Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year Wishes for ALL! Health, Wealth, Peace

We all are wishing for a Happy New Year!
We want 2010 to be the start of a New and Exciting
future for everyone.
We hope that the Economy will improve, Peace will
be instilled in all man and Health will be a prime item on every one's mind.
We are the builders of our Wishes and this is how we start.
Wealth starts at home. Watch how we spend our money, invest wisely, and get control of our finances and plan for the future.
Peace starts with giving of ourselves. To family, friends, church, neighbors, strangers, the sick and also the homeless. We all, at one time or the other, have needed a helping hand. If you are in the position, you can be that helping hand to others. Make a phone call to the elderly or the sick. See if there is anything you can do, even if it is just the phone call, it will mean so much to them. Visit, you do not have to talk a lot, just let them talk to you. Listening is a great healer for the person telling the story.
Give a caregiver a break. Caring for a terminally ill or chronically ill person takes a lot out of you. Even getting a 30 minute to an hour break can make all the difference in their day.
If you are able, make a donation to your favorite charity. Money is tight and many charities are having a hard time continuing the great work they do. If you are not able to donate money, donate a little of your time. Volunteers are always needed. Just look in your local paper and you will find article after article letting you know what is needed. Check with your local United Way and they may be able to give you more information.
Health is the most important thing we can give ourselves. Try to take better care of yourself. Good health will make it easier to concentrate, think and keep the mind and body sharper. Learn to deal with Stress. Stress is a main contributor to so many ailments. Your body converts stress into a contributing agent leading to depression, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and everyday aches and pains. Try to have a positive attitude (I know that can be hard in this environment but the negativity of stress just makes it worse, I know first hand)
Exercise! If you are depressed and sore from sitting around, Stretch! You don't have to do Jumping Jacks but if you just sit there you only make it worse. Move around, get a hobby (it does not have to be an expensive hobby, whittle, do decoupage, knit, do woodworking, stamp collecting, read (Library books are free and they have movies too). If you have a computer start researching your favorite subjects. Get your mind moving. If you can't work, as I said, Volunteer at a local charity. Giving will make you feel better and help you realize you are not alone out there. There are a lot of people dealing with similar problems. Helping others will help you. You may even meet someone that can help you out of your situation.
Watch what you eat. Start the New Year saying you will eat a healthier diet and if you are over weight that you will shred those extra pound. You will be amazed how much better you will feel with every 5 pounds you lose. As you lose weight, check out the local consignment shops for new clothes and save money as you go down in sizes. Take your old, larger size clothes to the consignment shops and make some money with them for extra spending cash.
Well, These are some of my goals and I hope they have given you some ideas for yourselves. The past year has been be rough for my family with my cancer, my husband out of work, my sister being ill, my brother losing his job and more. But I am optimistic that 2010 will be a better year for us all. But we are the ones that have to make it so!
I wish all of you the Best Health, Wealth, and Peace in the coming year and may 2010 be Great for us all.
Check out my eBay Store Decor,Glass and Home for Antiques, Books, Magazines, Woodworking, Jewelery, DVD's and more.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Recommendations for Breast Cancer Screening

I know everyone has heard about the new guidelines for breast cancer screening by now.

The stupidest thing I have ever heard is that self-exams don't work. Self-Exam saved my life!

The recommendation is that women from 40-50 do not need mammograms unless they are in a high risk group. Being a woman is a high risk group for breast cancer.

It has been proven that the established recommendations work, Less women are dying from breast cancer. This is directly related to the self-exams, mammograms and information that women are receiving.

Is this just another way for the insurance companies not to pay for mammograms?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't know about you but I will continue doing my self-exams and recommend to all my friends and family that they continue doing their self-exams and have their yearly mammograms.

I believe all women should have a baseline mammogram at the age of 40 no matter what the new recommendations are.

Please take care of yourselves and have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!


ps: if you know anyone who collects Owls I have some great artwork in my ebay store , check it out here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Shift in Cancer Screening Benefits - ACS

As reported in the Nov 2, 2009 issue of Time magazine


The American Cancer Society announced that the benefits of prostrate - and breast-cancer screenings have been overstated, after a study found that such tests often detect nonlethal tumors but fail to catch faster-spreading malignant growths. Screenings for colon and cervical cancers, on the other hand, have led to a marked decline in late-stage cancers.


This article is short but to the point. We are our best screeners. Self Exam is a must for all women and men. Breast cancer can be fast growing and easily grow between your yearly exams. Mine grew to 2cm within 2 months. If you check yourself every month you have a greater chance of feeling any changes before anyone else. If you do feel something, have it checked immediately. I would rather have a test say something is nonlethal than to wait and have a malignancy growing through my body.

Please do all you can to protect yourself from this killer.

Good health to us all


Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Save the Boobs" Video, Women 20-40 Years of Age Watch It!

This Canadian Public ServiceVideo was designed to get the attention of young women to make them realize that Breast Cancer is not an Older Woman's Illness. It does not discriminate due to age. It affects ALL Women, young and old. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don't think just because you are 26 years of age that you can not get breast cancer. My niece has just been diagnosed with it. I personally have known 2 people under the age of 25 that have had breast cancer. One of them Died from it.

Young women must be pro-active and do their self-exams, get their mammograms, and do not be afraid to talk with your doctor if you have any concerns. If you are uncomfortable talking with your doctor then it is time to get a new doctor. You must be able to discuss this and any subject with your doctor. EARLY DETECTION can save your life and as the following video says "Save The Boobs".

Breast cancer is the number one cancer killer of women 20-49. Think about this Girls!
Brest Cancer KILLS!!!

Stay Healthy!!


4 Things to Help Women NOT Get Breast Cancer

The following are 4 things reported that women can do to reduce their chances of getting Breast Cancer.

1 If you are overweight, Lose that Weight!

2 If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation!

3 Exercise, Exercise, Exercise It can be low impact or more but get your body moving.

4 Breast feeding has been found to lower your chances of breast cancer.

and I am adding another.

If you are a smoker, please quit smoking. I know that it is hard but for your health and the health of those around you please quit.

I can't Breastfeed but I am working on the first 3 to try to reduce my chances of recurrence.

Good health to us all. Leigh

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"TLC" Wigs, Hats, Headwraps and more for Cancer Patients

Hi Everyone, Sorry I have been out of touch but family medical situations have kept me very busy lately.
I was going over a lot of my breast cancer information and wanted to let everyone know about a booklet the American Cancer Society puts out. It is called "TLC" and it has hats, scarves, wigs, breast inserts for your bra, tank tops and camisoles with pocketed bras, and
pocketed bras.
I loved the lovies my sister got me. They kept my head warm at night and were comfortable to sleep in. I did not wear a wig and it seemed that the only time my head got cold was at night. During the day I was OK going "ala natural".
My husband said I had a great shaped head.
With cold weather on its way, if you are expecting to be going through chemo and no hair, you may want to check out the lovely hats they have.
You can request the catalog from the American Cancer Society website: Even it you do not buy from them, you will get a chance to see what is available and maybe look around your town to see what you can find locally. The booklet can give you some great ideas.
Stay healthy and informed.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Research is Needed for Finding a Cure for Cancer

Cancer does not care if you are rich or poor. Money is not important to cancer cells.

