.Basically it felt like I had stepped on a Lego.... That was stabbing me in the back. The next time you step on a Lego, pretend that is go...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 8, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: back pain medications pain levels Source Type: blogs

What I Wish I Had Known
As a breast cancer, or actually any kind of, patient, we often have complained about what I wish I had known before treatment, especially surgeries. I know I havewhined blogged about it so many times myself that I can't even begin to list them all.One big area of complaints is what I wish I knew about surgery before I had it. The lymphedema risk was sort of explained but it didn't sink in. Maybe my brain was preoccupied with'my overwhelming second cancer diagnosis'so it just didn't register. Or maybe I just thought it would never happen to me, like any cancer diagnosis.But I would like to make the case on the'Angelina Joli...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 7, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment side effects surgery Source Type: blogs

I Just Want Some Sleep
I keep getting these awful muscle cramps. They have gotten more and more prevalent over the past few months. Sometimes the little tiny muscles on the side of my pinky finger start to go into spasm.... they may be tiny but they can cause a lot of pain. Other times its my hamstrings - both at once (just for added fun), or the front of my calf, or the bottom of my heel. Whenever it is, I stop doing whatever it was I was doing (sleeping, reading, walking, etc) and be in pain until it decides to loosen up. I often try moving around and a little massage. Sometimes I am still achy wherever it hurt for a while longer.I asked my pa...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 6, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation lack of sleep pain Source Type: blogs

Why Do We Need To Be So Precise?
Remember when we were children and the weather man would say things like'tomorrow should be warmer than today and there is a good chance it will rain in the afternoon'? Now its more like:'Tomorrow will be about five degrees warmer than today and there is a 40% chance of scattered showers tomorrow afternoon'.You used to get stuck in traffic and you would listen to the radio or talk to the other people in the car and figure out you will get moving again soon. Now Waze tells us the slowdown will add 7 minutes. Is that really important?And the biggest one is with analog (hands) clocks and watches we said it was around quarter ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 5, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: analysis details questions Source Type: blogs

In The Grand Scheme Of Things
Yesterday I was disappointed about my weight. Today I am in so much pain, I really do not care how much I weigh. I want the pain to go away. It will take some time.I had too much fun being a normal person yesterday. I went shopping - consignment store, yarn store, fish market, and grocery store. Then I came home and lay down for an hour and then I made dinner which meant I stood for another hour. After dinner, my brother had to help me upstairs because I was in so much pain. Now after almost 12 hours in bed, my back is better but not much. I will spend a lot of time lying down today. DAMN! I think I would feel better if I ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 3, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: back pain being healthy weight Source Type: blogs

Disappointment
When I stopped working where they brought cookies, bagels, and pastries in several times a week, when for runs to the bakery next door for snacks, and shared pizza, Chinese, or Thai lunches, I thought I would lose weight. I did lose some weight, maybe 10 lbs. Then I gained some of it back.Some how over the past ten years, besides getting older and developing a million health ailments, I have managed to put on more pounds than I can believe. I am thirty pounds over what I consider my fattest ever weight. I am not sure how that happened. And now, even though I go to the gym three times a week, I can't seem to lose any more.I...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 2, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: disappointment food shopping weight Source Type: blogs

A Relationship Gone Bad
I never used to mind climbing stairs. I would skip elevators and walk up and down stairs so I could pretend I was getting extra exercise. It was no big deal. At all.After my body decided to go to hell in a hand basket, I would sit in the living room and think about something I want from upstairs..... But delay so I could combine trips to reduce the number of times I needed to climb them.We moved so I could live mostly on one floor. I have enjoyed that. I really have. I could avoid the stairs for days at a time if needed. If I want to go out I can walk down the front steps - all five of them. Its very relaxing. I don't have...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - August 1, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: beach exercise rest stairs Source Type: blogs

