Pink Ribbon Blog

     In this first blog posting of the Pink Ribbon Survivors Network, I have collected my thoughts as to five themes that can explain why we have started this website and our motivation for its success.

        1.)  Online learning certainly represents the future of dissemination of information in our society.  Thus we set out to create three online libraries dedicated to issues of breast cancer survivorship from three separate perspectives:  the survivor, the primary healthcare provider, and the cancer care professional.

        2.)  Our project makes the assumption that interested, educated persons with issues, a mission in mind, or just curiosity, will pursue self-directed education.  In an open society, persons don't want to be given simple answers, but want to learn for themselves.  Our project believes that persons will pursue self-directed education, therefore our task is the organized assembly of three online libraries devoted to these three groups interested in learning more about breast cancer survivorship.

        3.) We have observed that the different cancer care professionals ( doctors, nurses, nurse navigators, and social workers) each maintain separate clinical literature.  This isolates each professional group's observations into separate "information silos," which are not shared for a common goal of serving breast cancer survivors.  Therefore, we have created an inter-disciplinary clinical library of breast cancer survivorship issues by drawing from the literature of these different cancer care professions.  We believe that a "synergy of ideas" will be possible when observations from the perspective of different cancer care disciplines are housed on a single online library resource.  

        4.)  It is clear that an organized breast cancer survivorship library for primary health care providers needs to be available.  We note the increasing complexity of medical and psychosocial issues regarding breast cancer survivorship.  Additionally, we recognize that oncology professionals will be transitioning more care of breast cancer survivors to their primary care colleagues.  Therefore, our goal is to create a concise and comprehensive online survivorship library for the primary health care provider.  Standards of follow up care, and nationally recognized Guidelines will be an important feature of this library.

       5.)  We wish to provide a service to society as professionals and community activitists in a non-profit organization.  We pledge to avoid bias in our information, to prevent commercial interests from influencing our content, and to protect our users  from solicitation.  At a time when women play a central role in individual families and in society in general, we recognize the importance of improving the lives of breast cancer survivors through online education.

       Thank you for being part of this project through your use of this online resource.

Rob Fisher, MD  Co-Founder and  Organizational President, The Pink Ribbon Survivors Network (Rob@PinkRibbonSurvivorsNetwork.org), February, 2013.

          


Healthy Living Practices After Breast Cancer: an upcoming lecture in Denver, Colorado

      Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC.org) will host a live session in Denver on May 19, 2014.  The lecture will feature Claire Petretti Marti, an accomplished Yoga instructor who has developed several programs designed for breast cancer recovery, and Dr. Rob Fisher, MD Medical Oncologist at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, who will speak on Nutritional aspects of breast cancer recovery.

Fertility Issues for Young Women with Breast Cancer

Few issues in Survivorship can be more concerning than potential loss of fertility as a direct result of treatment for breast cancer.  Scan the content of all three of Pink Ribbon Survivors Network's online libraries, and one will find considerable material devoted to this subject.  How this issue affects decision-making for breast cancer therapy is the  topic of a newly published study found in all three of the Pink Ribbon online libraries.

Measuring Healthy Behaviors

    Are you involved and pro-active in your personal health care?  Is your behavior likely to lead to a better outcome for your breast cancer?  

    What are good examples of pro-active, healthy behavior and how is it measured?

What's in a Word?

     Words can be unbelievably powerful, and can result in negative or positive reactions.  I imagine that everyone who has been through treatment for breast cancer can think of a work or two that triggers feelings or memories.  (By the way, you can always let people know what your "naughty" word is-your friends and family will avoid using a word or phrase that causes you distress.  It may not be obvious to them if you don't tell them.)  As an oncology nurse, I have spent many hours awake at night, thinking about the right words to communicate a concept to a particular patient that needs the information to heal and work toward wellness.

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow"

     "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" certainly is embedded in our culture, and I wonder what meaning it carries for a breast cancer survivor?  "Birds fly over the rainbow. Why, oh why can't I???"  

      For women experiencing their breast cancer treatment, I wonder if their "over the rainbow," represents a time when they are finally done with treatments, feeling better, and ready for their future....

      

Saying Thanks to Heroes: "Hope, Honor, Heal."

        This is the true story of Molly.  Molly developed breast cancer while raising two young daughters.  Her grandmother had died of breast cancer in the 1950's before Molly had a chance to meet her.Molly was inspired by those dedicated medical professionals who cared for her when she was going through breast cancer treatment.  She was grateful for the scientific advances that have given her a better chance in her fight against cancer.   From her own treatment and gratitude came a great funding concept.

The Young Survival Coalition: an Organization Rich in Resources

      The Young Survival Coalition (www.YSC.org) is "dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women with breast cancer."  The organization offers education, programs, and connections with other young women survivors who share the common experience of facing breast cancer during their young adult life.

Message to all CEOs of "My Breast Cancer, Inc."

     Do any of you feel as though you are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a large and complex corporation that is your breast cancer?  I spoke with a patient who described her experience in this way, and I wanted to reflect on the concept.  Of course, many of us have no experience in the corporate world and cannot imagine being the CEO of anything.  For those of you who can relate to the metaphor, I offer these thoughts: