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  • Life after Cancer

    Posted 1/24/2017 by hhill

      The remarkable thing about today's article is not the content, but the source. From Harvard Women's Health Watch comes this summary of issues faced by most people as we complete active therapy and try to move on with our lives. It does not contain any information that you likely don't already know, but it is striking that the conversation about cancer survivorship is making its way to pretty mainstream publications.

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  • Chemo Brain

    Posted 1/23/2017 by hhill

      Many of us have experienced or worried about chemo brain. There is pretty universal agreement that people undergoing chemotherapy experience some diminished cognitive capacities. What is less clear is whether these changes are due to anxiety, fatigue, overall stress, being full of drugs, or are the direct result of some of those drugs. What is also not clear is why some people have more trouble than others and why, in some people, it persists for a long time.

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  • January 20

    Posted 1/20/2017 by hhill

      Whatever your politics, this is a very important day. Every single conversation that I have had in my office this week, whether with an individual or a couple/family or a group, has included at least some comments and reflections on the momentous changes that our country is enduring. I have been reminded that I can't be sure of anyone's political stance, and that it is most important to be respectful and to work towards understanding one another. We are all on the same side.

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  • Sexuality Resource

    Posted 1/19/2017 by hhill

     From this article in Cure Today, I learned of a new and potentially helpful resource around sexuality for both patients and providers. As we all know, a diagnosis of and treatment for cancer is certain to influence sexuality and intimacy. The many reasons are both physical and psychological, but the facts remain that the subject is not well or frequently enough discussed and that up to 60% of cancer survivors end up with long-term sexual problems.

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  • Some Good News

    Posted 1/18/2017 by hhill

      There is so much worry and anxiety in our lives right now that it feels especially nice to hear some straight forward good news. The American Cancer Society has just released some new statistics, and there are some numbers that you will be happy to read. Note: there is not the news that we all hope for: no new cancers and cures for all that have been diagnosed.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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About the Blogger

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C is the Manager of Oncology Social Work at BIDMC. For more than thirty years, her daily work at BIDMC has been primarily focused on supporting women with breast cancer. A nationally known writer and speaker, she was the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's first Hatcher Survivorship Professor. In 1993, and again in 2005, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through the standard treatments of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. These experiences have given her great credibility with her patients and transformed her life's work to her life. Ms. Schnipper lives gratefully with her husband in an ancient farmhouse outside of Boston and spends as much time as possible in a water front cottage on Mt Desert Island. Between them, they have five adult children and seven grandchildren; she claims biological responsibility for two and three of them.