The time is flying and my computer is hopefully fixed! I have not been idle in this time though as have two weddings I am preparing for. Exciting and exhausting time. I hope this will keep me on task by having my computer back but also keeping me updated and able to do more researching and learning. I am aware that there is a new drug for lung cancer which is great. Why am I excited about that? The reason is that any breakthrough on any cancer, brings it closer to answers for all. We also are hearing about Angelina's recent update of her proactive surgery and getting those ovaries out and the genetic testing that included her reasoning for having that surgery. I am glad that is information getting out but as there are thousands of women making those decisions all the time. I, for one am all about being pro-active but we should also mention there are other choices and options. This is a personal issue and something that should be thoroughly discussed with your own physician. This is your life and journey and just as I wouldn't emulate Kim K and dye my hair like hers, I would have a hysterectomy to be like Angelins. Be your own best advocate and take care of you! Making it great! S
I am now retired but I continue to read, research, and learn. I was asked why bother to keep working on this and my answer is simple.... We aren't there yet! I can walk away from the job but I still need answers and cancer is still here and I have previous patients that I continue to care about and people contacting with new beginnings into this strange world of breast cancer and I still need to continue my own track as I am not in treatment but must remain vigilant and pro-active in pursuing my health. I continue self breast exams and my mammograms and any other teststhatmay be required.
I know that many of you have been waiting to hear from me again and since retirement, life has been even busier. The biggest issue is that I got a new computer at home and it is Windows 8 and I have been using Windows 7 and I have not been able to get to this weebly site in all this time. I was so frustrated that I could have pitched the whole computer and I have spent more hours on help line than anyone should have to deal with. Needless to say after changing passwords, four times and working for hours, I am finally back on. Thank you for your patience. I am looking forward to getting back in the saddle as they say and keeping up with all the news.
The exciting news is what has been happening for my triple negative gals and lots of hope for future treatment and outcomes. I will continue to research and talk and just hopefully be an added friend as you are going through your own experience with breast cancer. Feel free to comment and as always. Make it a great day! S
This is my last day at work and I will then be officially retired. I have been asked repeatedly if I am excited, sad, scared and the answer to all of it is YES. I have worked my whole life so this will be extremely differrent but I am ready to move on. I will miss the people and what I did in my job but I think I will enjoy what is ahead once I change gears. I will continue to post and see how that goes as well.
I thank all of you that have followed me so faithfully for the past five years. It will be different to not have to be anywhere at any specific time for awhile. Sleeping habits may change as well as eating. I am afraid I will have to get back into cooking more. My dogs will love the companionship. I will miss the therapy dogs that come to work for the patients but also the staff and I will miss their handlers.
Life is a whole lot about learning and dealing with circumstances and individuals. I hope I have gained some knowledge through the years. Will I travel, I hope to. Will I take some classes, I am planning on it. Will I make time for what I want to do, of course. So although this is totally about breast cancer it is about the breast cancer survivor who became a breast cancer educator and is now retiring. I will continue my statement of: make it a great day! Hope your days are great too. S
As I have often said, we now talk of cancer as a chronic disease and once we have gotten over the great hurdles it is not always easy to get back to the task of living. Each day is another day to move forward and gets easier to deal with the past. The fear remains of recurrence but we all need to find a way of living a full life. There is no doubt that I read and research for what will be the magic pill or treatment so that I never have to think about this disease again but as of yet ,the answers aren't here.
The cost of having dealt with cancer can be long lingering and that sits in the back of your mind always. You wonder if you would ever decide to stop pursuing treatment if that circumstance ever rises. As we have reminded over an over, our priorities change but as time passes we realize that we have a tendency to fall back to old patterns but I hope that you can steer your boat back into the stream. You realize it is not important what other people think of you and that you can only do your best whatever that is at the time.
I no longer apologize for needing a time out and will take me time when I need it. I have learned my limits. I did talk to a patient just the other day that was going through treatment that stated that she was just so tired of it all and that she would never go through that again. I remember saying those same words at one time as well but, now that I am back on my feet, I am not sure what my decisions for the future will be but know that I will take my time and think about it all and what and where, when, how, and who will be thoroughly discussed.
You know that you can't take it with you, money or things. I am in the cleaning out mode and less is better. Simplicity sounds my now routine in life. I don't worry so much about calories but I do want to stay healthy. Just maybe the healing isn't exactly just in the body as much as it is in the mind and with that I wish you a great day! S
My Nursing Career
My association with nursing started very young. I had a neighbor that would teach me how to clean fish she caught and take care of game that was shot and so I started an intense search of what was to come. My dad worked at Talon when I was growing up and took many trips. Every trip he would bring me back a Cherry Ames book. This was a series of books about nursing with each a different focus. One book would have Cherry as a school nurse and another as a cruise ship nurse and on it went. It really did start my career and my only wish is that I still had the books.
I became a candy striper and worked in the lab and was exposed to many things. They let me look in the microscope, register patients, get specimens from the floor and I even saw an autopsy on a baby that Dr. Thomas did. Obviously these are things that probably wouldn’t happen today.
In high school, I worked as a nurse aide not only at local nursing homes but also at Spencer Hospital in the Emergency Room and on the general floors. Judy Gilberto was actually the person that trained me and I continued to work even after I started nursing school. I will never forget Sister Anastasia rustling down the hall in her crisp white habit.
I am a graduate from Meadville City Hospital, in fact the last class. The stories I could tell would embrace how we were on the floor, any shift, any day and how we learned so very much and often had baptism by fire if you know what that means.