Less Technology
We are away on vacation (note to burglars: we have a house sitter and two anti-burglar cats) and I have less access to technology:My phone is dead. I mean the battery is dead. I brought the wrong charger so it won't charge. As a backup we have my husband's phone but its not mine so I won't be using it much.There is one TV in the house we rented. It is downstairs and there are 7 of us now and will be 11 of us later so that means not a lot of tube time.All the plugs in this house (built in the early 1800s) are two prong. All the computer chargers are three prong. Dead batteries will probably occur.And I don't really care. I ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 31, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: beach technology unplugged vacation Source Type: blogs

Social Media Helps Breast Cancer Patients
Here's a surprise for us! Social media helps breast cancer patients .... And it took a research study to tell them that. How many of us went online for support after breast cancer to the online groups at Komen , Breastcancer.org , or many other sites in the last decade? I know I did. I also started blogging and looking for offline support services. We've know about this for a while now. But it took a bunch of scientists a while to figure this out. " Women who communicated online the most felt the most positive about their choices about treatment. They also said their decisions were more deliberate, and they were mor...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 29, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging cancer support online social media Source Type: blogs

Star Trek Tricorder
Do you remember the Star Trek Tricorders? No not the phasers (always set to stun) but the tricorders that could diagnose people instantly of cancer or all sorts of other ailments. Dr whatshisname had one. I would love it if they were available to diagnose me and skip all the medical misadventures that make our lives so'fun'. But it is really possible? I don't know at this point. Google's biotech section, Verily , said that they could develop one in six months. That was three years ago and it still doesn't exist. (Who woulda thunk?)  And based on what has been said by a former employee that if employees said it wa...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 28, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer research ethics technology Source Type: blogs

I forgot to blog
Okay, I am a loser. I completely forgot to blog. I went to the gym this morning, two doctor appointments, lunch in the lovely hospital cafeteria and blood work. Blood work was a tiny bit exciting when I left and got to the elevator and found out there was blood dripping down my arm. According to the tech, this kind of thing happens a couple of times a day. (Really?!) Now I am exhausted. I am lying in bed. I did too much today. (Now there is a surprise!). I need to water my garden. I need to clean the house as I have two friends coming over tomorrow. And I have to pack because we are going on vacation (but burglars beware ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 27, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging brainless Source Type: blogs

Would You Inhale?
We know Bill Clinton did not inhale but Barak Obama did inhale (because that was the whole point). I might have inhaled in the past but would never consider it now. All my past experiences involved smoking and occasional batches of brownies. One friend told me that she asked her doctor about it and he told her it wasn't appropriate for her. She thinks she could go off all her other medications if she could go to pot. Another blogger recently revealed her problems trying to determine how much marijuana was contained in cookies she purchased. Medical marijuana has been looming outside of my wheelhouse recently. I have hear...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 26, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: ailments medical marijuana medications pain relief Source Type: blogs

Heeding Advice and Enjoying Life
With any ailment, you get advice. Some of it is nice, sane, logical, and seems plausible - like rest, hydrate, elevate, ice it, if pain starts - stop what I am doing, etc. This is possible. You can do it. And some of it, not so much - keep elevated for at least 30 minutes out of each hour or at least 5 portions of fruits or vegetables with every meal. Really? I can try for that. And finally, some of it is just plain impossible - lose 30 pounds or non-weight bearing at all times for six weeks or anything that is just too restrictive to handle. My point is I get a lot of advice from my doctors, and a lot of other people. I ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 25, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: being me boring medical advice Source Type: blogs

Managing All That Bad News
Recently the news has been dominated by all sorts of horrible headlines on all these tragedies (and politics). It can be very hard to take for everyone. I admit there have been so many events that every day on the news you hear about another one and you begin to wonder'that really can't be another one, it must be the same one I already heard about'. Sometimes the media becomes a blur of blood, bias, guns, and gore.   I recently found an article that discusses how to cope with all this bad news . The gist of it was'turn off the news' which I find to be sound advice, especially if you want to preserve your sanity....
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 24, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: bad news coping sanity stress Source Type: blogs

