We've all done it. We all DO it. We've undoubtedly all been ADMONISHED by at least one good friend. Don't.Do.It.
Something isn't quite right. I can recall a summer afternoon not so long ago when I tripped or slipped or lost my balance. It didn't happen once. It wasn't twice. It was the third time that send me over the edge. In the first place, I'm lucky my wrist didn't snap like a toothpick. Mostly, I was petrified. I was standing and then I was on the ground. No dizziness. No blackout. Nothing. Just standing and then down.
Instinctively, I grabbed the phone to call my "talk me off the ledge" buddy. When she jumped into advocacy mode and started talking brain MRI, I very lovingly assaulted her with a barrage of curses that would have made my very colorful grandmother quite proud. She's a great friend. She knew to back right off and just hand hold. "Ok, so we won't schedule an MRI."
In the next sentence, she began talking about a spa. I want to return to Miraval. I'm more of a sea person, but the mountains in Tucson were captivating and the grounds are serene. Plus, I have visions of that zipline. The conversation began to sound a bit bucket-list-ish and my dear buddy may have heard a change in the tone of my voice. Or, she may have heard me pecking on the keyboard.
"AnneMarie, Get OFF THE INTERNET." Voice slightly louder, "Are you listening to me? There is nothing wrong with you. Shut the laptop RIGHT this second!" I see you all nodding in agreement. You KNOW exactly what I mean.
Enter: Dr. Google.
And suddenly, things begin to get a bit dicey. I use the internet responsibly. Unless I'm having a twitter war, which, incidentally, happened last night and I'm still a bit stunned. Another day. Let's just say that I may **think** I know it all, but I **know** that others know their all, too. I don't impose my will on others and I will never understand how a person can barge into a conversation with a comment and then begin to make remarks that are haughty and utterly ridiculous. I have about as much patience for comments that fly in the face of logic as I have for those splashy headlines.
I'm way off point. And yes, there is a point and it's a rather important point. I was introduced to a new website within the past two weeks. Here is where I would normally go check my email account to nail down exactly when I first learned of the site because minutiae is what I seem to do best these days but I'm refraining/restraining myself.
This is big picture and I'm quite impressed with this big picture and I'm even more impressed by this website. Medivizor. There are endless resources on the internet to find medical information. Used responsibly, the power of the most brilliant minds is at our virtual fingertips. Breast cancer? A quick google search for "breast cancer information" yields 220 MILLION hits in two tenths of a second.
That's GREAT stuff but seriously??? How can anyone be expected to sort through that much information? How much of it is pertinent to my needs? Is it outdated? Is it some crazy blogger with a mushy brain who can't get out of her own way? Is it some researcher at, oh, I don't know, Duke University trying to sell me on some skewed information based upon observations of women treated over twenty years ago? FYI, in medical years..... telling us about what happened 20 years ago in medicine is akin to deciphering the etchings of a caveman. Just sayin'
Step aside, Dr. Google: Enter Medivizor.
I was intrigued and I decided to take it for a test run. Or two. This is a streamlined website that is clean, uncluttered and easy to use. In less than three minutes, I set up a user name associated with my email account. Then, I answered a few questions about my present health condition and how I got here.
I was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer in 2006. I had a bilateral radical mastectomy with reconstruction. I did chemotherapy and I am presently on hormone therapy. I am currently NED. My chemotherapy drugs were cytoxan, methotrexate and fluorouracil. My hormone therapy is femara. I don't take anything else. Except an occasional anxiety medication when, for example, someone tells me that breast cancer treatment is not evidence based, it's "consensus based" or when a medical journal screams that lumpectomy saves lives. (It's the bit of Sicilian blood infused into my veins from my mom... can't help it..... I'll let it go now....)
Obviously, I'm not altogether too concerned with HIPAA having just outed my medical history in this very public space. The point .... Medivizor has MY unique health information. Except they don't know it's ME. They ARE concerned with HIPAA and my privacy (a lesson I might want to learn one day?). They only know my user name and the email address I gave them. What happens next? I receive notifications. THEY troll through the 220 million hits and THEY find the items that are recent and relevant to MY life. It's a personal relationship.
Medivizor and me.
An email notification that there are articles that I may find pertinent directs me to my page where I can read the article. No splashy headlines. Just facts. Medical facts. From real medical journals. I can highlight sections that I find to be of particular interest, make notes on what looks like a post-it and let them know if the article was helpful, or not..... and this is just the beginning.
The site is brand new. There are plans to include matches to clinical trials. Clinical trials save lives. They advance research. Part of how I came to this point in my life is because of my involvement with Love/Avon Army of Women. A quick glance at clinicaltrials.gov tells me there are almost 140,000 trials in every state and in 182 countries. I'm anxious to see the clinical trials function rolled out. Research matters. As an advocate, I like to see what in the pipeline. As a patient with a semi-fried brain, I'd love to see some solution oriented trials nudge my brain back to something just a bit more organized.
I'm impressed. And they've barely scratched the surface. I can see endless possibilities. I've signed up as an "early adopter" and I hope you will consider joining me. This is not just for the breast cancer crowd. As of today, in addition to breast cancer, the invitation is also extended to those dealing with prostate cancer, colorectal cancer or diabetes. Melanoma is right around the corner.
I see my friend, Jean Campbell at No Boobs About It is as delighted as I am with her experience on the Medivizor site. You can read what she has to say, you should read what she has to say. And then, I would say, just do it.....
Click the link and request an invitation. Sit back, relax and watch the information begin to flow. No worries about inundation of information or inbox overflow. They got this. It's measured and controlled and for me, this has a Wow Factor on a scale of one to ten? An eleven. Easily. Eleven.
And did I mention? I'm impressed.
Note to mom: Medivizor has your back, too. I said I took it out for a test run or two. I decided to challenge them with two diagnoses. Stellar. Positively stellar.