Sincerely, quite happy....
|SUE - a breast cancer survivor||
It is amazing how many people ask what they can do for you during treatment and the bottom line, anything helps. Maybe it is picking up stamps or food or cooking a small meal or running a small load of wash or changing sheets on the bed. All easy physical tasks that can seem insurmountable when you are not feeling 100% but the biggest thing that I really do remember is just asking you to be there for me. That doesn't mean endless chatter on your part to fill the silence but just be beside me, listen to me, wait for me and support me. A touch on the hand, a warm blanket, a refill of my water, anything that makes a person more comfortable. Fluffing the pillow, pottying the dog, water the flowers- all those things you see that need done but don't have the energy to do . It can be a lonesome and quiet time and just to have someone willing to listen is important. Oh yes, we all know that there may be someone out there worse off than me at this very moment or you can tell me how to fix my situation but that is not what is needed. I often would tell my husband, yes I am fortunate I don't have two broken legs but the one that is broke still hurts. So yes, I am better off than some but I am still dealing with issues and concerns and I don't want you telling me to ignore it, just smile about it, it will get better or any other trite saying that might put me off the roof. JUST LISTEN, acknowledge, and reserve comment for when it is solicited and then carefully reword what you have been hearing as that is what is really needed, reinforcement that you have heard what I have said. Isn't that what we all really need? Confirmation that I am here, I am being heard and understood and that you had a part by listening. Someone recently told me I should just do speaking on STRAIGHT TALK. They felt that I could bring something to the table because of all my experiences. I have done alot and gone through more but that doesn't make me an expert or that I have the answers but having a positive attitude and making every effort to make it a great day is vital. Life is too short to be miserable all the time and those people will suck the life blood out of you and I am not saying that somedays I just am not on my A game but for the most part, I kick myself and get back in the game and give it all the gusto I have. I don't need or want negativity and I sure as heck need laughter. So my advice, take the time to listen, smile, and support in any way you can and if the negativity of an individual continually drags you down, try to be supportive but then move on. In other words, quit feeding that negativity and replace it with your smile and love. We are all here doing the best we can and I am hoping that my straight talk just may have found a spot on your heart or made a little more sense now that you thought about it.
Sincerely, quite happy....
It is amazing what laughter can do! I will admit that I am a bit of a prankster which causes much angst with my children. They swear I will never grow up and I too concur. I am not much better at work though as I feel laughter can mend most wounds and alter most emotions. I have a co-worker that I constantly banter with and a few pranks here and there. The people that come to YGBOI are well aware of our antics and today was no different. After a lengthy discussion in his office with his assistant, I randomly took clear tape and taped down the button that disconnects/activates the phone under the ear piece. This then allows the phone to ring but you are unable to answer and it is extremely difficult to see the clear tape but easily remedied. I returned to my office across the hall to continue with the project I was working on when all of a sudden I heard this sudden outburst. My co-worker was unable to use the phone, now that in itself is funny and not the first time I have done this but even funnier was the fact that they watched me do it. Hence, I' may never grow up, never grow up, not me. Making it a great day!
Hope the weekend goes well for all!
What breastcancer.org says about this article… Aspirin Benefit Seen in Established Breast Cancer This study suggests that pre-menopausal women who take two or more aspirin each week in the years after a diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer have a better prognosis than women who don't take aspirin. The women who took aspirin were less likely to die from breast cancer or any other cause and also less likely to develop metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is advanced-stage breast cancer that has spread to parts of the body away from the breast, such as the brain or bones.
The results are from the very large and ongoing Nurses' Health Study (NHS). The NHS is monitoring more than 110,000 pre-menopausal female nurses for a number of health factors, including medicines used and breast cancer risk and outcomes. Some of the women in the study have been followed for more than 20 years.
Inflammation contributes to many diseases, including cancer. So researchers wondered if taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicines:
Other research has suggested that regularly taking aspirin and other NSAIDs could lower breast cancer risk. But in 2009, NHS results showed that pre-menopausal women who regularly took over-the-counter NSAIDs didn't have a lower risk of breast cancer risk compared to pre-menopausal women who didn't regularly take NSAIDs. Breastcancer.org reported on the 2009 NHS results.
In the NHS results reviewed here, the researchers asked a different question: could regular use of aspirin or other NSAIDs affect prognosis in women already diagnosed with breast cancer? To answer that question, the researchers looked the medicine histories of 4,164 women in the NHS who had been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
Compared to women who didn't take aspirin regularly after breast cancer diagnosis and initial treatment, women who took an average of two to five aspirin per week were:
Women who took an average of one aspirin per week (or less) had the same risk of developing metastatic breast cancer or dying from breast cancer as women who didn't take aspirin.
