I’m a talker. I like to communicate and sometimes, okay often, I’m an over-sharer. I need to know what’s going on and why and in my version of yin and yang, I believe that because I’m an open book everyone else will be too. Except, not so much.
I have been struggling with my body image these last 8 weeks. The funny thing is that it’s not with the two scars I have running across my chest. I have actually adapted well to that change, even with my right scar being lumpy and misshapen. What I have been struggling with is my weight gain thanks to Tamoxifen. Without estrogen, my mid-section is taking on the appearance of a barrel. A barrel made of pudding, with an oatmeal crust! Having always been fit and healthy, I am finding myself disturbed by this body morphing of mine.
I worked during my entire breast cancer treatment. I didn’t want to. I had to. I live alone. I don’t have a husband or boyfriend. I pay my bills on time and by myself. Yes, it was a choice, but it was a horrible one.
Scanxiety may not officially be a real word, but the feelings it brings about are real. Very Well Health defines scanxiety as the term used to “describe the anxiety people with cancer feel while waiting for scans”. Regardless of whether the scans are for diagnostic purposes, monitoring treatment, checking recurrence or as a check-up, individuals can experience apprehension before, during, and while waiting for the results of their scans. The apprehension and fear that is felt can range from feeling claustrophobic in the scan machine to imagining the worst-case scenario of the scan results. Many people experience scanxiety so it is important to learn coping techniques that help eliminate the anxiety.
Breast cancer made my hair thicker. And wavy-er. Not right away obviously. It’s not like it was a special prize I was gifted with to make up for the shock and fear of being diagnosed with breast cancer.
I could cry writing this. Or maybe screaming for five minutes into a pillow so my neighbours don’t hear me would feel better. The walls in my condo aren’t that thick. Either way, my reality’s not changing any time soon. And by reality, I mean my body and the extra weight it has been lugging around since I started taking Tamoxifen a year ago.
In part 1 of our blog series on clinical trials, we explained what clinical trials are, why you should participate in them and how to get more information about participating. You may now be familiar with clinical trials but still hesitant about enrolling in one because of certain concerns that you may have. These concerns are valid as many breast cancer patients have these same concerns. However, some of these concerns about clinical trials are ill-informed. In part 2 of our blog series on clinical trials, we debunk some of the most common myths surrounding clinical trials. We hope that this will provide you with some fact-based information to make a more informed decision about whether or not clinical trials are right for you.
According to a 2014 study by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, less than 7% of adult cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials.1 This may be because many cancer patients are not aware of clinical trials, do not know how to enroll in them or are concerned that they are unsafe. In part one of our blog series on clinical trials, we explain what clinical trials are to provide you with the right tools to decide whether you should enroll in a clinical trial.
When I was five, I fell from the top of the swing set in my backyard and onto my right side, breaking my elbow. Why I was hanging upside down from the top bar unsupervised I don’t know, but it’s safe to say I was copying my older sister and playmates. Even back then I was super competitive. If someone else was doing something I had to prove I could do it too. My stubbornness resulted in a sling and a hot and itchy cast that I wore and endured (not quietly) for the entire summer. The swing-set incident left me with a double-jointed elbow that in later years became a nemesis to my synchronized swimming coaches who would holler at me from the pool deck to straighten and tighten my right arm, which being double-jointed and all was not an easy feat…but more about synchro later.
Like tai chi and qigong, acupuncture is another form of traditional Chinese medicine that has become a popular therapy used in the cancer community for help with side effects.
It’s now 2020! How strange does that sound? 2019 was a busy and impactful year at CBCN. So, we thought we’d look back and see what blogs you, our readers, found to be the most valuable. Here’s the top 10 list of most read blogs on CBCN’s Our Voices.
I remember the shock I experienced when I learned about lymphedema, a chronic condition with no cure that I would be dealing with the rest of my life. I was at a high risk for it as I had stage III Inflammatory Breast Cancer and I had all lymph nodes removed from my left arm pit. Twenty-five rounds of radiation to my chest and upper back also put me at a greater risk.
Over the last few years CBCN has been working to educate patients, physicians and the broader cancer advocacy community about biosimilar therapies. From our curated digital magazine on biosimilars to our recently released white paper Breast Cancer & Biosimilars: Recommendations on Use, Implementation and Patient Communications-CBCN is committed to raising awareness about the use of biosimilar therapies for treating breast cancer.
Tai chi and qigong have long been popular in the cancer community to help with the effects of the disease. This week we look at these two forms of Chinese therapy, their similarities, differences and benefits.
CBCN had the opportunity to join researchers, clinicians, manufacturers and other patients at this annual European conference to learn the latest insights and findings in cancer research. Here’s the research that we found most interesting as breast cancer patients:
Living in a remote community like Labrador City, NL comes with its own challenges. We have one grocery store with very high prices, gas is $1.34/L, and we lack normal everyday amenities such as movie theatres and night clubs. Traveling out of Labrador means a very expensive plane ticket or driving 7-14 hours (depending on which direction you choose) on a partially paved highway that has often been called a cow path in some sections. The most critical challenge, however, is access to adequate healthcare. I experienced this firsthand when I was diagnosed with cancer.
Did you know that accessing treatments for stage IV metastatic breast cancer (mBC) is not universal across Canada? We live in a country that promotes universal health care to all but accessing cancer treatment varies by each province.
So, we could begin like all meeting group sessions do:
— Hi, hello. My name is Rebecca, I'm 37 and I have breast cancer.
— Hello Rebecca.
We could. Yeah.
Rehabilitation is an important aspect when recovering from or living well with breast cancer. Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) are terms we often hear when discussing rehabilitation, but we can sometimes confuse their true meanings.
Self-care during treatment is so important for maintaining not only a good quality of life but your sanity as well. From doctors appointments, to managing the emotional aspects of a breast cancer diagnosis, there’s a lot to juggle. We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Self Care Catalysts and our Health Storylines mobile app.