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Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

On Veteran’s Day: The Failure of Quality Health Care for Our Vets

In News on November 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm

This video is tragic and thought provoking. How do you think our veterans are being treated? Watch this in-depth CNBC report. Watch and see:

Death and Dishonor: Crisis at the VA

 

 

Please share and I would be interested to hear about any experiences with the VA

31 Posts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month…For Mom Day 31

In Breast Cancer, Inspiration, Writing on October 31, 2013 at 8:57 am

Mom BW car

Many of you have read my posts this month for Breast Cancer Awareness month and I want to thank you for that. I also want to thank those of you who linked to the posts or shared them with your friends and family. There is no real way that I can offer a tribute to my Mom other than being the best person that I can be and keeping her memory alive. But this month’s posts made me feel that I was honoring her in a meaningful way. I miss my mom. Please perform your monthly breast exams, get your annual mammogram and take care of the girls. Your life is important to more people than you realize.

October 2013 Breast Cancer Awareness Posts….For My Mom

One Year With Breast Cancer… For Mom Day 1

Your Doctor is Not the Only Healer….For Mom Day 2

Yes, I am so shallow I want a hot guy to remind me to exam my breasts. For My Mom Day 3

My Mom Was So Beautiful…For Mom Day 4

If You Don’t Think Breast Cancer Awareness Works, Watch This…For Mom Day 5

Behind the Scenes with Breast Cancer….For Mom Day 6

Breast Cancer and Men…For Mom Day 7

Pink Ribbon Tattoos ….For Mom Day 8

Cate Edwards: My Mom’s Bravery….For My Mom Day 9

Not All Men Are Supportive…For Mom Day 10

Music to Soothe the Soul…For Mom Day 11

Breast Cancer: Just Beat It…For Mom Day 12

Racing For Boobies….For Mom Day 13

11 Inspirational Breast Cancer Quotes…For Mom Day 14

I Think You Are Wonderful. And I’m Not the Only One…For Mom Day 15

Art and the Fight Against Breast Cancer…For Mom Day 16

Worldwide Faces of Breast Cancer….For Mom Day 17

A Mom, Breast Cancer and Cupcakes…For My Mom Day 18

Why Is It That Sometimes When We Face Death That Is When We Start To Live?…For Mom Day 19

The Battle We Didn’t Choose: Photograph of his Wife’s Journey…For mom Day 20

Are You There, Twitter? Judy Blume Shares Breast Cancer Diagnosis…For Mom Day 21

This Is My Good Side…Scar and All: Body image After Breast Cancer….For Mom Day 22

Men Get Breast Cancer Too, Just Ask Harvey Singer…For Mom Day 23

You don’t have to fear breast cancer….For Mom Day 24

Mamming: Will This Become an Olympic Sport?…For Mom Day 25

A Meal Can Make a Difference: Meal Train…For Mom Day 26

Moving Beyond Breast Cancer….For Mom Day 27 

Just the Facts…For Mom Day 28

When Pink Is Just a Color Again…For Mom Day 29

HOPE – Breast Cancer Song – Written & Performed by 12yr old Capri Roberto Anderson….For Mom Day 30

In Memory of My Mom, Ann Brooks.

HOPE – Breast Cancer Song – Written & Performed by 12yr old Capri Roberto Anderson….For Mom Day 30

In Breast Cancer on October 30, 2013 at 8:14 am

For My Mom, Ann Brooks

Mom BW car

When Pink Is Just a Color Again…For Mom Day 29

In Breast Cancer on October 29, 2013 at 7:53 am

 

I am hoping one day pink is just a color again. Take back pink, support breast cancer research.

