As a breast cancer survivor, I want to usher in Breast Cancer Awareness month by noting what I have to be grateful for. A recent TV commercial features two musicians playing instruments and singing “Happy Birthday to You.” Afterward, a message appears on the screen that many people who have had cancer are still celebrating their birthdays. I’m one of them. Except I have had 365 birthdays per … Continue reading the story "What Being a Breast Cancer Survivor Means"
Post Archives from the ‘Cancer’ Category
OK, the verdict is in: my X-ray revealed I have a stress fracture in my foot. I was bracing for this news, so the good thing is that I didn't have a meltdown or an I-feel-sorry-for-me-because-the-chemo-leached-my-bones pity party. I took it in stride, even though I take careful strides these days. But, even with something as straightforward as a stress fracture, there … Continue reading the story "Cracked"
As I write this, a very good friend is battling Leukemia. We communicate regularly, and I have visited her between her hospital visits at a time when she was feeling pretty decent. I call her occasionally when she's living at the hospital for five weeks at a time getting chemotherapy and every other therapy imaginable.I cannot bear the possibility … Continue reading the story "How to Treat a Person Treated by Illness"
I am a cancer survivor. Society and my doctors consider me a success story.But the mental battle of survivorship is a lifelong sentence. I experience triggers as the "new normal" in my life. Any ache or pain, more often than not, triggers fear that the cancer has returned or has never gone away in the first place. A … Continue reading the story "Trigger Happy"
In a daunting medical system, you must take action in your own medical care, if possible. This message is for you if
- You are someone able to advocate for yourself, but are too intimidated to do so.
- You are uninsured or underinsured.
- You need information about major health issues like cancer.
This posting is geared to those of us who know and possibly love someone struggling with a serious medical condition, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and so on. The list goes on and on. Whatever the condition, though, they all have one thing in common: the afflicted person needs support from people -- from acquaintances to his or her nearest … Continue reading the story "Loved Ones: Lend Us Your Ears"
I C U. Intensive Care Unit. It's intensive, alright. But it's not a care unit. On regular hospital floors, during the day, quality staff are available. It's "showtime" at the hospital, where relatives and friends of the patient get to see how caring, nurturing, dedicated, and loving the doctors, nurses, and their staff are. Nighttime at the hospital is quite another story. Nighttime in ICU … Continue reading the story "Peek-a-Boo I C U"
Tennis icon Martina Navratilova has breast cancer. Luckily, her prognosis is good. And she's lucky because she admitted to getting mammograms only every four years or so. She won Wimbledon nine -- yes nine -- times and, according to one source she "still plays tennis and ice hockey and competes in triathlons." She is one of the faces of … Continue reading the story "Martina Navratilova Has Breast Cancer"
It's bad enough to struggle with breast cancer, but to add insult to injury is this societal notion that, somehow, women are to blame for their disease. Take a recent Associated Press article, for example, reported from Barcelona, Spain, on how to avoid breast cancer. Yes, that's right. How to avoid breast cancer. Based on a recent "study" by … Continue reading the story "Sexism and Breast Cancer"
You can't judge a book by its cover. That's what we learn from the time we are kids. When it comes to one's health status, however, this is not the case. In fact, we as a society tend to mistakenly think that young people just don't get sick. Ever. This faulty assumption leaves those of us who were/are sick … Continue reading the story "Don’t Judge Us Because We are Young, Or Interlude at the Walgreens Pharmacy"