Before I have your heads spinning ala Linda Blair as mine is, I want to extend a warm thanks to the editors at Healthline. They named this blog to their list of best breast cancer blogs. I was honored and shocked to be included on the list in 2012. I am now humbled to learn I was included on the 2013 list. Sending my heartfelt gratitude to the folks at Healthline.
And now, for the head spinning. Just a few things I've read over the past week, each one worthy of a blog post because yes, I do have an opinion on just about everything:
- Losing the word "cancer" to describe certain, well, ummmm, cancers (Like DCIS) to stop overtreatment due to overdiagnosis. (Don't lose the word, just be a bit better at educating us.)
- Discussion and suggestion about how to stop the rampant (my word) insistence for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy in the absence of evidence based reasons for removing a healthy breast. (This included a suggestion about involving insurance companies and I have plenty to say about that..... it's already complicated enough. Can we keep the conversation between the patient and the treatment team? And ditto, on the better educating thing.)
- A commentary written by a doctor about that old familiar question, "Doctor, what would you do if this were your (insert appropriate female relative, i.e. mother, wife, daughter)" and a recollection that my surgeon explained why that was an unfair question before I even asked.
- The stellar writing of Gayle Sulik on the meaning of cancer survivorship. (And I mean STELLAR.)
- An observation that most oncologists avoid using the word "cure" with their patients. (I'm down with that .... again, educate me. And be honest.)
- A rather long paper about the biology of DCIS which relates right back to the first bullet point. (The most telling line? ".....the study of biomarkers for DCIS is still in its infancy")
- Lung cancer screening guidelines and a little guide on the MSKCC website to help us weigh the benefits of screening so we might make the choice that we feel is best for our individual circumstances.
- And, I received a copy of The Truth In Small Doses - Why We're Losing the War on Cancer-- and How to Win It by Clifton Leaf. It was sent to me by the publisher. I've read about 20% of the book and it's EXCELLENT. (It's also very detailed and the beginning of the book is laying a research foundation and I'm getting quite an education.)
Then, of course, I barely scratched the surface with regard to the mental health crisis that exists in the medical system and the stigma of mental illness that permeates much of our society. I only shared the first 48 hours. It was still June at the end of Friday's post. There was another hospitalization and then waves of frustration in the weeks that followed.
No one puts Anne Marie in a state of frustration especially when it comes to the health and wellness of another human being, for any reason. I may not change a damn thing, but I'm not sitting on my hands, watching in silence. Stay.Tuned.