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Archive for the ‘surgery’ Category

     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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       I don’t know about you but hearing about the elderly being abused makes me mad.  Yesterday on my home television station there was a terrible story about a elderly woman who was allegedly abused by her own son. 

       She was left on her couch allegedly for approximately three weeks without medical help.  She was so weak from lack of food and fluids that she could not even get up off of her couch.  Her home was so filthy with her own waste that the emergency workers and police who checked on her, became violently ill in the front yard of the home.  It sounds as if the woman’s social security checks were being cashed regularily though.  The news reports say that the woman allegedly did not have a shower/bath for up to one year! 

       The poor woman has had to have surgery…her home was in such disrepair that it was condemned by the authorities.  Where in the world has respect for life gone?  This is a failure of our culture to fail to make sure that all of our older friends and relatives are nurtured, cherished and protected.  Sometimes, the elderly deal with memory issues or mental illness; this is an especially important circumstance to get social workers and medical personel involved with, especially if they don’t have a close supportive family system in place.   It would be bad enough if this was an isolated case in our country; but, it is not. 

         Everyday the elderly are abused and neglected in their homes, in medical facilities, in nursing homes and on the streets.  It is an outrage.  Yes, the elderly require time and attention.  Yes, it can be difficult for the caregiver; as they are loosing their independence and ability to do many of life’s chores on their own and often they resent that fact; however, it is important to take loving care of our elders.  Time is short and spending time with your loved ones is special.   You can never get that time back with them once they are gone.  The difficult and challenging times will pass.   The elders in your community have many memories and experiences to share; take advantage of that time with them to store up knowledge and memories.

         Just showing some caring and concern for the elders can make a difference in the quality of life for them.  Offer to do a kindness for them such as pick up their mail for them; or walk their dog…take them to medical appointments, or grocery shopping.  Some tasks are too difficult for an elderly person who is unsteady or has medical issues; like, going up and down stairs to do laundry or shoveling their walkways or raking leaves.  

         We all will be elderly one day if we are blessed to live long enough.  Please, check up on your elderly neighbors, your parents, your friends; visit with them and help to relieve their loneliness.  If you see someone abusing or neglecting an older person (or any person for that matter) get involved…call the authorities!  You never know…you could be saving a life.   If you suspect elder abuse report it:  http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

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       Last night, if you had a chance to watch Dancing With The Stars; you probably already heard…but, Julianne Hough announced that she would be having surgery today to have her appendix removed.  If you remember, last week after competition, Julianne took a trip to the hospital in an ambulance for stomach pains.

        It was disclosed that Julianne has endometriosis; and, that is why she is having her appendix removed.  Endometriosis is a condition that is very painful, it is caused by abnormal growth of the lining of the uterus.  That growth can extend outside of the uterus and spread to the internal organs.  It can contribute to fertility complications. 

        In any case, we send best wishes to Juliane.  During her absence, while recovering, Julianne’s dance partner Cody Linley will be partnered with Edyta.  Julianne hopes to be back in a week…but that would be pushing it by most people’s expectations.  I am sure we will get an update on Julianne’s condition tonight on the results show of Dancing With The Stars.  related story:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/dancing-wthe-stars-maurice-greene-is-a-good-sport/

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Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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        For those of you who have never heard of Operation Smile it is a great not-for-profit organization that organizes volunteers who team up to medically improve the lives of children who were born with facial deformities.  The non profit was begun by Dr. William P. Magee, Jr. who is a plastic surgeon and his wife.  

         Together he and his wife Kathleen S. Magee, who is a nurse and clinical social worker, put their skills into practice since 1982, working towards helping improve the life conditions of children who have been impacted by cleft palates and other facial deformities.  For a relatively low cost of approximately $240.00 a child’s life can be radically changed.  The impact of this life changing operation can not be praised enough.  Improving a child or young adult’s self esteem is invaluable to the quality of life they will have.  Many people who are born with facial deformities endure physical and emotional hardships due to the mistreatment from others.  Building up children and their families by bringing this kind of health services to them that they could not possibly afford on their own is a major humanitarian contribution.

           Operation Smile has grown to include a large volume of volunteers who labor to bring health and happiness to those who receive the benefit of it’s services.  At this point, over 26 countries are considered partner countries who are actively working with Operation Smile.  Their headquarters are located in Norfolk, Virginia.  They have offices around the world to educate and bring awareness of their cause and in those offices they work to raise funds to pay for the charitable works that they do.