Not A Good Idea
Yesterday, I decided I really wasn't feeling well and stayed home with Boots who is not feeling well either. I really wasn't feeling well. Everything ached and I was tired. Not a good day. My husband went off to work around 7 and left us both home (with the other healthy cat) for the day until 5 pm. So I took care of myself by not exerting myself. I allowed myself to be lazy and have my body aches and pains and fatigue dictate what I did. The sum total of what I did yesterday consists of watching 3 LMN movies, 2 episodes of Law & amp; Order, and one episode of Property Brothers. I also set up my loom and started weav...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 23, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: depression emotions lazy pain Source Type: blogs

Redundant
Today is a copy of many previous days. I am tired. I am in pain. And, damn it, I have a dentist appointment this morning. I hate the dentist. This is actually the periodontist who is aggravated with me because the insurance company screwed up and they still haven't been paid for my last appointment in January. (Don't blame me, blame the insurance company.) I should go to the gym. But I don't think it will happen. I could go back to sleep right now... but then I would sleep through the dentist. This is my life. I didn't even do that much yesterday. I took the cat to the vet, went to my knitting group, and then picked the ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 22, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cat fatigue nap Source Type: blogs

What Do You Do When You Don't Feel Well?
I guess on the short term when I don't feel well I stay in bed or on the couch. I sit around doing a lot of nothing. And eat and drink what I want. Or what I feel will make me feel better... If I don't feel better I call my doctor eventually... If I think its that important. I hate calling the doctor. I will not go to the ER unless I am (literally) dripping blood. I often pretend I am feeling well when I may not be. Because if I didn't do that I would spend entirely too much time sitting around. But today I am not feeling that bad. Even though I painted part of the living room yesterday. I mean I am tired and soon I wil...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 21, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cat doctors unhealthiness vet Source Type: blogs

A Hangover
We all have had a hangover or few in our lives. Admit it, unless you are a lifetime non-drinker you have had a hangover. Alcoholic hangovers happen. We all know the feelings - dehydrated, headache, general crappy feeling.But with RA and fibromyalgia there are other hangovers - activity hangovers. This happens when I, or anyone with these diseases, attempts to be a normal person. You act normal for one day and then spend three days paying the piper, so to speak.Someone else wrote about activity hangovers the other day which made me feel like I am not alone. She writes about going to a party and then feeling the pain. I, on ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: doing too much nap normal Source Type: blogs

The Best Laid Plans
The best laid plans sometimes never take place. I have had a plan to take the best care of me as possible. This includes regular trips to the beach because that is the best place for any kind of healing. I mean the sun, the sea, the waves, (the hot life guards), and fresh air. What else does one need? I mean besides being able to go to the beach with out the preceding bathing suit shopping? (Bathing suit shopping is the only bad thing about going to the beach.Back to my plan, I was going to go to the beach today. I even tried to talk a friend into going with me. I have a doctor appointment at 8:15 AM (What was I thinking w...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 19, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: beach nap planning tired Source Type: blogs

Pokemon Go For Those Who Don't Walk
The newest craze is Pokemon Go. In case you have been living under a rock this is where you get your butt off the couch and go out into the world and use your phone to find little virtual monsters. In addition to the expected items, people have found dead bodies ( here , here , and here , gotten robbed ( here , h ere , and here ), and crashed into a pole  (another reason not to use your phone while driving). Now people like me, who aren't very good at walking around these days, are never going to to play Pokemon Go. Yes, sigh, another fad will pass me by. I really like the idea of getting people up and outside. ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 18, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: computer fad walking Source Type: blogs

