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  • Chemobrain

    Posted 11/20/2014 by hhill
      Chemobrain, the experience of dimished mental sharpness and some loss of acuity, happens very often to patients receiving chemotherapy. It may also persist for some time after treatment ends. It has always seemed hard to impossible to tease out the real causes: medications, stress, fatigue, distraction, loss of estrogen, etc. Whatever the cause(s), it can be a real problem for some people. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Back to Reality

    Posted 11/19/2014 by hhill
      And so it ended. After lunch and lingering as long as possible yesterday, we were all forced to put on our shoes (Wonderwell is a shoeless house, and it felt pretty good to spend three days in socks) and coats and venture out into the New Hampshire mountain wind. There were many prayer flags flapping madly, and a flag pole that was being blown almost to the ground. That flag pole was actually a wonderful metaphor for all we had been taught: letting things go, bending with the wind, down and up and back again, and it is all okay. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Report from the Mountains

    Posted 11/18/2014 by hhill
      On this third day of our retreat, the sun is shining. When I awakened, the pink dawn was coloring the skylight over my head. It was almost as beautiful as the snow yesterday, but I am surely grateful for easier weather. The sun is now fully up, and I type and look out the colors of the mountains: greens and blues and blacks and browns and patches of white on the higher elevations. Read more... Comments (2)
  • Refuge

    Posted 11/17/2014 by hhill

      We come for community. We come for healing. We come for understanding. We come for refuge.

      I am writing this morning, watching a light snow fall on the mountains, from our second retreat for women with advanced cancer. We are at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, New Hampshire. It is an easy two hour drive from Boston, and fifteen of us gathered yesterday for three days together.

    Read more... Comments (1)
  • Managing Hair Loss

    Posted 11/14/2014 by hhill
      This is a recurring and important issue for many of us. Yesterday I spoke with three people who are embarking on new chemotherapy regimens and are very distressed about impending hair loss. One is a woman in her early 70s who maintains a busy professional life and is determined that her clients and colleagues don't know about her cancer treatment. Her primary wig concern is that it look exactly, or almost exactly, like her own hair. The second was a young woman in her early 30s who has beautiful long hair and is very upset about losing it. Various people suggesting that she can donate it to Locks of Love has not soothed her sadness at all--and why should it? The third was a man in his 50s who is not one bit happy about being bald. Read more... Comments (0)
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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