I’ve got to say, I was damn near having PTSD flashbacks watching this man walk. That’s exactly what shape I was in twenty years ago. You don’t feel the pain as part of the memory, but you just hunch your shoulders, tighten your muscles and hold your breath due to a combination muscle memory and fear… you fear that pain. Once you know it, there’s no joking about it, and the thought of going back there can be absolutely paralyzing.
The pain was so excruciating, it felt like lightning strikes from even the slightest move in the wrong direction. If you put your right hand on your hip, that little dip where your thumb is resting was the point of origin for the pain and it went straight down my leg.
My primary care doctor just kept handing me pills… 40 mg Oxycontin three times a day, which I kept telling them that they weren’t working, but that was the new miracle drug on the scene then so in their opinion it was about finding the right dosage, no matter how high the dosage or how often it was taken because it couldn’t NOT work; it was a miracle after all, right?
I was given Percocet for breakthrough pain (which was incredibly necessary since it was ALL breakthrough pain!) but still mixed with the Oxycontin I was taking. Parkinson’s meds for the restless leg caused by a herniated disc, Klonopin because the pain caused me to be really anxious (go figure) and a host of more pharmaceutical granola, including the 150 mg of Zoloft I was taking twice a day mainly due to the pain meds and my Depo-Provera shots. I didn’t find out about Depo causing extreme depression until 7 years later.
No one thought to look at my neck even though they all knew what had happened to me in an earlier accident and the damage that was done. It’s been twenty years and I’m still dealing with the nerve and muscle damage in my neck and left trapezius muscle. At least now I know if this ever starts up again that the ice pack needs to go on my neck, not on my the back of my hip.
This really reinforces my dislike for allopathic practices, they treat the symptoms, they don’t work towards finding definitive answers regarding causative issues and never work towards curing or helping the body learn to help itself. Holistic approaches, treating the patient instead of the symptom, homeopathic remedies that take so little to do so much with no side effects, addictions, OD’s, etc. Considering the opioid problem we’re having in this country you’d think they’d shy away from things that are addictive or that you can OD from.
My gallbladder went rogue a couple of years ago and became my enemy. It took me a week of pain so severe that I was ready to die. The pain was so severe that it grossly exceeded my natural childbirth. I had a high fever joined with pain meds which caused me to hallucinate or pass out with horrific nightmares – that included feeling the pain from within the events of the nightmare. If it was a choice of staying in the bed to die or going down the mile long gravel road that rattled your teeth loose that would cause even more pain, I was ready to die in that bed.
I finally had a brief window where the pain had subsided so I asked my roommate at the time to take me to the ER where they admitted me immediately. Once the antibiotics started doing their job, the pain subsided as it should have (thank God!) and I didn’t need a whole lot of pain meds. I asked for a couple Tylenol and was instead given a shot of morphine! Why? Because it was easier for the staff. And again, it was over-medicating instead of dealing with the patient (in this case me) to see what’s going on instead of assuming. I finally told them then to mark my chart to say that I am allergic to morphine to keep them from doing it again.
Watching that video, all I could think was how much pain I would have been spared, how much time that Kid wouldn’t have been so neglected as a result, and that still throws shadows on our relationship to this day. How many people could be treated differently, not only with dignity but in partnership with their doctor to actively work together to solve or treat things to achieve the best outcomes for the patients? I have fibromyalgia and talk to anyone who has it and they can tell you about the disrespect and mistreatment and/or lack of treatment that they have had because of it.
This country needs to stop being grabbed by the ______ from the pharmaceutical companies that want us on multiple pills so they make multiple sales, and push for treatment because a cure doesn’t help their bottom line in perpetuity.
We need to be seen as patients, not as symptoms. We’re not a pile of disconnected body parts, we’re all connected, and it means that we shouldn’t be treated as a series of separate body parts. Maybe then we can return quality of live and work on being a healthier country overall.
