Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Smallest Donation is Appreciated!

Please click on the YouTube video first to hear the song as you read through today's post.


Just yesterday, I spoke of the recent innovations in cancer treatment and new technologies that have been made within the past few years.  One such very important high tech instrument is the

Cyberknife

What's so special about this particular device you may ask?  Well, it is a radiosurgery system that destroys tumours or other lesions using beams of radiation , rather than a surgical knife, for various types of cancer such as pancreatic, lung or brain cancer, just to name a few.   The radiation is precisely focused, minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissue.

While there have been more than 80+ Cyberknife units operating in different countries around the world since 2007, as of that year, there was not one single unit available within Canada.  Presently, there is one Cyberknife in Montreal, Quebec and another in Hamilton, Ontario that should be up and running this spring,  and now The Ottawa Hospital Foundation is embarking on a $3.5 million fundraising campaign to bring this state of the art technology to The Ottawa Hospital


This piece of equipment will revolutionize brain surgery and the treatment of many cancers.  It's targeted radiation has the ability to destroy tumors where a surgeon's scalpel cannot reach.  Many patients will be spared evasive surgery with the Cyberknife and it will reduce the side effects of conventional radiation, as the treatments with the Cyberknife can be completed in two or three days, compared to the conventional daily treatments for many of six or seven weeks.

Bottom line is, we need this very important and life saving technology in Canada's capital city and I am reaching out to viewers of my blog who would like to donate any amount towards this great technology.  With this Cyberknife in place, cancer patients can then elect to have radiosurgery instead of the traditional operation, thus freeing up operating rooms and more importantly making treatment for cancer patients so much easier and time efficient. If you were given the choice, which would you prefer?

The Ottawa Hospital must raise approximately $3.5 million in order to obtain this Cyberknife.  A regular viewer and kidney cancer patient of my blog " Karen Eagleson" is heading up her own fund raising event in collaboration with the Ottawa Hospital to help get this new technology in place this coming May and she is a shining example of one person's ability to make a difference!!!

If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, you may do so directly by clicking either of the links provided and  I would greatly appreciate you following these instructions as well, to ensure that your donation goes towards Karen's fundraiser via my blog viewers.  All you have to do is go


DONATE ONLINE and then 'General Donation' from the second page, then on the next page pick 'Cyberknife' from the choices offered under 'Direct My Donation To". And I'd appreciate it if you could put 'Karen Eagleson's (kidney cancer patient) fundraising campaign for Cyberknife" in the 'NOTES' area.  Tax receipts will be issued, so please ensure that your name and address is entered correctly.

Karen will advise me of the amount that has been raised, and I once again gratefully solicit your support for such life saving and less intrusive technology for cancer patients.

Together we can ALL help to make this Cyberknife - Cutting Edge in Cancer Care happen!

Most of my viewers do not live directly within the Ottawa area, but no matter where you live in Canada, maybe one day you or a loved one or myself may need to use this Cyberknife technology.  Patients travel from one province to another now to obtain the latest technology possible to assist them with their medical needs, so whether you live in British Columbia or anywhere across our great country to the eastern most point in Newfoundland & Labrador, your donation is greatly needed and apprecited so that many cancer patients can receive this type of treatment.  It is an outstanding piece of cancer fighting technology and one that will help to reduce cancer deaths and increase the longevity and survivorship of cancer patients. 

Together we can ALL make that difference in eradicating cancer, and I think it is outstanding that my dear friend and cancer patient, Karen, is helping to make this possible in Canada's capital.  If I didn't believe in the importance that this device will have on the lives of cancer patients, I would not be posting this request on my blog!


