Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Carcinogen in My Coffee

I feel like this is another step in the plan for Big Brother to take over our lives and regulate us to death. Seriously. Or maybe its just another way for the lawyers to get rich over stupid lawsuits.

There is a lawsuit making its way through the Los Angeles court system that wants companies who make or sell coffee to warn consumers that there is a potential carcinogen created in coffee brewing that could cause cancer. As part of Proposition 65 in 1986, California businesses need to warn customers that there could be a risk involved in consumption or use of a product. So the lawsuit claims that customers need to be warned about coffee consumption. When I first read this article, I asked 'what are they thinking?'

First of all, there are plenty of other things in this world that could cause us cancer - lets start with sunshine, drinking water, inhaling air, eating, and more.

Second, we do not need more regulation that would increase the cost of doing business.

Third, there is no proof that the chemical, Acrylamide, involved is even a carcinogen.

So as someone who has wondered, from time to time second to second, as to why I have been so lucky to get cancer twice, I really do not to waste my time trying to figure out if I drank a 'bad' cup of coffee at some point. I have plenty of other things to worry about - like where is my cell phone or what is that new pain in my back. I don't even live in California and it really just irritates me that money is being wasted on this.

Obviously the lawsuit was filed by someone who is not like me and doesn't have any dependence on their morning cup of joe.

I would seriously like to take the money wasted in this lawsuit and especially the legal fees, be put into something useful, like a cure for cancer.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Giving Back

Or helping yourself while you help others. After going through cancer, or other nasty medical misadventure, you are traumatized, and, as in the words of Arlo Guthrie:

" get injected, inspected, detected, infected, ..."

You do not have fun for many months as you watch your hair fall out, your blood counts go up and down. You also follow your tumor markers more than the stock market, try to figure out how to get rid of your 'chemo pallor', and lighten up any surgical scars. At the end you feel like you have been dragged through a swamp, up a mountain, and under the proverbial bus. 

You spend a lot of time trying to find the rumored "new normal" and crawl around dealing with PTSD. At the end, you are you again but not the same. There is a lot of coping involved and it doesn't end overnight.

Since my second cancer diagnosis I have spent more time trying to cope than I have ever done anything else in my life. One thing that has been very helpful for me, because of all the cancer crap I have had to deal with in my life, has been to give back and help other people who are coping with cancer - or just plain 'giving back'. 

In the past three weeks or so I have been connected with three people who are coping with cancer. They are completely disconnected from each other. But I am trying to help them cope. 

How can I help them? I am not a doctor. I am not a medical person at all and do not claim to have any medical or psych/social training. But I do have experiences to share. Most medical personnel have not been through cancer so they cant talk about it from my side of the street.

I can talk to them and help (I hope) them cope with what they are going through. I can help them find resources to give them more information (instead of listening to Dr Google or reading wikipedia). I am also living proof that someone can live through cancer twice. 

What does all that give me? It gives me the opportunity to stay connected with the cancer community. I can never ignore the fact I had cancer twice and those thoughts never leave my head. By helping others, I get a sense of satisfaction that I am doing something good, something that helps someone else. 

In addition, I am not trying to hide my real feelings about cancer by burying it some place where I don't talk about. I can't hide my cancer feelings so it does me a world of good to use them to help other people.

So if you have cancer, go find help if you need it, or if you can, go help someone else who would benefit. Do some good by giving back.

Monday, January 29, 2018

End Of Life Stuff

No I am not dying. But in the middle of the night I couldn't sleep and my mind wandered off to the best and funniest obituaries that you see shared around the internet. (I have no idea why my mind wandered that direction.) But I was snickering about some of the funniest ones I remember parts of.

But it made me think. I want to write my own obituary. And it will have to be a funny one. Because I want people to laugh about me or at me after I'm gone. And not mourn me sadly. But that should be in a couple of decades (I hope).

So here are some thoughts on what I will include:
  • She was so uncoordinated she could walk into a wall if she wasn't looking.
  • She spent many years abusing her body through ice skating, skiing, hiking, walking, and more to get her body into the sad shape it was later in her life.
  • Though she went through cancer twice, she made an effort to enjoy everything she did
  • Her overwhelming addiction to bacon was prevalent.... But she enjoyed cooking and would never follow a recipe.
  • A early in life bookworm she managed to kill many houseplants but did love gardening
  • She leaves behind her ever 'eye rolling' husband of X years, who put up with her cat fixation and tolerated her cooking.
I could go on with this list but it still needs finesse. I will keep working on it.

