Tuesday we ran a story celebrating our 1000th post here at HelpWithCancer.org:

AWESOME! 1000 Posts and Counting…

Until yesterday’s breaking news story about vitamin E, selenium, soy and prostate cancer, we have been sharing some of our favorite and most helpful early posts.
If you would endulge us, we would like to do that one more day.  So here are some more noteworthy articles from this site back in the fall of 2008:
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Doctors Are People Too!

My new book, Living with Multiple Myeloma, features a chapter titled “Doctors Are People Too!”

The chapter highlights a number of mistakes and misteps made by my physicians while I was hospitalized last summer with blood clots in my lungs. I write that doctors make mistakes, get distracted and have bad days. Ultimately, we, the patient, are responsible for our own health care.

IT’S NOT FAIR!  We are sick. The doctor is supposed to have all the answers. Just tell me what to take and what to do and I’ll do it! But as each of us moves through the “health care maze” and becomes a more experienced patient, we soon realize no one knows or understands our medical needs better than us.

Listen and learn my fellow patients! Listen to your doctors and nurses carefully. Take notes. Read about your cancer and therapy options whenever possible. Communicate! Make sure that health care professionals from different departments understand your situation and have the updated information that they need to make good decisions. Most importantly, try to stay positive!

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat
Thursday, November 13, 2008

Appointment Day

Appointment day. A day that all cancer patients/survivors understand. The blood tests are complete. MRI results or x-rays are back. Long lived survivors endure appointment day once every six months. Or, if it has been at least five years since remission, once each year. The rest of us see our oncologist every month or two or three.

Today is my appointment day. Things have been going well, so I only need to see Dr. Anderson every two months. Lately I have been experiencing more bone pain. Is it the cold weather? Is the cancer back? May all of your appointment days reveal good news and a bright future!

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat
Friday, November 21, 2008

Help With Neuropathy

Many cancer patients suffer some form of neuropathy. It can be as simple as an annoying tingling in the feet or hands. Often it is more serious. Neuropathy is a common side effect of chemotherapy. In my case, the chemotherapy aggravates an already existing problem with nerve compression caused by damage to my vertebrae before my myeloma was controlled. There are a number of drugs and supplements available that may help. Go to http://www.neuropathy.org/ to learn more about your treatment options.

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat
Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cancer Treatment Options

Now, more than ever, a cancer patient must understand and review his or her treatment options.

I know it is hard. You are newly diagnosed. Confused, disoriented, upset. All you want is for the doctor tell you what to do. Big mistake!

Most cancers today can be attacked in a variety of ways. Radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, steroid therapy, biological therapy. Often, a combination approach is chosen. More options included clinical studies, experimental drugs, naturopathic medicine and nutritional therapy.

Step back. Read, ask questions. Get a second or third opinion. Early on in my treatment, I didn’t know enough about the steroids I was taking to question the dosing or long term effects. It has taken me over a year for my body to recover! There were other options. At the very least, I should have had my dose adjusted and/or discontinued. I will never make that mistake again!

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

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