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  • Physical Therapy

    Posted 5/26/2015 by hhill
      When you are going through cancer treatment, PT or physical therapy may not be one of the first things you consider. Some people have surgeries that automatically stimulate a PT referral, but most do not. I was lucky enough to consult with a wonderful physical therapist before my mastectomy ten years ago, knowing that there would be exercises that I could do to speed recovery and built strength. What I didn't realize was that there were also exercises that I could (and did) do prior to surgery. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Cancer Costs

    Posted 5/25/2015 by hhill

      First, Happy Memorial Day and my apologies for a very late posting (not that anyone really cares). We were in Maine for a delicious long weekend, and I chose not to write early this morning but to wait until we were home, unpacked, air conditioner installed in the bedroom, new humming bird feeder hung, grass seed watered (not yet looking hopeful), groceries bought, laundry done, etc. You all know the routine.

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  • When the Patient is an Oncologist

    Posted 5/21/2015 by hhill

      For obvious reasons, this wonderful interview with Dr. Laura Lieberman, a physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering who was diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma caught my eye. Being an oncology social worker, married to an oncologist, and having two breast cancers has been quite a challenging experience. While it has been very helpful to know a lot, there have been many times when knowing less would have been better. My poor husband had to try to regain a poker face on more than one occasion when I had glimpsed his distress. 

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  • Cancer and Friendships

    Posted 5/21/2015 by hhill
    The impact of cancer on friendships can be shocking. A cancer diagnosis is a litmus test of relationships, and everyone has surprises. We generally assume that our friends will be supportive in a crisis, and this may or may not turn out to be true. If, in the beginning, you make a list of friends who will be helpful and others who will not, your list surely will not be accurate.  It also won’t include the people whom you barely know who will turn out to be faithful and important friends. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Hair Loss or Alopecia

    Posted 5/20/2015 by hhill

      Alopecia is the fancy medical name for hair loss. When we think about it, the loss is due to radiation or chemotherapy; however, there is primary alopecia, a disease of its own, that causes lifelong baldness or very thin hair. Hair that falls out due to chemotherapy always returns although it may be thinner, curlier, of a different color or texture. Hair that falls out due to radiation therapy usually does not come back. This is especially difficult for women who receive whole brain radiation, so the permanent hair loss covers most of the scalp. For lots of women who have breast cancer radiation that includes the axillary lymph nodes, the underarm hair may not return; that is usually not experienced as a big problem.

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


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