My grandmother, for the last 15-20 years of her life, had an 'In Case of Death' envelope. Whenever anything was remembered that would be useful after she was gone was scribbled on a piece of paper and filed in the same 9" x 12" envelope. After she died, we found many duplicates, some mysteries that may never be unraveled, and lots of last wishes. 

Maybe its my age, maybe its my 'oh so fun' medical history that prodded my mind in that direction, but I might need to get organized a bit more in this area.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

I Need A Nap - Or Reasons I Don't Blog

I haven't been blogging (as I promised) because I have been too exhausted. I meant to blog today, yesterday, the day before, and probably the day before that. But when I finally have a chance to sit down and gather my thoughts to blog, I am exhausted and just can't formulate words.

I do need to blog as it helps me destress. But I haven't been able. Maybe I just need a tropical vacation....

Sunday, January 21, 2018

New Breast Cancer Research Found A Factor that Doubles Death Risk

Isn't that a warm fuzzy feeling? Now I want to ask my oncologist if I have this factor. But first let me see if I can explain it. This is the precis:

"Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that the risk of death from breast cancer is twice as high for patients with high heterogeneity of the estrogen receptor within the same tumour as compared to patients with low heterogeneity. The study, which is published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also shows that the higher risk of death over a span of 25 years is independent of other known tumour markers and also holds true for Luminal A breast cancer, a subtype with a generally good prognosis."

Apparently Luminal A breast cancer is a subtype of hormone receptor positive that usually is a good thing. But if your hormone receptor status changes when you develop a metastases or even with in your first tumor (which sometimes happens). 

"Why this is the case, however, is not known, but a possible explanation is that there are tumour cells in one and the same tumour with varying degrees of expression of the estrogen receptor. This is known as intra-tumour heterogeneity."

But some recent research found that patients with high heterogeneity and Luminal A breast cancer, regardless of previous treatment, were found to have double the death risk. 

"Our study shows that patients with high intra-tumour heterogeneity of the estrogen receptor were twice as likely to die up to 25-years after their diagnoses as compared to patients with low heterogeneity," says Linda Lindström, researcher at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet. "And this was independent of whether or not they'd received tamoxifen and of other known tumour markers."
The researchers also discovered that the greater risk of death for patients with high intra-tumour heterogeneity also applied to patients with Luminal A breast cancer, a subtype of estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer that is considered to have a good prognosis."

So what does this all  mean to the average bear breast cancer patient? Me, I'm going to add this to the growing list of things to ask my oncologist. I don't know if I was ever tested to find out about heterogeneity or Luminal A and if I can be now. But I want to find out.

This is a classic case of new research on cancer finding more differences in the different types of cancer. As we have learned, cancer is not one disease but hundreds, or thousands of different diseases. Scientists are slowly unraveling them one step at a time. Sometimes panicking us patients, and sometimes making us feel a little bit better. But the process is way longer than I want.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Early Detection

We do regularly try to detect some cancers early through mammograms, colonoscopies, and PSA tests. I think most of us (meaning the general public) are comfortable with these tests as we age. But what if there was a genetic test available which you could have done regularly, every few years or whatever time frame, to test you for several different cancers before they had a chance to spread.

A new test, CancerSEEK, has been tested on more than 1000 patients and seems very hopeful.

"The CancerSEEK test looks for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer and eight proteins that are often released.

It was trialled on 1,005 patients with cancers in the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, colon, lung or breast that had not yet spread to other tissues.

Overall, the test found 70% of the cancers."

But do we want it? I'm not sure. Yes it would be nice to be able to get to cancer sooner but is it worth the stress and costs? By costs, I do not mean financial (because the earlier a cancer is detected the less it costs to treat) but emotional on the patients.

I know women, who have never had breast cancer, who get very stressed by their annual mammogram and hold their breath until they get the all clear (which is sometimes in the form of a letter sent weeks later). This can be a very bad time for them.

With my medical history, do I really want another pile of stress on me? I'm not sure. Yes cancer sucks but sometimes we just don't want to know what is lying in wait for us. I am very much up in the air on this.