As little as 40 years ago, it was not considered out of the ordinary for a doctor to treat patients as “less than”, woman especially because we had a society that regarded marriage as ownership. Their voices were ignored and they were treated as though they were mentally damaged and didn’t have the capacity to understand what they were being told, so the husband did the answering and the ordering.
One where the husband was the one making decisions for his wife, rather than what the woman wanted/needed for herself. Going back a little further you had instructions on how to behave for your husband and how he may discipline you. Believe it or not, spanking a wife was somewhat commonplace (and it had nothing to do with 50 Shades, for those wondering.)
My mother and my Great Aunt were both overlooked as their husbands were asked for a medical authorization. Back then a husband could call the doctor and get test results, find out how their office visit went, etc and make decisions for his wife going forward without the slightest bit of input from the one receiving the care.
Another Great Aunt was taken by her husband (because she wasn’t “allowed” to drive, his rules) to the dentist’s office to get a filling in her tooth. Her husband asked what condition the rest of them were in, then with that information told the dentist to remove all of her teeth and give her dentures because he didn’t want to be dumping a bunch of money on his wife’s dental care.
Can you imagine being in the dentists’ chair waiting for your tooth to be drilled, only for the doctor to come over and just started pulling her teeth! She was 25 years old and had absolutely no say in the matter, her husband told him what to do and that was the end of the discussion.
We also used to be a society where doctors weren’t questioned, much less second-guessed because he was seen as the demi-god of treatment and healing. My grandmother wound up with chemical burns and needed skin grafting due to a definite case of malpractice …but you didn’t pursue that back then. (This was when the nurses still wore white.) Frankly, if doctors were all that, there’d be no need for medical insurance.
Thankfully, now we encourage second opinions on major issues or procedures, and especially surgery. You must be your own advocate, no one else will be. Remember that you are not at the mercy of your doctor. He works for you and you pay your premiums to the insurance company so they can pay for your assorted medical needs.
They work for you
I saw the article about this poor woman with the cyst and I flashed back to all those terrible stories. And of course, if a woman appears to be overweight, then she just needs to get off her butt and do some exercise. This is something that would have been seen on a simple office ultrasound, but no, she needed to go on a diet. This woman knew something was wrong with her body, but the doctor dismissed it.
There’s a number of different things that can cause weight gain in a centralized area like that, but he didn’t bother to check for any of those either. Hell, I have a cousin that was used to her weight fluctuating so she just wore bigger baggy clothes. That is until she was in so much pain that she thought she would die and they ran her to the ER only to find out it wasn’t her appendix bursting, it was that her water needed to break since she was in active labor. But the whole time she was being told that she needed to exercise more, that she was getting fat.
The next time you know that something’s wrong with your body and it’s a significant issue and your doctor blows you off, tell him that he needs to prove you wrong, he needs to run the test to see if there is an underlying cause and not just chalking it up to overeating and under-exercising. You have to stand up for yourself, don’t let them “tell you”, have a conversation with them. Ask them why they feel that their diagnosis is the best for describing your current health. Ask if there are any tests that can be done that can confirm or rule out things so you’re not waiting until something gets really bad.
I’m looking at having surgery this fall, my best friend is coming down to go with me to the surgeon’s so he can be my extra eyes and ears. If you’ve got a friend or relative willing to do that for you, great. I also used to carry a 3-ring binder with test results and whatnot in it.
Even now I have a small notebook in my TN that I am writing in regularly. Appointment times & dates, recap the appointment, then I add what comments or questions that I want to address with them on the next visit. Talk to them as peers, not as a subordinate waiting for the crumbs they throw you.
“It’s easier to get free wi-fi than it is to get free water and people act like there’s nothing wrong with the world”. – Fidel Littlelight
Water has turned into a huge commodity. As a former retailer I can tell you that water is one of the most profit bearing items in a store. I used to be able to get cases of water for less than $2 each (making the cost of each bottle roughly 9¢ a piece) and the suggested retail price was 99¢. That’s a heck of a margin huh?
