I wanted to write a blog today about a huge topic that continues to come up for my patients on a regular basis.  That is how to manage work, treatment and survivorship.  I am often asked by patients about FMLA, short term disability, how to afford to pay bills when they are in treatment and can’t work…… and many other issues related to juggling work, cancer, treatment and survivorship.   

I wanted to write a blog today about a huge topic that continues to come up for my patients on a regular basis.  That is how to manage work, treatment and survivorship.  I am often asked by patients about FMLA, short term disability, how to afford to pay bills when they are in treatment and can’t work…… and many other issues related to juggling work, cancer, treatment and survivorship.   Some patients have had the option of using some short or long term disability or FMLA and find that they have many overwhelming feelings, questions and concerns regarding what is available, how to access it and their rights as an employee.  Many professionals, including social workers, want information to be able to address these needs more effectively.   

There are many wonderful resources that can provide insights and information.  They are easily accessed through visiting the Pink Ribbon Survivors Network Resource Directory.  Cancerandcareers.org. is one really helpful resource that you can link to from this site (another is Cancer Legal Resource). You can get accurate information on legal rights for employees, learn the facts about FMLA, and the American Disabilities Act and sign up for seminars.  Experts offer tips on how to speak with your employer, what types of information to share with them and when, as well as tips on effectively managing your emotions and dealing with stress. 

It is great, not only for survivors, but for professionals as well.  In fact, I just participated in a very informative webinar sponsored by their site (and I will receive CEUs for this too). I would highly recommend a visit to our Resource Directory where you can connect with this website and other very helpful sites.  There is a lot of information out there for you to tap into.

Published in Pink Ribbon Blog

If you are a breast cancer survivor, chances are that you got to the Pink Ribbon Survivors Network website by doing an online search. A recent study by the Pew Research Center showed that 72% of internet users looked online for health information and most people started with a search engine such as Google or Yahoo.[i] Breast cancer was the fourth most commonly searched health term on Yahoo in 2010. [ii] However, typing “breast cancer” into a Google search today returns more than 3 million results! How can you know if the information you find is accurate?

Published in Pink Ribbon Blog

A Treatment Summary and Care Plan is a document that details the cancer treatment you or a loved one has received. This includes any surgery, chemotherapy (or other medical therapy) and radiation therapy. This document also lists the diagnosis, stage and any relevant information from pathology reports and may include the number of positive lymph nodes, estrogen receptor status or the tumor cell type.

Published in Pink Ribbon Blog
Friday, 15 March 2013 13:21

Managing Your Emotions

The article, Cancer survivors: Managing your emotions after cancer treatment, was a great summation of what I often hear from cancer survivors when they describe significant emotional issues that come up after treatment.   This article starts by acknowledging that although most patients focus intently on getting through the difficult aspects of their treatment and look forward to finally completing their treatment, many don’t anticipate that they might feel unready for their life after cancer treatment. It lists some of the fears and stressors as well as what you can do to help yourself work through them. For example it addresses the fear of recurrence and gives suggestions of how to cope with these feelings by focusing on taking care of yourself, going to follow up appointments and openly addressing concerns and asking questions as well as ways to openly express your fears with other or in journaling.

Published in Pink Ribbon Blog
Sunday, 10 March 2013 22:00

Turmeric !

      Recently a woman asked a question about taking Turmeric as she was about to start adjuvant (preventative) chemotherapy for breast cancer.  Her therapy included the agents cyclophosphamide (cytoxan) and docetaxel (taxotere).   Just the day before I had read a description of turmeric in The ASCO Post edition of February 15, 2013, written by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD to understand the medical implications of agents and supplements, such as turmeric.  

Published in Pink Ribbon Blog
Friday, 01 March 2013 16:03

Cancer Survivorship: What to Expect

Cancer Survivorship is a distinct but often overlooked part of the cancer journey. It involves physical, emotional, social and spiritual changes. Many survivors report that when treatment is over there are both positive and negative changes in their lives.

Published in Pink Ribbon Blog

Young breast cancer survivors face distinct issues – premature menopause, infertility, and negative psychosocial effects. Understanding these outcomes and quality of life issues as breast cancer patients make decisions about their cancer treatment is important. Young breast cancer survivors must consider the risks of infertility and recurrence in order to manage both physical and psychological symptoms.

Published in Pink Ribbon Blog