I think this is in the category of 'just because we can, doesn't mean we should'. Medical professionals may think this is the holy grail of cancer detection, but I kind of find it like being micromanaged on my health.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I Am Very Confused

I realize this must be part of the vast conspiracy to keep breast cancer patients confused. Nancy, over at Nancy's Point, blogged about the AJCC’s Updates to the Breast Cancer Staging System, asking if we are confused about it. Well, since I didn't know about the updates (or even who the AJCC is) I was and still am very confused.

Let's start with the AJCC or the American Joint Committee on Cancer. Apparently they are the people who set up cancer staging criteria. They set the original TNM staging system in 1959. TNM means Tumor size, Nodes positive, and Metastases. 

"The panel recognized the need to incorporate biologic factors, such as tumor grade, proliferation rate, estrogen and progesterone receptor expression, human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) expression, and gene expression prognostic panels into the staging system. AJCC levels of evidence and guidelines for all tumor types were followed as much as possible. The panel felt that, to maintain worldwide value, the tumor staging system should remain based on TNM anatomic factors. However, the recognition of the prognostic influence of grade, hormone receptor expression, and HER2 amplification mandated their inclusion into the staging system."

I used to know what stage I am - IIA. Now I can't figure it out. With all this other stuff included. I am very confused. I looked at the American Cancer Society's website for help. And I am even more confused. There is no more little chart that shows what you stage you are. 

So here is my game plan: I will ignore all this new information until I meet with my oncologist sometime next summer and ask her. I feel this is better for more. A little ignorance and confusion will go a long way in reducing my stress. 

Now all of us breast cancer people can have these little conversations:

'What stage are you?'
'IIa, I think.'
'Is that the old staging or the new staging?'
'What new staging?'
'You didn't hear about it?'
All the breast cancer staging changed in 2018. They added all sorts of new information, grade, hormone status, etc'
'Oh, so if I was stage IIb, do you know what new stage I am?'
'No, I don't even know what stage I am. I can't figure  it out. I'm going to ask my oncologist.'
'Crap, let me call my oncologist too.'

But I swear there is a vast conspiracy out there to keep us all confused.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Yesterday was not one of the good days. No, I did not have a health catastrophe. But I had a couple of emotional/stress related catastrophes. To recover I went to the gym and destress by abusing my body on the stationary bike for a while. (Until my phone started ringing and I had to take the call because of other stress issues.)

And other stress happened. But I took a deep breath, had a glass of wine with dinner (a very yummy meal as we got some acorn fed pork from a friend). With dinner I made an apple chutney with cloves and a sweet potato hash. Cooking helps destress me. The fancier the meal the more stressed I am.

I hope today is a better day. I am staying home because of another tiny snow storm. In the meantime, I am sitting up in bed and hanging out with Boots. That should help my stress too. Boots is always relaxed.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Okay I lied

I did say I would blog more often and get back on regular blogging as part of destressing. But it looks like I lied. But I have a good reason.

My husband and I went away for a few days to take a real break. Luckily (if you want to look at it that way) the cell phone coverage was awful so we couldn't get any calls or texts from home.

We needed a break. I got to walk on the beach (okay it was in Maine and was a bit chilly) three times. We did some shopping. We explored. We ate out. We were lazy. We were on the ocean.

It was very nice. Now I can get back to blogging regularly.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Your Brain On Cancer

Once you enter cancerland, your brain takes detours all the time. Where do these detours go? BAD PLACES!

"Is that a zit? No, of course not. Its a tumor. Must be skin cancer."
"A headache? No, a brain tumor. Dead in 3 months."
"Is that a swollen lymph node? Quick, leukemia or lymphoma, which one?"

As you can easily see you brain with cancer goes down the wrong roads. Usually in the middle of the night. Or when your are stuck in traffic by yourself.

You start making little deals with yourself. "I'll wait a month and see if its still a problem. No, a month? No three weeks. Wait, two weeks. Maybe ten days. Do I have any blood work coming up? Maybe that will tell me something."

"Wait, am I a lunatic? Actually thinking like this will turn me into a lunatic!"

The big thing is to learn to control your brain so it doesn't take all the detours. That is the really hard part of living with cancer. Your brain develops a this ability to drive you crazy and lead you into bad places. You need to get it under control so you can keep your sanity and avoid things like depression and anxiety.

