Tuesday, February 28, 2012

You Can Play Your Part Re: Cancer Drug Shortages in US

Just rec'd the following link from ASCO - The American Society of Clinical Oncology -  with regards to an article calling on Congress to solve the growing problems on cancer drug shortages.


At the end of this article it encourages everyone to contact their Congressman by clicking the link ASCO's ACT Network enter your zip code and then you will be asked to complete a form and relate your story if you have encounterd any drug shortages.

Together we can ALL make a difference!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Keeping Your Meds Organized

It's Sunday night and time to refill hubby's pill organizer for another week.  Thought I would pass along a link to show the type of container that I find to be very, very efficient in organizing his medications.  When anyone has to take more than 20+ pills everyday, it can get quite confusing sometimes if you don't have some organization or schedule to remind you of just what meds you have already taken and what you have left to take.

My daughter bought this great container a few months ago for her Dad and I personally find it wonderful.  We have tried the smaller 7 day types, but sometimes there's just not enough separate compartments to organize everything.

The one I use is made by Dorsett and here's the link:    http://www.dosett.com/

We have the "red" one and although at first glance there may seem to be alot of different compartments, it's perfect for my husband's use.  It's a seven day organizer with four compartments per day so if you have to take pills four different times each day, it's just what you need. Once I organizer his pills, then he can easily access them anytime I'm away from home, and feel quite confident that he is taking the correct ones at the correct time.

There's also a list included at the bottom of the organizer where you can write down all of the medications and take it quite easily on your next doctor or hospital visit for reference.  The Dosett organizer also comes in smaller sizes for those who do not require the extra room for sorting.

Hope this helps and although I'm not sure where you can purchase it, why not check out your favorite drug store, and no doubt it's there.

If anyone reading this has more info on just where to buy these, please post the info directly on my Chat Forum.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Possible Shortage of Drugs

By now, you have all probably heard the news flash about Sandoz Canada having to reduce it's production significantly, resulting in a possible shortage of many injectable cancer drugs and antibiotics.  Here are a couple of links that you may wish to check out for further information



My advice would be for everyone to contact their pharmacist to ensure that their medications will not be affected, and if there is a shortage, it's best to address the situation immediately by asking your physician for another prescription that can be filled now or an alternative medication, just in case your present one will become unavailable within a few weeks. 

Last year I experienced the same situation with one of my husband's medications due to a shortage of the drug and it left me virtually hunting around at several pharmacies before I managed to obtain a significant amount of this particular med.  Within a few weeks however, it was available once again.

When you are taking essential medications that you cannot do without, even for one day, then it's up to you to ensure you have done your homework and followed up on this recent news item.  You don't want to be left with zero meds.

Just thought I would pass this along.  I'm prepared...ARE YOU?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Facing the Unknown

For viewers of my blog who have been down the cancer road now for awhile, feeling anxious about the unknown is all too common.  For first time cancer patients however and their families, there is no other word to describe the start of their cancer journey but terrifying!

We have all been there, that's for sure. Each time I accompany my husband to the cancer clinic, I can just look at someone and know it's their first visit there.  You can see the anxiety and fear on their face, as I'm sure it was on ours a few years ago.

That's what happened a couple of weeks ago while my husband was waiting to see his oncologist. His appointment was late so I decided to go and introduce myself to this couple in hopes that it might help to relieve some of their uneasiness.   Just the thought of going to a cancer clinic is in itself a scary thought, let alone the apprehension of what your first visit to an oncologist will be like.  

So up I get and do the introductions as I hate to see those first-time patients look so fearful about the unknown.  Once the intros are done, I then try to get them a little more familiar with the surroundings by pointing out the blood collection area, the oncologist's offices, the chemo unit, and where there are bathroom facilites and a place to get a coffee or snack.  The main thing I try to enhance is the fact that EVERYONE feels the exact same way on their first visit to the clinic so there's no need for apologies.  My husband and I have visited their so many times, I tell this couple that this place has become our second home of sorts. 

Yes, we no longer feel any apprehension when we go into the clinic, for we know everyone there has a role to play in helping my husband along his journey.  From the receptionist, or the lady who takes his blood, to the pharmacists, nurses and all the oncologists that we have met along the way, it does make us feel kind of like being at our second home.  We feel quite comfortable making ourselves at home and there's never any hesitation in asking questions.

After my short conversation with these first-time visitors to the cancer clinic, it was time to wish them well.  They shook my hand and thanked me for reassuring them on this frightful day!  I'm sure we will cross paths again on another visit to the clinic, but for now, I trust that my attempt to make them more at ease will be passed on by them as well one day when they see another new cancer patient at that clinic.

I trust that on your next visit, you as well will "PASS IT ON........"