Pokemon Go For Those Who Don't Walk
The newest craze is Pokemon Go. In case you have been living under a rock this is where you get your butt off the couch and go out into the world and use your phone to find little virtual monsters. In addition to the expected items, people have found dead bodies (here, here, and here, gotten robbed (here, here, and here), and crashed into a pole (another reason not to use your phone while driving).Now people like me, who aren't very good at walking around these days, are never going to to play Pokemon Go. Yes, sigh, another fad will pass me by.I really like the idea of getting people up and outside. Too many people sp...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 18, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: computer fad walking Source Type: blogs

Post Breast Cancer, Happiness Is A Clear Mammogram
I had my mammogram last week. I don't talk about these ahead of time because I don't feel the need to. If I feel the need to, you can bet my blog will be covered in mammogram information.But even if I don't talk about it, doesn't mean I am not thinking about it. You can bet I was thinking about it. I was convinced that I had a recurrence and I timed my mammogram (for two days before my annual oncologist appointment). I was sure I had a something.I had already started putting together a plan in my head on how I was going to handle it, tell people, deal with treatment, talk to my oncologist on Friday about it. I was positive...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 17, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer recurrence crazy happiness mammogram Source Type: blogs

Doctor Abuse
I have been saving this post for when I got around to it. But then an article about a local doctor popped up on my radar. And I am now really appalled.What I am talking about is not abuse of doctors by patients but sexual abuse by doctors on patients. Its under reported and under penalized.A recent study came out showing that sexual abuse of patients by doctors is wide spread. I had no idea.I find it appalling.You trust your doctor and then they violate the trust. Who are you supposed to report it to? The nurse who works for them? The hospital where they work? The medical board? You don't really know. And you are ashamed.Y...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 16, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: abuse inappropriate uncertainty with doctors Source Type: blogs

Most Embarrassing Cancer Moments
I think everyone has embarrassing moments in their life. I mean who didn't awkwardly walk into a wall at one point, trip as they entered a room or a building, or realized you got home and you had a toothpaste stain on your shirt since morning - after having a big meeting at work.My famous embarrassing moments in life include also coming back to the hotel at the end a day at a very busy and important conference and realizing I had been wearing one blue shoe and one black shoe all day long.But my mortifying cancer moments include:Needing a quick appointment with  my cancer surgeon and realizing after he didn't come back...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 15, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds memory moron stupid me Source Type: blogs

That Biceps Tendon
Sunday morning I woke up with a sore left shoulder. I have no idea what happened. I sucked it up for a few days but yesterday when I tried to pick up something up with my left hand and it just gave way. I am not going to the doctor for this. But I did ask one of the physical therapists at the gym. After pushing on a sore place on my shoulder he diagnosed it as a strained biceps tendon. (He said it was very strained based on how sore it was.)I do not need any other ailments. But this should go away in a week or so, or so he thinks. However knowing my body it will last for a while. I will try to keep my cynical side in check...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 14, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cynicism ouch Source Type: blogs

Today its all about me
I have made a decision (don't laugh - I am capable of deciding things by myself). Today its all about me. I am going to the beach. Its supposed to be hot, near 90 so it will be a perfect beach day. My tan is starting to fade. Actually, I barely tan at all. If I got any color earlier this year, it has faded. A friend once said to me that by the end of the summer, I might look like a french fry.By averaging a doctor appointment a week, I have no time to get a sunburn and have it fade before I get to a doctor. I would get a lecture if I showed up at an appointment with a sunburn.But anyway, today its going to be hot so it wil...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 13, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: beach happiness Source Type: blogs

I'm Aggravated
I have decided I am very aggravated with my health. It drives me crazy. I would be lying if I didn't say that. I would be much happier if I didn't have so many issues. I would be happier if I wasn't in pain. I would be happier if I was able to sleep better. I would be happier if I could do everything that I used to be able to do. I would be happier if I had never had cancer, twice. Or RA or fibromyalgia. Did you know having any one of these cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, can cause depression along with everything else? Many people who have a single one of these diseases get diagnosed with depression. So y...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 12, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation ailments coping depression Source Type: blogs