Its a lifelong problem. It will never go away.  Such is cancerland.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Running On Empty

Today I am running on empty. If I had any energy, I would be on my way to the gym. I am not moving yet. Well I had some breakfast but am back in bed. I will meet a friend for lunch later today and then possibly drag myself off to the gym after.

I am exhausted.

Maybe I should go to the doctor or something. No wait, I had three appointments on Monday. And I see my rheumatologist next week. I can nap every day between now and then.

These days I am good for about 10 hours a day total. If I lie down each afternoon for a couple of hours, I can then stay up for dinner and go to bed early.

Talk about lack of quality of life.


Ignore everything I just wrote. I am whining. I am tired. Maybe I need a morning nap after 9.5 hours of sleep. Crap.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Until I Drop

Every day that I go out the door (which is not everyday), I go until I drop or that is what it feels like.

Yesterday is an example: three doctor appointments at two different places 45 minutes apart, two stops at stores, one stop at my parents for 15 minutes, and then home. I was so tired by the time I got home, I was barely standing. I took the easy way out and got in bed for the next two hours.

At my last stop, at the podiatrist that I have been going to since last summer, I ran into a friend who worked there. I knew she worked in a medical office but I didn't know she worked in that one. She only works two days a week which explains why I haven't run into her before. When I told her my schedule, she said something to the effect of that I must be exhausted after being out for so long. She knows me.

Today I am still in bed and don't have to go any further than the laundry room and the mailbox. I will enjoy myself. And I might need a nap. I can get exhausted staying home.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Back On The Fitness Bandwagon

Finally, I am back on the fitness bandwagon. This week is my first full week of three days at the gym. Finally. I am excited, but exhausted.

According to my card at the gym, I had an extended absence from October 4 to December 20. I was so excited to go back. But have forced myself to take it easy. With the help of the physical therapist at the gym, I cut back my exercise plan significantly. I cut down on the weight I use, the time I do cardio, and added a number of specific 'knee strengthening' exercises. I also have spent three weeks only going twice a week.

Its killing me.

Every time I leave the gym, I am exhausted. and I come home and lie down for an hour or so to recover. This is more than in the past. I was so tired yesterday when I got home from the gym, I tried to knit while exhausted and ended up having to pull it all out again and start over.

I guess I got out of shape.

This is a big week. First of all its my first week of going to the gym three times as opposed to twice a week for the past three weeks. Second, I have my three month follow up with the surgeon this morning. I just hope he doesn't tell me to slow down

I feel significantly flabbier these days because I spent three months sitting around. This has put me out of shape. With RA and fibromyalgia I can't just push myself like healthy people. I am going to have to take it slow for a while. Maybe in six months I will be back at my old workout routine and not as exhausted as I have been.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Cancer Cure?

No there is not a cancer cure. We need to keep remembering that. We are told by our doctors that there is no evidence of disease or some thing along those lines - which just boils down to "we are not capable of finding it yet". If your doctor tells you that you are cured, please find a new one asap.

In this day and age should there be a new definition of cured of cancer? I'm not sure. I have friends who tell me they are cured. I try to figure out what they are talking about. Seriously, where did this cured business come from? I want to question their position on this but in some ways do not want to know.

"Upon completion of treatment, one of only two scenarios exist. Either all cancer cells are annihilated by surgery, chemo or radiation never to return or some of the little cells escaped and plan to mount a future counteroffensive. The trouble is that technical limitations thwart our ability to measure small volumes of cancer cells. Blood work, imaging like PET scans and CT scans or physical exams are simply too crude at present to predict, always and accurately, whether cancer will recur. And so, like Schrodinger’s cat experiment, a quiet cat placed in an opaque box is assumed to be both alive and dead at the same time. You just don’t know. Likewise, cancer cells after treatment are assumed dead, but we go on testing to discover any signs that the disease may have returned. CT scans. Blood work. Physical exams. Ad nauseum. Only time will tell."

So as good patients we go to our doctors for years and do what they say. But we know we are not cured.

"A couple caveats here. First, we generally observe patients for five years. After that point, for most diseases, the curves are flat, meaning that we anticipate few further cancer deaths. Thus, the doctor’s five-year survival is equivalent to a layperson’s “cure.” So when docs uncomfortably utter the word “cure," it’s usually after five years from diagnosis. At that time, we generally feel confident that the disease is gone. Secondly, these are dry boring statistical models. So we know where the group will plot out. Each individual patient, however, that’s another story.

