The past year allowed us a return to a more normal routine in a lot of ways, and our blogs from 2022 reflect that. Posts about being able to gather for the holidays, get mastectomy tattoos, and having in-person healthcare visits were some of the topics of our top 10 blog posts from last year.
10. I’ll Take a Pass on the Cancer Platitudes, Thanks
“Breathe.” “Just breathe.” If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to do this —while I anxiously waited for my biopsy results, had another round of MRI exams, before and after surgery, throughout the months-long treatment and the years I spent swallowing a daily dose of Tamoxifen — I’d have a down payment for a vacation home in Mexico.
9. Our 10 Most Read 2021 Blogposts
2021 was the year of the patient voice and patient advocacy. Across Canada, we saw patients become more active participants on their healthcare team. Whether due to the current circumstances, because of personal interest, or because of unfortunate situations, patients are increasingly becoming involved in their care. This was also reflected in the blogpost that we published in 2021.
8. The Four Stages of My Stage Four MBC
One night in July 2015, I went to sleep, and everything was fine. When I woke up, it was obvious that everything was not fine. My left breast was swollen, inflamed and painful. I was shocked and worried, but tried not to overreact. Then I started making excuses. Maybe my period was coming. Maybe it was cellulitis. Maybe it was a clogged milk duct. Maybe it was. Maybe it. Maybe…
7. Considering a Mastectomy Tattoo? Here’s What You Need to Know
Following breast cancer surgery, there are a variety of options available to you. You may choose to live flat, have breast reconstruction, get implants, or use breast prostheses. Another option that you may have not considered or known about are mastectomy tattoos.
6. The Mental Health Impacts of a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Experiencing a breast cancer diagnosis is overwhelming and while the overall physical impacts of the disease are well-known, the mental health impacts are often less discussed. The shock of being diagnosed, the fear of recurrence, and the anxiety that comes with living with a breast cancer diagnosis, among other mental health effects, are not considered.
5. Ten Years: On the Unplanned Path of Early-Stage and Late-Stage Breast Cancer
Five years ago, I shared that I made it 5 years out from the day I was told “it’s breast cancer.” 6 months after that, I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I was in the 30% of early-stage breast cancers that eventually becomes metastatic.
4. Your Surviving-Tamoxifen Checklist. All the Things You Didn’t Know You Needed, But Do
Nothing can prepare you for the onslaught of side effects the tiny little hormone-blocking drug Tamoxifen can create in your body and your life. At least that’s how I feel…now. When my oncologist first handed me the five-year prescription for the 10-mg daily dose along with a pamphlet listing 40-odd side effects, I thought differently.
3. Tamoxifen’s One Perk: Not Having My Period
I stopped taking my daily dose of Tamoxifen just shy of the two-year mark. I was supposed to take the hormone blocker for five years but the side effects, including multiple and intense night sweats, hourly hot flashes that left me dripping, zero short-term memory retention, debilitating joint pain, a sandpaper-like vagina and more had become unbearable.
2. “It’s probably nothing.”: Getting Breast Cancer in My 30’s
It all started in July 2021. A drop of bloody nipple discharge led me down the rabbit hole of Google and WebMD which, for once, was actually reassuring – it’s usually harmless. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor the following day who shared the same sentiment – it’s probably nothing, but I will refer you to a breast clinic just in case.
1. The Tamoxifen Ten. How to Combat the Ten Years’ Worth of Wrinkles and Dry Skin Breast Cancer and Tamoxifen Add to Your Face
I’ll never forget the day I looked in the bathroom mirror and saw a face that resembled mine, except that it looked ten years older, staring back at me. And no, it wasn’t the cloudy, moth-eaten Lululemon sweater I only ever took off on laundry day, bad lighting, months-long fatigue or even my emotions playing tricks with my eyes. This was real.