Archive for August, 2008

BREAST CANCER CAUCUS: Your Source for News About the Presidential Election and Breast Cancer

A Biden Refresher

Obama's choice for VP is a familiar name for anyone following politics, but the specific health care policies he supports are less familiar. Fortunately, Senator Biden has a long track record, so we can see for ourselves what kind of leader he could be in the fight to eradicate breast cancer.

Every year the National Breast Cancer Coalition selects legislative priorities that will make significant and meaningful progress toward our goal of ending this disease. We then create a Congressional Record of Support, which specifically describes the actions we asked Members of Congress to take on each priority. In some cases, that is a vote, in others it is signing on to a letter or a piece of legislation.

So, how did Senator Biden do?

  • Biden has been a consistent supporter of the Department of Defense peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program.
  • Biden supported the enactment of the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act which- had it passed- would have established a national strategy for investigating the impact of environmental factors on the development of breast cancer; and
  • Biden has consistently supported the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program, which provides Medicaid coverage to low-income, uninsured women screened and diagnosed with breast cancer through a federal program.


In my quest to learn more about Biden, discovering his stance in the fight against Breast Cancer was a pleasant surprise!

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In The Cocktail Lounge: 5th Chemo Treatment Completed

Voluntary poisoning at it's finest.


*  5 treatments downs, 1 more to go! I can hardly wait until the last treatment in mid September!  It will certainly be a celebration.  I will have to continue to go for another six months but will only receive the Herceptin via intravenous (IV) infusion, every 21 days in a 90-minute dosage because of my HER2 positive status.  Herceptin is not chemotherapy therefore does not have the same side effects.  The major side effects are possible heart problems – reduced heart function and congestive heart failure.  Before my treatments started they did a EKG to get a baseline of my heart functions.  Throughout treatment, tests will be conducted to detect any changes to my heart.

* I had Dr. M write me a perscription for the hot flashes that have become increasingly worse over the last few days.  She said that the chemotherapy suppresses ovary functions and as a result kicks in menopause symptoms – hot flashes, absence of menstruation etc.  She said because I'm still young, my ovaries are "robust" therefore menstruation "might," return.  Hope not.

* As usual she checked my finger and toenails for thinning and cracking and disengagement from the nail bed.  Other than the darkening, I'm good.

* I've been having a very odd extremely warm sensation on the top of my right ankle.  I would describe it as if someone sat a coffee cup on top of my ankle.  No pain, just sporadic warmness.  Dr. M, said its an affect to the nerves in that area – of course its from the chemo.

* I asked about taking some supplements – specifically Vitamins A & D to improve bone density as it relates to breast cancer.  She said yes, but it must be after all treatment is completed.  I forgot why.

 * The nurse didn't receive the report from my last EKG to check how my heart was doing, so she asked me to go over to the Nuclear Medicine department where I took the last test back in July to see if they could locate it because she had called and they only had the May test results.  So, I went over to the main hospital, to EKG administration.  They were able to pull it up and said they would fax it over to D. M's office.  The nurse called me later this afternoon to tell me they did the wrong test – should have been an echocardiogram not an EKG so I have to get an echo sometime next week – bummer

* My brother and C helped me kill the time today, which was way cool 😉

* I expect the side effect drama to kick in sometime Sunday night or Monday, so I best enjoy my weekend.  I'm off Monday, so hopefully I won't feel to bad.

* Running tab for cost of care for my breast cancer.  Since diagnosis at the end of March 08, claims totaling $187,000.00 submitted to insurance.  And of course this does not include the treatment on Friday, which is typically $23K – 25K.  I am blessed to be insured.  Hopefully Obama will come through for those less fortunate in regards to healthcare!

Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day

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The DNC is the place to be!

DNC = Democratic National Convention      Place = Denver

I would have loved to be there to hear the speeches and see the people first hand!  My brother is there and just called me to say that he is having a wonderful time.  Michelle Obama's speech was fabulous and has set the bar extremely high for the woman that fills the role of First Lady (although it will be her!), this woman could be President in my opinion.

One of the goals of the convention is to try and bring the Obama supporters and the Clinton supporters together to unify as one in support of Barack, however the media is still trying to focus on the divide.  Case in point, I was watching MSNBC and one of the stories was about the distance and unfriendliness between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  Specifically, that Bill didn't feel that Barack liked him and that Bill is not going to stay in Denver to hear Barack's speech on Thursday night.  This is expected from the Republican Party, I just wish the media will folks will go somewhere and sit down!

Its a blogging frenzy at the DNC!  I've been reading a lot of post from bloggers "live blogging" at the event.  I would so love to get paid to do that!

Bill Clinton is doing remarks this afternoon and VP Nominee Joe Biden will be speaking this evening.  Barack will speak on Thursday!

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After a two year retirement, I've decided to start posting back on my own domain.  I really enjoy my Vox neighbors so I will continue to ready all your post and cross post from to Vox!

For new visitors you can read my old ass archives!

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I love Anthony David's voice!  It reminds me of someone – I just can't pinpoint it at the moment.  He is on India.Arie's label.  The album is Acey Duecy and its pretty good!

In other news…

I fell and busted my ass yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!

Trying to incorporate more exercise in my daily routine – since the Oncologist Nurse told me I needed to walk for 30 minutes each day.  My neighborhood is one huge circle which takes about 20- 30 minutes to walk.  So, my thought was to walk it once a day.  Yesterday evening, C came over and asked if I want to walk. 

We had a pretty good pace going (for me anyway), about 10 minutes in something caused my ankle to twist (we think it was uneven sidewalk and/or one of those spikey balls that fell from a tree) and before you know it, I was on my back with my arms and legs in the air like a roach just sprayed with Raid!  Apparently, as I was going down I tried to break my fall with my hands because my palms were bleeding.  My right knee hit the concrete pretty hard too.

The day after, I can chuckle about it, but when it happened I sat up on the ground and cried like a baby – because the shit HURT LIKE HELL!  A man in a PT Cruiser slowed down, then backed up and asked C, "Is she OK?" Other than a broken spirit, scratched up palms and a bruised ego, I'm doing OK.

Will I walk again?  Well, I thought maybe that was a sign I shouldn't – any excuse will do :)  I skipped the walk today, but I plan to resume tomorrow!

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It’s called “chemo brain”

What is Chemo Brain?

The phrase "chemo brain" has come to be used by cancer survivors to describe changes in memory, attention, concentration, and abilities to perform various mental tasks that are associated with receiving chemotherapy treatments for cancer.    

In medical jargon the effects of chemo brain are referred to as cognitive deficits or declining neuropsychological functioning. In recent years more focus has been placed on this phenomena as a side effect of chemotherapy.

Recent Yahoo Chat

C: I know you went to the store last night, but if you forgot something, let me know and I'll bring it.
or we can just go back to Walmart…or Target

Hopluv: ok, I did forget some stuff
but don't my have thoughts about it together right now

C: oh ok. are you ok
Hopluv: yea I'm ok
I try to remember stuff then I forget and can't remember what I wanted to remember if that makes sense

C: yes it does, and you just made it funny lol

Hopluv:  lol

More on chemo brain

Unfortunately, I've noticed this side effect rearing its ugly head as I've experienced some difficulty remember the simplest things and have a lot of things on the tip of tongue but unable to spit it out.  I've read it gets better after the treatments stop, but the memory won't be restored to what it was before chemotherapy.  Bummer…  so now I'm blind as a bat and can't remember shit!  Great!

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Check it out…

Hot off the press!

I started a group here on Vox.

Hopluv's Breast Cancer Survivor and Support Group

Pass the URL along to anyone you know that might be able to use the site as a resource.

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