In fact, have you seen a water fountain recently? Probably not. Usually only in schools and hospitals anymore, with an occasional sighting at an office building (leftovers from days gone by). They’re getting harder to find, aren’t they? Now imagine you’re homeless. Where do you get a drink of water?
I understand that even if it’s within your means, many people are not comfortable handing cash to the person with the sign at the intersection and I don’t disagree. Sadly there are scammers out there and there is no way to determine who is legit and who just figure it’s a great way to make a buck.
Shortly after I stopped living in a shelter I was back living with my parents. My mom needed to go for a therapy appointment due to an injury, so I dropped her off and used her truck to go grocery shopping. When I got back, there was a man in the parking lot begging for money from everyone he could find talking about how he, his wife and child were now living on the streets and hungry. When he approached me, I let him know that I had no money but that I had just gotten done grocery shopping and walked him to the back of the truck asking if he had the means to cook and started pulling out groceries for him. He thanked me and turned down my offering of food, then proceeded to go skittering off to the fast food drive thru next door to return to his quest for cash.
Please do not take what I’ve said as a reason to never help someone with a sign. There are many, many needy people who need our help and cities and municipalities are really aiming to put the homeless population out of sight and out of mind. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read my piece on the homelessness – Insights into the Dark – I would ask you to check it out when you have a chance.
I’d like to take this opportunity to challenge everyone who reads this to buy a case of bottled water. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just whatever you can find at the best price, and keep it in a cooler with a little ice. As you’re driving around town doing errands and you see someone with a sign, sleeping on a piece of cardboard or a park bench or under an overpass – offer them a bottle of water. It’s a small kindness that goes an incredibly long way.
I think a case of water at Wal-Mart is around $3.50 and at CVS you can catch it on sale for $2. While you may not be willing to hand someone cash, offering them a bottle of water that cost you 9¢-15¢, that would cost them a dollar or more at the nearest shop is a huge help. Can you think of any other way to help that many people for under four dollars?
It’s a frugal way to help and it’s a great way to help your fellow-man. Thanks for listening.
Today I offer you a poem and a story, and sadly neither are intended to make you smile. There are no pictures and there’s also a good chance that it will probably make you somewhat uncomfortable.
However, uncomfortable is what leads to change. Uncomfortable is what makes us say “no more”. I keep hoping that more people every day will become more and more uncomfortable, so they’ll look outside their comfort zone and see the need around them, and feel compelled to affect change.
Hello, my name is Anna and I’m six years old
I live with my mama and papa
They can’t always afford to feed me as often as they would like
They can’t afford to buy me clothing very often
We don’t have a house, but we have shelter sometimes
I used to have a brother but he died
I love my parents, and I know that love me too
They try so very hard
We are part of your society
a part you either don’t see or won’t see
I probably won’t be here very much longer
I just wanted to say hello
Hello my name is Anna and I’m ten years old
My daddy died, Mama says someone shot him
Mama has lots of friends, she says that’s how she pays the rent
I used to have a brother but he died too,
Mama said we couldn’t feed him anymore
I worry about my Mama she puts needles in herself
But she says” don’t worry baby God is coming for us all”
I know that I’m supposed to believe in God
and I guess I do
I just haven’t seen him in my neighborhood
Mama’s calling for me now I have to go make her lunch
anyway I just wanted to say hello
Hello, my name’s Anna and I’m fifteen.
I know what my mama did to raise me,
I understand now because I have a daughter now
and I call her Ella… I’d do anything to make sure that she has enough
food and clothes, but things keep getting in the way.
it’s so expensive, and they want so much from me.
I love my little girl but sometimes when she cries when she’s hungry
I just want to get away…
so I do…
Hello, My name is Ella or so I’m told,
they said that my Mama named me after my grandma,
but I never knew her
They tell they she loved me very much
but I never knew
I should have had a daddy
but they never knew
They are closing the home tomorrow
because they have no money
I ask where will I go
but nobody knows
Hello, My name is Ella and I’m 12 years old,
for as long as I can remember
I’ve been sold from pimp to pimp for cigarettes or pool wagers or on a whim,
I am chattel, I am worthless.
