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As the New Year arrives, it's a great time to make a new plan for the coming months with a focus on your health and happiness. As a cancer survivor, you're not alone. Nearly 12 million people are living with cancer in the United States, more than 28 million estimated in the world. Early diagnosis and novel treatments, including advancements in clinical research, continue to provide cancer survivors with long and healthy lives.
I reviewed our past year of blog discussions and found five key points to consider as you plan for the coming year ...
My hope is that the Living with Cancer newsletter and blog will continue to add resources, support and knowledge to your lives in the coming year.
Follow me on Twitter @SherylNess1. Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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Enjoyed this post, thanks. I'm only at day +17 and my mind is spinning with how to get back into the swing of life. I'll be sure to incorporate your recommendations and remember the mantra I've kept in mind "one day at a time."
How do we deal with "surviving" without including the family as a whole? Shouldnt "surviving" have a holistic approach?
The Patient Resume: It speaks when you can't.Four gtnreaeions of our family have been patients at Mayo Clinic, and I am the caregiver for two of them. Last month in Lesson #4 of the post I discussed the I created. We used it just last week at St. Mary's ER in Rochester and it still works. Here's why.If you dread the list of questions you must answer each time you go to a medical appointment, the patient resume is for you. Not only does the one page medical history provide the answers to insurance, medication, and allergy questions, it gives the doctor a summary of past ailments, hospitalizations and their results. Bringing a list of questions and current symptoms in your notes allows you to focus on your most pressing concerns.The first time we used the patient resume was during a Mayo Clinic visit. There were multiple symptoms and medical contacts to report. I wasn't sure how to begin so I started summarizing my notes before we left home. The patient resume was the result. The doctor gushed over it and got to the gist of the problem quicker than expected, given the fat medical file we brought with us. The time I'd spent to insure the accuracy of the resume was worth it, and updates were easy to make once the original work had been done.Since then we've kept the patient resume in our wallets and have used it in emergency rooms, at appointments, and with paramedics. Although medical folks are startled when they first see it, they quickly make copies and refer to it
Re John's comment. I, too, have myelofibrosis. I was diagnosed in 2008 and completed a six month treatment of thalidomide and prednisone. My blood counts have stayed stable since then and I am so grateful. This last month, however, I have begun experiencing real pain in my collar bones, front ribs and breast bone and lower bones in my groin area and hips. It seems to have coincided with the cold weather. Does anyone have experience with this or know how to treat it? Advil does reduce the pain. It hurt so much this morning when I woke up that I wanted to cry. I'd be interested in knowing what Dr. Tefferi says to John.
Thank you for all that is available to us thru this blog. I am a blogger and I link to this blog to provide encouragement to my readers. I am also a survivor and the informaion is very very helpful, and encouraging. Thanks again
Sheryl, I just want to thank-you for this newsletter and the work you do to publish it regularly. It is a great resource! My Best to you in 2012.
The five points mentioned are very useful; I think it is very important to include the importance of daily, physical exercise.
When first diagnosed we went to a place in Ca called Restoration Ranch - where I was cleansed thoroughly, put on a vegan diet, infra-red treatments (we even bought a unit to have at home) walk an hour a day (can just be moderately fast - and so far am free of further breast cancer -I had a lumpectomy with no further treatment - no lymph involvement, non estrogen type cancer. I feel wonderful and LOVE life!
i had cancer of the esophagus 2 and a half years ago. removed and all tests so far have been good. i only had the esophageal surgery and declined any chemo or radi. will be 73 in june.THANK THE LORD ,GOOD DOCTORS. HAPPY AND ABLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL.
Thank you so much ,,it really helps me a lot....More power to Mayo Clinic..
I had bladder cancer in 2004. Bladder was removed and was cancer free until July, 2011 when I had oral cancer and major surgery, followed by 33 radiation treatments as a preventive measure. Three weeks after I completed radiation, November, 2011 I have new oral cancer which had just started. More surgery next month. Must keep on plugging along. I have great support from Friends and Family
Hi Camelia: I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction because of a carcinoma ductal infiltrating grade III, estrogen 90% and progesterone 75% positive, her 2 negative. The treatment was 16 chemotherapies as follows 4 of red devil and 12 of taxol, and of course anti-estrogen drugs. After a week of starting the drugs, I presented a severe allergy and the doctor had to stop the drug. Since I am not menopause yet, the doctor suggest other forms to control the problem, aromatosas.I subscribed myself as an oncologist in a serious medical web, so I received daily a lot of information about breast cancer and new drugs, I realized after reading and researching the subject that I am better of this kind of drugs. In addition, the statistics of cancer recurrence without the anti-estrogen drugs are very very low. My advice is don't worry and enjoy life without the dangerous side effects of these drugs.
I had a mastectomy in April 2010 for estrogen sensitive breast cancer. Since that time I have tried taking all of the anti-estrogen drugs prescribed...I am allergic to all of them. Does anyone else have this problem? Are there any other options? Thanks.
I have had cancer two times now. In 2006 I was diagnosed with colon cancer and in February 2011 I was diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer. After liver resection surgery in June I am now cancer free again. I hope it stays that way as all of us do. John there may be financial help for you. There are several groups that help you pay for medication that is either not covered or minimally covered by insurance. Ask your heath care providers. They know who may be able to help you. The chemo meds I was taking were extremely expensive and my insurance did not cover much but I received help from an organizion called "Good Days". They adjusted the cost of the medication to my income. I hope this helps. You hang in there.
I live in Havana, Cuba and read your newsletter regularly. As a breast cancer survivor, I thank you for caring.
Happy New Year!
What about Percoset or a Fentenyl [sic] transdermal patch?
Hello to all. My name is John, and I've recently been diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a rare form of leukemia. I'm scheduled to see Dr. Tefferi at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in February. One of the symptoms of this cancer is bone pain. I think I got mine and someone else's dose of bone pain. I'm trying to find out if anyone knows of a medication that helps relieve this pain. My insurance will not pay for the new drug Jakafi ($7000 per month). All comments welcomed. Wishing each of you a Happy New Year!
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