Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

Archive for May 2018

World No Tobacco Day

by Jane Ashley

May 31 is the day that the World Health Organization (WHO) sets aside as World No Tobacco Day. For 2018, the emphasis is “Tobacco and heart disease,” focusing on the link of smoking to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. 

World Not Tobacco Day Quit


But this is a good day for cancer patients and their families to consider the effects of smoking on their health if they are in active treatment for cancer or if they are the caregiver or another member of the family.


1 out of 10 Cancer Survivors Still Smoke


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11 Things Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients Are Talking About

by GregP_WN

There are over 1,200 Metastatic Breast Cancer patients registered at WhatNext. These are some of the conversations they are having about the issues they are facing.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Info

Just curious about how long everyone has been living with cancer, or I guess if you're in remission, how long has that been? I am told I might have to have treatments periodically for the rest of my life. That sounds scary. ~JulesMom

I had a large melanoma in 1964 as a very young woman. Then 6 years ago had a series of...

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You Are NED! Great....What is it?

by Jane Ashley

As cancer patients, we hear our fellow patients proclaim, “I’m still NED.” They seem happy to be NED so we nod in agreement and ask ourselves, “What is NED?”

You Are Ned Great What Is It

NED is the acronym for “No Evidence of Disease.”  

On a related note: It's also the name of a Band, A unique band of six gynecologic oncology surgeons from across the country, N.E.D. is taking healing and the arts to a new level. Created as a cover band to entertain their peers at a medical conference, they saw the...

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You WILL Want a Port, The Only Question is - What Kind?

by Jane Ashley

One of the first encounters of cancer treatment is having a port implanted to receive chemotherapy. If you don’t have a port, you may be asking these questions.

Power Port

What is a port? A port is a small medical device (about the size of a quarter or nickel) implanted under the skin that connects to an IV catheter inserted into a large vein. 

There are four brands:

• BardPort
• Mediport
• Port-A-Cath
• PowerPort

The very center of the port is called the septum and is made of a seal-sealing...

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The Complicated Life of Being The Caregiver

by Jane Ashley

As if being diagnosed with cancer is not bad enough, working out the logistics of a prolonged and complex treatment might prove even harder. I sometimes think of those early days after my diagnosis when my husband, who was my caregiver, and I were so naïve about what we would be facing with my Stage IV rectal cancer diagnosis.

The Complicated Life Of Being A Caregiver

But we did make one commitment to each other, and that was that we would try to navigate this terrible diagnosis “one day at a time.” But in looking back at those...

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Palliative Care - Finding Symptom Relief

by Jane Ashley

Confused about what palliative care is? Has someone suggested that you receive palliative care but you’re afraid that it’s the same thing as hospice? There is quite a bit of confusion about palliative care and how it may benefit cancer patients.

Palliative Care Finding Symptom Relief

What is palliative care?

Palliative care seeks to relieve a patient’s symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life. Palliative care provides patients relief from both the symptoms of their disease and the symptoms created by their treatment.

By...

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Persevering and Overcoming - A Story of a 30-Year Cancer Fight

by Glen Kirkpatrick

My life with my wife Debbie, and our three-year-old son Russell was wonderful before cancer. Our memory building times together included family dinners, the days we spent swimming in our pool, taking trips to the San Diego Zoo, and enjoying extended vacations. Leading up to my first cancer diagnosis I was serving as a police officer with the City of Manhattan Beach, California. My wife was working in the animal healthcare field.

Our Wedding Photo

I STOOD OUTSIDE IN THE POURING RAIN. As the water washed over...

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Tips to Avoid Weight Loss During Chemo or After Surgery

by Jane Ashley

Loss of appetite (due to nausea, fatigue, mouth sores, difficulty in swallowing or taste changes) leads to unintentional weight loss during chemo. Unless your oncology team has recommended that you lose weight, it’s best to maintain your weight and muscle mass during treatment.

Losing Weight During Chemo Or After Surgery

Be sure to tell your oncologist about these symptoms and their impact on your appetite.

• Nausea/vomiting . Your oncologist team wants to help you avoid nausea, but they can’t help you if you don’t tell them....

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What is Neutropenia and Why I Should Follow a Neutropenic Diet

by Jane Ashley

If you were like me, you’ve never heard of neutropenia (pronounced noo-troe-PEE-nee-uh). When I went in for my fourth chemotherapy infusion, my oncologist came in after receiving my lab results. She was always upbeat and had a smile on her face. She said, “No chemo for you today!”

What Is Nutropenia And Why I Should Follow A Neutropenic Diet

I thought to myself, “No chemo? I want/need to have my chemo.” That which I first feared had become my friend. Already, I understood that chemo was an integral part of my treatment.

She explained, “Your neutrophil...

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Stage IV Melanoma...It's NOT Just Skin Cancer!

by Holly Flores

Today's Guest Blog Post is from "HFlores", she is a Stage IV Malignant Melanoma patient/survivor currently in treatment. While she is still fighting a serious fight she is still trying to live her life as normal as possible. 

Full Size Render (2)

In the spring of 2014, my hairdresser noticed a mole on my scalp that appeared to be changing color. After a biopsy in August, it was confirmed I had Malignant Melanoma. On September 11th, I was wheeled in for a 4-hour surgery (wide excision of the scalp) and...

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