Cancer does not care if you are famous, imfamous, or an everyday person. Look at Ted Kennedy, Farrah Fawcett, Cristine Applegate, and everyone else out there fighting with some form of cancer.

Research is the only way we will ever find a cure for cancer.

You can help, Give to:

The American Cancer Society: As the nation's largest private, not-for-profit source of funds for scientists studying cancer, the American Cancer Society (ACS) focuses its funding on investigator-initiated, peer-reviewed proposals.

Cancer Research Institute : The Cancer Research Institute is the recognized leader in supporting and coordinating the research of immunological approaches to preventing, controlling, or treating cancer.

St Jude Children's Research Hospital: St. Jude is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today's most gifted researchers are able to do science more quickly.
St. Jude researchers are published and cited more often in high impact publications than any other private pediatric oncology research institution in America. St. Jude is a place where many doctors send some of their sickest patients and toughest cases. A place where cutting-edge research and revolutionary discoveries happen every day. We've built America's second-largest health-care charity so the science never stops.

City of Hope: On our park-like campus just northeast of Los Angeles, City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital brings groundbreaking research and compassionate care under one roof. It embodies our mission to deliver the newest, most promising therapies to patients without delay, while creating an environment that encourages open collaboration between physicians, caregivers and clinical researchers. City of Hope includes the Beckman Research Institute.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure : The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Awards More Than $45 Million to Breast Cancer Research

Each of these organizations does fantastic work in cancer research and there are more out there.
Please Help

Good Health and a good week to all,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What to Eat During Cancer Treatment

I was on the American Cancer Society web site today doing some research and I came across this great book for anyone going through cancer treatment. I wish I had known about it when I was going through chemo. I am going to order a copy to send to my sister-in-law. She was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I have been visiting her the last two week, that is why I have been out of touch.

(This is a small synopsis of the book.)

If you or someone you care about is going through cancer treatment or experiencing other health problems that make eating difficult, this cookbook will make life a whole lot easier. Inside you will find 100 fast, flavorful recipes, all organized by side effects, including recipes to deal with nausea, diarrhea, constipation, sore mouth, difficulty swallowing, taste alterations, and unintentional weight loss.

Includes 6 special bonus sections, including advice for the caregiver, tips to make eating out easier, a kitchen staples list, advice on avoiding weight gain during treatment and tips on assembling a take-along food "survival kit", as well as a helpful list of organizations that provide information on nutrition and cancer.

The book sells for $19.95 and looks like it will be well worth the money. This price includes the shipping to domestic addresses. Makes it even a better buy.
I am putting in a link to the direct order page.

Take advantage of this and I hope it will help you get through the rough times during chemo treatment.

Good health to us all,


anyone interested in Vintage Cookbooks, I have a bunch for sell in my eBay store,

Decor, Glass and Home. The money goes to help pay my medical bills from my breast cancer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Update to 7-19 blog about ALS and VA Benefits

In my blog of 7-19-09 I wrote about an article in Dear Abby from Fred Campbell about changes in the VA benefits for veterans who died of ALS.

Today Dear Abby had a new letter from Fred Campbell saying more than 2,000 emails and many letters and phone calls have been generated since Dear Abby's article came out on 7-18-09. Fred says that he is worried that it may take him too long to respond to all the inquires he has received so he is asking for her help by letting everyone know that if their veteran husband died of ALS, they should call the Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000. This will get them to their nearest VA regional office. They should ask to speak with a service officer about their ALS claim for COMPENSATION, not pension. This will expedite the claim process.

If you read my blog from 7-19 and contacted Fred or gave the information to a loved one or friend, PLEASE give them this information to help expedite their claim.

Good health to us all.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

German Cancer Clinics, are they better than the US.

Farrah Fawcett and so many others have gone to Germany for Alternative cancer treatments that are not allowed in the United States. You wonder what they have found out that the doctors do not know about here or is it a situation that the FDA just won't approve the treatments. If someone has been diagnosed with terminal cancer shouldn't they have the opportunity to try anything to stay alive? Why are the cancer treatments here so expensive comparably to other countries? Why don't the pharmaceutical companies want to promote more natural healing remedies? Is it just because they may lose a little money? There have been reports lately about an inexpensive medication that helps colon cancer patients, an Aspirin. A report on grapefruit juice increasing the results from one medication (rapamycin) to reduce tumors. Maybe there is more that Mother Nature can do to help cancer patients than the Medical community is letting us know. I read the German Cancer Breakthrough Report and found it very informative. Maybe you will to:

The German Cancer Breakthrough Report

Good Health to us all,


Friday, July 24, 2009

WoodWorking Books and Back issues of Magazines in my eBay Store.

Just a quick note today to let any woodworkers out there know that I have some great woodworking books and back issues of magazines in my eBay store. Most of these books are like new. Some were never opened. My father-in-law was an avid woodworker and loved to order books. There were many that had never been looked at more than once before he passed away from cancer. Woodturning, Carving, Furniture, Minitures; he collected them all. I have more back issues of magazines being listed this weekend but right now I have Chip-Chats and Woodturning listed.

Go to: Decor-Glass-and-Home and see them all.

I really appreciate all the help and hope everyone enjoys their purchases.

I also have some great gardening books available.

Good health to us all, Leigh

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lou Gehrig's Disease, VA Benefits, Widow's Benefit

I know my column is about my cancer and cancer information but I like to read Dear Abby everyday. This has helped me find out some great information for family and friends. Including the Heart Kit for Women and more.

In a recent column I found out some information that I feel should be out there for everyone who is a veteran or veteran's widow/widower. Anyone who knows of anyone in this situation should also pass on this information.

This information was sent in by Fred Campbell, EX-POW and Chairman of VA outreach for American Ex-Prisoners of War who wanted to alert all veterans (not just former POWs) of a recent VA ruling.

On Sept 23 2008, Lou Gehrig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was made a presumptive condition for all veterans who served in our armed forces for at least 90 days.

This means that the widows of those veterans who died of Lou Gehrig's disease in years past are eligible for the VA widows' monthly benefit, which is very substantial.

Many people are not aware that a veteran's death due to this disease is now considered service-connected. Fred states in his letter that he helped on one claim that involved an ALS death 46 years ago, in 1963.

Fred Campbell can be contacted at 3312 Chatterton Drive, San Angelo, TX 76904 and can be e-mailed at

I will continue to read Dear Abby and pass along anything I feel is of help.

