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  • Exercise as a Recurrence Risk Reduction

    Posted 2/24/2017 by hhill

      This is an important story from NHS News about a recent Canadian study that suggests that regular moderate exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Without understanding the science, it seems likely that these same results apply to some other cancers. Without a doubt, the exercise cannot possibly do us any harm.

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  • Hospital Design

    Posted 2/23/2017 by hhill

      Everyone who has ever set foot in a hospital is aware that they are rarely patient/consumer-friendly. Whether it it is the lack of privacy or the long and confusing walks between different offices or the poor signage or the crummy food options, it is pretty clear that the buildings could be improved. My nephew has a proposal that will never happen, but that would surely be a good addition: bars with bar food in the lobby.

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  • Belly Dancing as a Recovery Strategy

    Posted 2/22/2017 by hhill

      There are probably as many ways to recover from cancer as there are people trying to do so. Some slam the door shut behind them and work hard at just picking up life where they left it. Others feel that their pre-cancer life has been shattered, and that it must be rebuilt brick by brick. Most of us are somewhere in between and look for ways to feel physically and emotionally healthy and strong.

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  • When Your Oncologist Fires You

    Posted 2/21/2017 by hhill

      When your oncologist says something like: "I don't really need to see you anymore", it can feel as though you are being fired. Some people, of course, are delighted and hope never to again see this doctor, no matter how respected and beloved. Others feel that a major life vest has been removed and that the world feels shakier. As far as I know, there are no standard rules about this situation, and different doctors, different institutions and practices handle it in a variety of ways.

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  • Living in the Moment or Maintenance Mode

    Posted 2/20/2017 by hhill

      Both of the title phrases come from Susan Gubar's column that I will shortly share. As many of you know, she is a wonderful writer who frequently contributes to The New York Times about her life with recurrent ovarian cancer. This essay describes the new territory that she and many others are exploring: not really well, but certainly not really dying...

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Cancer Center
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.