Thursday, January 19, 2017


You probably know I loved my PT in Texas.  The most important thing I learned is still what my mechanic used to say:

We're not 29 any more

Even if you are 29, I still suggest caution with most moves. Extra caution with new moves.

That said, I'm a fan of Mayo Clinic, often go there first for health questions.  But regretfully must say, the balance exercises I got today in email are not, not for beginners.  

My PTs and one podiatrist insisted:  anything like standing on one foot, and maybe leaning from side to side, even stepping left to right/right to left quickly...First, do it all at a counter so you can grab on instantly if balance isn't ballerina-perfect.  

(For those of us who are really impatient, you can do those at-the-counter things while you're waiting in the doctor's treatment/consult room in front of the mirror.)

 Trust me.   

If you're still impatient, say "balance" to your MD and maybe you'll get more PT from somebody good.  Someone like the super coach who took away my fear of going down stairs.

I wish you health.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Twitter led me to the STAT news article: 

 In a Byzantine health system, navigators help at-risk patients find their way

Interesting article with many good stories of extreme help some navigators may provide, and times they seem to go beyond business as usual.  Also a bit about widely varied training for this position (the training part was a little uncomfortable for me since I've had a social worker or two who only seemed to be working on hours for their senior year college internship.)

This field can have many different definitions, and the navigators may have wide functions.  Headlines don't always tell it all:  I haven't interviewed the local navigator, but she did introduce herself at the lumpectomy surgeon's office and invite us to some educational lunch meetings for breast cancer patients and perhaps some 'survivors' still in treatment or with issues like lymph problems after surgery.

I loved the stories about navigators helping patients with little or no English.  However, facile English speaker patients are mentioned.  We who speak English can be permanently lost in giant hospitals with lousy signage if any.

ONe danger of the system was mentioned, and it's a va.lid  one:  patients, because of the wide varieyty of navigator duties may (easily) gget the ideea that the navigator is a medical professional (often not so.)  

Even our own doctor may be unaware of our hospital's navigator, if there is one, or the navigator's duties or expertise.

I suggest, if you ask for a navigator, be clear on what you want.  If one approaches you, or the hospital sends one, we can ask politely "Is she a cancer nurse?  What will she plan to do for me?"

As I read the article, I learned a lot of things the navigators sometimes do.  

Any way, it's a good read.  And worth knowing about - Even a friend may sometime ask us about them.  

PS  My wonderful NP Carol Hennessey was a perfect navigator for me when she helped me plot which doctor visit first, second, third.  And since I still use the great cream she prescribed. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Sunrise Rounds brought another forgotten medical issue for this season: Please read it and tell one person about this courageous doctor and what his country has given him to fear.

Is anyone here willing to protect his family while he is protecting members of our families?

I wish you, doctors, and your loved ones in the service HEALTH

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


This wonderful lesson in courtesy and accuracy! was on twitter with credit to Dr. Pamela Wible, MD,  I hope she will forgive me for passing it on.

It caught my eye partly because this is a season when I remember a work friend who died by suicide. Some abuse was heaped on his memory due to that very concept ("commit") and the time (Christmas.).

The list also got me because the statement "patient is non-compliant" usually makes me want to throw something and/or scream even when the speaker is not pointing at me.

As for health professionals, I flinch when a receptionist asks "Who's your PHP?"

And of course, Health Professional takes a couple more syllables, but my two main doctors deserve far more respect and praise than PCP.  And so do the others who take care of me.

So I"ll be watching my mouth instead of going with the slang (much as I love slang in other situations.)

I wish you health.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Is Prolia good news for cancer?

I was thinking of ways to get a vacation from Prolia.  I had come to it by a roundabout way - I can't take the osteoporosis pills due to a list of problems.  My oncologist offered to handle the Prolia shots. (I didn't like the bit in the Prolia leaflet about my immune system including:  "Stay away from sick people.")  Makes a person want to leave Starbucks when anyone coughs...

My tamoxifen appointment with him is Thursday (already had my mammo and bloodwork.)

Then I read on Twitter:

There's a pile of pages on bone loss in my medical file - full of "In the absence of estrogen" it seems RANK/RANKL destroy not only bones that need replacement, but eagerly move onto bones we're still using.  Siccing Prolia on the RANK/RANKL was the answer...

The study covered here says RANK/RANKL also work in "formation of a lactating mammary gland in pregnancy'"  And the authors say:

 "Based on their normal physiology, RANKL/RANK control the onset of hormone-induced breast cancer through the expansion of mammary progenitor cells." 

For some reason, the abstract seemed to gloss over that or over-simplify, and I don't have the complete test. 

 The abstract concludes: "we propose that anti-RANKL therapy could be a feasible preventive strategy for women carrying BRCA1 mutations, and by extension to other women with high risk of breast cancer.

I wonder what my oncologist will say about this...

Monday, December 5, 2016

"Immune System Unleashed...can attack"

"Immune System, Unleashed by Cancer Therapies, Can Attack Organs"

Read the article. Google it.   I was unnerved by the points of view.  And I urge you to follow the links.  There may be more news on this later from NYT or more encouraging news.  Or not.
The weight of the findings there may be counteracted by different findings.  Or we may be feeling cheated by science's haste.

If I were known to be dying of cancer, (instead of crossing my fingers for my yearly diagnostic mammo,) I would probably be desperate.  If I were in horrible pain, I would be very desperate.    Maybe I would wish I hadn't read this article.  Maybe I would be grateful I did read it. 

Don't we all need to start asking A LOT MORE QUESTIONS?

Thursday, December 1, 2016


STAT news brings a very short and CLEAR beginners idea on CRISPR gene editing - how it works.

This video is cool.  Very well done. utm_content=buffer24d3c&utm_medium=social&

 Love it when somebody can clarify.

When I get out of Twitter, I have to use this whole link above to get the video.