Follow this link and scroll down to see a graphic of what Cyberknife technology looks like
http://accuray.com/products/index.aspx

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Times, They Are A 'Changin"




I've said it before and I'll say it again

"every cancer patient or their caregiver MUST be pro-active in their own treatment and care"

Don't always leave everything up to the expert opinion of your doctor, whether it be your family doctor or your oncologist.  I'm not insinuating that we know more than they do, but after all, when you think about it, not every physician, oncolost or specialist in any medical field can be expected to know everything there is about any chronic condition.  That statement is especially true for a particular type of cancer, since there are well over two hundred different types of cancer.

Last night I checked into a chat on the internet about kidney cancer.  I was given the heads up about it by another patient - thanks Karen - and it was hosted on http://www.talkshoe.com 

It was the first time I have ever been on this particular site so I just listened into the chat and then due to the midnight hour approaching, I exited.  I will return though and find out more about the website in a couple of days.

Two statements that were made by the moderator that really made an impact on me were:

"never before has there been a better time in history to have kidney cancer"

 AND

"wouldn't you like to be the first person on a clinical trial treatment that cures cancer?"

Just read both of those statements again....they are very profound!  In previous posts I have discussed the many different treatments and technological advances that have been made in kidney cancer since 2006.  It is truly a far different medical world now for cancer patients then is was back then....as I think about when my husband was diagnosed and only given 3 mos to live!  So, as last night's moderator stated, if you have kidney cancer today, you have so many more options available to you.  Basically, if one particular drug is not showing favourable CT results, then you possibly will have at least another treatment option or two to try.  That is of course, if you are willing and if your oncologist knows about the new treatments that are out there.  Not all of the oncologist do know, and this is where it is your responsibility to be PRO-ACTIVE and have all of the information right there, ready to pass along to your oncologist.  Knowledge is definitely power.

The second statement from last night's chat refers to the fact the if you have the option to become a participant in a clinical trial, who knows, the treatment you are taking might just be the one that will open doors for many other cancer patients and possibly might even be the cure!!!  So, realistically, you have to give it a try...that is depending on your present health situation and your emotional condition and the type of treatment that is being offered.  Just don't resign yourself to the fact that if  your doctor tells you there is nothing else out there available to you, you accept it and go home and just give up!!!  Nonsense!!!  You keep looking, you keep trying to connect with others who have the same type of cancer as you do and you keep gathering every little bit of information that you can about your cancer.

One final note:  Back in 2006, I would NEVER have imagined writing down a particular medication for my husband to take to his doctor and ask for a prescription....now however, the tide has turned and that's exactly what we do.   We know what works for different side effects, because I keep current with other caregivers and patients and obtain their expert knowledge?  Who knows better about what works to relieve side effects, than the patients themselves who already are taking the prescribed medicine and are finding the much needed relief.  Of course you ALWAYS need your dr's opinion first and foremost, but you have the information that he/she needs to help them along.

Enough said......be PRO-ACTIVE......I know of patients who are not, and who unfortunately do not know that there are other options available to them.  It is indeed very sad!

Everyday when I read the obituaries in my paper of those who have passed away from cancer, I always wonder if they knew everything there was to know about their type of cancer.

  Please pass this along to anyone you may know who has cancer, so that they can become informed!!!







Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is "Start Livin'" the Next Thing on Your List?




My husband's philosophy about having cancer is "there's not much I can do about it, but I WILL stay positive and I WILL "not" give up!"

I am convinced without a doubt that having a positive attitude is a high priority in your battle against cancer.  Sometimes it's not going to be easy to maintain this unflappable approach because there will be many bad days, but if you can rise above those valleys, there will be alot of good days ahead.

Take advantage of the good days and take time to do what's important on your list.  Just as today's song suggests, each of us should  have our own list of people and things in our lives that should be high priority and "start livin" and enjoy the most valuable things in life, but unfortunately it's not until we are stuck by some sort of disaster, that most of us realize this.  Life is very short for all of us so we don't need to waste a minute of it.

Last week's devastation in Haiti brings life into perspective for all of us.  In less than forty-five seconds, the lives of millions of people were changed...some lost forever. 

