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  • Cancer Fatigue

    Posted 7/26/2017 by hhill

      People who have not undergone cancer treatment don't understand cancer fatigue. As we all know, it is not the way one feels after a poor night's sleep or working out at the gym or just staying up too late. It is a pervasive feeling of exhaustion and the usual remedies don't help much.

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  • The Language of Cancer

    Posted 7/25/2017 by hhill

      I was delighted to see this piece from CNN as it gives me another opportunity to rant and rave about the language of cancer. My biggest complaint is this common sentence: Ms. X failed Taxol." Anyone with half a brain and even a tiny slice of heart would recognize the insult of this comment. Ms. X did most certainly did not fail Taxol! Taxol failed her.

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  • Guide to Financial Concerns

    Posted 7/24/2017 by hhill

      Everyone has heard the old saying that the primary causes of stress and fights in marriages are sex, money, and in-laws. I suspect that two of the three are responsible for a lot of the stress during cancer--with health and prognosis worries replacing in-laws as the third.

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  • Drug Works or Your Money Back

    Posted 7/21/2017 by hhill

      Sometimes something comes along that is a big reminder of the kind of work I do, the kind of world I live in, the kind of perspective that I carry. In a million years, it would never have occurred to me that it might be possible to have a money back guarantee for drugs. Sure, I return things all the time (most recently a landline phone that just does not work), but drugs? Never. As clearly as I know anything, I know that it is impossible to promise that a particular drug or treatment will work for everyone. How many times do we hear the phrase: Everyone is different? 

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  • Cancer and Sex

    Posted 7/20/2017 by hhill

      Back to one of our favorite topics. This is an introduction to a really excellent long article by Abigail Jones, just published in Newsweek. Ms. Jones interviewed my husband and me as part of her research, so she sent the link yesterday.


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Cancer Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-1900


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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.