Time for this week’s round-up of the best of the blog posts which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which I’ve wanted to share with you. Don’t forget if you have written a post which you would like readers to see, just leave a comment below.
Let’s start off this week’s round up with an interesting question from Nancy “If you had a crystal ball for 2021, would you take a peek?”
Really interesting post from Lisa on a research study which found major differences in reporting of cancer treatment side effects between patients and their doctors. See also Carolyn on the discordance that happens when when patients and doctors aren’t on the same page.
Lovely tribute from JoAnn to an inspirational teacher.
Dee reflects on waiting.
Jennifer shares 7 tips to help manage your energy during radiation treatment.
A guest post on Ticking Off Breast Cancer from Juliet on why she blogs.
Exciting news as Terri launches her podcast, kicking off with an interview with Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo on the overlying mission for breast reconstruction advocacy.
Medical updates from both Abigail and Maureen.
Connie‘s latest post post is about her solo journey to Michigan and how remembering it now when we can’t travel is helping to get through gray January.
Dr Attai reports on The National Cancer Institute’s recent announcement that they will start tracking breast cancer recurrence.
Congratulations to Barbara who is celebrating 13 years of Let Life Happen.
A motivational post from Cathy on just doing you.
Finally this week, I leave you with some inspiration from Terri Wingham
What if it’s enough to tell the people in our lives that we love them? To say yes to any small experiences that might bring us joy? To do something to brighten someone else’s day? To find one thing each evening to feel grateful for?
Perhaps by focusing on small things, we will replenish our reserves of resilience and gather the energy to work on the bigger things. There is much to be done in our lives and in the world, but we don’t have to do it all today. Maybe today, a small, gentle step towards healing or joy is enough.
Until next week,
Yours with much love and gratitude always
Hello Marie and thank you for sharing a link to my “discordance” post about the gap between what patients are going through vs. how their doctors describe what we’re going through.
I noted in Lisa’s blog post (about a shocking study that found patients frequently report very significant radiation treatment side effects while their doctors describe these same symptoms as “non-existent or very minor”) – a possible reason for this disconnect that wasn’t in the original breast cancer study cited, but was mentioned when researchers were reporting their results during their conference presentation Q&A: patients, Lisa wrote, “may be more comfortable reporting side effects on the researchers’ questionnaires”, rather than “disappointing” their doctors with “complaints”.
This reluctance to “disappoint” or “bother” the doctor is common in other diagnoses (we see this in heart disease care as well). For example, research suggests that over 40% of patients who have a coronary stent implanted afterwards suffer what’s called “stretch pain” due specifically to that invasive angioplasty procedure, often for several days or even weeks. Yet I’ve never heard of a heart patient who has actually been warned in advance about this common, benign and temporary side effect before being discharged home. When I wrote about post-stent chest pain, many of my readers were relieved to hear there was such a thing, but when I asked them what their cardiologists were telling them about this symptom, not one had even asked their doctors about the chest pain.
Until patients (no matter what the medical diagnosis) become less reluctant to tell their physicians about distressing symptoms/side effects of treatment, doctors will continue, as Lisa’s article describes, to be ignorant of the quality of life that their own patients are experiencing.
I’m pretty sure, for example, that if every cardiologist out there heard directly from 40% of their stent patients about this frightening symptom, this awareness would trickle down to the nurses doing discharge planning in hospitals so that stent patients could be routinely reassured in advance.
Take care, dear Marie – and stay safe out there. . . ♥
As always Carolyn, thank you so much for consistently providing such thought-provoking well-researched commentary on healthcare matters.
These were as always filled with the generosity of people who have hope yet have suffered. We have alleviated some of that future suffering this week I hope as we here in the US saw history being made and history being destroyed in a violent outcry based on lies. May we heal ourselves, our families, our friends and those not known to us through peace and love and may the Cancer moonshot take flight again under the aegis of those who built the rocket to orbit our ailing environment and find not only a preventative vaccine but relief for those of us for which it may be too late. May the wind not arrows be at their backs. My post this week is provocative of life as it is with so much on our hearts, it’s easy to not see the bigger picture considering the truth.
Ilene, I’m reminded of an Irish blessing reading your words “May the wind always be at your back” and I’m also reminded of the words of one of my favorite Irish poets, Seamus Heaney – quoted by President Biden, who has roots in Mayo and Louth, and has long vocalized his love for Irish poetry, with Seamus Heaney oft-cited as his favourite Irish poet.
“History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.”