 

In Memory of My Mom, Ann Brooks

Mom Bo's wedding

Just the Facts…For Mom Day 28

In Breast Cancer on October 28, 2013 at 7:40 am

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In Memory of My Mom. Ann Brooks

Mom laughing

A Beautiful Love Story: NPR, StoryCorps, Danny and Annie

In Inspiration, Random on October 27, 2013 at 8:51 am

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‘Never Say Goodbye’: A Love And Life Kept Vivid

by NPR STAFF

October 25, 2013 3:28 AM

Annie Perasa on a recent visit to StoryCorps.

StoryCorps

When we first met Danny and Annie Perasa in 2004, we heard about how their first date unfolded into an on-the-spot marriage proposal. We got a sense of Danny’s big personality and his deep love for his wife. And we heard about his daily love notes to her.

To my princess, the weather out today is extremely rainy, I’ll call you at 11:20 in the morningAnd I love you, I love you, I love you.

“If I don’t have a note on the kitchen table, I think there’s something wrong,” Annie told StoryCorps then. “You write a love letter to me every morning.”

“When a guy is happily married, no matter what happens at work, no matter what happens in the rest of the day,” Danny said, “there’s a shelter when you get home, there’s a knowledge, knowing that you can hug somebody without them throwing you down the stairs and saying, ‘Get your hands off me.’ Being married is like having a color television set; you never want to go back to black and white.”

Two years later, we learned that Danny, a horse-betting clerk, stopped by the StoryCorps booth many times to talk about his love for Annie, a nurse. Danny had become something of a public face of StoryCorps, the 2004 interview touching so many. StoryCorps dedicated its recording booth in Grand Central Terminal to the couple.

We also learned that Danny had been diagnosed with a fast-spreading cancer.

Not long after his diagnosis, the Perasas recorded another StoryCorps interview, this time at their Brooklyn, N.Y., home. Danny again spoke of his love for Annie.

“I always said the only thing I have to give you was a poor gift, and it’s myself, and I always gave it, and if there’s a way to come back and give it, I’ll do that too,” Danny said.

And there was another love letter from Danny to Annie.

The Perasas' StoryCorps interview in 2006, not long after Danny was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The Perasas’ StoryCorps interview in 2006, not long after Danny was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

StoryCorps

My dearest wife, this is a very special day. It is a day on which we share our love which still grows after all these years. Now that love is being used by us to sustain us through these hard times. All my love, all my days and more. Happy Valentine’s Day.

“I could write on and on about her. She lights up the room in the morning when she tells me to put both hands on her shoulders so that she can support me. She lights up my life when she says to me at night, ‘Wouldn’t you like a little ice cream? Or ‘Would you please drink more water?’ ” Danny said. “I mean, those aren’t very romantic things to say, but they stir my heart. In my mind and my heart there has never been, there is not now and never will be another Annie.”

Not long after the interview, Danny Perasa passed away in his sleep after his fight with pancreatic cancer.

Today, Annie, 71, still lives in the apartment where that 2006 interview was recorded.

“I know that people have written to StoryCorps asking if I was still alive,” Annie says. “No, I’m still alive, and I live with the philosophy that Danny and I always had. It was: Never say goodbye.”

Danny and Annie Perasa on their wedding day on April 22, 1978.

Danny and Annie Perasa on their wedding day on April 22, 1978.

Courtesy of Annie Perasa

This year they would have celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. “And I miss my letters from Danny; I do,” Annie says. “But after Danny died, I had received 1,300 letters of condolences. I mean, I got letters as far away as Beijing, China, or Paris, France:

My English is not too well please excuse me, I wish to send my condolences.

“So I would read one a day because Danny wrote me a love letter every day,” Annie says.

“You know, like people say, ‘You must miss Danny terribly.’ No, it was an honor to be married to him, so it’s not terrible that I had the time to be with him,” Annie says. “You know, life is too short. You come, and you’re gone. But Danny didn’t go. He’s not gone because of StoryCorps.”

Produced for Morning Edition by Michael Garofalo with Sarah Kramer.

