As many of you probably know, in September 2018, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer; Her2 positive cancer cells. It’s a progressive cancer, but thankfully there are two immunology drugs for treatment. As of March 1, 2021, I am now 2 years NED (No Evidence of Disease).
Sadly, my heart hurts for those still on the journey, and those whose journey ended.
Some of you might know Michael Hulshof-Schmidt. His blog is Social Justice For All. Michael’s husband is leaving the blog up, and I am grateful for that.
I don’t quite remember when it was that Michael and I met. It may have been in 2013 or 2014, but we became blogging buddies. Michael went through chemo for colon cancer, a massive heart attack, and then the cancer recurred in his liver. He put up a courageous fight, but on January 30, 2021, he transitioned.
Then there are other courageous people on the journey who find time to encourage others, such as Ilene of the Cancer Bus.
Now, I’m on conservative follow-up of every 6 months. My cancer marker tests have consistently scored 17 for over a year now. Any score under 30 is good. Meanwhile, I had surgery on my left foot in February and currently have sterile-strips on my big toe. Hopefully, I’ll be able to wear a closed-in shoe in a week. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been months since I posted what is happening with me health wise. With the recent stay-at-home orders because of Covid-19, I am constantly reminded of chemo class. It was an informative and instructional class for patients before starting chemo treatment. Among the instructions were:
- For at least 5 days after treatment, do not be around anyone who recently received a flu vaccination.
- Do not be around recently inoculated children for at least 7 days.
- Avoid crowds and anyone who is sneezing and/or coughing.
- Use hand sanitizer after touching anything in public, and before eating when away from home.
- Spray your house with disinfectant after you’ve had company, and use disinfectant wipes on door knobs.
There were also suggestions such as getting enough groceries before treatment to last at least 2 weeks. Another suggestion was that if we had to go out for anything and felt weak, to wear a mask. Read the rest of this entry
Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with recurrence of breast cancer after 20 years. Actress and singer Dianne Carroll recently died after battling breast cancer. She was first diagnosed in 1998.
In my latest visit with my oncologist I brought this up asking how breast cancer returned after so many years. He explained to me the difference between estrogen receptor and Her2 positive breast cancer. Although I had an aggressive type of cancer cells (Her2 positive), the prognosis is better at having no recurrence after 5 years. Something he said also made me very sad. He said that estrogen receptor breast cancer never goes away. What causes breast cancer to return?
In July 2018, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, published a study titled “Breast Cancer Stem Cells”. The study was funded by a National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute grant.
Researchers, as well as many cancer patients, have wondered why there is recurrence of cancer. As long as there is possibility of the cancer returning, patients live on egg shells. Read the rest of this entry
One in 833 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. According to Breast Cancer.org, in 2019, about 2,670 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
This post is to encourage men to not neglect lumps or nipple changes of their breasts.
Men carry a higher mortality rate than women because they are generally unaware that they can have breast cancer and are more likely to delay diagnosis and thus, treatment.
Risk factors for men include exposure to radiation, high levels of estrogen, and a family history of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Read the rest of this entry
This is difficult for me to write. Occasionally, I’ve written about health issues, such as sinus infections. This time things are more serious.
Last week, my ENT specialist prescribed a different medication for an ear infection that appeared in December and doesn’t want to leave. I picked it up the prescription from the pharmacy and after getting home, began reading the 9 pages; 5 titled “Medicine Information Sheet” and 4 titled “Medication Guide”.
In the third paragraph of the “Medication Guide”, in bold letters it says, “Some of these serious side effects can happen at the same time and could result in death.”
I’ve not started taking this medication and honestly, don’t know if I will. Only, it doesn’t stop there.
Yesterday, I got the frightening news from a diagnostic surgeon that I might have malignant cancer.
Now, out comes the soapbox. I miss the old days when there were neighborhood physicians who took care of mostly everything. Back then there was only hospitalization insurance. Doctor visits costs $20 to $50. If the neighborhood physician decided surgery was needed or tests, he would admit you into the hospital so the insurance would pay for it. All providers would be together, and staff made sure that you received the proper diet and medication on time.
Now, patients might have several doctors. Indeed, I have 6, and if we count the nurses who take vitals and asks questions, that doubles the number of times that I have to repeat the same thing. Shall I add in the physician assistants who I see me more than the actual physicians? Read the rest of this entry