All posts tagged: New Mexico

When you have had enough treatment

I have had three entirely different cancers and three different  radiation treatments all within four and a half years. I had to count that twice on my fingers to actually believe it. My first set of radiation treatments was for breast cancer. It was this set of treatments that came back to haunt me this winter. But that is not my focus now. My treatments were at Kaseman’s MD Anderson. I went every day for three weeks at double dose instead of the usual six weeks. I had been  reassured that the results were the same. I had to drive across town. It was like a field trip. I knew that once I got there, I could have a good cup of coffee. They had a Keurig coffee machine. It was a carrot for me, and it worked. I would sign in. Change into a gown. Lock up my wallet. Then I would sit with other patients to wait my turn. This is the part that sticks with me. It was in this room that …

Complications from Breast cancer treatment continues

I am recovering. Surgery was done  on 13 December. It was a surgery to debride an abscess caused by necrotic breast tissue due to radiation. As I said before, it was day surgery at Presbyterian Rust Hospital in Rio Rancho. I have had several surgeries there and always feel safe and well cared for. There was not much in the way of post op pain, so the start of my recovery was good. The scary part, especially with breast surgery, is when you take off the bandage for the first time to see what you have left. It is not like it is  in the movies where you are seen lying in your hospital bed and the doctor gently removes your bandages. He looks at your wound in a reassuring manner and you feel that you will be okay. You are home. Alone. In your bathroom. You have a blue binder holding you in. You also have the addition of a drain that must be managed. The drain is called a Jackson Pratt. It is …

Uterine papillary serous cancer 2018

I became suspicious that there was more to my D&C and biopsy than I was expecting. My GYN Doc called me in to her office a week early to discuss my biopsy results. It was also her day for surgery.  She came up from the OR suite just to talk to me. Bad signs. I like her. She is a petite woman of Asian heritage. Friendly. Personable. Professional. She quickly arrived carrying pictures she had taken during the D&C and a copy of the pathology report. She handed it to me. I read serous cancer. Reconfirmed. No doubt about it. She said she wasn’t familiar with this type of cancer, but I suspect she was playing the discussion forward to the next doctor. I have an appointment with an experienced GYN oncology surgeon on Monday. Uterine papillary serous cancer, UPSC for short, is also called uterine serous cancer and uterine serous adenocarcinoma. Docs and Google will understand if you just say serous cancer. It is a rare subset of endometrial cancer. It is relentlessly aggressive …

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. …

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. …

Ride the rail runner free senior or military

Free Senior Wednesdays are Back! The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is excited to announce that our promotion inviting seniors age 62+ to ride free on Wednesdays is back this summer! From July through September, all Wednesday trains after 8 a.m. will be free for seniors, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to explore locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque using public transportation. How It Works: Every Wednesday during the months of July, August and September, seniors age 62+ can ride any north or southbound train for free after 8 a.m. Just show the onboard Ticket Agent your valid photo ID (must contain your birth date). If you are planning on making a connection to an ABQ RIDE, Santa Fe Trails or Rio Metro bus, ask your Ticket Agent to print out a free bus transfer slip. Learn More Also, if you are retired military or have the VA medical ID you may get a free unrestricted pass for the whole 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 …