My trip to Nemacolin with Casting for Recovery was great despite traffic delays going down and coming back. I had two roommates and meet others that have walked the walk. The support personnel was great and I found my heart sometimes raw when I heard familiar stories/ problems/ concerns. There was time for lead discussion and one on one interaction and all in all it was amazing. I also learned that roll-over casting, I am pretty darn good at(So I was told) but I still didn't catch anything. We laughed and cried and ate the whole time. Beautiful surroundings and a time to reflect and hopefully mend some holes. We all deal with our cancer in different but same ways. Outcomes are different for us all and one person's strength may be another person's weakness. I am not as whole as I once thought and now it is back to the drawing board to heal over some things that came to the surface. I am up to the task and will diligently address those things that have reared up in my life again. The serene quiet and beauty of standing in a river was the highlight of it all. I really didn't care if I caught a fish. I see a higher power in all I look at and realize that we are where we need to be when we need to be there. This Friday will kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a gallery opening at the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute in Meadville. We hope to have you drop in between 6:30 and 8:30 and see the various works of art from over 25 local, regional and nationally acclaimed women artists. There will be some of my works along with Rich Sayer and the continuation of my Celebration of Life. I hope to see you there and it will make it a great day!
Well, it hasn't been easy! Spent Tuesday in bed and lay low everyday after work. I have the big Tidioute Fishing Tournament this weekend but doubt that I will be up to helping at the Methodist Church group to make sausage sandwiches and funnel cakes but it will go on without me. Sunday I will be heading to Nemacolin for CASTING FOR RECOVERY. I hopt that I am well healed by then so I can enjoy learning to fly fish and standing in a river and enjoying the fall and learning more about myself and this after cancer phase. This program is for women that have had breast cancer and there will be classes and networking and just time to reflect. I look forward to the two days and anxious to see what it brings but that is if I can quit sneezing and coughing as I don't want to scare the fish away ( well I really don't care as I don't want to take it off the hook if I catch one anyway)! I will keep you posted as to outcome and hope you make it a great weekend, as for me I have my Zyrtec, kleenex and a pillow not too far away.
New Breast Cancer App Allows Patients to Get Personalized Info Breastcancer.org has launched an iPhone application for breast cancer patients. The Breast Cancer Diagnosis Guide is a free mobile app that walks users through the breast cancer pathology report - a vital report that sets the patient's treatment path. In addition to educating users on the terms in their pathology report and other tests, Breastcancer.org's Breast Cancer Diagnosis Guide allows them to input their own pathology report results so they can receive research news, information, and articles specific to their diagnosis.
"This is truly groundbreaking," says Marisa Weiss, M.D., director of breast radiation oncology at Lankenau Hospital and president and founder of Breastcancer.org. "There is no 'one size fits all' treatment plan. A breast cancer patient's pathology report helps each patient customize her treatment course to the exact nature and extent of her specific cancer diagnosis ... from deciding on what kind of surgery to evaluating the role of radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal, and targeted therapies, and potential participation in clinical trials.
"What's particularly exciting about the Breastcancer.org Breast Cancer Diagnosis Guide is that it takes the understanding a step further by allowing patients to get background information and research news that is directly relevant to her particular diagnosis and situation. This is profoundly important as breast cancer treatment and surveillance plans become more personalized." Continue reading at Physicians News.
