While my book, Calling the Shots in Your Medical Care, officially launched July 5, I figured, what is a book launch without a party? I will be hosting a book launch party on Saturday, July 23, which will include a reading, discussion, and a book signing. Refreshments will be provided. If you are in … Continue reading the story "Party’s On!"
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I’m pleased to announce that my book, Calling the Shots in Your Medical Care, will be launching in July 2016. This book focuses on helping others realize they have a voice in their own medical care. While I use my own breast cancer experiences as examples, this primer is geared toward anyone facing any kind of medical crisis. However, a couple of disclaimers: • The book is not … Continue reading the story "Something Exciting"
What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than to celebrate a book of poetry on breast cancer. The book is not new, but its message continues to be timeless and universal. Fine Black Lines: Reflections on Facing Cancer, Fear and Loneliness by breast cancer survivor Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad is an phenomenal collection of poetry … Continue reading the story "Fine Black Lines"
When I was going through cancer diagnosis and treatment, my friends asked me whether I needed help. Things like grocery shopping or helping me run errands. My answer was always, “No, I’m okay.” Of course I really wasn’t okay -- far from it. My friends and I spoke and got together when I felt up to it. But several variables factored in my refusing their help: I didn’t … Continue reading the story "With a Little Help From My Friends"
I’ve always loved art. I so enjoy getting lost in the reverie, the flow, that artistic expression brings about. I’d be happy living in art museums. And at my favorite art supply store, I want to purchase everything. Yes, I’m an art glutton, easily seduced by pencils and brushes and easels and colors and the feel of brushing oil paint on canvas. Art was important to me … Continue reading the story "Portrait of an Art Student"
I’m the kind of person who always starts what I finish. When I have a goal in sight, nothing -- and I mean nothing -- deters me. I am willing to do what it takes to stay the course. I am not a quitter, not by any stretch of the imagination. But I quit taking Aromasin about halfway through my regimen. I felt like a … Continue reading the story "Straying the Course"
“In the end only kindness matters.” -- Jewel, “Hands” Last week, I participated in a tweetchat about the value of kindness in medicine. While this topic is a no-brainer -- yes, doctors and patients should be kind to each other -- unkindness is rampant in medicine. Being on the patient side of things, I’ve seen firsthand the harm caused by unkind medical personnel -- from administrators … Continue reading the story "Random Acts of Kindness"
A few weeks ago found me en route to Florida again, this time for an extended weekend. While I wish I could say the weather and a relaxing vacation were beckoning, I came to the subtropics to comfort my mother, visit my father in the rehabilitation center, and meet with rehab staff. As you know, my father broke a hip. He has osteoporosis and had … Continue reading the story "Let’s Talk Bones"
This year, my goal – not my resolution – on fitness is to set the bar low. I was never a super athlete. But prior to cancer, I was in great shape and enjoyed exercise. Now, after years of grieving what I’ve lost, I have finally accepted my physical limitations and, with some creativity, have turned them into opportunities. *** After diagnosis and after radiation and after … Continue reading the story "Setting the Bar Low"