I don’t even care enough to despair
DsHello, My name is Ella
I’m a corpse under a bridge,
I’ve been here for weeks
and no one seemed to notice,
I wonder why that is
I lived with a woman named Susan in the homeless shelter I stayed in, along with her husband Dave and their daughter, April (she was 8 maybe?). Dave had a massive stroke that left him confined to a wheelchair, having to be fed and changed, and unintelligible speak to anyone other than his wife or daughter. In fact, everyone originally thought he was her father because he had aged so much from all that he’d been through medically. Sadly she didn’t know enough to apply for social security.
They were a single income household and Susan stopped working when she found out that she was pregnant. They lost their home, most of their possessions, their cars. And now Dave was an invalid who couldn’t take care of himself. With limited skills and experience, the only place that would hire her was McDonald’s. Susan would take care of Dave as soon as they woke up, along with getting April off to school. Susan would leave to go to work, then when April came “home” after school, then she’d be her dad’s caretaker until Susan got “home” around midnight, walking both ways because the car they had been living in had been repossessed.
On the way “home” one night Susan was stopped by three rough looking men, one of which had been kicked out of the shelter previously for being an asshole, and he blamed her. She had asked him to watch his mouth around her daughter and he wouldn’t and got nasty with her, so she told the guard and asked that he try to handle it.
Then he got into it with the guard and started an altercation, needless to say, he was out for good. Not necessarily a good thing in Colorado in the winter(oh well); he brought it on himself but of course he blamed everyone but himself. So here she was, alone, walking “home” and suddenly surrounded by these three street thugs. The one with the vendetta and two of his buddies. They decided to drive train on her because gang-rape is a worthy punishment for asking the guard to make you stop talking in 4-letter words around someone’s young daughter.
I couldn’t sleep at night back then either so I was wide awake as always when she came in later than usual. Her hair messed up, her uniform was a mess, dirty, ripped in places with some blood on it, and a face that was stained with tears. We all knew something was wrong, and it wasn’t hard to tell what that something was.
We tried suggesting to her to go to the hospital to get checked out, but she refused, almost in a panic attack, saying that she couldn’t go because if they admitted her, then that would leave her 8-year-old daughter there to take care of her father, and not only was that not something she wanted to do to April. The big problem was that because since neither April or David was self-sufficient, not only would they not be allowed to stay at the shelter, but children’s services & adult protective services could be called to take both of them away.
A couple of us asked her if they could help her get cleaned up, We all offered to help her family in her absence, I even told her that I’d drive her so that everyone wouldn’t be nosy if an ambulance showed up, but she just said, “no, I just need to be with my family right now”. And just as Susan said, she climbed into her bunk between her daughter and her husband and cried all night. The next morning she told David what happened, we could see it in his face when she told him. He sobbed for 3 days straight
Her pants were ripped pretty badly when she was attacked, so we all chipped in to buy her a new pair of work pants so she could still work. By dinner time the next day, the entire shelter knew what happened. After that, the guards let a couple of the guys out each night so they could walk her home.
Lockdown was at 10, lights out at 10:30. And if you didn’t have a pre-authorized pass signed by your employer, it didn’t matter if you had Jesus himself with you for backup, and you *still* weren’t getting in. The guards couldn’t leave while they were on duty but would let the (rougher) guys go out every night passed lockdown so they could go get her and bring her back. And the guys all took turns, this way if anyone was watching they’d know that there were more than two guys backing her up.
Sunday night was something that well all looked forward to. That’s when we all went to Church in Manitou Springs, where they served dinner… real food, not the crap we were used to. You had to be there on time because they only had so many portions. The soup kitchen in town had those big giant pots, and if they had a significant amount left, it went into tomorrow’s meal, but not at the church in Manitou Springs. It was good food, sometimes it was the only good thing that happened to us for the whole week.
