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Posts Tagged ‘cancercare’

Since I accidentally discovered the Mayo Clinic report that breast cancer survivors with asthma have a two-fold risk of mets to the lung, I have been to Arizona and discovered that my asthma didn’t bother me as much while I was there. I didn’t, though, go to Mayo’s to followup.  Why? My insurance company said I hadn’t met the deductible yet this year and I would have to pay for a pulmonologist visit and pulmonary function tests out of my pocket.

Haven’t met my deductible yet this year?! A year of visits with specialists, biopsies, mammograms, ultrasound tests, ob-gyn visits and tests, genetic testing, and all that medicine.  I found out none of my co-pays or payments for those things counted toward my deductible OR my “out of pocket maximum” this year.

Other reasons I didn’t have the testing yet: I changed insurance companies before the end of the year, and my tumor marker tests were good and even in the range for a person who has never smoked, even though I did until about 8 years ago. And my new primary physician was gone all November having surgery.

When I was in Arizona I felt like I could breathe WELL and DEEPLY, and didn’t need to use the inhaler I took along.

I got a flu shot the day after flying home in a sardine can and then was sick for 10 days with a cold and sinus infection.  Being back indoors with a forced air furnace was a drag on my spirits as well as my asthma.  Then it was Thanksgiving and I had company, and now here we are in December and I haven’t gone back to Arizona or talked to the doctors again about the asthma connection, but I started taking my steroid inhaler twice a day.

The reports say that breast cancer patients/ survivors who use steroid inhalers to keep their asthma under control have a better outcome.

My next three-month checkup is in early January.  I’m determined to follow through with this to keep this from being an issue. I don’t want lung mets because I couldn’t control asthma.

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Another local breast cancer survivor and I are talking about starting a support group in town. We’re having coffee Tuesday morning to discuss it again. American Cancer Society has a book on facilitating support groups that we will read before we start. 

CancerCare has started online support groups. From their website:

Currently available groups. 

Groups for people with cancer:   
•Patient Group: Lung Cancer Patient
•Patient Group: Post Treatment Survivor
•Patient Group: Young Adults (Age 20-40) with Cancer
•Patient Group: Breast Cancer Patient
•Patient Group: Colorectal Cancer Patient
•Patient Group: Blood Cancer Patient
•Patient Group: Men with Cancer
•Patient Group: Women with Cancer
•Patient Group: Gynecologic Cancers

Groups for caregivers and loved ones:
•Caregiver Group: General Caregivers/Loved Ones
•Caregiver Group: Lung Cancer Caregivers
•Caregiver Group: Young Adult (age 20-40) who are Caregivers
•Caregiver Group: Pancreatic Caregivers
•Caregiver Group: Parents of a Child with Cancer
•Caregiver Group: Teen Caregivers

Groups for the bereaved:
•Grief Group: People Who Have Lost a Loved One   
•Grief Group: Partner’s Bereavement
•Grief Group: Parents Who Lost a Child to Cancer

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