If you would like to hear the NPR broadcast please go to : http://www.npr.org/2013/10/25/240291885/never-say-goodbye-a-love-and-life-kept-vivid?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20131027&utm_source=mostemailed

Moving Beyond Breast Cancer….For Mom Day 27

In Breast Cancer on October 27, 2013 at 6:58 am

I know that my Mom changed after her first diagnosis and in some ways for the better. Mom became more accepting of others, she traveled so she could experience more of the world and she became more committed to her faith. This video does a wonderful job of explaining how breast cancer can continue to affect your life.

In memory of my Mom, Ann Brooks

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A Meal Can Make a Difference: Meal Train…For Mom Day 26

In Breast Cancer on October 26, 2013 at 7:40 am

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‘Meal Train’ For Breast Cancer: Shared Online Calendar Organizes Meals For Patients And Their Families

By  | Oct 18, 2013 05:39 PM EDT

meal Trains sponsored by Magnolia

(meal Trains/mealtrain.com/mmt)  Breast cancer patients and their families can receive free nutritious meals through Magnolia-sponsored meal Trains shared online calendar.

Nutrition is important for everyone, especially those who are currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. A healthy diet that consists of fruit, vegetables, and regular protein will helpto provide the amount of nutrients breast cancer patients need to keep up their strength and energy during treatment. But it’s not always easy for those patients to shop and cook for themselves. Meal Trains for breast cancer patients aims to facilitate mealtime for families by providing a free, online shared calendar that simplifies the process of giving and receiving meals to households going through a difficult time throughout the U.S.

“I felt relieved with the first meals that I received,” Michelle Davis, a breast cancer patient and meal Trains user from Hamilton, Ohio told Medical Daily.

Davis learned about meal Trains through the help of one of her dance students. The Ohio resident is the director of a community ballet company who was asked by a parent if she would be interested in setting up a meal Train for her family while she underwent chemotherapy. She knew undergoing treatment would take a significant toll on her and likely cause her to have to give up some of her normal “mom” duties to those who were willing and wanting to support her through this time.

“Knowing that the meal preparation and delivery was all organized took a burden off of my husband and I during a time already heavily burdened,” said Davis.

Meal Trains has historically provided support for meal services of all kinds. According to their website, “mealTrain.com is a free solution that simplifies the organization of giving and receiving meals. By allowing the giving party to take into account the recipient’s preferred meal times, food preferences, and available days, the site helps ensure that the recipient gets the meals they enjoy on the days that are most helpful.” Eisai Inc., along with collaborators CancerCare and Cancer Support Community launched a special Magnolia-sponsored meal Trains during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a way to provide an opportunity to focus on the day-to-day issues facing families coping with a breast cancer diagnosis. Magnolia is Eisai’s Women’s Oncology Program.

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“We aim to provide an infrastructure for communities to deliver this much needed support to households coping with the stress of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Christine Verini, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Advocacy, Eisai Inc. toMedical Daily.

The program allows family and friends to schedule and organize the delivery of home-cooked meals to those affected by breast cancer, providing needed support without being asked.

Magnolia meal Train infographic #1Magnolia meal Train infographic.

Kathy Nugent, director of social services at CancerCare told Medical Daily, “People living with breast cancer may find it difficulty or don’t want to ask for help when undergoing cancer treatments. Also, many want help but don’t know how to access it.”

The shared online calendar can be accessed by a breast cancer patient who is undergoing treatment, their caregivers, friends, or family by visiting the website. The online user will have to enter the code “Magnolia C” to view the breast cancer-specific page. This is followed by a simple process that includes identifying dates when support will be needed, as well as food likes, dislikes and allergies. An e-mail is then sent to friends and neighbors inviting them to sign-up to prepare and deliver a meal.

Magnolia meal Train infographic #2Magnolia meal Train infographic #2.

Davis has structured her online shared calendar based on her specific needs. She only gets meals every other week during the weeks she receives treatment. “It’s all automated, I don’t have to constantly ask people for help or feel pressure to know how to respond when people ask me what I need,” Davis said. “It’s all set up and the meals are delivered when I need them by the people in my life who want to lend a hand.”

