When the Heart Fails

In February 2008 within the confines of the 4 walls of an exam room and a 20-minute not even 8 weeks after my valve surgery, my husband and I were told that my heart was failing. An encounter etched in my memory forever; an encounter characterized by shared disappointment and genuine compassion. After delivering this … Continue reading When the Heart Fails

Childhood Cancer and Heart Failure: the Backstory

In reviewing my posts, I realized that there isn't a post explaining why at 38-years of age my heart failed, and ultimately, died. So, here's the down and dirty, bullet point backstory: 1978: diagnose with Ewing's sarcoma, a soft tissue cancer; I was 8- years-old in the third grade My parents were not given much … Continue reading Childhood Cancer and Heart Failure: the Backstory

Giving Voice to Trauma

"Hiding your core feelings takes an enormous amount of energy, it saps your motivation to pursue worthwhile goals, and it leaves you feeling bored and shut down." The Body Keeps the Score ~Bessel Van der Kolk, MD By way of background for those who likely don't know my story, I was diagnosed and successfully treated for … Continue reading Giving Voice to Trauma

Limits, Boundary Lines

I am human; therefore, I get frustrated, disappointed, angry. Today, I was a little bit of all 3 as I set out to plan a day of ziplining for me and my beloved when we are in Maui this summer celebrating 25 years of the thick and thin that is marriage. Haleakala, Kaanapali, oh my: … Continue reading Limits, Boundary Lines

Total Body Skin Check

Well, my medical year in review includes something that I believe gets looked at every day, but it all to often overlooked in the care of the adult survivor of childhood cancer who received radiation. I will link to the Children's Oncology Group/s risk factors and guidelines at the end of the post. This year … Continue reading Total Body Skin Check

Radiation-Associated Breast Cancer and Hormone Exposure: a CCSS* Report

Chest radiation is a well known risk factor for the subsequent development of breast cancer. This study was aimed at exploring the relationship between hormonal factors and the risk of radiation-associated breast cancer among survivors of childhood cancer. Included in the study were 1,108 females diagnosed from 1970 to 1986 who were treated with chest … Continue reading Radiation-Associated Breast Cancer and Hormone Exposure: a CCSS* Report

Treatment-Related Breast Cancer: Survivor, Are You at Risk?

Treatment-Related Breast Cancer: Survivor, Are You at Risk? The risk of developing breast cancer after treatment for a childhood, adolescent, or young adult cancer depends on the type of treatment one received for their original diagnosis. While treatment-related breast cancers affect primarily females, males are also at risk as they, too, have breast tissue. Known … Continue reading Treatment-Related Breast Cancer: Survivor, Are You at Risk?

Shared Decision Making

I met with my PCP, Dr. Pepper, a couple of weeks ago, to discuss a plan for lung surveillance moving forward. I had several things on my heart and mind that I felt we needed to plan for in the future specific to potential late effects. I have several unique 'things' that place me at … Continue reading Shared Decision Making