I still had my car, a small Chevette knockoff. I would earn gas money from people to take them places. On Sunday nights it was great because I was always guaranteed to get three guys in the back seat, with me & my boyfriend up front with me. They all gave me $5 each and gas was still 99¢ a gallon back then so it was a great income for someone who couldn’t find a job. I also did it for the ones who went to the plasma center during the week because they were not up to walking back. I lost my job because they found out that I was living in the shelter so this was the only money I was making, by being a taxi to my fellow “shelter rats” (as we were called).
Anyway, we all were sitting down with our plates… it was loud, filled with happy talk because of a real meal and a change of scenery, dishes, silverware, and glasses all clanking and banging. The pastor would have everyone bow their heads and he’d say grace then we could eat. Well he said grace, we dug in and within a few minutes, you could hear a pin drop.
“…and then the angels of justice and mercy came for Susan.”
It was about a month after Susan was attacked and the three guys that raped her made the mistake of coming into the Church basement for dinner. The two guys behind him knew their world was going to change when they turned around to leave and there were two guys barring the door. The leader, I don’t remember his name from 31 years ago, but I do remember his face. He was the blackest person I’d ever seen. Skin the color of espresso, the only thing that gave him away in the dark was his teeth and his eyes. He was wearing a black leather jacket and black pants which gave away how he got around at night (like a ninja) and on his shoulder a heavy chain with a metal padlock on it.
The pastor came out and asked what was going on and one of the guys told him. He looked at those three, grossly outnumbered and said, “I’m sorry we’re full and there’s no more to eat” (which was true) but elicited a very forceful no. The pastor told him “Well then, I’m sure the boys will you help you find the way to your car.” The guy spoke up telling the Pastor that he didn’t have a car. So the pastor glossed over his response and said “God doesn’t care if you have a car or not, he cares about *other* things like how you live, how you treat people, and so on. Boys, If you wouldn’t mind, could you please take these late-comers out to their car, I have to go check on dessert.”
They hadn’t even made it out of the basement when everything jumped off. He rolled his shoulder to drop the chain to put it in his hand but it got snatched away from him while his face stopped someone’s fist from running away. The guy who grabbed the chain from him swung it…
I was “caught staring with the dumb look” (as we used to call it.) I’d never seen a cheekbone before, or any bone for that matter (other than watching Deliverance, but it was not the same.) I was just completely stunned at just how white it was, but that was of course in contrast with the espresso colored skin and the bright red blood that was now going everywhere. The next blast was a right hook that cold-cocked him. It was at that point when he was dragged out into the parking lot and his friends (who were still conscious at least) took off. When thug #1 came to a couple of minutes later, he was freaking out about how he got there and the amount of blood ( a bit dazed don’t you know) and he got his ass kicked. He suddenly came to his senses, stood up and then took off as quickly as he could like his friends did.
Our guys came back in just as the pastor came out, who took one look at them and said “boys, it was very nice of you to help those gentlemen with their car trouble, but you’ve all gotten so dirty, you need to all come in the kitchen and wash up all of you, you need to be presentable for dinner.” (read: Just in case the police showed up.)
I was there for another couple of months but that guy was never seen around town ever again to my brief knowledge.
I really do hope that Susan and David, along with their daughter April were able to move on and move up. I hope they were given access to the services they needed to survive and with any luck, they were able to get help for all that they had endured.
So, why did I tell you this long-winded story you ask?
The reason for this is to use light to see those who are in the shadows, to see those who are normally invisible to the population as a whole. The homeless are a large part of our country’s landscape as well abroad. We see the pictures of the homeless during the Great Depression. People standing in lines a block long. People living in tents We don’t see that, just the occasional person standing at an intersection with a cardboard sign, we don’t see them. So if there is such a homeless problem, where are they? Why don’t they look the same? Easy, back then are programs now like SNAP, Welfare, and WIC that didn’t exist back then. There were no homeless shelters, just people living in Hoovervilles. No food pantries, no soup kitchens per say, there were soup lines (the bonus there was you could fill a soup pot up so that you could feed your children, and bread lines. Can you imagine?
