Cancer and COVID-19: A Guide

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With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Claire Thevenot.
Find Claire’s advocacy profile here: Clarity Patient Advocates

“COVID cancer sucks,” my client said. 

She discovered a cancerous lump in her breast a couple of weeks ago and has had to go through the many initial appointments amid the chaos, isolation, and uncertainty of COVID-19. As if a cancer diagnosis isn’t daunting enough, dealing with cancer in a pandemic setting is especially frightening and challenging. If you’ve received ...

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“Invisible Patients” and the COVID Pandemic

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With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Karen Leitson.
Find Karen’s advocacy profile here: Personalized Healthcare Advocate

Do you or does someone in your family have an unattended medical condition or illness that might be taking a back seat to the coronavirus public health crisis?

There is never a “good time” to be sick or to have an ill family member, loved one or friend. But now, during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, is a particularly difficult ...

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Understanding Coronovirus / COVID-19 Testing

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With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Angie Galatas.
Find Angie’s advocacy profile here: Medical Advocacy Plus, LLC

Antigen, antibody, viral, serology, these are intimidating words that show up in news articles, media, and insurance documents related to COVID-19. The pandemic has led us to become investigators of not only the virus, but the medical terminology associated with it. Many people are suffering from fear, uncertainty, and exhaustion, trying to decode the information, and this is where ...

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Cyberchondria – Are we Putting Too Much Faith in Dr. Google?

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You may be reading this post because you are curious about that term – “cyberchondria.” 

It’s not hard to figure out what it means. It means hypochondriac-ism as a result of doing online searches. More precisely, the act of diagnosing ourselves by using the web, then upsetting ourselves through our findings. It’s when we decide a headache is really brain cancer, or low blood sugar is translated as Parkinsons, or forgetfulness becomes Alzheimers.

The word “cyberchondria” has been around for 20 years ...

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When Your Provider Says, “It’s All in Your Head”

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In a recent conversation with Annette, a young woman who has MS (multiple sclerosis), she described to me the first time she went for a drug infusion which had been prescribed by her neurologist.

She arrived for the session using her walker, barely able to keep her balance. Exhausted, she was finally able to get comfortable in the infusion chair. As the nurse began setting up the needle and catheter injection system into her vein, she looked at Annette and asked ...

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Treat Your Human Body Like You Treat Your Car

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My friend Janet has a bad wound on her leg. It has been there for two months, and just looks worse and worse. Now it looks so bad she doesn’t even want to leave the house.

“What does your doctor say about it?” I asked her.

“I’ve been back to him five times!”, she responded. “He keeps giving me antibiotics, but it doesn’t seem to get any better.”

“Five times???” I asked her, incredulously.

It was time for “the talk” with Janet.

… the talk ...

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Busting the Cure Balloon and Finding a Workable Solution

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“The cure cannot come soon enough.” 

As someone who works in healthcare, and who speaks to patients and their loved ones every day, this is a statement I hear frequently. Whether we’re talking about someone’s cancer diagnosis, or Alzheimer’s Disease, or ALS, or MS, or diabetes…  it seems to be everyone’s hope – that a cure is on the horizon.

When my father was alive, and in his 24th year after his prostate cancer diagnosis, he lamented the fact that he had ...

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Ac-cen-tu-ate – the Negative?

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It’s time to take a trip with the Way-Back Machine to a song many of us heard when we were kids – because our parents played it on the radio or record player. We all sang along!

With lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and sung by Ella Fitzgerald (that’s Ella in the photo above), the song “Ac-cen-tu-ate the Positive” became popular in the mid-1940s, with its very (yes) positive message of how we should focus our lives.. on ...

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The Folly of Driving to the ER

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Hugh, a gentleman of about 68 years, lived alone. Hugh wasn’t feeling well. It was just a general feeling that something – who knows what? – just wasn’t right.

After a short while, Hugh walked over to see Phil, his next door neighbor. Phil agreed to drive Hugh to the Emergency Room.

It took them about 30 minutes to get there. Hugh signed in, and together he and Phil sat down in the waiting room. Within 15 minutes, Hugh keeled over, out ...

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No Diagnosis? It May Not Matter

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Years ago I watched a movie called Serendipity.  It starred Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack. It was a “romcom” – and adorable – and it occurs to me that it sets the stage for today’s post.

The story was about two young people who met in Bloomingdales while shopping, and through a series of events, they were attracted to each other, but never exchanged names. They then lost track of each other. Over the years they continued to ...

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