Regularly taking aspirin BEFORE being diagnosed with breast cancer didn't affect prognosis; only taking aspirin AFTER diagnosis and initial treatment improved prognosis.
Women who regularly took NSAIDs other than aspirin had somewhat better survival than women who didn't take NSAIDs, but the survival benefits weren't as strong or certain as those seen with regular aspirin use.
The researchers also looked at whether acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol), which isn't an NSAID, affected breast cancer prognosis -- it didn't.
Aspirin and other NSAIDs reduce inflammation by blocking the activity of the cylcooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein. The COX-2 protein also has been linked to the metastatic spread of cancer. The researchers think aspirin's COX-2 blocking effect might explain the improved prognosis.
The researchers believe that most of the women in the NHS who took aspirin were taking low-dose aspirin (81 mg per day) to lower their risk for heart attack and stroke. Many doctors recommend low-dose aspirin for this purpose. Their doctors did NOT recommend aspirin use to treat breast cancer.
It's important to know that both aspirin and chemotherapy can increase your bleeding risk. The women in the NHS who took aspirin after diagnosis usually waited until any chemotherapy was completed to start taking aspirin.
The results of this large study suggest that regular, low-dose aspirin may have a role in treating breast cancer. Still, more research is needed to better understand how to safely use aspirin in a breast cancer treatment plan and the benefits it may offer. Regular aspirin use can cause serious, possibly life-threatening intestinal bleeding. Aspirin should be taken only at the recommendation of and under the supervision of your doctor. This is especially true for women getting other breast cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.
What is your definition of a support group and who does that involve? The diagnosis of cancer slaps you in the face and you are so overwhelmed with what is happening to your life that you either want to talk to everyone or no one. Today I am focusing on your significant other who now faces even more challenges when your diagnosis comes. Who do these unsung heroes turn to and how do they cope with the medical, emotional, and practical concerns of cancer? You accept that your emotions are all over the board and all your energies are focused on the patient with cancer. Are you willing to talk to others if in fact that was available and for men especially the touchy feely sides of this may not be something they have been comfortable with before and possibly not now. People tell you to stay positive and as you carry your normal burdens, the extra that has been passed onto your shoulders can be insurmountable and of course you can't truly understand what the patient is going through. I am interested in hearing your thoughts, and concerns and if you would be willing to be in a pilot group for the significant other, the caregiver, you. I know that it would be informal and meet in the evening, once a month and it would be interacting with those that are facing the same walk as you. Help me to help you and seeing if we have a need and if we can get this off the ground. Thanks in advance and remember you can always get me by calling (814)373-3381.
Working on a great day!
Back from an amazing trip to Italy! Didn't gain a pound but I am sure I ran it off as we were in Florence, Venice, Rome, Cortina and did it all. Expensive place to visit but so nice to see my son and the sites. If this doesn't make alot of sense today , I just wanted to check in and let you know I am back. Lots on the agenda but want to remind everyone of the Bus that costs $5 to go to Pittsburgh on May 9th, leaving at 5:30 am for the Susan G. Komen walk. Please get in touch with me soon as bus is filling up and I want to make sure you can join us. More in future snippet but feel free to contact me at the Institute (814)373-3381- if you can and do want to come along. Making it a great day!
What a great week! I got to spend a day doing teaching in two private homes with a large audience at each with lots of great discussion and questions and interaction. I was even taught how to make pie crusts while we talked nutrition in a very loving and supportive atmosphere. It is a day I will treasure forever while lots of babies and young ones ran around. Babies were put in my lap and I certainly got a great Grandma fix. Outstanding- and I left with three homemade pies,(RON was very happy), a family cookbook and a potholder that was handmade.
Today, I am back doing my normal routine and getting ready for tomorrow which is an inservice with Crawford Central which will be the whole day, with me teaching then on to the Mind Body Wellness for a nutrition lesson and then off to the WE with emphasis on excercise and a quick tour of Yolanda G.Barco Oncology. Then I will be off traveling for a bit to return on the 22nd while family holds down the homefront.
I will be back soon but you will not be far from my thoughts and each day will be great as that is the option I choose. I will be back and willing and able to help so call me after the 22nd and best to you all.