Early on, we don’t know, with any certainty, who will be cured. That’s where the term “remission” comes in: when there’s no sign of any cancer, but it is still too early to tell. When the clock strikes 12 on the fifth anniversary of your diagnosis, voila, “remission” magically transforms to “cure.” Sort of like a reverse Cinderella moment.

And thirdly, and perhaps most importantly in a time of rapidly evolving treatments, all published data is at least five years out of date because you have to wait that that long to collect the data following the treatment performed. Treatment options change a lot during five years."

Five years out are we cured? No we are not. So we stop going to our doctors and promise to come back if anything changes.

And even though we know all of the above, there are still a few more caveats.

"Finally, outliers exist. Unfortunately, patients with early-stage disease can recur and die and those with late-stage disease can outlive their predicted expiration date."

So what do we do? We are supposed to live life as if we are cured. We are supposed to like our new normal. But we are not cured and at this point have no chance of being cured. We can just  be happy with remission free survival and no evidence of disease. But not a cure.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

More Bacon Bad News

I learned back in 2016 that bacon is not good for fibromyalgia. That was very sad. Now I have learned that bacon, or other processed meats like sausage, can increase your risk of getting breast cancer significantly.

"From an analysis of more than 260,000 women, researchers found that the risk of breast cancer increased by more than a fifth for those who consumed more than 9 grams of processed meats per day, which is the equivalent of around two sausages per week.

However, the team found no link between red meat intake and the risk of breast cancer."

Well that's good news about red meat. But I would rather have bacon than red meat most of the time. And two sausages or three pieces of bacon is all it takes to increase your risk. 

I am mostly unhappy that yes I can get cancer twice and still have to quit eating some of my favorite foods to help prevent another diagnosis. That's not fair. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Another Potential Cure And A Stressor

I do not know if I should be elated or frustrated or what. Here is another potential miracle 'cure' for cancer. No, I am not reading the back pages of some magazine but from a very reputable source. I realize these 'breakthroughs' happen all the time but they do cause stress to us cancer people.

I am not sure how much other people realize the amount of stress the constant barrage of potential news telling us about potential cures - with the supposition that it should be positive and provide hope for us. However, there are two problems with this.

The first one is that not all potential 'cures' ever pan out into something real. Second the amount of time to find out if it will actually work - usually more than a decade.  For people diagnosed with late stage cancer often do not have that long to wait. Think about those facts for a moment.

Its like you are chasing a carrot on a stick that keeps on being pulled away from you. Always just out of reach. And flitting away at the last minute. Eternally unavailable. This is incredibly stressful.

I started following all the breast cancer stuff in 2007, a decade ago. Now I am finally seeing some progress from new breakthroughs which were announced then. That was a long time to wait. The only personal benefit I have seen so far is the announcement that I get to stay on Femara (an aromatase inhibitor for probably ten years total). I have seen some other advancements in radiation given differently and for shorter periods of time.

My attitude is to ignore all these advancements. I like the ideas behind  this advancement. But I can't waste time getting hopeful about this one.

"Esculin is a chemical that naturally occurs in the horse chestnut and is beneficial to circulatory health.

Researcher Dr Jan Grimm said: ‘The possibility of developing a topical application from the gel makes this innovation an attractive potential improvement to current techniques of cancer imaging.’"

That is a very short version of the breakthrough. Use the link above to read more. But for me its another carrot on a stick that is held constantly just past my fingertips. I will ignore it until in 20 years it turns into a real advancement to keep my stress level down.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Life Inside the Bomb Cyclone

All of a sudden the meteorologists are giving us their fancy vocabulary instead of allowing the media to create terms like 'snowmageddon'. So instead of living inside a blizzard (or a snow globe), we are inside the bomb cyclone.

What is it like? Today when I woke up it was not snowing. By 8am it was snowing. The black cat (Evil Kitty) came in with snowflakes on him. I am also watching the barometer (because we have one finally). It was at 29.8 last night, 29.4 this morning, and is already down to 29.3. I am being such a geek.

I did some planning yesterday afternoon. We have been home for days on end. We went out to dinner last week some time. But we also had a snowstorm, house guests, and the holidays. Since then we have been eating leftovers, morning, noon, and night. Last night I suggested we go out to dinner. Which we did. It was nice. I am so sick of my own cooking.