I'm Aggravated
I have decided I am very aggravated with my health. It drives me crazy. I would be lying if I didn't say that.I would be much happier if I didn't have so many issues. I would be happier if I wasn't in pain. I would be happier if I was able to sleep better. I would be happier if I could do everything that I used to be able to do. I would be happier if I had never had cancer, twice. Or RA or fibromyalgia.Did you know having any one of these cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, can cause depression along with everything else? Many people who have a single one of these diseases get diagnosed with depression. So yes, ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 12, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: aggravation ailments coping depression Source Type: blogs

Walking During Chemotherapy
So back when I was in chemo, and for many years before diagnosis, I used to go for a daily walk. That was when I was healthier (I only had two cancers, not RA and fibro). When I was healthy, I would walk between 4-6 miles each day. Many friends didn't like walking with me because they claimed I walked too far and too fast. My husband would call my walks 'death marches'.But I digress. During treatment, I walked every day I could. I mean on days I had surgery I didn't always feel up to walking. During chemo, often my walks were shorter because I felt like crap (a technical term). My biggest side effect during chemo was const...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 11, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer treatment chemotherapy daily walk side effects walking Source Type: blogs

Its Official
Today is going to be a bad day. Everything hurts. I didn't do that much yesterday. But for some reason I have a lot of pain today. My left arm and left side are very sore for some reason plus the rest of my back. (Okay, I did do some gardening and had a friend over for dinner.)So these are my plans for today (after eating a delicious breakfast my husband made for me and delivered to me so I could eat in bed) are:Take a pain pill and wait for it to workMatch the socks from last week's laundryTake a hot shower to help the pain levelsEventually meet a friend for coffee.In the meantime, I think its time for some more bad tv. (...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 10, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: lazy pain Source Type: blogs

Awesome Breast Cancer Blogs
I found the list of Healthline's best breast cancer blogs for 2016. I'm not on it (but I'm not perfect so I didn't expect to be). But the list is full of other women's breast cancer blogs that are current. If you have breast cancer, I strongly suggest you read follow these blogs. At least some of them.My current favorites are on the list. You need to go read the list to find your favorites. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 9, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging breast cancer breast cancer bonds Source Type: blogs

The Props In My Life
How do I handle my life with its medical disasters? I have all sorts of little props to help me out.I have a high chair in my kitchen. I can sit when I cook so I don't get as tired. Its new. My husband bought it for me when we moved.I have a folding shopping cart for when I go to farmer's markets or any place where I need to carry anything. That way I can actually go places and do some shopping by myself.I have cushions all over the house so I can get comfy when I sit down and can put my feet up.I have a power bed so I can raise the head and feet and get comfy when I lie down.We moved to a raised ranch so I don't have to d...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 8, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: pain management pain relief Source Type: blogs

Changing Stressors
As life goes on, my stressors have changed. Or maybe just the list gets rearranged. When I first started blogging, breast cancer was my primary concern. But then my health started to fall apart and things have changed.At my breast cancer diagnosis, I quickly prepared myself to cope with breast cancer and I came up with a plan - support groups, etc. And I dealt with it. Then I got gall stones and had my gall bladder out. Then I found out I should be seeing an endocrinologist about my thyroid cancer which made it harder for me to ignore it. When I went to one she sent me for an ultrasound which found some thing on the t...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 7, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: cancer bonds stress support Source Type: blogs

But I Can't Sleep
I'm exhausted. We went away for the weekend and I needed more sleep. I always need more sleep. The only time I get enough sleep is when I can take a sleeping pill and it actually decides to work. But I haven't been able to sleep. My back is killing me. This has been two nights now. Crankiness may be showing up soon. My husband informed me this morning I need to stop going to bed so early so I don't wake up so early. I go to bed early because I am exhausted. Then my back hurts and I wake up. Even if I take my pain pills. This is very aggravating. I'll have to wait for my next pain management doctor appointment to talk ab...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 6, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: back pain lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