What a great weekend! The Celebrating Life In Style at the Fashion show/brunch in the downtown mall in Meadville was a huge success. The ladies were wonderful models and inspirations to all. The escorts from Allegheny College were awesome and worked diligently to make this a complete success. If the models danced they jumped right in and were everything and more that anyone could ask for. The food was outstanding and we were packed in. For those of you that missed it, there was some clowning around going on as well- :}. I already have people asking about the event for next year. I will be out of the office for a bit with some presentations and programs and then a trip so please keep checking in and I will update as I can. Bon Voyage! Making it everyday! S
Well, I have children all over the world and very soon I will be visiting my son in Italy. I am looking forward to getting there and also have fears about travel, meeting trains, planes, and finding my way around. Will I know what they are talking about, will I understand, will I screw things up, will it be safe to travel, can I handle the long trip flying over and back and so much more? I am a terrible sleeper and the middle of the night is when all these thoughts start to impinge on what little sleep I do get. My husband does not like to travel but he will do it to see the kids. Over all the years, it has always been me to take the trips and go visit kids even taking a younger one with me as I traveled. Did I neglect to tell you I have five kids and my husband hates to travel? I would grab one kid and go to Texas to visit another one or take another child and go to North Carolina to visit another one or I traveled to California by myself to visit another. As all these thoughts passed through my head and I remembered all the times, good and bad- I began to realize that my fears and concerns were very similar to my battle with cancer and something only I could do myself. I could have others with me but whether they travled with me or just stayed back and let me lead, it was exactly how I went through cancer. Some of the kids would stay home when I traveled and my husband very rarely went but I did it because that was how I could get to see my kids and this is what it would require. This is the same as cancer, I did what was required- I want to be alive, be with my kids and enjoy life. Worrying is not a good attribute of mine but one I must own as I do worry. I also know that I often just have to reinforce in my mind that I need to let go and trust. I trust it will be a great trip and that my daughter and family will handle the homefront while I am gone. I trust that I did what I needed to do to get the best outcome from my walk with breast cancer and each day is a gift. Someone told me recently that I just make cancer look easy. Far from the truth, and I have pictures and dialogue in journals to prove it but I am also standing here on the other side, saying you can make it too. Winning is not the outcome but how you get through it. I am a winner, whether it is going to Italy or coming through Cancer. This day is great because we are in it.
Hope to see you this Saturday at the Downtown Mall in Meadville for a fashion show/brunch. Cost is $8 and proceeds to go to the American Cancer Society. This style showis sponsored by Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute -Meadville Medical Center, Value Clothing and Cool 101.7. Models are past and present patients who are coming together to celebrate and give back. This will be a fun time for all and we hope you can join us at the Mall at 11. I will be there but you may have to look around as I will be celebrating incognito... see if you can pick me out of the crowd ( and no I am not a model but good guess!) See you Saturday at the Mall.
What a great day!
I have often said that this is a roller coaster ride and most people think I am referring to treatment and lab values and clinically related issues but I am also addressing how cancer affects you and those around you. Cancer may change how you look and feel about your body but it also may change your role in regards to your activities, relationships and responsibilities.
First and foremost is the lack of control on what is happening to you and the unknown. The wait for a plan is unbearable but once a plan is in place, comes fear of how you will deal with what lies ahead. I do think education is vital for your travel in this process. Accurate information helps you to make informed choices that are right for you but always get your information from reliable sources. Next I would say seek support and there are avenues in your community, in person, online, and over the telephone. Individual counseling may also help you to develop strategies for coping with the complexity of your emotions and concerns you are facing. Then I would recommend that you share your feelings and give those people around you a chance to support you. It is important to be specific and this allows your friends and family the opportunity to be helpful and reduce frustration all around. Take time to look and feel your best in whatever way that helps you, find out what works for you. Probably the hardest for some of us is to let yourself feel loved and cared for, you may have been distancing yourself from those that love you the most but talk about what your needs are and discuss your concerns with your doctors and nurses. Cancer itself is difficult to cope with but the emotions that challenge are often misinterpreted thus forcing demands on all involved but developing strategies to cope with some of these complex issues can help youface what lies ahead.
The thing I have learned in my journey is that throw the small stuff away and avoid the negative. I look for positive, upbeat, supportive people and those that think they are helping but continually bringing a tarnished perspective, I just don't focus on as no one is intentionally trying to hurt you in their words or actions but out of lack of awareness on their part- push the buttons that you don't need or want in your life. Again, I MAKE IT A GOOD DAY!