The problem is that these people along with myself at the time and even now as a disabled person, is that we are/were invisible. I swear, I would love 10 acres of land, cover it with tiny houses, solar panels on every roof, mandatory recycling, a place in the middle with a laundry room and hot showers (just in case you’re too tall or just fluffy like me), wifi for the community, since nowadays places will only take applications online. A community center with a couple of computers for kids to do homework, gather up books for a take a book/leave a book library, the same goes for DVD’s and we would have weekend gatherings so you could get to know your neighbors and further know that you’re not alone, you’re not the only person that this has happened to and you just have to get up, dust yourself off. And they’d all have to pitch in taking care of the community…. emptying trash, raking leaves or cutting grass or shoveling snow, helping someone with a handyman project, etc and with the goal that this is temporary, you get your life back together or create a new one and you move up and let that tiny house help out the next person or couple in need.
Well if anyone has an extra $150K lying around and can’t think of what to do with it, give me a call…
In the meantime, thanks for listening and please, don’t have invisible people surround you. Look for them and you’ll see. And once you see, you’ll have them in your heart and want to help
Once again I saw another human at the end of their rope because a friend, loved one, co-worker or any other allegedly sentient being on the planet did a number on them about their fibromyalgia.
The stories are always the same… “you’re an attention seeker”, “you’re lazy and trying to get out of _____”, “it’s not really *a thing*, it’s just lazy doctors who want to dump people in a pile when they don’t want to find out what’s *really* wrong with you – or – there’s nothing wrong with you, everyone feels that way from time to time.”
Speaking on behalf of our brothers and sisters, here and across the globe. Our pain and symptoms are very real, regardless if you “buy it” or not. We do not need you to be patronizing, to offer us lip service, telling us what *you think* we want to hear, or have you be downright defiant and dismissive of what we are going through by claiming it to be “all in your head”, or that it’s a “b*llsh*t excuse the doctors use when they don’t know what’s wrong. To some degree. that last one is correct.
Doctors used to write off symptoms that they could not find the root cause, lumping them in a pile named fibromyalgia. As a result, what’s happened is that someone finally noticed similarities in all of the patients’ symptoms in that pile. After that, they started recognizing that this is a real, somewhat treatable, currently incurable disease/condition. It is unknown as to whether the cause of the symptoms are in the nerves or if it is in an area of the brain sending wrong signals which cause our symptoms or environmental sources. I’m inclined to believe it is the latter two, but I don’t know any more than anyone else.
Why are some people allergic to something and some else, even in their own family sometimes, are able to binge on. I was born with several health problems including a severe intolerance to lactose and in those days (no old jokes please) there weren’t the options that there are now. My sister came along 5 years later, spent 3-4 days a week in the hospital under an oxygen tent. Once they were afraid that her heart could wind up damaged from all the epinephrine they were giving her, they finally agreed to allergy testing.
Out of the 204 things that she was tested for, thankfully she was *only* allergic to… 196 of them. Only… sheesh. And guess what, none of ours overlapped and still haven’t. I have spinal diseases, she had cancer, She’s allergic to morphine and it doesn’t even work for me. The list of differences goes on an on. The same is true for fibro, we’re all alike, and we’re all different.
I read somewhere that fibro can be caused by a traumatic experience where you got hurt. For me that makes total sense, that’s when mine reared its ugly head, but you could put 200 people in a room and only perhaps 7% of us would be able to point to it as when fibro walked into our lives like a person you can’t stand who now won’t leave your house.
Personally, I think we’re all f*cked to some degree because we are all members of what I refer to as the Pop-Tart generation. So many things were not on the landscape until the 60’s with the ‘fortified with vitamins and minerals”, why did it need to be fortified in the first place? Pop-Tarts were fortified with 5 vitamins when they started and now it’s 16 and calcium and fiber? Why was Tang nutritionally better than orange juice? Cold cereal was introduced, prior to this it was oatmeal, Cream-of-Wheat or grits, and we all know what the ingredient list looks like on the side of the box of cereal. We started running public water to more families, fluoridated of course. Our bodies have been beaten like a bad boxer with no end in sight.