I have met so many cancer patients over the past three years who most definitely live their lives to the fullest and who do not let their cancer diagnosis stand in the way of their missing out on the important things.  I hope that you  don't allow yourself to become a cancer patient who just gives up when you hear a diagnosis of cancer from your doctor......remember, we all only can take life one day at a time, so don't waste a minute of it.......

START LIVIN'



We Are All In This Together

I always appreciate comments on this blog and I really want everyone who reads each post, to let me know what you think.  Reading your comments gives me inspiration to continue this blog, and whether your comments are positive or negative, I do need to hear your comments.

If you don't want your name posted, be assured that I won't do that! 

While it's difficult to post something everyday, I will try my best to keep the website current, as I know when you keep checking back and there's no new posts, my viewers tend to disappear.  I do have some very loyal ones however, and I am very grateful for them.  Grateful to have met them through this blog, grateful for their support on difficult days and especially grateful for all of the information about new treatments and side effects. 

My husband and I have had the opportunity to meet some of you personally and we are hoping that next week we will once again meet another wonderful couple who share our concerns and uncertainties.  It is truly amazing how one blog can open doors to a whole new world of possibilites, not only for my husband but for each and everyone out there who visit cancer blogs everyday.  There's tons of information to be absorbed on each one, whether they are written in the first person perspective by a cancer patient themselves or by caregivers like myself.



Gabby our little Yorkie!

My last blog was about possible dangers of eating grapefruit when on cancer treatments.  Some of you already knew about it, while others never ever knew it could present problems for those on treatments.  This is the whole point in my blogging......it's to share my information with others to inform them of what I know, and to obtain information from all of my viewers on what works for them, what is out there to help my husband and to make that personal connection via email whenever I need to know something.  I send off an email to some of my viewers and instantly, yes instantly I receive the info on what I'm asking about.....it's like having my own personal web data base......and I hope that each of you also avail of cancer blogs as well as mine to become better informed.   All any of us need to do is "ASK" and someone out there will respond to your concerns.

I've been trying to change the look of this blog with a new template....easier said than done.  I don't want to lose everything that I've accomplished here on this blog, but it is time for a change...so keep watching!

Would you believe that our Christmas tree is still up, with lights glowing at night?  It is a site to behold!!!...... and who said that Christmas only has to last for a few days anyway?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DANGERS of Grapefruit !!! - broken link has now been fixed



Did you know that grapefruit can be dangerous when you are taking some cancer treatments?  Grapefruit, grapefruit juice or anything that contains this type of fruit, such as cookies, salads, sauces, etc can be very potent to your system when on certain cancer treatments. 

Ingesting grapefruit can increase the amount of certain medications in your bloodstream, and when on cancer medications, it can increase the effective amount of dosage in your body.  Always check with your doctor first to see if the type of treatment you may be taking, interacts with grapefruit.

There's another great website as well that will indicate interactions with your type of medicines, and some in particular will tell you to "avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice" when on a particular type of medication.  You can look up "Sutent" for an example.  The website is as follows

Monday, January 18, 2010

Clinical Trial Info for ALL Types of Cancer

My last post included information about an upcoming Live Chat by Kidney Cancer Canada, which will reference information about "Clinical Trials" for kidney cancer patients.....this is your chance to ask questions and get the answers you have been wondering about with regards to accessing clinical trials and other relevant data.

I wanted to advise of a couple of other sites that you may also wish to check - pre the Live Chat - that provide some very good information about trials for all types of cancer that are occurring in some 171 countries, as well as those specifically in the US.  The links are as follows:

www.clinicaltrials.gov  - provides info on trials in various countries



www.trialwizard.org   -  provides info on US trials only



Write down any questions you may have for the Live Chat on January 28th about trials......you may not get to ask them all, but you will be prepared and no doubt, most of your concerns will be addressed throughout the Chat.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

LIVE CHAT - January 28, 2010

Kidney Cancer Canada is hosting a LIVE CHAT next Thursday, January 28th at 7:00 EST.  The topic for discussion is


Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Clinical Trials


Dr. Mary MacKenize, Medical Oncologist from the London, Ontario Regional Cancer Centre will be in attendance to answer questions about the above topic.  Remember, that you must first register in order to be able to access this chat.