Good Health and Happiness to all

Please check out my eBay site for more great items for sale to help me pay my medical bills.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Patient Privacy is Disregarded and Abused by the Media, RE: Maura Tierney

More and More Celebrities are having their Medical Privacy invaded by the Media. Freedom of the Press is good but what happened to Decency. Just because someone is an actor or actress, or person of notority or fame, this should not give the media open season.

The new series "Parenthood" production was put on hold due to an actors medical condition. Maura Tierney, of "ER" fame, is one of the actors in the new series

In a media release by NBC over the weekend about the 'Parenthood" delay, NBC cited a "medical evaluation that valued cast member Maura Tierney is undergoing". Maybe the media experts at NBC need to think about the repercussions of their statements.

This "caused confusion and undue alarm about my health," Ms Tierney said, which lead to her going public about her condition.

She is recovering from surgery to remove a breast tumor. Maura said, in a statement to, that she would not know the exact diagnosis or course of treatment until after the surgery.

The need for Media Sensationalism by the Studio, and Newspapers, and all media, caused additional strain when none was needed. Going through the Unknown and waiting for the results from the surgery is stressful enough.

We hope and pray that Ms Tierney's results are benign. And if they are not we hope and pray that the media will have the decency to let her tell us when she is ready.

Farrah Fawcett said she came out and told the public herself so that the media would not have a field day with her illness and she could do it on her terms.

Anyone, going through cancer or any illness, has the right to tell family, friends, and if they want to, the public, on their terms. The media should not be making that decision for them.

Best wishes to Maura and her family. We hope for the best results.


Monday, July 13, 2009

After Chemo, Long or Short Hair, What to Do?

I have been trying to figure out what to do with my hair. Do I keep it cut short or grow it back to shoulder length. I have always had long hair as you can see from my before picture. I wasn't terribly bad looking with a bald head but I do not think I would want to keep that look. My hair has grown back in and is starting to get long enough to be cut (I did have it trimmed but was not happy with the way it was cut).

A while back there was a letter sent to "Dear Abby" from a young lady talked about how her aunt had just gone through chemo and lost her hair but it had grown back. Her aunt was keeping her hair cut short but she had always had long hair and the niece thought she should let it grow back long again. The niece could not understand why the woman did not want to grow it back long again.

Let me try to explain some of my feelings on the subject.

I always loved my long hair. I did not have to get it cut all the time and I could wash and hang dry. I did not like having to blow dry my hair because it was very thick and took a long time to blow dry so if I had to go out somewhere immediately that could be a problem. I color my hair. I have had a lot of gray in my hair since I was 20 years of age. So I color my hair. With long hair I could go longer between colorings. The roots did not show as much. But because my hair was thick sometimes (especially if I put my hair in a ponytail) I would get headaches from my hair.(This was especially true when my hair was down to my waist, the older I got the shorter my hair got until it was just shoulder length) Those are my pros and cons on long hair.

I wore no wigs during my chemo and except when my head was cold, no scarves. I did have two hats I wore during the summer to keep the sun off the top of my head. I did not mind being bald, easy shampoo and dry, no coloring etc.

I thought short hair might work out OK but I came to find you have to get it cut more often to keep a nice clean look. You have to color it more often because the roots show more. I do like the quick dry and style. My biggest problem is finding someone who can cut my hair to where I like the look. I guess I had long hair so long that I do not know what short look is right for me. I do not go for the spiked look. I like having the tops of my ears covered. I just don't know.

Part of the Problem is the awkward stages the hair goes through while you are letting it grow long. Plus the texture of my hair has changed and it may not lie the same on my head.

I also hesitate letting my hair grow long again because what if I have to have more chemo. Hair gone again. Less traumatic if the hair is short, I think. I did not get real upset when we cut my hair short when I started chemo. We sort of made a party of it. But, I do not see that happening if I have to go through all this again.

The niece that inquired about her aunt's hair may want to consider she may be going through the same thing. Maybe she found a short cut that she likes and does not want to go through growing her hair long again. Maybe she is afraid to let it grow long again. Maybe she knows she will have to have some more treatments but has not told everyone else.

The niece should be thankful her aunt is there (and I am sure she is) and enjoy everyday. She said her aunt's hair was so beautiful but I bet if she really thought about it, Her aunt's beauty inside made the hair beautiful.

Well, I guess I will ponder what to do about my mop of hair. Maybe someone knows what short hair style would look good on my puffy (med) round face and give me some hints.

Everyone have a Great Day and Good Health.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Great Items for Sale on eBay to Help pay Cancer Bills

I hope everyone had a Great 4th of July and did not eat too much food or get too much sunburn. (watch that for skin cancer:) Ours was nice and relaxing. We could watch the fireworks put on by the city from our front porch. I want to thank Rebecca in Texas for purchasing the Avon Ivory Bracelet and Earring set I had listed and had mentioned in the blog before. I appreciate all your help.

I have a couple of items to tell you about today that I hope someone will like.

The first is an Abalone Necklace and Earring set. It is new and can be seen HERE

I have more jewelry and estate jewelry

I have some wonderful woodworking books and gardening books available.

One is "101 Weekend Gift Project from Wood" and can be seen HERE

I hope everyone will take a look at my eBay store. click here to see it

All your help is greatly appreciated and I thank everyone for looking.

I am going to have to have my mediport removed as it has come loose and is moving under my skin. It is getting very close to the fold where when you lift your arm and move it up or toward the front the mediport is pinching. Very uncomfortable. (feels like someone is cutting into you with a very sharp knife:(

If anyone else has had this happen please let me know what you had done. Looking for some feedback as to how serious this is and how soon I need to have the surgery done.

Health and Happiness to all Thanks Leigh

Monday, June 29, 2009

Paget Disease of the Nipple: Questions and Answers

I found this fact sheet and wanted to pass the information along to everyone. It has a lot of great information.

Paget Disease of the Nipple: Questions and Answers

Key Points
• Paget disease of the nipple is an uncommon type of cancer that forms in or around the nipple (see Question 1).
• Paget disease of the nipple is almost always associated with an underlying breast cancer (see Questions 1 and 2).
• Scientists do not know exactly what causes Paget disease of the nipple, but two major theories have been suggested for how it develops (see Question 2).
• Symptoms of early-stage disease may include redness or crusting of the nipple skin; symptoms of more advanced disease often include tingling, itching, increased sensitivity, burning, or pain in the nipple (see Question 3).
• Paget disease of the nipple is diagnosed by performing a biopsy (see Question 4).
• Surgery is the usual treatment for Paget disease of the nipple. Additional treatments may be recommended under certain circumstances (see Question 5).
• Many clinical trials for breast cancer are under way (see Question 6).