But I digressed. Its snowing like hell right now. The temperature is a balmy 18 degrees. Yesterday was 28. But for a week before that it was around 10 for a high. And Saturday is predicted to be around zero. (Can't wait.)

My plans for the day include catching up on the DVR, knitting, weaving, and reading. I will not leave the house unless I get really motivated. I might make some kind of something out of the last of the left over (damn) lamb from Saturday.  We might even pull out the scrabble game and play for a bit. I will ice my knee for a bit and when my back starts hurting I have my heating pad.

I also do not have any doctor appointments planned until next week. But I do have to make some calls on prescriptions... My insurance company changed mail order prescription provider as of the first of the year and everything is currently a mystery. I also have to make some notes on past and upcoming doctor appointments so I don't lose my mind when I can't remember anything.

So life inside the Bomb Cyclone isn't any more complicated than during any other snow storm. What would I be doing if we weren't having a 'bomb cyclone'? Probably the same thing, except I would not be watching the barometer.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


I think today and tomorrow I will hibernate. Today is supposed to hit 28 degrees, the first time over 20 degrees in over a week so I might go out for a bit. Overdue library books might motivate me. The cats are going out for a bit. Tomorrow we are due to get a foot of snow. We will both be hibernating with the cats. Friday I will go to the gym and have a friend over for tea.

Hibernating is good and bad. The good thing is I don't go out and slip on the ice and snow and I won't get frostbite. On the down side, it does not help my stress levels. Hibernation can mean isolation. Today I am home alone. Tomorrow, I assume with the weather forecast, that my husband will be home as well. We will 'undecorate' the Christmas tree for fun.

Another portion of my self imposed isolation is lack of people to talk to. Yes I talk to my friends on the phone but most of them work. Thus I don't spend a lot of time on the phone during the day.

I do have a therapist to talk to but I actually haven't seen her in months - September to be precise. I had an October appointment but I couldn't drive so I cancelled it. Then I was put on the cancellation list and they would call me regularly to ask if I could come in for a cancellation that day. Unfortunately I still wasn't driving. Finally I got an appointment for December. Then I got a cold so I cancelled it. Now I have an appointment for the end of the month. Maybe I should call today and see if she has any cancellations...

Maybe I will find a new therapist closer to home. Who has more availability. And who clicks with me. I liked my old therapist but she retired. She 'got' me. She had had breast cancer and had psoriatic arthritis so she could understand where I am coming from. Also she was good at cutting through all the bullshit to help me figure things out.

I think I need a new one.

But first I need to get my day started. I have a list of things to do (if I can find the list). I need to learn to cope better so my hibernation doesn't overtake me.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Blogging In The New Year

I have many plans for 2018.

For my health, I hope to have a healthier 2018 than 2017 was. Honestly I do not think I can deal with any more ailments. I hope I can be healthier.

For my blog, I hope to go back to blogging regularly. I started blogging about breast cancer and have continued to blog through the roller coaster of the rest of my health. This all started in 2007, more than ten years ago. While I have been blogging almost every day, in the last few years I might have slowed down a little and skipped a day here and there.

Then last summer, I made the decision, due to travel and other plans, to take my blog off line for a few weeks. While the internet can be a wonderful thing, it can also be stressful and depressing. Many mental health professionals tell people to stay off the internet. So as I would be traveling and would not have access to the internet, I decided just to take a break.

Unfortunately I have not gotten back into regular blogging since. Blogging provides me emotional support. It provides me a way to cope with my feelings and emotions as I deal with my health and other issues. I need to get back to regular blogging to help myself deal with life.

For my stressors, I hope to get back on top of them. I have a couple of significant issues going on in my life that I am not ready to deal with - mostly because they are not resolved. Both are beyond my control. And one of them is not my story to tell so I am not going to blog about it until it is resolved. In the meantime both cause me stress. And I need to work on my coping and get on top of them.

Life with cancer and other medical issues is not easy. I am unique in that my pile of issues is not common. I can find support in many areas but unfortunately not in a single one. This requires me to spread myself thin in coping.

But my goal in 2018 is to blog regularly throughout the year and thus cope better. Here's to a Happy New Year and more blogging!

I Started a New Blog

I started this blog when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Blogging really helped me cope with my cancer and its treatment. Howe...