        If you are interested in donating either your medical skills, your time, or fundraising abilities or even donating money here is the number to call 1-888-OPSMILE (888-677-6453) .  In Norfolk they also bring children to America to receive care on scholarships that they might not be able to receive in their own country for the more complicated surgeries.  Training is also provided for those with medical skills who wish to advance their specialized skills for work in the area of facial deformities.

         Cindy McCain, a philanthropist and businesswoman has been on Operation Smile’s board of directors for some time.  She has worked with this organization since 2001; long before her husband, Senator John McCain became a Republican presidential hopeful for the 2008 election.

          If her husband’s run for the presidency brings some attention and focus on her work with Operation Smile; I don’t think that Cincy McCain will mind.  That focus may bring more medically skilled volunteers as well as donations of money that will help Operation Smile to continue bringing, hope and help to those in need.  http://www.operationsmile.org/   Is there a willingness in your heart to help or to donate to this great organization?  https://www.operationsmile.org/help/donate/

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         This incident had to be a little shocking for the people involved; a 45 year old man from Paris, France had a massive heart attack.  His heart had stopped working for over an hour and a half. 

          It appears that emergency personel tried to revive him but wasn’t having great results.  They sent him on to a hospital where they continued the effort only to decide he was gone.  Then, just as he was being prepped for an organ donation…his heart began to jump back into action.  What a surprise for the surgeons involved in prepping him for the organ donation procedure!  It was a miracle for the 45 year old man; sad for those on the waiting list for the donated organs, though.

         Organ donation is a wonderful thing…it has the power to save and improve the lives of so many people.  However, i think people do actually get concerned about how the medical profession decides that a person is truly dead, before they proceed with retrieving an organ from a donor. 

        If a person has decided to become an organ donor; the best thing they can do is document it and make sure that the next of kin is aware of their wishes.  If a person has strong feelings on the matter, it is very important that they make it clear to family and friends about their decision; relieving the next of kin from the stress of having to make that decision.  www.organdonor.gov/ or www.organtransplants.org/ or www.donatelife.net/ .  

        There are those who argue about the ethics involved in organ donation; waiting lists, costs, black market organs, testing of the health of the donors, safety of medical flight transportation of organs; and some of those arguments are valid…however, no-one can deny the impact on the lives of those who give and those who receive.  There are complex layers of emotions involved.

        I think that when people consider organ donation, this is one of the biggest fears that they face…what if they aren’t really dead?  I am sure there is a definate protocol involved to insure that this kind of situation is avoided; however, in this case, i sort of imagined myself in that situation with my slightly twisted sense of humor.

        I can just see it; coming to on the surgery table…saying, “Excuse me, don’t touch that.   I still have a need for that particular body part!”  LOL  

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          Today there will be news reports on the outcome of Senator Ted Kennedy’s brain surgery.  He was scheduled to undergo brain surgery this morning at 9 am.  Then he will be in the hospital for approximately 1 week.  After the surgery he will be undergoing radiation and chemotherapy soon to treat the cancer.  We wish him and his family well.

           Also, it was announced that actress Tatum O’Neal was allegedly arrested in a drug bust over the weekend.  She had been a competitor on an earlier season of Dancing with the Stars.  She has admitted a past drug usage that played a part in her divorce from tennis star John McEnroe and custody of her children.   This last couple of weeks has seemed volatile in the news. 

           Today, a music icon, Bo Diddley passed away at his home in florida from heart failure.  He contributed much to the music scene in the early years of the rock and roll beat.

           Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent died…he had been ill for some time.  He was 71 years old and is credited with making it fashionable for women to wear pant suits.

           History was made in the allotment of delagates for Michigan and Florida.  There was much brouhaha about who would get the opportunity to cast their votes.  All of the delagates will get to vote however, their votes will each only count for half.  No one is satisfied with this agreement…however, the only other obvious solution was being touted was to throw out their votes…that too, was unacceptable.  So, the democratic convention is penalizing Michigan and Florida for having their primaries earlier than the democratic party condoned.

          This week proves to be no less traumatic than last week.  Stay tuned!

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         It is the morning after; Shannon Elizabeth from Dancing With The Stars was let go from the competition.  It was sort of one of those shows where one minute it looked certain that one thing would happen and then something completely different changed the course.

