Dr. Wendy Harpham is a doctor of internal medicine, cancer survivor, and award-winning and best-selling author of books about cancer: Healthy Survivorship, recovery and late effects, and raising children when a parent has cancer. She is also a public speaker, patient advocate, and mother of three.
Yesterday I addressed the issue of availability of antibiotics (without a prescription) on the Internet contributing to the problem of antibiotic-resistant germs. Kairol Rosenthal commented that some patients may be ordering from these Internet sites because they are financially strapped (and not because they are stupidly preferring to self-prescribe instead of follow a doctor's orders).
If Healthy Survivors can't afford their prescriptions, they seek out resources that might be able to help.
Soon after penicillin became commercially available (1940s), "bugs" became resistant. It was war: Researchers kept developing new antibiotics. "Bugs" kept developing adaptations to resist the antibiotics and flourish. Today's microbes are gaining the upper hand from one of the hallmarks of our modern age:
I launched this blog because I was convinced by others that I had to (see "Blog World"). At first I resented how blogging took away precious time and energy from my "real" writing -- books, articles and keynotes.
Years ago, I was waiting at a red light on my way home from my oncologist's office. A boat-like car slowly pulled up next to me. I looked over and saw a gray-haired woman sitting up straight. Her gnarled fingers gripped the steering wheel at 10 and 2, as if she was doing a pull-up to peer over the front hood.
The primary purpose of this blog is to encourage discussions about Healthy Survivorship and to help modern patients (1) get good care and (2) live as fully as possible. I can't address Healthy Survivors' pursuit of happiness without talking about the pursuit of fun.
Last evening I was interviewed by Betsy de Parry on Lymphomation Live, a weekly webcast sponsored by Patients Against Lymphoma. In this show entitled "The Art of Survivorship," we discuss how knowledge, hope and action help people become Healthy Survivors. The information and advice are addressed to patients dealing with any medical challenge (not just cancer) who want to get good care and live as fully as possible.
The hour-long interview is available online by clicking here. I hope it helps. With hope, Wendy
Hope is complex and dynamic, comprised of patients' many different hopes that wax and wane as their circumstances change and as their outlook evolves. I define "healthy hope" as hope that helps patients get good care and live as fully as possible.
Here's a useful way of looking at the hope-and-happiness issue after colostomy:
Yesterday's post discusses a study in which patients who are told their colostomy is temporary are less happy than those who believe it is permanent. I'd like to suggest an alternative explanation to "holding on to hope" as the explanation for the unhappiness.
A recent study led one of the authors to conclude, "Holding on to hope may not make patients happier as they deal with chronic illness or diseases." If so, this shoots a hole in my knowledge-hope-action approach to Healthy Survivorship. What now?
A bone marrow biopsy (BMB) is the same concept as a blood draw (technically, a "blood biopsy"), the difference being that veins are a whole lot easier to get into with a needle than the center of a bone.
Last night a man named "B" greeted his first trick-or-treater. B wore blue scrubs, a face mask and a stethoscope. His mom sat in a wheelchair, a blood pressure cuff on her arm and oxygen tubing connecting her to an oxygen tank.