Meal Trains has also allowed Davis to eat well together with her family without the stress of figuring out who was going to fix food on the weeks she wasn’t feeling her best. The program even allowed her to spend more time with her kids and husband. Davis’s 14-year-old daughter has well-received the program and is even going to miss it. “She’s happy that my treatments are going to end, but that she’s really going to miss thegreat food that we’ve had delivered,” Davis told Medical Daily.

She admits it may be difficult to let go of that sense of control over your family but the support the program provides lets patients know how much they are cared for. “Take care of yourself during treatments,” Davis said, “And let others take care of you because you should do just that!”

To learn how you or someone you know can start a Magnolia sponsored meal Train, visitwww.mealTrain.com/mmt and enter the code “MagnoliaC.”

 

In Memory of My Mom, Ann Brooks

Mom Bo's wedding

Mamming: Will This Become an Olympic Sport?…For Mom Day 25

In Breast Cancer on October 25, 2013 at 7:07 am

 

Well, here’s the story. The new trend sweeping the internet is “Mamming”. Hmmm. Michele Jaret and Michelle Lamont who work for a NY ad agency came up with the idea. Mamming is done by resting your breast on random objects and then posting a picture to Instagram. No, really.

Michelle Lamont is a breast cancer survivor and she is hoping that mamming will help to increase early detection rates.

BTW your boob stays clothed.

Have you mammed? Would you? I haven’t decided. I think my mom would have found this to be hysterically funny.

 

 

In Memory of My Mom, Ann Brooks

Mom laughing

You don’t have to fear breast cancer….For Mom Day 24

In Breast Cancer on October 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

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For most of my adult life I have worried that I would get cancer in my 50’s just like most of the women on my mother’s side. Ironically, I am 50 now and I have COPD. Regardless, I have always tried to take care of myself so maybe I could avoid cancer and I think that is still very important. Being aware of changes in your body as well as taking care of yourself is imperative, not just to avoid cancers but heart disease and other ailments that can drastically change your quality of life. Exercise, eat well, laugh more and take care.

This article is interesting.

You don’t have to fear breast cancer

By Dr. Laura Esserman and Beth Crawford, Health.com
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Thu October 24, 2013
While all women are at risk for breast cancer, most of them won't get it -- and there are ways to reduce your risk.

Editor’s note: Laura Esserman is director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and a professor of surgery and radiology at the University of California at San Francisco. Beth Crawford is a genetic counselor and director of clinical services for the Cancer Risk Program at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

(Health.com) — Since Angelina Jolie’s brave op-ed in The New York Times, many women have called my clinic asking if, like Jolie, they should get genetic testing or a bilateral mastectomy.

But the choice that she made is not for everyone.

That’s why I want to share what you should know about reducing your risk of breast cancer, whether you have a family history or not.

Should you be tested for a breast cancer mutation?

Inherited gene mutations that result in a very high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, including the BRCA1 mutation that Jolie carries, are rare (1 in 400 people) and account for only about 5% of breast cancers.

If you have a history of at least one of these cancers on one side of your family — two first-degree relatives (mom, sister or daughter) or three second-degree relatives (grandmother or aunt) — this is a clue that your family might be at risk, especially if at least one person was diagnosed before age 50. (One hallmark of hereditary cancer is young age at diagnosis.)

A genetic counselor can help you sift through your history and help you decide if you should consider getting tested. (If you’re in this high-risk group, the test is usually covered by your health insurance.)

The reassuring news is that genetic testing isn’t warranted for most women, even those who have one relative who has had cancer.

I’ve had worried patients ask me if they should get the test anyway, and I tell them no: First of all, you could pay several thousand dollars out of pocket.

Second, the worst possible scenario is that the test comes back showing a genetic variant of unknown significance — one that probably means nothing, but since we don’t know for sure, can produce unnecessary anxiety.