1. What is Paget disease of the nipple?
Paget disease of the nipple, also called Paget disease of the breast, is an uncommon type of cancer that forms in or around the nipple (1, 2, 3). More than 95 percent of people with Paget disease of the nipple also have underlying breast cancer; however, Paget disease of the nipple accounts for less than 5 percent of all breast cancers (1). For instance, of the 211,240 new cases of breast cancer projected to be diagnosed in 2005, fewer than 11,000 will also involve Paget disease of the nipple (4).

Most patients diagnosed with Paget disease of the nipple are over age 50, but rare cases have been diagnosed in patients in their 20s (1). The average age at diagnosis is 62 for women and 69 for men. The disease is rare among both women and men.

Paget disease of the nipple was named after Sir James Paget, a scientist who noted an association between changes in the appearance of the nipple and underlying breast cancer (1, 5). There are several other unrelated diseases named after Paget, including Paget disease of the bone and Paget disease of the vulva; this fact sheet discusses only Paget disease of the nipple.

2. What are the possible causes of Paget disease of the nipple?

Scientists do not know exactly what causes Paget disease of the nipple, but two major theories have been suggested for how it develops (1, 2). One theory proposes that cancer cells, called Paget cells, break off from a tumor inside the breast and move through the milk ducts to the surface of the nipple, resulting in Paget disease of the nipple. This theory is supported by the fact that more than 97 percent of patients with Paget disease also have underlying invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) (1). DCIS, also called intraductal carcinoma, is a condition in which abnormal cells are present only in the lining of the milk ducts in the breast, and have not invaded surrounding tissue or spread to the lymph nodes. DCIS sometimes becomes invasive breast cancer. Invasive breast cancer is cancer that has spread outside the duct into the breast tissue, and possibly into the lymph nodes under the arm or into other parts of the body.

The other theory suggests that skin cells of the nipple spontaneously become Paget cells. This theory is supported by the rare cases of Paget disease in which there is no underlying breast cancer, and the cases in which the underlying breast cancer is found to be a separate tumor from the Paget disease (1).

3. What are the symptoms of Paget disease of the nipple?

Symptoms of early Paget disease of the nipple include redness and mild scaling and flaking of the nipple skin (1). Early symptoms may cause only mild irritation and may not be enough to prompt a visit to the doctor (3). Improvement in the skin can occur spontaneously, but this should not be taken as a sign that the disease has disappeared. More advanced disease may show more serious destruction of the skin (1). At this stage, the symptoms may include tingling, itching, increased sensitivity, burning, and pain. There may also be discharge from the nipple, and the nipple can appear flattened against the breast (1, 2).

In approximately half of patients with Paget disease of the nipple, a lump or mass in the breast can be felt during physical examination (1). In most cases, Paget disease of the nipple is initially confined to the nipple, later spreading to the areola or other regions of the breast (1, 2). The areola is the circular area of darker skin that surrounds the nipple. Paget disease of the nipple can also be found only on the areola, where it may resemble eczema, a noncancerous itchy red rash (1). Although rare, Paget disease of the nipple can occur in both breasts (2).

4. How is Paget disease of the nipple diagnosed?

If a health care provider suspects Paget disease of the nipple, a biopsy of the nipple skin is performed (1, 2, 3). In a biopsy, the doctor removes a small sample of tissue. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope to see if Paget cells are present. The pathologist may use a technique called immunohistochemistry (staining tissues to identify specific cells) to differentiate Paget cells from other cell types (1). A sample of nipple discharge may also be examined under a microscope for the presence of Paget cells (3).

Because most people with Paget disease of the nipple also have underlying breast cancer, physical examination and mammography (x-ray of the breast) are used to make a complete diagnosis.

5. How is Paget disease of the nipple treated?

Surgery is the most common treatment for Paget disease of the nipple (1, 2, 5).
The specific treatment often depends on the characteristics of the underlying breast cancer.

A modified radical mastectomy may be recommended when invasive cancer or extensive DCIS has been diagnosed (5). In this operation, the surgeon removes the breast, the lining over the chest muscles, and some of the lymph nodes under the arm. In cases where underlying breast cancer is not invasive, the surgeon may perform a simple mastectomy to remove only the breast and the lining over the chest muscles (2, 5).
Alternatively, patients whose disease is confined to the nipple and the surrounding area may undergo breast-conserving surgery or lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy (1, 2, 5). During breast-conserving surgery, the surgeon removes the nipple, areola, and the entire portion of the breast believed to contain the cancer. In most cases, radiation therapy is also used to help prevent recurrence (return of the cancer).

During surgery, particularly modified radical mastectomy, the doctor may perform an axillary node dissection to remove the lymph nodes under the arm (1, 5). The lymph nodes are then examined to see if the cancer has spread to them. In some cases, a sentinel lymph node biopsy may be performed to remove only one or a few lymph nodes. (For more information about sentinel lymph node biopsies, please see National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.44, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: Questions and Answers, at on the Internet.)

Adjuvant treatment (treatment that is given in addition to surgery to prevent the cancer from coming back) may be part of the treatment plan, depending on the type of cancer and whether cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes. Radiation treatment is a common adjuvant therapy for Paget disease of the nipple following breast-conserving surgery. Adjuvant treatment with anticancer drugs or hormone therapies may also be recommended, depending on the extent of the disease and prognostic factors (estimated chance of recovery from the disease or chance that the disease will recur).

6. Are clinical trials (research studies) available?
Where can people get more information about clinical trials?

Yes. The NCI is currently sponsoring many clinical trials for all types of breast cancer. These studies are designed to find new treatments and better ways to use current treatments. As new and improved treatments are found for breast cancer, the treatment options for Paget disease of the nipple will also improve (2, 5).

People interested in taking part in a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. Information about clinical trials is available from the NCI’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) (see below) at 1–800–4–CANCER and in the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies, which can be found at on the Internet. This booklet describes how research studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks. Further information about clinical trials is available at on the NCI’s Web site. The Web site offers detailed information about specific ongoing studies by linking to PDQ®, the NCI’s cancer information database. The CIS also provides information from PDQ.

Selected References
1. Kaelin CM. Paget's Disease. In: Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK, editors. Diseases of the Breast. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004.
2. DeVita,VT Jr., Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, editors. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004.
3. Beers MH, Berkow R, editors. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 17th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck & Company, Inc., 1999.
4. American Cancer Society (2005). Cancer Facts and Figures 2005. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from
5. Marcus E. The management of Paget's disease of the breast. Current Treatment Options in Oncology 2004; 5:153–160.

Related NCI materials and Web pages:
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 2.11, Clinical Trials: Questions and Answers (
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 5.14, Improving Methods for Breast Cancer Detection and Diagnosis (
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.1, Radiation Therapy for Cancer: Questions and Answers (
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.20, Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers (
• Surgery Choices for Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer (
• Understanding Breast Changes: A Health Guide for Women (
• What You Need To Know About™ Breast Cancer (

This fact sheet was reviewed on 6/27/05

Good Health to us all and a Happy 4th of July tomorrow!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Farrah Fawcett Loses her Battle with Cancer

Last Thursday Farrah Fawcett lost her Battle with Cancer. Her death was somewhat over shadowed by the death of Michael Jackson.

