The Importance of Self-Advocacy

Why does it seem that every step forward medicine makes, we get set backwards several more? Last week it was announced the new recommended age for first mammograms for women is 50. Prior to this it was 40. As a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 49, this scares the hell out me. Continue reading “The Importance of Self-Advocacy”

What Do You Know?

Someone recently asked me, “Knowing what you now know, what would you do over?” This wasn’t meant as a deep conversation starter, rather a writing prompt to see if I in fact, still could. Continue reading “What Do You Know?”

By Jove….

I finally get it. At least I think I do.

Last week I had my hopefully last ever chemo session. While very exciting, a little part of me was on edge. At least while getting treatment I knew I was doing something to actively defeat my cancer. No more treatment means my body is on its own. I couldn’t understand how or why the doctors could decide I was finished without some type of diagnostic test. I asked what scans or tests I would receive to make sure it was all gone and was told there were none. Continue reading “By Jove….”

It’s That And So Much More

Chemo 101

Say the word chemo and what’s the first thing that come to mind? Likely nausea, hair loss or fatigue. I know that’s what I always thought. I’m learning it involves way more side effects than that. I thought it would be helpful to explain some of what I’ve discovered over these past few months. Continue reading “It’s That And So Much More”

When Wishes Come True

About this time last year, up to my ass in snow, I know for a fact I wished more than a few mornings that I could hibernate through the winter. There was nothing more enticing than imaging not having to get out of my warm cozy bed during the midwest’s extensive deep freeze. I wished to spend my days wandering the house, holding a warm mug of coffee, wearing stretchy pants, hooded sweatshirts and thick fluffy socks. I dreamed of not having to push a shopping cart through slushy, dirty snow and scraping ice off my car when I left the office. I wanted to make a list and have the groceries miraculously show up in my kitchen and have the freedom of not having to work instead spending my days binge watching Netflix. Continue reading “When Wishes Come True”

A Form Of Cruel And Unusual Punishment

Today is chemo day – a day I dread, but not for the usual reasons you would expect. What then makes the day tortuous for me you may ask? It’s because I have to spend half my day sitting in waiting areas listening to other people talk.

Continue reading “A Form Of Cruel And Unusual Punishment”

Age Of Idiocy?

“Stupid is as stupid does” (Forrest Gump)

Okay, I swear it was not my intention to turn this blog into the Cancer Central, but I read an article that made me angry and I’m sure will engage lots of debate in the media in the coming days. A 17-year-old Hodgkin’s lymphoma patient in Connecticut, wished to discontinue treatment after only two chemo sessions and her mother supported her decision. Because the girl is a minor, DCFS has stepped in and forced the girl to follow doctors orders and continue treatment.

As a parent and a current cancer patient I have some strong views on this topic. First off, the girl has a very good chance of recovery. We are not talking about a patient who perhaps has been fighting for years, increasingly growing weaker and simply is tired of fighting. It is not uncommon for some patients to stop treatment, but that is not where this story begins. It begins with a girl not wanting to have chemo. Guess what, no one wants to have chemo. Children don’t want to have vaccinations, take medicine or go to bed, but as parents we do what we believe to be in the best interest of our children. Apparently she does not want poisons in her body and to have the side effects such as hair loss and nausea. She chose to run away to avoid future treatments. Sounds just like the behavior of a child. Continue reading “Age Of Idiocy?”