All posts tagged: cancer

Look Good Feel Better

There is one good thing about chemotherapy. It is the Look Good Feel Better program. Fun. A time to share. Like Christmas. It is a two-hour appointment with a cosmetologist in a small group of women who have cancer. I had participated in a program five years ago when I was in radiation treatment for breast cancer. That appointment was at MD Anderson on Indian School near Kaseman. This session was at the Rust Cancer Center and was equally as good as the one five years ago. We are each given a cosmetic bag full of cosmetics that matches our skin tones. The bags come sealed and ready for us. At our places we each have a mirror and cosmetic wipes. Opening the bag is like Christmas. My bag had Chanel powder, lipstick and blush. Clinique foundation, Estee Lauder face cream and eye makeup, IT brow powder and a set of brushes, body lotion and sun screen. Pure joy. Our instructor walks us through the steps of taking care of our face during cancer treatment. …

I am officially Cancer Girl New Mexico

As I was recovering from my hip replacement, my RA doc thought it might be time to try the biologic Actemra. It worked for me before hip issue. It was time to do it again. But, she said, first we needed to check out the change in my uterus that was noted on my hip MRI. She ordered an ultrasound of my uterus that included a vaginal probe (didn’t know they could do it.) Actually, she handed me the probe and told me to put it in. I did it. Results showed a thickened uterus consistent with tamoxifen use. It also showed a mass. Next stop was the GYN doc who thought it was a polyp not cancer since there was no bleeding. Next stop was outpatient surgery of a D&C and biopsy. She was optimistic. The results weren’t good. It is sometimes called Uterine Serous carcinoma, or uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC), or serous adenocarcinoma. It is easily googled just writing serous cancer.My doc said she didn’t know much about this cancer. She referred …

Spring is here and CSN Conference is done

After a few days of  sunny mild days, cold, rainy, cloudy days have replaced them. We need the rain as we always do especially now with trees and bushes waking from their winter slumber. I   planted these tulips last Fall. They are beauties and brighten the gloomy day. Now is time for a little break. Our CSN just completed its 6th Annual Living with and Beyond Cancer Conference. I love this conference and recall when I first attended it as a  two time cancer survivor. For me, it was a port in the storm. Now I feel privileged to be on the planning committee which becomes active in the October before the conference. The conference is a full day. It is for cancer survivors, caregivers and professionals. It is free and it includes breakfast and lunch. Our keynote speaker was Gail Rubin, author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for those Who Don’t Plan to Die. Excellent. Other topics included mind/body health, lymphedema, hospice, medical cannabis, sacredness in healing and more. Join us next year. …

CSN Cancer Support Groups New Mexico

Cancer Support Now’s PEER-FACILITATED SUPPORT GROUPS   For contact information and details on support groups,                                                                     please call the Helpline Telephone: 505-255-0405, toll free 855-955-3500 New groups which have transitioned over from PLTC as of April 2016 are marked with an asterisk,*. 5/2016 Advanced Diagnosis Group * 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 1:00PM NE Heights Blood Cancer Group * For those dealing with a blood or lymphatic cancer 2nd and 4th Tuesday, 1:00-2:30PM North Valley Breast Cancer Group * Every Wednesday 6:00-7:30PM NE Heights Coloring & Creativity * All cancers, survivors and caregivers TBA Friends and Family Writing Together Journaling Support Group for Grief or Anticipatory Grief Every Thursday, 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM UNM Cancer Center Isleta Cancer Education and Support 2nd Tuesday of the month, 10:30-Noon Isleta Health Clinic Late Afternoon Breast Cancer Group Every other Wednesday, 5:00 PM to …

Sandy Ginsburg

Tiny, energetic. Warm eyes and welcoming smile. That is my first impression of Sandy Ginsburg. She is President of Cancer Support Now, a grass roots cancer survivor organization that believes no one has to go through cancer alone whether as a survivor or caregiver, whatever their needs may be. As CSN’s leader she lives this core belief every single day. I met Sandy for a leisurely summer lunch at the Indigo Crow in Corrales. We see each other at board meetings and committee meetings. It was nice to have her all to myself with no distractions. A surprise to me, Sandy was a reporter for many years. She worked for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, based in Washington, D C. She also worked for the Institute for Social Research which is the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In New Mexico, she worked for Dr. Hal Rhodes, chairman of the Political Science Department at UNM. She was involved in establishing …

Childhood leukemia success, a bit of history

Freireich and Frei became unlikely partners when they went to work at the National Cancer Institute in 1955.  They were opposites in personality, but they were miracle workers on the leukemia ward. At that time the death rate for childhood leukemia was 90%.  Children were bleeding to death.  Freireich and Frei were first to do something about the falling levels of platelets in these children. Against resistance, when the NCI’s blood bank refused to give them blood for the necessary transfusions, they sought blood elsewhere. They got the blood, transfused the children and the results were notable. Freireich and Frei  decided that using multiple chemotherapy medications would be more effective than one medication at a time.  Again, they were seriously accused of being cruel to children. They went ahead with their idea. They started using a cocktail of four medications. Children began to survive. Unfortunately, eventually the cancer came back. Next Freireich and Frei decided that they needed to give their chemo cocktail for an entire year. Even though they had been so successful with their innovations, …