We need acceptance, acknowledgment, better treatment, and a hope for a cure. Empathy and the willingness to take us our word for it won’t cost you a thing; much like manners, this is free to use and available 24/7 if you choose.
Editor’s note: I received the same message today that I received last year. Oddly enough, today would have been my mother’s 75th birthday. She’s gone now, thanks to metastasized breast cancer. If you do nothing else for yourself, please do the and share it with the people in your life.
It’s that time of year again, and by that I mean it’s the time for slacktivism in the name of breast cancer. While the games haven’t surfaced (yet), There’s a different one currently going on. I woke up to see a notification on messenger from my friend’s daughter that said the following:
As per my usual stance, I had to tell her no because these things make me angry but assured her that I would get a reminder out. If you’re new to following me, I must explain that I get really angry with the slactivism. You see both of my parents died of cancer. My father died of a mesothelioma (the ones that the attorneys advertise) and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer just 6 months later.
She went through months of medication and radiation, constantly in pain from the literal burns to her skin. 6-1/2 years later, and after yet another clean bill of health from her bi-annual checkups from her breast oncologist, we went on the vacation she’d always dreamed of to Alaska. She had fallen getting in and out the boat she boarded to go salmon fishing. She caught a nice one too, over 2 feet long!
When we got home her shoulder suddenly started getting worse instead of better. That’s when they found a spot on her liver. They did further testing and revealed that a tumor was in her liver and not on it as it appeared initially and was progressing pretty rapidly. With the confirmation, they gave her 4-6 months to live, but she died one month later when the tumor had grown so large that it literally caused her liver to rupture/explode.
Oddly enough her death certificate lists the cause of death, not as liver cancer, but as metastasized breast cancer, meaning that breast cancer returned had spread. We knew that the breast cancer could come back in the breast and we knew that it could spread to other areas of the body, but none of us knew that it could spread to other organs while it wasn’t present in the breast, making it that much more serious and why we should be diligent about keeping ourselves alive and healthy.
Now for those who haven’t been around someone with cancer, there are several forms of treatment; chemo and radiation being to the two biggest. Radiation therapy causes a burn to the skin that’s like the worst sunburn you’ve ever had. It was brutal, and it hurt her so badly, just putting a t-shirt on was painful and putting on a bra and going to work, much less going to work all day. Think about working with the worst sunburn you’ve ever had and then multiply it several times. It can also cause other issues like lumps under the skin (doesn’t that sound like it would be pleasant to add to the already wonderful situation.
Chemotherapy is another type of radiation therapy but instead of being topical (directed to the skin from outside the body) it is invasive, meaning taken internally. And because it’s an invasive therapy, it means that it can have side effects anywhere in the body instead of it remaining in the area targeted like radiation therapy does. There’s too long of a list for me to cover all the side effects of chemotherapy; if you’d like to see them and learn more please visit the National Cancer Institute’s Chemotherapy Side Effects series, there are 18 documents in total.
Educating yourself and others are what needs to be done to finally win this battle. Cancer has claimed *BILLIONS* of lives. There is nothing to whisper about behind the scenes. Preventing cancer is not in poor taste, it’s not obscene. For the record not only do men have wives, mothers, girlfriends, sisters and daughters who have, have had or possibly will have this and they need to know about this too, men can also get breast cancer. Tell me the last time you saw a game of tag about that?
So speak up and speak out. Stop whispering and playing online games, and thinking you’re off the hook because you bought something with a pink ribbon on it in the past 20 years. We need to save the people, not the tatas.
So please, check them before cancer wrecks them. If you’re a woman who is sexually active, consider doing it with your partner since chances are they are more intimate with your boobs than you are (or at least they try to be). The Five Steps of a Breast Cancer Exam
“Art and Giving are Food for the Soul”
P.S. While we’re talking about it, guys need to be reminded too.