Well, things caught up to me. I came home from work on Monday with a little scratchy throat and Tuesday morning, I couldn't swallow and felt awful. Spent the day in bed trying to get liquids in and not be so ornery that it would even drive the dog away. I felt awful and now Wednesday morning I have been up since 4 am with coughing but doing a little better. I will hide in my office and catch up on all I need to do but now am debating about how recovered I can be by Sunday when I am to go to Nemacolin for CASTING FOR RECOVERY which is a program for breast cancer survivors and yes they actually teach us to fish. I am not sure standing in a river in the wee hours is the best thing but will determine this at days end. I have cancelled all patient contact and all evening appointments. I have said no to a couple other things as well as I am just spread too thin and that isn't good for me or the job. October is a crazy month due to the fact it is breast cancer awareness month but I have to use some common sense as well as I just can't do it all. I have been rapidly finding that out this year after moving my in-laws, not once but twice and moving my daughter as well. I am learning , I am just not all I used to be. I am better in some things and not as good as I used to be in others so I figure I am breaking even. Definitely realizing I am nearing that 60 in the not so distant future. It is just a number and I truly feel that but now my body is teaching me, that I best respect that number. Well, hope you make it a great day, back to work. S
Wow, what a great site! I have managed food schedules before for family and friends when there is an illness, surgery, loss, or just a need to fill in and co-ordinate meals. Now they have a site that takes the processing and pain out of planning all this . I am so thrilled to see that we are evolving to a point that we can make differences for others. I located the family I needed to help and could see the zip code was the for the correct family and then it takes you from there so you can see schedule and who to drop off to so that all the burden of planning, delivery and pickup and dealing with different people have been simplified. I suggest if you have a need or a friend in need, take a look at this site and see how you can help others and possible give back due to those that helped you. It will make it a great day! Sincerely,S
Living with metastatic breast cancer Metastatic breast cancer (also called advanced or stage IV breast cancer) is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body. In the U.S., only a few women have metastatic disease when they are first diagnosed. More commonly, metastatic breast cancer arises months or years after a woman has completed treatment for stage I, II, or III breast cancer. Although metastatic breast cancer is not currently considered curable, it is treatable. Today, some women live many years with metastatic breast cancer as a long-term chronic condition. And, as treatment for both early-stage and metastatic breast cancer continues to improve, so does survival.
If breast cancer metastasizes, it most often spreads to the bones, liver and lungs. Although it may surprise some people, when breast cancer spreads to another part of the body, it is still considered and treated as breast cancer. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the bones is still breast cancer (not bone cancer) and is treated with breast cancer drugs, rather than treatments for a cancer that began in the bones.
The goals of treatment for a woman with metastatic breast cancer are to control tumor growth and prolong life while also maintaining quality of life. Treatment is highly personalized and depends upon the type of tumor and the type of side effects that a woman is willing to accept or able to tolerate. Not only does one person’s cancer differ from another’s, but personal choice guides treatment more than with early-stage breast cancers. Some treatments have side effects that impact quality of life, and the potential benefits of these treatments may be greater for some women than others. Together with her/his doctor, a person with metastatic breast cancer can find the balance of treatment and quality of life that is right for her/him.
The most common kinds of treatment for metastatic breast cancer include hormone therapy for estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) cancers, HER2/neu-positive (HER2+) targeted therapies for HER2+ cancers and standard chemotherapy for all cancers, regardless of type. Depending upon the location of the metastases and whether they cause any symptoms, some areas involved with cancer may also be treated with radiation. For example, radiation may be used to ease the pain of cancer that has spread to the bone. Surgery is not commonly used for metastatic breast cancer.
Treatment and prognosis are also guided by the treatment a woman had for her original breast cancer. Some treatments available today clearly appear to change the natural course of the disease and improve survival. One example is the drug trastuzumab (Herceptin). Trastuzumab specifically targets HER2+ cancer cells and changes the way that these breast cancers grow. With continued advances in treatments that are tailored to certain breast cancers, future treatments may help women with metastatic breast cancer live longer.
The most important thing to remember is that survival for metastatic breast cancer is highly variable. Although the average length of survival for women with metastatic breast cancer is in the range of 2-3 years, this is an average and does not predict how long any one person may live.1 About 25 percent of women with metastatic breast cancer live more than five years after diagnosis, and some women live 10 or 20 years beyond diagnosis.2 It is also important to note that these survival estimates are based on women diagnosed before some of the newer treatments for breast cancer were available. Current treatments may mean improved survival for women diagnosed today.
While certain features of a woman’s cancer and her medical history can affect the chance of long-term survival, our ability to make predictions remains limited. At best, prognosis for any patient is an estimate. We do know that some women will go on to live for many years with metastatic disease. And, as we learn more and breast cancer treatments improve, the number of these women should grow. According to Eric Winer, MD, chief scientific advisor to Susan G Komen for the Cure®, the treatment of metastatic breast cancer has evolved dramatically over the past 10 years, and will evolve even more in the next decade. "I look forward to a time when metastatic breast cancer will be entirely manageable with well tolerated therapy. It may be quite some time before we can cure metastatic disease, but women with metastatic breast cancer can expect to live far longer and far better in the years ahead than in the past. "
We are a proud sponsor of the 2010 Metastatic Breast Cancer Network’s National Conference to be held Saturday, October 16 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The conference is free and open to patients, friends, family and health care professionals. The program includes discussions of the latest treatments, coping strategies and future therapies. Learn more about this conference or register to participate.
