Cindy Blondeau of Moosomin, Saskatchewan is pleased that the federal government is legalizing marijuana. For this metastatic breast cancer patient, pure CBD oil from this plant works better than any other painkillers that she has tried.
We’ve been talking a lot lately about side effects and ways to manage or cope with the many symptoms of cancer treatment. But what we haven’t talked about in all of these posts is how cannabis (or marijuana) can be used to help with your side effects. We thought it best to dedicate a blog post entirely on cannabis to help you better understand how it may help relieve your symptoms and how it’s regulated in Canada.
“Go UP the stairs. Slide DOWN the slide. No, Sweetie. Go UP the STAIRS.” She could barely walk, but she was climbing up the slide. Then, and now. Spend ten minutes at a playground, and the appeal of climbing up the face of the slide is undeniable. I am acutely aware of the dangers of falling off the slide, the risks of children bumping into each other. I vaguely remember falling off a slide, decades ago--one of the old, tall ones—before playgrounds had soft surfaces. I like to see everyone going in the same direction. Up the stairs. Down the slide. Nice, orderly, predictable, and safe.
Cancer related fatigue is so much more than just feeling tired from a long, hard day. Your cancer treatment can cause you to experience what feels like full body exhaustion. You’re so exhausted that you can’t get out of bed and no amount of rest will give you back your energy.
When I started getting sick in the late summer of 2011, I was pretty sure I knew what it was. I thought my endometriosis was "acting up." Then my symptoms changed and a Google search convinced me I needed my gall bladder removed. I exaggerate, but the point is that while my disparate symptoms piled up, I was sure there was a simple explanation. Cancer never entered my mind, even when my gynaecologist found a lump in my breast I hadn't noticed.
February 4th marks World Cancer Day, a global event that takes place every year uniting people around the world who are concerned about the fight against cancer. Currently, 8.8 million people die from cancer globally every year and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
Some forms of chemotherapy can affect or cause damage to your nerve endings, most commonly your sensory nerves. Your sensory nerves tell your brain to feel certain sensations such as touch, heat, cold and pain. When these nerves are damaged, you can have difficulty feeling these sensations correctly. It can lead to tingling, burning or numbness in your hands or feet, usually starting with your toes or fingers and gradually moving toward the centre of your body. It can cause debilitating pain, difficulty feeling hot or cold temperatures and can reduce your motor functioning.
If you’re a breast cancer patient who’s experiencing significant depression or anxiety, you’re not alone. Roughly one-quarter of breast cancer patients get help for anxiety or depression during their treatment. There are many reasons a person may feel anxious or depressed because of their cancer diagnosis.
Joint pain is often a side effect of breast cancer medications, especially tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, which people are often prescribed for years. If you happen to be someone who experiences this, you know that it can range from being mildly annoying to having a debilitating effect on your daily life.
Every year clinicians, researchers, patient advocates and industry members head to Texas to share the latest breakthroughs in breast cancer research. It’s a key conference to learn about new treatments or new standards of care for breast cancer patients. Here’s some of the highlights that have the most impact on patient care today:
This year I was honoured to participate as a patient representative on the steering committee of the Canadian Cancer Research Conference hosted by the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance at the beginning of November.
For Naomi Pickersgill, living with metastatic breast cancer and being confronted with her own mortality has been a “roller coaster of emotions.”
If you are receiving radiation, you’ll know that there are often side effects that range from mildly annoying to severely debilitating. The self-care plan outlined by your medical team can help reduce the redness, pain, and irritation that come with radiation dermatitis.
Many women are living longer with ABC. Finding ways to cope with cancer’s various stresses becomes critical to leading satisfying longer lives.
Adriana Capozzi of Bradford, Ontario, was diagnosed in October 2014 with HER2-positive, Stage III breast cancer. She received four months of chemotherapy and one year of Herceptin, along with a bilateral mastectomy and 25 rounds of radiation.
The Canadian Metastatic Breast Cancer Priority Setting Partnership is a group of physicians, patients, and patient family members with the goal of identifying priorities in research by the people most affected by the disease.
I have never been a fan of roller coasters, too much up and down, made me feel sick. Ironically, my life seems to have become a gigantic roller coaster ride!
For Shelley Scott of Winnipeg, a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis in November 2016 had a silver lining.
“It helped me appreciate the moments of my life rather than worrying about what might be, which is kind of a gift,” she says.
She tells the story of two coworkers she knew who planned a big trip for the time when they both were retired. They never made the trip because one of them died.
In August 2016, Erin Richard of Sydney, Nova Scotia was diagnosed with triple negative metastatic breast cancer. She was only 39 years old.
I learned about “timely and equitable access” to oncology drugs at the Canadian Breast Cancer Network's metastatic breast cancer advocacy training in 2013. I was the first in Canada prescribed Perjeta, days after Health Canada approved the drug. My oncologist shared exciting trial results about dual blockade (using two drugs simultaneously against breast cancer). The trastuzumab emtansine (TDM-1) trial had closed days earlier. Another combo was available but it was “back pocket.” The caveat was that it wasn’t funded but my extended health insurance benefits agreed to pay. On route to my first infusion, I penned a sign: BELIEVE. We did. I had dozens of liver and lymph mets and my liver was failing. After two rounds, I had normal liver enzymes and after three, normal tumour markers.