Farrahs battle with cancer was made public in 2006. She created a show that followed her on her tireless rounds of treatments from the disease. This story "Farrah's Story" recently was aired on television.

The show showed the up and downs with dealing with chemotherapy, hair loss, depression and the hopes and fears of the unknown future.

Farrah's story also showed the strength she had and the love her family and friends and how they helped give her more strength.

All cancer survivors have to go through the same, whether for a short time or over years. We try to live our lives showing the same strength and appreciate all the love and support we get from our family and friends.

Farrah put it all in front of the TV audience for everyone to see what a deadly word CANCER really is. This helps other people understand and comprehend just how devastating hearing those words "you have cancer" can be and the fight it takes not to let it defeat you. You just keep battling until the end.

Farrah Fawcett fought a brave battle and her story will help others along the way.

Thank you, Farrah, for allowing us to see your strength.

Good health to us all, and say a prayer for Farrah. Leigh

Friday, June 26, 2009

AVON Vintage Ivory Color Bracelet and Earring Set

As many of you know I am selling items in eBay to help pay my medical bills which have accummulated since my diagnosis of Breast Cancer. I have no insurance and did not qualify for the breast cancer/cervical cancer program in my state. My cancer was not diagnoised at the county health department but at my doctor's office which according to the state made it a pre-existing condition thus eliminating my having access to their program. This is why I am resposible for all the bills. But I decided at the time that there was still a lot I had to do with my life and it was worth whatever I needed to do to keep going.

The reason for this little message is that occasionally I will be showcasing an item I have for sale at eBay in my Blog. I have Vintage jewelry, glass, books, clothes and more. I hope you do not mind but I wanted to get some extra exposure for the items. I hope you will look and see if there is anything you might like for yourself or as a gift for someone you know. I appreciate all the help and support I have recieved from my readers and from my eBay customers. Thank you!

FOR SALE! Vintage AVON Ivory Color Bracelet and Earring Set

This set was made in Japan, Exclusively for Avon. I do not know if it is Ivory or Shell. It does not look like plastic. Elastic in the bracelet and Clip Earrings.

You can go to this auction by clicking Here

Thanks again for you help, Leigh

Thursday, June 25, 2009

PARP Inihibitors, Breast Cancer, Years of Research Ahead?

PARP Inhibitors. PARP is short for "poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase," which is used by cancer cells to repair DNA damage, including the damage inflicted by chemotherapy drugs. By blocking the enzyme, researchers aim to further undermine the ability of cancer cells to heal themselves.

Yesterday it was announced that these PARP Inhibitors may be the greatest breakthrough for breast cancer patients since the development of Herceptin in the late 1990's.

According to the investigators in the most recent string of favorable studies almost two-thirds of mutation carriers had a clinical benefit from treatment with olaparib, Johann S. de Bono, MD, PhD, of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, and colleagues reported in the June 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine

I hope they are right. 15% to 20% of all women with breast cancer have the BRCA1/2 mutation. This drug has also shown favorable results in test of women with triple-negative breast cancer (as stated in May at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.)

The agent demonstrated activity in patients with breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.

The following note was attached to one of the articles I found on google. Action Points for Doctors to tell Patients.

Action Points --->
1. Explain to patients that an investigational drug showed activity in tumors that have certain types of genetic mutations.
2.Emphasize that the drug is not yet available.

My one hope is that "The Powers that Be" will allow testing to continue at a rate that approval can be given quickly for this medication to get to the people who need it.
Great Health and Long Life to us all, Leigh

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Fact Sheet from the National Cancer Institute.

I found this Fact Sheet and it answered many question I had not been able to answer before.

Hope you find it as informative as I did.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers

1. What is inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)?

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but very aggressive type of breast cancer in which the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. This type of breast cancer is called "inflammatory" because the breast often looks swollen and red, or "inflamed." IBC accounts for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States (1). It tends to be diagnosed in younger women compared to non-IBC breast cancer. It occurs more frequently and at a younger age in African Americans than in Whites. Like other types of breast cancer, IBC can occur in men, but usually at an older age than in women. Some studies have shown an association between family history of breast cancer and IBC, but more studies are needed to draw firm conclusions (2).

Key Points

• Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare but very aggressive type of breast cancer (see Question 1).
• IBC usually grows rapidly and often spreads to other parts of the body; symptoms include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast (see Questions 2 and 3).
• Treatment for IBC usually starts with chemotherapy, which is generally followed by surgery, radiation, targeted therapy, and/or hormone therapy (see Question 4).
• People with IBC are encouraged to enroll in clinical trials (research studies with people) that explore new treatments (see Question 5).

2. What are the symptoms of IBC?

Symptoms of IBC may include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast, often without a distinct lump in the breast. The redness and warmth are caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin. The skin of the breast may also appear pink,
reddish purple, or bruised. The skin may also have ridges or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange), which is caused by a buildup of fluid and edema
(swelling) in the breast. Other symptoms include heaviness, burning, aching, increase in breast size, tenderness, or a nipple that is inverted (facing inward) (3). These symptoms usually develop quickly—over a period of weeks or months. Swollen lymph nodes may also be present under the arm, above the collarbone, or in both places. However, it is important to note that these symptoms may also be signs of other conditions such as infection, injury, or other types of cancer (1).

3. How is IBC diagnosed?

Diagnosis of IBC is based primarily on the results of a doctor’s clinical examination (1). Biopsy, mammogram, and breast ultrasound are used to confirm the diagnosis. IBC is classified as either stage IIIB or stage IV breast cancer (2). Stage IIIB breast cancers are locally advanced; stage IV breast cancer is cancer that has spread to other organs. IBC tends to grow rapidly, and the physical appearance of the breast of patients with IBC is different from that of patients with other stage III breast cancers. IBC is an especially aggressive, locally advanced breast cancer.
Cancer staging describes the extent or severity of an individual’s cancer. (More information on staging is available in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) fact sheet Staging: Questions and Answers at on the Internet.) Knowing a cancer’s stage helps the doctor develop a treatment plan and estimate prognosis (the likely outcome or course of the disease; the chance of recovery or recurrence).

4. How is IBC treated?

Treatment consisting of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy is used to treat IBC. Patients may also receive supportive care to help manage the side effects of the cancer and its treatment. Chemotherapy (anticancer drugs) is generally the first treatment for patients with IBC, and is called neoadjuvant therapy. Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, which means that it affects cells throughout the body. The purpose of chemotherapy is to control or kill cancer cells, including those that may have spread to other parts of the body.

After chemotherapy, patients with IBC may undergo surgery and radiation therapy to the chest wall. Both radiation and surgery are local treatments that affect only cells in the tumor and the immediately surrounding area. The purpose of surgery is to remove the tumor from the body, while the purpose of radiation therapy is to destroy remaining cancer cells. Surgery to remove the breast (or as much of the breast tissue as possible) is called a mastectomy. Lymph node dissection (removal of the lymph nodes in the underarm area for examination under a microscope) is also done during this surgery.

After initial systemic and local treatment, patients with IBC may receive additional systemic treatments to reduce the risk of recurrence (cancer coming back). Such treatments may include additional chemotherapy, hormonal therapy (treatment that interferes with the effects of the female hormone estrogen, which can promote the growth of breast cancer cells), targeted therapy (such as trastuzumab, also known as Herceptin®), or all three. Trastuzumab is administered to patients whose tumors overexpress the HER–2 tumor protein. More information about Herceptin and the HER–2 protein is available in the NCI fact sheet Herceptin® (Trastuzumab): Questions and Answers, which can be found at on the Internet.

Supportive care is treatment given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer. It prevents or treats as early as possible the symptoms of the disease, side effects caused by treatment of the disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to the disease or its treatment. For example, compression garments may be used to treat lymphedema (swelling caused by excess fluid buildup) resulting from radiation therapy or the removal of lymph nodes. Additionally, meeting with a social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful to those who want to talk about their feelings or discuss their concerns. A social worker can often suggest resources for help with recovery, emotional support, financial aid, transportation, or home care.

5. Are clinical trials (research studies with people) available? Where can people get more information about clinical trials?

Yes. The NCI is sponsoring clinical trials that are designed to find new treatments and better ways to use current treatments. Before any new treatment can be recommended for general use, doctors conduct clinical trials to find out whether the treatment is safe for patients and effective against the disease. Participation in clinical trials is a treatment option for many patients with IBC, and all patients with IBC are encouraged to consider treatment in a clinical trial.

People interested in taking part in a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. Information about clinical trials is available from the NCI’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) (see below) at 1–800–4–CANCER and in the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies, which is available at on the Internet. This booklet describes how research studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks. Further information about clinical trials is available at on the NCI’s Web site. The Web site offers detailed information about specific ongoing studies by linking to PDQ®, the NCI’s comprehensive cancer information database. The CIS also provides information from PDQ.

6. What is the prognosis for patients with IBC?

Prognosis describes the likely course and outcome of a disease—that is, the chance that a patient will recover or have a recurrence. IBC is more likely to have metastasized (spread to other areas of the body) at the time of diagnosis than non-IBC cases (3). As a result, the 5-year survival rate for patients with IBC is between 25 and 50 percent, which is significantly lower than the survival rate for patients with non-IBC breast cancer. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. Statistics cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient because each person’s situation is unique. Patients are encouraged to talk to their doctors about their prognosis given their particular situation.

7. Where can a person find more information about breast cancer and its treatment?

To learn more about IBC, other types of breast cancer, and breast health in general, please refer to the following resources:

• NCI’s Breast Cancer Home Page (
• Breast Cancer (PDQ®): Treatment (
• Understanding Breast Changes: A Health Guide for All Women (
• What You Need To Know About™ Breast Cancer (

Selected References

1. Merajver SD, Sabel MS. Inflammatory breast cancer. In: Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK, editors. Diseases of the Breast. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004.
2. Anderson W, Schairer C, Chen B, Hance K, Levine P. Epidemiology of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Breast Disease 2005; 22:9–23.
3. Chittoor SR, Swain SM. Locally advanced breast cancer: Role of medical oncology. In: Bland KI, Copeland EM, editors. The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases. Vol. 2. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998.

# # #

Related NCI materials and Web pages:
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 2.1, Cancer Information Sources
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 5.32, Staging: Questions and Answers
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.1, Radiation Therapy for Cancer: Questions and Answers ( )
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.2, Biological Therapies for Cancer: Questions and Answers (
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.45, Herceptin® (Trastuzumab): Questions and Answers (
• Chemotherapy and You: Support for People With Cancer (
• Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies

For more help, contact:

NCI’s Cancer Information Service
Telephone (toll-free): 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237)
TTY (toll-free): 1–800–332–8615
LiveHelp® online chat:
This fact sheet was reviewed on 8/29/06

Monday, June 15, 2009

Good Exercise is Important for Cancer Health! Try Golf!

One of the things my doctors told me during my fight with cancer is to try to stay active. They said this would help with depression and muscle aches.

Well, I did not because I felt so bad and was that a mistake. I had no energy, felt washed out, and generally felt like crap. Sorry about the language but that was how I felt.

My sister asked me one day to come out and play some golf with her. She had just had gastric bypass surgery and needed to walk everyday. She hated just walking down the block and she used to play golf occasionally so she thought she could get her exercise that way.

I had never played golf and really did not care to learn but I wanted to support her in any way that I could so I said OK.

Well, I found out something out there on the golf course. It made me feel better to get out of the house and walk around and get some fresh air.

Now I may not be Tiger Woods, but my sister and I both are enjoying getting a little exercise and sunshine. Yes we take our time, drink lots of water and we don't do 18 holes. But who cares, we are having a good time and feeling better.

Since I don't know a lot about golf I decided to check out some of the information on the web and found this great site called and they have some great information. They have the basics for people like me and videos for improving your swing, curing your slice, chip shots and my favorite, getting out of the bunker. The also have information on Golf health, Golf Vacations and Golf Equipment.

I am improving every time we play and I have two ladies joining us this week from my cancer support group. They thought it sounded like lots of fun and wanted to try.

Ladies, whether it is golf, tennis, swimming or just walking around the block, Get out of the House! If you are feeling bad, it will make you feel better. I wear my wide brimmed hat and lots of sunscreen, light weight clothing and get out there and go.

Don't worry about your score, remember it is just a game and HAVE FUN!!!!

Health and Happiness to everyone, Leigh

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Drug Combinations may Raise Risk for Breast Cancer Survivors

An article posted by Marilynn Marchione of the Associated Press on May 31, 2009 gives reference to a Study reported Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla.

The Study, being the largest to look at this issue, found that using some antidepressants can prevent the cancer drug tamoxifen for working properly.

The study states Breast Cancer survivors risk having their disease come back if they use certain antidepressants while also taking the cancer prevention drug tamoxifen. Tomaxifen cuts in half the chances of a breast cancer recurrence. Because hormone pills are not considered safe after breast cancer, many women also take antidepressants for hot flashes caused by tomaxifen. The new study found that using these interfering drugs - including Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft - can virtually wipe out the benefit tamoxifen provides.

Many doctors question the magnitude of harm from combining these medicines. A smaller study did not show this problem.

The Bottom Line is the same: Not all antidepressants pose this problem and women should talk to their doctors about which ones are best for them.

you can read another article on the report: Some Antidepressants May Thwart Tamoxifen's Effect on Breast Cancer here

Take care and stay healthy, Leigh

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, Lifetime TV, Petition

I received the email listed below and thought everyone should read it!!!