1. National Cancer Institute. Stage IIIB, Inoperable IIIC, IV, Recurrent, and Metastatic Breast Cancer.
2. Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Krapcho M, et al. (editors). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2007.
National Cancer Institute. http://seer.cancer.gov/c
You're invited to CELBRATION OF LIFE! Featuring the works of Kathy Stahlnecker and Sue Kilburn and over 25 local, regional, and nationally acclaimed women artists. Friday, October 1st from 6:30-8:30 pm at Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute, 16792 Conneaut Lake Road, Meadville, PA 16335. For more information call (814)373-3022. Free Music, entertainment and refreshments. Come join the fun!
A national conference with the information, support and practical resources you need to live well before, during and after treatment. This will be held Saturday, November 13, 2010. The conference site/ Hotel is Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 . Phone (888) 575-6397 or (215)627-1200 with reduced rate room rate of $149. This is brought to you by Living Beyond Breast Cancer, 354 West Lancaster Ave., Ste. 224. Haverford, PA 19041. Contact information please visit lbbc. org or call at (610) 645-4567. (FEE WAIVERS ARE AVIALABLE!)
This is a great opportunity to network and learn more as you face challenges related to breast cancer. It will be a great day! S
Almost here now, I can't wait. Food and fun and dogs and kids-all right up my alley. Let's see, I can get my hair cut, have a massage, do yoga, have a manicure, play with kids, watch demo's of dogs in different activities, eat and see different goods with different vendors and I may even take one or both of my dogs. This will be a fun time and I hope you can join us. Then you might think I slow down but next week in addition to normal STUFF, there will be next Wednesday at 12n,the STAYING CONNECTED support group for past and present patients with bringing your own brown bag here at the Institute and that will then be followed at 7 PM with THROUGH YOUR EYES support group for caregivers. Now we haven't even come to October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but I promise to keep you updated on that, for now... I am heading out soon for home and to plan dinner as Friday and Saturday will be a whirlwind and Saturday night will be up at the Pink Ribbon Classic at the Fairgrounds (again for Breast Cancer as is Pawsitively Pink). See you, soon! S
Friday, I worked my way to our riverhouse and found the refrigerator not working but meat still cold so threw what I could on the grill and started cleaning out the refrigerator/freezer. My daughter that just moved to Florida called and was unable to get her electricity turned on in her new apartment and my husband was on his way with her things in a UHaul and trailering her car and then my son called from California and his work had a machine down that was costing lots of big bucks till fixed and he finally got that going and was on his way to the airport to fly to Germany for work when his car was running out of gas. That was down to the wire and in too many directions. My girlfriend had gone with me to the riverhouse and said she was waiting for my head to spin off it's axis. Mom got to work and got things handled and continued cleaning and taking care of things including a trip to Pittsburgh on Monday to pick up my returning husband from the airport. Now that was not what I call a slow weekend but hit the door running this morning at work. I did a quick radio spot for THE PAWSITIVELY PINK PARTY that will be at Conneaut Lake Bark Park on Saturday from 10-4 for breast cancer awareness. THis is a fun family event and bring you dog in a pink costume and be in a contest. There are activities for kids, families, dogs and education and awareness for and about breast cancer. THe Looking Ahead Breast Cancer Support Group will be there and education as well. We will have YOGA (Haven on the Hill), Haircuts and Locks of Love, Manicures and dog grooming and meet the breed and even Chow Chow Waggin Dining available. We will have a clown to entertain the kids and a bounce house and kids activities and Whiskey Rick and the Chasers to provide music from 1-3 as well as Cool 101.7 broadcasting from 12-2. We even have a dog friendly car on the grounds. It is down to the wire and lots of vendors still lining up to be involved so come out and have fun and bring your pet. To enter the park is free and we are hoping that you will not only have an enjoyable day but also learn about breast cancer and education, interventions, diagnostics and more. We are down