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Cancer Matters

 


Issues & Perspectives

Medicare, The A,B,C,D’s…Let’s Talk D

Louise Knight
Louise Knight, MSW, LCSW-C, OSW-C

You may be confused by the list of letters after the word Medicare.  A, B, C, D...  Who can keep them straight?  There is a web page that can give the answers.  It is www.medicare.gov.

Let's Talk D:  Let me give you the important Medicare D news for 2011.    I am going to start with the letter D and the reason is:  the deadline to apply ends soon.

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Why I Run

As an avid runner, I participate in many races each year.  I enter these for many reasons. I love to run, it’s a challenge, and sometimes it’s for a good cause. At the beginning of each race, I like to look around at the starting line at the wide range of people running the event.  Each participant is running for a different reason. For some, it’s a personal goal, a hobby, or even a response to a challenge.  For many, the race has a special meaning -- it could be in honor or memory of a loved one, in support of a friend or family member, or to simply celebrate life.

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Completion of Treatment — Time to Celebrate?

This post is written by Lillie Shockney, the Administrative Director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center and a two-time breast cancer survivor.

Completing Treatment - Time to Celebrate?

You'd think so. You've been through surgery, perhaps chemo and radiation, maybe on or completing hormonal therapy and you are finally "done" breast cancer treatment. So ready for a party?  Most will say no. Why? Though most of you (and me) are thrilled to be done treatment, the idea of celebrating sounds some how risky. I spoke to a woman today who had just finished her treatment. She said, "I'd love to have a party but don't want to jinx myself-you know, the cancer might come back. "  And thus the fear of recurrence, whether it be local recurrence (back in the breast or chest area where it started) or distant recurrence (in the form of metastatic disease with breast cancer springing up in another organ) paralyzes women from feeling comfortable with celebrating this mammoth job they have completed-- overcoming breast cancer.Read More »Completion of Treatment — Time to Celebrate?

Finding the Spark Again After Cancer

Elissa Bantug
Elissa Bantug

One of the most common complaints I hear from cancer survivors is a change in their sex life.  Within days after returning home from my mastectomy, I attempted to be intimate with my husband even though I had yet to regain the ability to dress or shower myself with medical drains still attached. I thought this would be good idea but my husband briskly pushed me away.  This was yet another blow to my already very fragile state.

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Give Cancer a Red Card

The final score was 3-0 last night at my son's soccer game -- his team won, but not because they have a single star that makes all the goals; rather, they worked together to make a collective effort in winning the game.

The soccer community is now rallying their global fans and participants in a match against the world's biggest killer -- cancer.  That's what it takes to beat this disease - many people working together to make an impact on a very complicated and tough adversary.  Every bit counts, because when we add up each of our individual efforts, we can make a greater impact.

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Putting Cancer in Its Place

Elissa Bantug
Elissa Bantug

In a conversation with a patient recently, she said to me, “I am a mother and a wife, but when I think of what describes me most, it is that I am a cancer survivor.  Having had cancer is the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning, the last thing I think about before going to bed, and is something that I am reminded of all throughout my day.”Read More »Putting Cancer in Its Place

Cancer Survivorship

Elissa Bantug
Elissa Bantug

Defining when a patient becomes a cancer “survivor” seems to vary depending on whom you ask.  Some people say that this term can be applied after a patient has shown no evidence of disease for five years; others assert that survivor is a status achieved following the patient’s completion of all recommended treatments and surgeries.  The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) states:  “An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of his or her life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also impacted by the survivorship experience and are therefore included in this definition.” Read More »Cancer Survivorship