As a Breast Cancer Patient who went through a Mastectomy not quite 2 years ago I was shocked to hear what the insurance companies are doing. The thought that I could have been sent home a few hours after having surgery (I did go home the next day) is really scary.

I would never have been able to comprehend and retain the information that was given to me the next day if I had only a couple hours. I would not have been able to check my drains or empty them. I would not have been able to change my bandages. I was barely able to say my name.

Please, Think about all the women in your life, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Best Friends, Co-workers and all women. This Information affects them all. 1 in every 3 women will get Breast Cancer and could be put in this position.

Please Go to the website and follow the instructions listed below:


The U. S. Forum is pleased to pass along the following item from an active member of the Forum Women helping Women. The choice of action is yours of course.

Thank you,Dr. Mary Ann Roldan, U.S. Forum Chairman 2008-2010

It really does only take about 20 seconds, please fill out the form for yourself and the rest of us. K.R. (NM)

Proposed Mastectomy Law Change

(Written by a surgeon);

I'll never forget the look in my patient’s eyes when I had to tell them they had to go home with the drains, new exercises and no breast. I remember begging the doctors to keep these women in the hospital longer, only to hear that they would, but their hands were tied by the insurance companies. So there I sat with my patient giving them the instructions they needed to take care of themselves, knowing full well they didn't grasp half of what I was saying, because the glazed, hopeless, frightened look spoke louder than the quiet 'Thank you' they muttered.

A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.This Mastectomy Bill is in Congress now. It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important. Please take the time and do it really quick!

The Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill is important legislation for all women. Please send this to everyone in your address book. If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times. If you're receiving this, it's because I think you will take the 30 seconds to go to vote on this issue and send it on to others you know who will do the same.

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support.. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name and zip code number.

This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your 20 friends.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ginger Capsules Ease Chemo Nausea

In a study released May 14th by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Ginger helped tame one of the most dreaded side effects of cancer treatments - nausea from chemotherapy.

The federally funded study found people who started taking ginger capsules several days before a chemo infusion had fewer and less severe bouts of nausea afterwards than others who were given dummy capsules.

But this does not apply to ginger ale. Many sodas and cookies contain only flavoring - not real ginger.

The study tested a drug-like ginger root extract and it is not know if people could get the same benefits from ginger teas or the powdered ginger sold as a spice.

Some cancer patients cut treatment short or refuse chemo altogether because of nausea, hurting their chances of beating the disease.

Ginger capsules may offer a cheap, simple way to fight nausea.

Always talk with your doctor before taking anything.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Elizabeth Edwards on the Today Show, reactions.

I was watching the Today Show and Elizabeth Edwards was on talking about her husband's affair and her decision to talk about it. Later that day I was watching another show and an interviewer was discussing her with 2 different ladies and they were saying she should not have done the interview. That it made her look weak. They talked like she should have just left her husband and been done with him.

Elizabeth Edwards and John Edwards have been through a lot together. She has supported him through his campaigns, all the way up to going for the White House. They have lost a child together and instead of falling apart they grew stronger. The Edwards have 2 more children.

Do I condone John Edwards affair with another woman. By no means do I think it was the right thing to do. The fact that Elizabeth Edwards loves her husband and forgives him is a testament to her strength. Meanwhile she has gone through Breast cancer and it is no longer in remission, she has been handed a death sentence but without a date.

Should she take her children and leave her husband? Should she try to make a good family life for them with their father so that when she is gone they will have the support they need?

If Elizabeth Edwards can decide that staying with her husband and having a family together is the right thing for herself and for her children, then who are we to criticize her. If you are not in her shoes, gone through what she is going through, then where do you get off saying anything. As far as her interview she is hoping people will understand her decisions and support them because they are the decisions she has made for herself and her family

I know everyone says that there have been many strides made in combating cancer and everyone should have hope. That is all good and well for someone who does not have cancer to say. Everyday you wonder will it come back and if it does how long will I have to live. How will my family deal with the lose? How will my children overcome the loss of their mother? Will my husband be able to give them the support they will need or will he fall apart? Will family and friends come together at this time to support each other? and so many more questions!

I do not obsess about dying but I would be lying if I did not say that sometimes it crosses my mind.

Every person with cancer has to make decisions that besides affecting themselves also affects the ones they love. Do you have chemo, what about radiation, what if they do not help, what if it comes back and more?

Well, I have had a rant today, I am sorry to seem so dark but I get frustrated with the media sometimes. Maybe it is because I have had so many doctor appointments this week. Just could be mood swing from the femara,(Ha Ha). I am going to go out and smell my roses and take a cup of tea out on the porch and relax. Hope you all have a good afternoon and god bless.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heart Medications and Doctor Checkups, Cardiologist.

Well, I made it to the Cardiologist last week and what a bummer. I had an echo cardiogram done which everyone told me was OK.

While I was getting the echo my husband was talking with the doctor and told him my coughing was worse and we really needed to do something about it. The doctor said I should have called and told him about it and he would have changed my medication. He seemed to forget that I did tell him about it my last visit.

When I went in to talk to the Doctor about getting off the Ace Inhibitors because of the cough side effect he did not want me to go completely off the medicine. He changed me to Diovan, 40mg, once a day and gave me samples to try. He said coughing was not one of the side effects of this medicine. If that is so why didn't he change me to it last time when I told him about the coughing problem.

My husband and I could not seem to get a straight answer about why I needed to stay on the ace inhibitors except that it lowers my chance of getting congestive heart disease later on. I am worried about what they are doing to me now.

The doctor said it will take 2-4 weeks for the old medication to get out of my system and to call him back in 4 week and let him know what is happening with the cough.

I was reading the patient information sheet that was with my samples and guess what the second major side effect of Diovan is: Coughing. According to the sheet the occurrence is less than with the medicine I was on so hopefully my coughing will diminish.

Sometimes it is frustrating going to number of different doctors as one will say one thing and then another will say the opposite.

As a cancer patient it is said that you have a family of doctors: your primary care (the one you go to for colds, flu, etc), your surgeon (biopsies, ultrasounds, surgeries, etc), your oncologist (blood work, chemo, etc), your cardiologist ( heart related problems), and all the other specialist they can come up with.

How is it suppose to be a family of doctors if the doctors do not tell each other what the other is doing? How are you suppose to understand and feel secure when you get conflicting advice?

Well, as you can see I am feeling a little frustrated right now and I have to stop or I will really get upset. And that would raise my blood pressure. Which might not be bad since the #1 side effect of the new medication is low blood pressure. OH WELL!

Good health and god bless to you all, and hang in there if you are going thru what I have been.

Friday, May 8, 2009

"Relay for Life" for the American Cancer Society here Tonight!

