There was a period of about two years that my husband and I were focused almost solely on starting our family. Twenty-two months after our son was born, I was pregnant with our second child. Two pregnancies in less than two years meant a lot of doctor appointments—prenatal checkups, followed by sick and well-visit appointments for my newborn, followed by another round of prenatal appointments. At times, it felt like I was either at a doctor’s appointment or scheduling the next one. Thankfully, both pregnancies were successful, and both of our babies were healthy. A few months after bringing home...

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Springtime makes me think of renewal—not just of the seasons—but of all things. It is difficult to be fully present in the springtime without breathing in the feeling that something wonderful is about to happen: as the dull of winter turns over to a beautiful hue of green with bursts of color and the sky shines with extended excitement and light, the reverie of this new season sneaks up upon us and allows us to begin again. It gives us a choice, to come out of the dark of winter and face the light of spring. This is how it...

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Hello, my name is Elizabeth, and at age 40 I was diagnosed with essential thrombocytosis (ET). I’ve been asked by Patient Power to guest post on my ET frustrations. We hope this will help you deal with frustrations that you may also be feeling, or help you better understand something that someone you love is dealing with. Frustrations with ET, for me, have been in a lot of areas. What I feel is the most frustrating is the fact that ET, and MPNs (myeloproliferative neoplasms) in general, aren’t understood very well, even by the experts. On my illness journey, this...

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For anyone who lives a fast-paced life, it is easy to sometimes forget our need to take care of ourselves and to listen to our bodies. It is easy to get distracted from the importance of a healthy lifestyle when it seems there is so much to be done. But it isn’t always so easy to keep moving. The number one thing that can affect one’s ability to continue on is their health. A health battle can range from something as simple as a common cold keeping you from a weekend getaway to an injury that makes travel more difficult,...

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"Study nature. Love nature. Stay close to nature. It will never fail you." --Frank Lloyd Wright Since I have been surviving cancer, I have really, really enjoyed visiting the gardens at the Dallas Arboretum. Whether I go with friends or by myself, I am filled with gratitude and peace while I am there. I consider my enjoyment of the gardens as one of the blessings of having cancer, because unfortunately, before being diagnosed with cancer, I never took the time to go. In Dallas, we don’t have many lovely natural streams where a person can go sit and listen to...

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We all have our stories, our “How did I end up here?” Mine began in June 2007 when I had an odd-looking mole surgically removed from my right shoulder. The pathology report came back citing stage IA melanoma with a recommendation for a wider margin excision. Before the original stitches had healed, I was under the knife again. Caught early. Whew! 97 percent cure rate. My cancer worries were relegated to the cobweb-laden corners of my mind. Sure, yes, I was diligent about seeing my doctor every six months for a skin and general wellness check. In the meantime, I...

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There is never an easy way to find out you have cancer. No matter how you prepare yourself in the days or weeks or months that lead up to your diagnosis, the words cut to the core of everything you have ever known and leave a raw-edged wound you believe, with all of your new-found fear and uncertainty, will never heal. It was on a day exactly like this, when the words from my doctor’s mouth morphed into the walls around me, and my ability to hear and listen and understand was paralyzed by my fear. I was terrified of...

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I am an animal lover. I always have been. When I was a little girl, my mother would let us have cats but not dogs. I remember frequently hugging a stuffed poodle and praying that God would turn it into a real dog. As soon as I was on my own, I got a dog or two or three! I’ve had at least one my entire adult life. Usually, I have had two or more. They complete me. I suspect many of you know exactly what I mean. I currently have two dogs: Cotton, an American Eskimo dog (Eskie), and...

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Growing up, I often heard Valentine's Day called a "Hallmark holiday"…followed by a bit of a smirk and a wink.  I had trouble reconciling this cynical attitude with the weeks-long leadup of advertisements encouraging one to "make your partner feel appreciated," find the perfect dozen roses, and to be sure to hand-deliver the most sensual box of chocolates on the planet to your beloved.  As time has passed, I have come to believe that Valentine's Day really is—at least for Andrew and I—an annual moment along a very long journey together to pause and appreciate the durability of our love...

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¿Cómo definir a un "paciente poderoso" ("powerful patient")? Para mí, un buen ejemplo ha sido siempre Pat Killingsworth, que ha vivido con mieloma múltiple desde el 2007.  Autor, blogger y activista, coincidí con Pat en varias ocasiones —junto con mi colega Carol Preston. Lo había entrevistado varias veces, unas entrevistas de paciente a paciente. Hace dos años, durante una entrevista, Pat se vino abajo cuando le pregunté cómo veía el futuro. Para cualquiera de nosotros, puede ser muy incierto. Afortunadamente, Pat vivió un tiempo más. Pero hace tres días nuestro amigo falleció. Todos nosotros en Patient Power y también la comunidad de mieloma...

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Page last updated on April 25, 2019