What are your options if you test positive?

Jolie had a preventive mastectomy, but that’s not your only avenue. Prevention is not an emergency — cancer doesn’t sprout up overnight — so if you do learn you are a mutation carrier, you have time to weigh your options.

My patients’ choices are often influenced by where they are in their lives.

If they’re young and have not had children yet, they may want to opt for intensive screenings, like MRIs. For BRCA carriers, that means both mammograms and MRIs staggered at six-month intervals (before the age of 30 we only use MRI).

I just make sure patients are aware that since an MRI is so sensitive, it has a high rate of false positives (suspicious findings that turn out to be benign). This can be incredibly stressful.

Of course screening is not prevention: While catching a cancer earlier can mean less treatment, it depends on the tumor type. A stage 1 triple-negative tumor, for instance, will still require more aggressive treatment. By comparison, a stage 1 hormonally driven breast cancer may not.

The good news is that the treatment and reconstruction options are much better than what we had even 10 years ago.

Another alternative is medication: There are drugs, like tamoxifen, that can reduce the risk of breast cancer by about 50%.

Aromatase inhibitors such as exemestane have also been found to lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by about 65%.

Then there’s preventive mastectomy, which for women with a BRCA mutation lowers the risk of developing breast cancer from 60 to 80% to about 5%.

Women, like Jolie, who have had relatives die from cancer at a young age are often especially interested in this option. Women who have young children may also be highly motivated to do everything they can to lower their chances of developing cancer.

Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes reduces the risk of ovarian cancer (for which we don’t have an effective screening test) by 80 to 90% and is recommended for women who carry a BRCA mutation, after they’re done having children. (Jolie, whose mother died of ovarian cancer, has indicated that she plans to have her ovaries removed.)

Health.com: Products that may reduce your risk of breast cancer

The decision to have risk-reducing surgery is difficult and very personal. I’ve had patients with BRCA mutations who are diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ, an early, noninvasive form of cancer) and say, “That’s it, I want them both off.” I’ve had women in their 50s tell me that they’ve gotten this far and been all right, so they don’t want to do any more.

It’s not the sort of thing you do without a lot of talking and thinking. If a woman wants surgery, I ask her if she’ll be upset if she doesn’t get a good cosmetic result from reconstructive surgery.

If she says she doesn’t care, that the most important thing to her is the breast tissue being completely gone, then I know she’s ready.

What if you don’t have a genetic risk?

Every woman has some risk of developing breast cancer. However, breast cancer is a collection of many diseases, ranging from those that are slow growing and unlikely to ever cause harm, to those that are aggressive and life-threatening.

We do not treat them the same way. Our next challenge is to learn how to tailor screening and prevention strategies to different women depending on their family and medical history.

In the meantime, there are things you can do right now to help lower your risk of developing breast cancer, whether or not you’re a mutation carrier.

Exercising, maintaining your body weight in the normal range and eating a healthy diet (low in animal fats) all improve both your breast and overall health.Be familiar with your body, too, and if you find a new mass, let your doctor know immediately.

If you have one or more risk factors — a previous abnormal biopsy, any type of family history, early-age onset of periods, late or no child bearing, or extremely dense breast tissue — talk to your doctor about whether you’re a candidate for drugs such as tamoxifen or raloxifene, which are FDA-approved for breast cancer prevention.

Also, avoid hormone replacement therapy after menopause, keep alcohol intake low and, if you need to take medication for osteopenia or osteoporosis, consider raloxifene, which can also lower breast cancer risk.

It’s easy to hear about a celebrity like Jolie and panic, but I’ll share with you what I tell patients every day: While all women are at risk for breast cancer, most of us won’t get it. And hopefully our ability to treat and prevent cancer will improve even more, so that in the future, surgeries like the one Jolie had will not be necessary.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

In memory of My Mom, Ann Brooks

Mom Bo's wedding

 

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