Well, we have our local "Relay for Life" for the American Cancer Society here starting tonight. It will run through the evening and finish up tomorrow. I am hoping the weather will be OK even though they are predicting rain and storms. We have had so much rain I wish it would stop and let the ground dry up a little bit. As they are having the Relay for Life on a large Soccer field, I hope it is not too soaked. I will be walking for as long as I can.

The Relay for Life is a major fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. They do so much good work from providing transportation for cancer patients, housing when patients and families must go out of town for consultation or treatment. ACS provides funds for research for many different types of cancers. ACS has helped many people in our communities across this great land.

If you have a Relay for Life coming up in your area I hope you will participate and have a good time while helping so many others.

Good luck to all the participants and our Thanks go out to all the volunteers and organizations that have helped this year and all years past. Good health to all and god bless.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Visiting Cardiologist to get off Ace Inhibitors from Cancer Treatments

Wednesday I go to the Cardiologist for an Echo cardiogram. I have to talk to him about getting off the Ace Inhibitors as one of the side effects is a cough. A dry hacking cough that after almost 2 years feels worse to me than the reason I started taking them. When you take Herceptin it can effect how your heart pumps blood (the strength of the pumping action). With the combination of a beta blocker and ace inhibitor my cardiologist was able to get my reading back up high enough for me to finish the full treatment (52 weeks) with Herceptin. I finished that two months ago and I really hope that when I see him Wednesday he will be able to take me off the Ace Inhibitors. I had already been taking the beta blockers due to a rise in my pulse rate when I was put on Taxol but I was only given the ace inhibitor last July. When it first started making me cough I thought it might be allergies so I went to the ENT and he gave me a prescription for Singular ($100.00 for 30 days). I tried it but did not make that much difference. My oncologist office had a new doctor start and I was transferred to him. The first time I saw him I told him about the cough and he said it was from the Ace Inhibitor. Telling me it was a common side effect. My surgeon told me the same thing last time I saw him. Well, now the coughing has gotten so bad that to me it is worse than the heart problem. I cough all day long. Anytime I have to talk for any length of time my throat wants to make me cough. You know that tiny little "I have a Hair in my Throat" cough that just won't go away. You suck on throat lozenges, take cough medicine, hot tea, anything to try to make it go away. I have sucked on so many cough drops I have gained 10 pounds in the last 6 months. And menthol drops make it worse. Well, enough complaining, I just plan to get off these and maybe I will quit coughing and will also be able to sleep. Haven't done much of that in the past 9 months because of the cough. If anyone has had this type of problem and has a solution to it please let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.
Good health to you all, Leigh

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hydration, Health Drinks, Energy Drinks and History, Who Knew!

Cancer patients are told that keeping hydrated is one of the most important thing you need for your body. You are told to drink a full glass of water with your medication and when you have chemo because if you are not hydrating these chemicals can become concentrated in your blood and body and become toxic. This is all very true. (I found out the hard way when my toe nail began bleeding and fell off from Taxol toxicity.) The following is a brief history of health drinks and energy drinks that I found very interesting.

Always discuss with your doctor what drinks you can and can not have and how much you can have.

Health Drinks: A History

Ancient Chinese have long believed in the benefits of drinking natural health drinks to improve one’s health disposition. Tea has been drunk for at least 4,000 years. While coffee has been around for centuries. Both have immense benefits for health improvement.

Tea was first discovered in China in 2737 B.C. According to Chinese records, the emperor would only drink water which is boiled to make sure that it was indeed clean. During a trip, a servant boiled water and a dried leaf fell on the boiling water. It turned the water brown but was still served to the emperor. The emperor drank the concoction and found it very refreshing.

Coffee, on the other hand, can be traced as early as the 9th century. Coffee was largely cultivated in Ethiopia. Soon, the Arabs started trading it, bringing it to northern Africa where it was mass-cultivated. After being popular in Africa, it started to enter Indian and European Markets.

Europe and Asia pioneered energy drinks. In 1901, the first energy drink was released in Scotland called Im-Bru. While in Japan, their energy drinks can be traced as early as the 1960s. Although they cite that there were already some attempts in mixing different minerals with water before World War II, they released Lipovitan in early 1960s. South Korea also produced “genki drinks” which were also energy drinks.

In 1929, Lucozade Energy was used as a hospital drink in the United Kingdom. This drink was primarily for helping the speedy recovery of hospital patients. In the 1980s, this drink was commercially released as an energy drink meant to replace lost energy.

The worldwide leading energy drink, Red Bull, was created and marketed by an Austrian entrepreneur. This leading energy drink was created in Europe. It was based on a Thai drink called Krating Daeng, which is also based on Lipovitan. Red Bull entered the United States market in 1997, and currently the dominant brand. It’s approximate market share is as big as 47 percent.

For sports drinks, the first one created was for the purpose of improving the performance of athletes and sports star, was for the Florida Gators. That is why the first product, which was released during 1960s, was called Gatorade. The main purpose of this drink is to provide to lengthen the performance levels and aid hydration of athletes.

As early as 1985, the United States had started to introduce energy drinks. They had the Jolt Cola. While in 1995, PepsiCo launched the Josta. This was the first energy drink made by a leading United States beverage company.

Since then, energy drinks have started to gain fair market share and popularity. More and more companies are taking advantage of such popularity and high demand.

Most people who consume energy drinks are within the range of 13 to 35 years old. Young adult and male drinkers comprise 65 percent of the target market.

Since 2001, the increase of the energy drink market has been increasing by 50 percent every year. Since this market is relatively new, with 20 years under its belt, there is still much hype about it.

More and more people seek out energy drinks and new developments. People are trying to be heath conscious amidst all the pressure of a high and fast paced life. With the demand increasing, there are unlimited possibilities.

We are trying to discover ways in fitting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we can have in just one gulp. Health can be just in one drink.
Maybe soon we will be living in the Real Sci-Fi world where all your vitamins and nutrients are in a pill or water. The question is are we ready to give up the taste of steak, lobster, squash, baked potato with sour cream, chives and bacon bits, or chocolate cake. No, I don't think so! Eat Healthy, Drink Healthy

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There are still Kind and Generous People out there, even in these Hard Times.

Today I received a donation from a wonderful person in Dallas, TX. I wish to thank her for her generosity and to express my feelings of gratitude.

The past almost 2 years have sometimes been a struggle to keep going. The kindness and generosity of wonderful people like this person and the great friends and family I have are what have kept me going.

Due to the loopholes in my state's Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer bill I am not covered. I was diagnosed at a doctor's office and was sent directly to the hospital for a mammogram and then to the surgeons. I did not even know about the program as I had only lived here for 9 months and I had no insurance.

I want to Thank everyone that has helped, from a donation of cash to donation of items to sell on eBay. From food brought over for us to transportation to the doctors. Every little thing that you have done is a "Big Thing" to me and my family. God Bless to you all and Thank You Again. Leigh