The website is as follow      www.kidneycancercanada.org   and scroll down to the January 13th post, under "Latest News" for more information.

Patients volunteer to participate in clinical trials to test new cancer drugs and procedures. Information about clinical trials is important to all cancer patients and more especially if your present treatment is not effective, then you need to learn everything possible about other new treatments that may soon be available to you.

Don't forget to mark this very important chat on your calendar......hope to see you there!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hand/Foot Problems When On Cancer Treatments


The key to reducing the agony of  dryness in hands or feet when on cancer treatments, is to try and "prevent" them before they start.  Easier said than done though in many cases.  Each cancer patient is very different in their reactions to the side effects of their medications and what might work for one person, will not necessarily resolve the problem for another.

The www.kidneycancer.org webinar this past week, advised of a few possible remedies for hand/foot conditions that I'll list for your reference just in case you have not already been aware of them.

Apparently, the main thing to keep in mind is to treat your dry skin with products that contain UREA such as Aveeno, Utter Cream, Bag Balm or Lanolin.  Your doctor can also provide a prescription for other medications, depending on the severity of this side effect .  You should avoid taking "hot" showers and increase your fluid intake to keep your skin hydrated as much as possible.    If your feet are particularly bothersome, try to keep them elevated as much as possible to reduce pressure and try
"gel insoles" that are readily available at your drugstore to reduce pressure on your feet as well.  It's always a good idea during the cold winter months to always wear gloves to prevent further dryness in your hands as well.

At the first sign of any dryness in your skin, take action.....it's much more difficult to reverse the problem if you don't act right away!  

Always ask your doctor's opinion whenever you have any such side effects!

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Blog's Purpose & Fulfillment


I started this blog back in August 2008, for two reasons.  I wanted to get on here and hopefully connect with other cancer patients and their caregivers who were in similiar situations and from whom I could hopefully obtain information needed to help my husband and myself along this cancer journey. My second mandate was to try and help others by sharing the little bits of information that I then had, as well as through writing posts that I hoped might encourage or inspire those who needed it most.  My email list has grown steadily since that time and it is always such a pleasure to read them, to share any information I may have with you, and for me, this blog has been the best source of information I could ever hope to obtain in my quest to help my husband along this cancer journey!!!!  Those viewers with whom I keep in touch with personally, are the most caring, understanding, uplifting and informative people I could ever hope to know......and your comments that you leave on this blog are appreciated more than you could ever imagine.

This morning I opened my email and once again there was  a message from a new viewer.  It was from a lady " T" who herself has cancer, as well as her husband.  Her message was one of thankfulness for having found my blog just yesterday, for having read my post about how a diagnosis of terminal kidney cancer is now being renamed a CHRONIC disease such as diabetes or asthma, rather than one where your doctors tell you there's nothing else out there and just send you home without any hope to cling to.  She thanked me for the post and said reading it yesterday "helped her make it through the night"..... She was glad to have found someone who "really understood" what she was going through.

Needless to say I am very humbled by "T"'s comment and although I won't be showing it on the blog, as I do not want to reveal her identity, I do want here to know that it's not only I who she has now found, but also a community of very helpful, caring patients and caregivers who will be here for her.  I will be having a Live Chat by the end of this month right here on my blog for those who wish to connect with others to obtain support, information, encouragement not just for that night, but from here on, whenever you need someone.  We are a close knit community who are always just an email away.  Patients who themselves who have cancer, patients who are now cancer free and caregivers, like myself, who are there to offer support and to receive support and information from others.