I have worked everywhere and done about everything. The list includes: Critical Care, Dialysis, Camp Nurse ,Telemetry, Home physicals, Home health, Hospice, General nursing, Surgery and recovery room, Infection Control, Utilization management, teaching nursing, Prison nursing, supervising, Head Nurse, IV team, even taking ambulance call and finally culminating my career as a breast health educator.
I have loved almost every minute of every day. Some days have been tougher than others. I would say to those coming through the ranks. Take the tough patients, learn all you can, laugh and cry with them and show them you care. Never quit reading, studying, and learning. This career is what you make it. And always, MAKE IT A GREAT DAY!
Thanks to each and every one of you for allowing me to be a part of your life!
Everyone keeps asking me if I am excited and the answer is no, nor am I depressed. It has been an awesome opportunity to work with all these wonderful people: patients and staff these past few years. I am getting the opportunity to tell them good bye as I am retiring as of the 23rd but they can continue to find me on this site and also I will be around. My replacement is working with me as we pass the torch. I am sure this will be bittersweet as I have always worked but a new page is on the horizon. I know that something will come when the change is made. For now, I look forward to not having to be anywhere at any special time and just to have some time to regroup and start planning home projects.
I have received such nice notes and cards wishing me well on my next path. I want to thank all of you for sharing your time with you and allowing me to be a part of your journey. Each and everyone of you have impacted me in so many ways that I can't even begin to put in words. I have cried and laughed with you and even been silly at times. I have danced with you and held your hand. We have shored each other up at times and sometimes you leaned on me which is a special privilege that you let me be a part of this journey. I will keep writing, you keep reading and I hope sometime, someplace we touch space again and you will give me a heads up, that we have walked together. Make it great! S
The Artic blast continues. I am thankful my husband got home safe and sound and that he is back in charge of snowblowing and pottying dogs. That saves the neighbors of watching my antics with being in my husband's coat over my pj's and his irradescent yellow stocking cap and boots with a leash in each hand ( of course,dog attached) and newspaper under my arm and shovel in my hands as I push up and down the drive at 5:30 am. I am looking to picking up some movies and camping in as the weather doesn't look like much more to offer. I could easily be a bear in Northwest PA, yes, I do me hibernation but also bear as I am just not as motivated to get out in the cold and lack of sunshine gets to me too. Please Facebook Florida friends, I promise I will quit sending my snow pictures and temperature if you promise to quit bragging about being on the golf course and that it was a little chilly today at 70 degrees. I don't begrudge you just don't rub it in. As I am layering up and you are looking for another pair of shorts, well it just seems so wrong.
I may just plan a picnic in the house this weekend and we can pretend we are enjoying the beach. I just won't look out!
It is Friday and I have 10 working days left. I am asked if I am excited or anxious and to be honest, neither. One day at a time. I think I learned that a long time ago that I do best when taking one day at a time. When one of my friends retired, her husband told her to set one goal each day and as soon as he came in the door each night, he asked her if she met her goal. That is not a plan that would work well with me but I do have some projects in mind. There are at least two of my kids getting married in this calendar year so that will be something to look forward to and I will plan some traveling. The question is if I will commit to something part time or volunteer or just take a break from any commitments. Suggestions welcome but not necessarily followed.
It will be a new page and maybe time to do that book I want to do. It is time to find me again and take time to smell the roses. I am recommiting my life in faith and will be devoting consistent devotional time.
My life has been like anyone out there. There have been alot of trials and tribulations and ups and downs, failures and gains but in the long and short of it, I have been blessed and I know that is not my doing but my higher power. I have tried each day to do my best and be my best but that has been involved in some struggles at times. Guessing at this age that I have figured some of this out and it has gotten better and now the page turner.
I hope to get myself in better health and take the time to do so. It is time to have less and do more. Things are not important nor are titles other Grammy and Mom and Wife, and family member and friend.
I am training my replacement and know that when I leave, there will be changes and that is good as well. It won't be the same but as a dear friend that was a doctor said on his retirement, they may miss me for a day or two but, never think you are too important or irreplaceable. Tomorrow starts a new day! I will try to make today the best day and strive to improve each day. Wishing you a great day! S
Husband's Guide to Breast Cancer: A Complete & Concise Plan for Every Stage is published by Blue River Press. - See more at: http://www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2014/summer2014/Husbands-Guide-to-Breast-Cancer-A-Complete-AND-Concise-Plan-for-Every-Stage#sthash.2ZLmXxp2.dpuf
The support system for the patient is vital and this guide from a husband's perspective is insightful, motivating, and a great resource. I found this recently while reading the CURETODAY publication. I couldn't wait to get this on the blog so that you too could find this resource.
Men are inclined to want to fix things and that as long as you have the best doctor, hospital, and treatment, that all will be well. I was so impressed that this husband went the next step further and I think you will also find the same in a fresh breath of air with this book. Please take a moment and look for this book as you travel this path. I hope it will make it a better day! S
It is important to note that there may be some level of pain that you experience due to treatment itself which could include, radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and medications. The level or intensity of pain and duration are important as well. Long term pain is more common when the breast cancer has spread to toher parts of the body such as bones. Pain or discomfort caused by treatment can affect anyone regardless of disease status. You should always addres your conceerns with your healthcare team and know that there will be a plan developed to help before, during or after treatment. Most of you will experience complete relief and will be able to enjoy your daily life in time and recovery. It may also take a period of time to find what works best for you to bhelp with your pain. Be sure your team knows your medication list and any supplements or Over the Counter (OTC) medications that you are currently taking.
You do not have to accept pain as part of you experience. Ask for help and make it a better day. Keeping a diary of your pain with descriptors of the pain and level of pain,l duration etc. will provide valid input to getting the help you need.
Here is to a better day! S