July 9, 2014
Wendy Hazlett, LBBC friend and long-term Silpada Field Development Director of the Northeast Region shares her breast cancer story and why she’s looking forward to LBBC’s Yoga on the Steps: Kansas City for the 2nd year in a row!
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2011. It was through a routine mammogram and I still thank God each day for the expertise of my radiologist! I never thought “why me?”, but instead jumped right in to “beat this”. We had been thoughtfully watching a lump on my left breast throughout the years, so when the mammogram came back saying that I had cancer in my right breast and my surgeon recommended double mastectomies, I followed the recommendation and had a successful surgery in August 2011.
I had my first reconstruction surgery that December – which my body rejected. This caused me to undergo 3 additional surgeries before being able to close this chapter in my life in December 2012.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 3, 2014
If you missed a Living Beyond Breast Cancer community meeting, webinar or other educational event, you can find that program’s podcast and/or presentation on lbbc.org. Learn about the LBBC Event Archive and check out a few podcasts and presentations from recent events.
You had a doctor’s appointment or needed to get treatment. The weather and your distance to the community meeting location made it difficult for you to join us. You had to work through your lunch break. Schedule conflicts happen.
This is why some LBBC programs are recorded, transcribed and posted on our website – so that you can listen to or read them when your schedule permits. Our LBBC Event Archive has an extensive listing of podcasts, presentations and/or transcripts of events from 2010-present.
Check out some of our recent podcasts and presentations: Read the rest of this entry »
June 20, 2014
Tiffany Mannino is back sharing another ‘Dear Lola’ journal entry with us; letters penned to her future daughter about her breast cancer experience. This time she shares her thoughts and feelings about being halfway through her chemotherapy treatment…
April 19, 2010
I know it has been quite a long time since I’ve written. Although I have thought about you every single day, the truth is, I have not wanted to share with you how I’ve been feeling. I always envisioned that what I would write to you would inspire and uplift you as I am a firm believer in finding the positive in every situation. Truthfully, I’m having an incredibly difficult time finding the light in the midst of darkness at the moment as I’m going through such a challenging time in my life.
The last time I wrote to you was on the eve of my first chemo treatment. I was filled with great anxiety and anticipation. Well, now I should be celebrating because I’ve reached a milestone…my halfway mark. It has been eight weeks, and I have completed four of my eight treatments. Although I’m thrilled to be halfway done, I’ll admit, that doesn’t replace the dread I feel that I still have four more! I’m not going to sugarcoat it, chemo totally sucks!
Going through chemo for me has hands-down been the most difficult part of the breast cancer journey and truthfully, the hardest thing I thing I’ve ever faced. Each treatment has brought on a different set of challenges to face.
The first treatment made me violently ill to the point I was practically vomiting up my intestines. I remember lying in bed at 3 o’clock in the morning writhing and crying out to my mom, begging her to make it stop. In between tears, I pleaded with God to take away my pain. At that moment, my mother wrapped her entire body around me and with tears in her eyes, just held me like a baby. It is amazing to me as a 36 year old adult, how much I wanted and needed my mother as if I were a little child once again. In that moment, I realized that we never, ever outgrow our mothers and the need for their love and care. Read the rest of this entry »
June 18, 2014
An unfortunate concern you may have if you hear the words, “you have breast cancer,” is paying for treatment. Emily Kitchen, manager of external affairs of the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation, wrote this post to provide you with helpful information to overcome the financial hurdles of this diagnosis. Get more information by tweeting with us and Ms. Kitchen on June 25 for our Twitter chat, #LBBCchat: Coping With the Financial Impact of Breast Cancer.
You just found out you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. You’re worried about your treatment, your family and friends. The last thing that you should be stressed about is how you will be able to afford your treatment. As one of our patients mentioned to me, the hardest part about cancer shouldn’t be how to afford it. However, with more and more underinsured people, this is becoming a harsh reality. Many will not even find out how much their treatment will cost until they arrive at the pharmacy to pick up their prescription. Those who can’t afford their treatments are often unable to continue therapy or medicine regularly or end up refraining from seeking care all together.
This is where organizations like the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation, Triage Cancer and local institutions like Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia can help. PAN offers help and hope to people with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by providing copayment assistance to those for whom cost limits access to breakthrough medical treatments. For instance, PAN can provide $7,500 a year to a patient with metastatic breast cancer. Read the rest of this entry »
June 5, 2014
Regular LBBC guest blogger Randi Rentz is back! Today she’s tackling a topic we as a society consider rather taboo but while going through her treatment she found it became quite necessary to address the issue with her oncologist…
What ever happened to the old saying “in by 9, out by 5”? For me, after my cancer surgery and treatment it was “in at 9 out IN out IN out IN by 5” if I was lucky. There is nothing – absolutely nothing like being constipated after surgical procedures and treatment. Not only did I experience being “stopped-up” … as in non-functioning, total shut down, zippo, but one of the unpleasant side effects of my Taxotere treatment was colitis, an inflammatory process in the bowels resulting in diarrhea-diarrhea-diarrhea. Oy vey is mere. My plumbing problems were ever wretched. Read the rest of this entry »
May 28, 2014
LBBC’s newest guest blogger Kate Crawford is only 28 yet she has experienced many of life’s hardships, including a HER2+ metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Today she shares her story about how her diagnosis helped her realize her health is just as much of a priority as the health of her family…
My quest of Motherhood was not so easily sought after. My first daughter passed away from a rare congenital mix of defects. The miscarriage to follow her death devastated me. I vowed not to try again until I became pregnant with my now 5 year old twin girls. My twins arrived 6 weeks early, both staying in the newborn intensive care unit for two weeks. I welcomed every cry, every fit, every middle-of-the-night feeding, every poopy blowout and every spit of vomit on my shirt. Motherhood was meant for me.
When my husband and I decided to try again, we were met with an even rarer pregnancy complication that threatened the life of my unborn son. The thought of loosing yet another child consumed my every thought. My uterus erupted in the middle of the night, 4 and a half years ago, and our son needed life saving measures to survive his almost 8 week early arrival. He stayed in the hospital for over 2 months and at almost 3 had the articulation of a 12 month old and could barely walk but he was one thing: a fighter. Read the rest of this entry »