And now a few personal notes to some of my viewers as I might not be able to access your email address....My computer is presently having problems and will need to be repaired next week.  In the meantime, you can always reach me at dannygabs@msn.com....

"T" - please send me an email at the following address so that I can communicate better with you.  I do not reveal alot of personal information on this blog as you can imagine but I am willing to share it with those in need.  My email is dannygabs@msn.com

Karen -  sunshine and relaxing - need I say more?   Have a blast!!!

Chenny  -  thinking of you both today...hang in and hang on.....please send me your email as well so that I can connect with you

Flo - thinking of you both as well today....I'll be in touch and please know that you are definitely a lifesaver! 

Sue G - will send an email when Live Chat is scheduled, probably last week in January as I'm waiting to hear from other viewers as to what works for them

Bindy - sent an email but apparently you are "out of the office"....LOL    .....enjoy!!!

Bill - finally discovered your identity..hope you rec'd my email and please forward reply at the above address just in case my computer goes down...

Joanne - have a great weekend and take time for yourself....you are such an inspiration to all of us!

Glenda - I know you will enjoy spending time with the little one and family.  Thinking of you always!

Tony - have not seen a post in awhile now....hope everything is well!

Jo - spoke with you the other night and I'll be posting a bit of info about hubby's sore hand/foot problems..sure hope it helps




If I have left names off this list, it is not intentional....just wanted to pass along a few notes to the above at this time.....

Have a great weekend everyone and another post should follow later today with more info on this past week's webinar!!! 

p.s.   I have clicked the "Rate" feature myself a coupleof times to see how it works...I'd really appreciate your letting me know what you think after reading each post.  All you need to do is click the appropriate star directly below this post!!!  Thanks again!!!!



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Last Night's Webinar

OK...so how mamy of you actually tuned into last night Kidney Cancer Association's live webinar about the treatments for kidney cancer and possible side effects?  If you didn't, then you most definitely missed a very informative presentation.  There was a slight glitch with viewing the video but no problems at all in hearing the audio and I made numerous notes.  Some discussion topics were ones I am already informed about, but I still like to hear the answers from another specialist's perspective.  Remember, you can never absorb too much information about your type of cancer.....it all helps to give you a better quality of life as well as keep you in the know about what new treatments, etc that are out there. 

I did see a couple of familiar faces of other caregivers  (i.e. names) on the viewing lists last night and it was wonderful to know that these individuals are keeping informed like myself.....they are not leaving everything up to their oncologist or kidney cancer specialist...but we are all becoming "experts" of sort on the type of treatments that are now available and we will have first hand knowledge about how to prevent or treat our loved ones side effects if they should occur.

The presentation was given by Ms. Laurie Appleby, NS, APRN who is on the advisory board for http://www.kidneycancer.org/  and who is associated with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University. I have sat through many similiar webinars in the past, but I must congratulate Ms. Applyby on her very informative presentation, which was given to us lay patients/caregivers, in a language that could be easily understood.  Sometimes I have found that discussions about kidney cancer can become very professional and more suited for the medical experts, and I leave such presentations with a feeling of total ignarance about what has been said. 

A very encouraging opening statement by Ms. Applyby on the topic of kidney cancer was to reiterate the fact that kidney cancer is now becoming a CHRONIC DISEASE similiar to diabetes, heart disease or asthma.  "Chronic" meaning that for the most part, this type of cancer can be controlled through the use of targeted therapies and not a "terminal" disease as most cancer patients are told by their physicians.  Cancer patients reading today's post need to repeat the word "chronic" again, many times over so that they can be encouraged about all of the recent innovations that have evolved for kidney cancer over the past 3 years...truly amazing and indeed, very encouraging to say the least!!!  I have previously discussed the terms of "chronic versus terminal" disease in an earlier post from October 2009 and you can access what I have written by scrolling down to the Blog Archive on the left side of this blog and going to that particular month.

I'll continue with more info on last's night webinar in another post later today.