But I Can't Sleep
I'm exhausted. We went away for the weekend and I needed more sleep. I always need more sleep. The only time I get enough sleep is when I can take a sleeping pill and it actually decides to work.But I haven't been able to sleep. My back is killing me. This has been two nights now. Crankiness may be showing up soon.My husband informed me this morning I need to stop going to bed so early so I don't wake up so early. I go to bed early because I am exhausted. Then my back hurts and I wake up. Even if I take my pain pills. This is very aggravating.I'll have to wait for my next pain management doctor appointment to talk about th...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 6, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: back pain lack of sleep Source Type: blogs

What the Patient's Think
I always applaud research that consider the patient's side of a cancer diagnosis. Honestly how many more research studies do we need on mice that look for new cool drugs (but finding a cancer cure would be a nice thing)? I mean all that research is nice, but I think all us patients would appreciate a bit more information on the impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Face it, when we are diagnosed with cancer, we wonder are we normal in our reactions, treatment plans, dealing with doctors and more. Its normal to wonder " am I the only one freaking out at my doctor? " or " why am I running to the library a...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 5, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer bonds Source Type: blogs

What the Patient's Think
I always applaud research that consider the patient's side of a cancer diagnosis. Honestly how many more research studies do we need on mice that look for new cool drugs (but finding a cancer cure would be a nice thing)? I mean all that research is nice, but I think all us patients would appreciate a bit more information on the impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment.Face it, when we are diagnosed with cancer, we wonder are we normal in our reactions, treatment plans, dealing with doctors and more. Its normal to wonder "am I the only one freaking out at my doctor?" or "why am I running to the library and su...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 5, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer bonds Source Type: blogs

I took a little holiday
Its a holiday and I took a little holiday. We went up to a friend's cabin in the mountains where there is no wifi, no cell phone service. We were off line. Okay, we had a satellite dish for TV but I was happy to relax and read a book (you know those things with paper pages and cardboard covers?)Anyway, I didn't blog. I didn't read my email, look at Facebook or anything. It was very nice. I also pretended I was a healthy person and helped my friends paint the trim on their house. Back to reality tomorrow, after about 10 hours of sleep. (Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog)
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 4, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: holiday vacation Source Type: blogs

Genetic Testing
So if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, there is a strong chance you have one of the two BRCA genes. And now if you have BRCA1, there is a significantly increased risk of uterine cancer - 22 times higher in a recent small study.I read that and said 'wow!'. I am somewhat surprised this was never figured out before.Earlier this week I was talking with a friend and she was tested for BRCA back in the early 2000's when the testing was just starting. She told me that the testing is now done differently as technology has changed. And the test now includes several other genes including ones for colon cancer. ...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 2, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: coping genetic testing Source Type: blogs

Managing Emotions
This week I read two different blog posts from other women dealing with breast cancer - Nancy wrote about cancer patients being told to be positive and Florence wrote about the crappy and the happy we deal with in our lives. After reading them, I commented on both. And then started thinking (sorry!).First of all we have the issue of cancer patients being told to be positive. Honestly, whoever came up with this was an idiot. There is something to be said for not succumbing to depression while dealing with a medical disaster. If you are depressed, you aren't going to take your meds, go to the doctor, get emotional support. B...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - July 1, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: blogging cancer diagnosis emotions positive things Source Type: blogs

The Little B****rds
I'm sorry I just don't have a better word for cancer cells which spread.We'll just call them the little B's. Anyway, some new research has been done on metastatic cancer cells. The goal is to find them and snuff them out, obviously.Dr Rauscher of the Wistar Institute's cancer center recently discussed some new information discovered about breast cancer metastatic cells:"Solid tumors such as breast cancers grow their own blood supply, a process called angiogenesis. It's clear that breast tumors shed malignant cells into the bloodstream. And it's clear that most of these cells get killed by the stress of shearing off fr...
Source: Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog - June 30, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer cells cancer research metastatic cancer Source Type: blogs