I have added a slideshow of some of my pictures that I've used on this blog for your enjoyment.  Please note that they are copyright protected!

Another addition to my blog is a  feature which will allow me to determine if my posts are beneficial to you.  I trust that you will take a few seconds to "rate" what you have read each time you check out my blog. 
Rate My Post

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Devastation in Haiti

The pictures today showing the massive destruction after yesterday's earthquake in Haiti are unimaginable.  My heart goes out to the thousands of people in that country whose lives have been instantly changed as a result of this forty-five second disaster.  There is devastation beyond our comprehension in an area where life was already so very fragile.


Even though we all face adversity, after such a catastrophe we realize our blessings. 




Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Celebrate Life!

Don't forget to "TURN OFF" the Playlist before watching the following video.  Hope you enjoy this great and very meaningful song by a very talented and highly motivational singer, Terry Kelly.  This was a song, written by Terry, to honour and recognize those whose lives have been affected by cancer.

Terry has inspired so many people to rise above their afflictions and enjoy life to the fullest.  I trust you will read about his accomplishments and be inspired by the way he has met his life's challenges by checking his website at      www.terry-kelly.com

I have met Terry personally and was very humbled by his caring personality and deep concern for others.  After listening to his music, you too will definitely be inspired to
"Never Quite"
when you are faced with life's challenges.

If you are having a not so good day, play this song again, heck, play it as many times as you need to feel inspired........remember to "celebrate life" and together we'll overcome!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bring On the Sunshine

Brrrrrrrr....it's cold outside and it's not only happening in my part of the world, but the deep freeze is happening in usually warmer climates such as the US and England.  Thought I would add today's song to get us into the summer mode and take our mind off those cold temperatures.

Not every part of the universe is cold though...had a note from Bindy last night, and she's in a 40 degrees "hot" zone......so there is always hope that the Celsius/Fahrenheit will begin to climb. 

Stay warm, stay positive and never quit!!!



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Are You in the Know?

I can't stress again, how the internet has become such an invaluable resource to me since my husband's cancer diagnosis.  It has opened doors that I never could have imagined and it has enabled me to obtain vital information from many different sources.

It's sad to think that many cancer patients in today's society are still relying solely on their medical diagnosis and not researching any further.  Many of you may ask, "why and what would I search for?"  "Doesn't my doctor provide me with all of the information I will ever need?"

Of course your physician/specialist/oncologist will definitely give you a diagnosis, do the required testing and prescribe treatments or radiation, but a cancer patient needs more than that!

You need support from other cancer patients, caregivers and families.  Many of you will no doubt already have that in your everyday lives, but for other cancer patients who are alone or have a relatively small circle of friends, you can most definitely interact with another cancer patient who has your type of cancer, right here on the internet with just a few clicks of a mouse.  Overtime, you can create a community of people who understand exactly what you are going through and you can create a source of information about your cancer, possible new treatments that might be available to you, remedies for some of your side effects, an opportunity to attend a seminar about your type of cancer via a video presentation or telephone forum and most of all, the internet will allow you to connect with others who can provide information that your doctor probably cannot.    


I spoke with a family member of a man who has had cancer now for several months just a few days ago.  Throughout our conversation, I asked what type of cancer the patient had, and would you believe, that after all of this time, he (the patient nor his family) still does not know.  The answer I was given was "well, he has it in several areas, but we are not sure what "type" of cancer it is"!!!!  To say I was shocked, would be an understatement, because my first reaction was "how can any patient obtain the proper treatment, if he/she does not know what type of cancer they have?"  I wondered later if this particular patient was offered the option of having a biopsy, only to refuse it.  That in itself, would be a major mistake, as you DO need to know your TYPE of cancer in order to receive the best, possible treatments that are out there.  Such a simple thing that every cancer patient needs to know.  At first, I didn't realize the importance of this critical information, but it can be life saving to say the least.

The internet allows not only patients, but caregivers and families to interact with others and obtain support when you need it most, as well as information that your family oncologist may not know, such as the best solution for a particular side effect or what you might expect in the first few days of having radiation or chemotherapy treatments.  You will get first hand information via the internet as you correspond directly with the patients/caregivers themselves who have the personal experience in these areas that doctors do not.


Just today, I was given a website link by another caregiver that can allow me to go in and determine what drugs may interact with others that my husband may be taking.  Wow....I was amazed to say the least, as I was not aware such a website existed!  You can check it out at the following

http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php      (you may have to copy and paste it into the URL)

Such a simple thing, but such vital information for all of us to be able to ascertain.  I cannot thank this caregiver enough for all of the great info that is being sent my way, and once again, we would have never met if it had not been for the internet.


There are thousands of great websites out there, so I trust that you will continue to keep searching and using your computer to it's greatest advantage along your journey with cancer.  If you discover a website that you would like me to post on my blog, by all means, please send it along in the "Comment" section.

Remember, sometimes help is just a click away!!! 

NOTE:  always remember to check with your doctor first, before making any medical decisions based on what you may discover here on the internet


 









Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Online Session January 13, 2010

The Kidney Cancer Association out of the US will be holding an online session for cancer patients next week on January 13, 2010  covering the topic of

TREATMENT AND SIDE EFFECT MANAGEMENT

 You must register in order to participate and it is available both online as well as via telephone for anyone who may not have access to a computer.

The website link is as provided in this post and then enter the "Click here to register" area.

https://secure.kidneycancer.org/np/clients/kca/event.jsp?event=1371 

Remember, information is vital in your fight against cancer.....hope to see you there!!!

Monday, January 04, 2010

A New Year & A New Beginning


Click on the YouTube video for some upbeat music to get your day started.  It's a New Year and I trust you all are having a relatively good Christmas holiday, despite some of the obstacles and difficulties that many of you may have encountered.  This is the time when all of us should be making new beginnings and it's "out with the old, and in with the new".....

For those of you who are cancer patients, it is a time to reassess the past year and regenerate your goals for 2010......easy for me to say you might think, but as cancer patients, you should always be looking for updates on your types of cancer;  interacting with others;  and searching for new treatments that are out there that maybe your present oncologist might not even be aware of.  It does happen many times due to the fact that no one oncologist can know all of the new treatments that are available for over two hundred different types of cancer.

I feel there should be a central database however that all of these cancer specialists can access to find the most recent information that might be out there for their patients, but unfortunately that is not always the case.  If there is a central database, then believe me, there's lots of doctors who are not aware of it.

My theme for this blog for the start of 2010, is to keep my viewers Informed, motivated, inspired and encouraged!!!  Whew.....that is a very difficult road I have chosen, but I'll do my best and let me know if you have any ideas that I can add along the way.

Encouragement is key to remaining positive....both for patients and their caregivers.   Everyone has their own mountain to climb, even if you are not a cancer patient, so we all need to focus on what we hope to accomplish this year and take it one day at a time.

Seems you can't go many places or meet too many people these days, but someone they know has cancer......that is the reality of it.....now, there's no point in dwelling on the negatives and thinking you will become just another statistic, but pull up your sleeves, keep your head held high and be determined to fight all the way!!!

Keep reading all of the blogs that are out there, written by cancer patients themselves or by caregivers like my blog.  Go to seminars or presentations on your type of cancer whenever they are in your area.  Keep that daily journal on yourself and write everything down...you will most definitely forget things if you don't and your doctor needs to know how you are feeling at all times, not just when you see him for appointments.

OK...so I trust you are with me as we both begin this new year with hope for good things ahead.  Keep playing today's song a few times, listen to it's lyrics and "yes" even sing it out loud like I'm doing now!!!  The possibilities are endless so I trust as we begin this 2010 together you will remember to

Reach for the stars!!!