          I was thinking that Shannon would be the one to go until Christian de la Fuente was injured; and then, i thought…well, maybe it was exactly what they said at first…a pulled/strained muscle.  Then when the show started up….the drama increased; and i second guessed myself. Ooops…they were building up the tension, insinuating that maybe the injury would put him out of the running.

      Finally, it was revealed that Christian had spoken to the doctors after an MRI and he needs to have surgery on his arm as he has a ruptured tendon in his bicep.  However, just when the audience thought…he was leaving…Christian announced that the doctor gave an ok to continue with the competition if he had been voted to stay. 

          Wow…i can’t imagine a doctor saying…it would be ok to continue to put that kind of strain on the arm if he was injured that badly.  Truthfully, why would someone want to risk permanent damage?  I mean, sure…Christian has worked hard to stay in the competition…but, please…this seems a bit serious.

       In any case, there it is…Christian was voted to stay and that meant that the bottom two competitiors were Shannon/Derek and my long shot Marissa/Tony.  I felt bad for Shannon she is mourning her loss.  She said that she made a lifelong friendship with Derek.   She seemed pretty sad…but, i also rejoiced that Marissa and Tony were given another week to display their wonderful teamwork.  Gotta love this show, dont ya think?

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        Robin Roberts made me cry…again :)!  You know what…she has decided to take off her wig and present herself as she is.  Since the chemo treatments and the radiation, she has been wearing a wig.   She said she now realizes that she was clinging to the Robin of before her diagnosis.  That is ok…the wig helped get her through that time more comfortably. 

         Healing from cancer or any other disease or illness is about more than physical treatments…it is an emotional journey as well.  We would benefit from realizing that treatment should include the whole person…physical, emotional, spiritual,medical, financial and any other way that would help to bring total wellness.

         There were moments where Robin showed us parts of the process that she was going through.  First, she shaved her head on the air during Good Morning America.  Then, she showed us her bald head when she “modeled” a dress for a fashion designer.  Her beauty, both inside and out, has always revealed itself.  Robin has a strong network of support in her family, her friends and her viewers.  At times, she seems almost apologetic about how much love and support she has.  But, I think of it as inspiration for others; because true support is a lifeline when facing health challenges. 

       Today, she peeled away the private side of her struggle with the hair loss. She held hands with her co-worker friends and told it all.   She wasn’t ready to go “au natural” all of the time in public in the beginning.  In private, she did as she pleased…but, i’ll bet she wore the wig not only to feel comfortable herself in public; but also, to make her viewers more comfortable.  She said that she didn’t want to distract from reporting the news, in any way, by doing it bald.

        As always, i thank Robin for showing the world, through example, how to follow your instincts and do what is right for you in your healing process. There is no single ONE answer for everyone…healing is a personal and individual thing.  This is the right time for Robin to give up the wig; as she said…she is ready.

         Robin is going to auction the wig and then use the money to donate to an organization that helps those without insurance.  She hopes the wig and the money will help someone who doesn’t have the means.  She can’t cut her own hair to donate but this is the next best thing to doing so.  There is an organization for those wishing to donate their hair in a gesture of goodwill for those in need of a wig; it is called Locks of Love.  Their website is:  http://locksoflove.org/.

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       I read a sad story this past week about a beautiful, 18 year old young woman who had CORRECTIVE BREAST SURGERY and died from complications of the surgery at a Florida hospital.  The young woman had physical problems with her breasts, which is why she was having the surgery in the first place.  The reason that she died is because she allegedy had a rare type of reaction from the anestheisia; from what news reports i read.

          Some of the comments that readers of the article submitted were not only negative; but, actually condemed the young woman for having the surgery in the first place.  Understand, the was a medically CORRECTIVE, procedure.   She was not correcting a previous plastic surgery…it was to correct physical/medical issues.

           Many of the comments made were putting the young woman down.  I wonder, if the young woman was having surgery to remove an appendix or some such other medical procedure; if she would be judged in the same way.  Or, is she criticized because the surgery was plastic surgery in nature; were they assuming she was trying to increase her cup size only?  There is a large segment of the population that is “gifting” their teenagers with plastic surgeries because they desire it and because it boosts their self esteem.  This is very controversial issue.

             I personally feel that those who were harsh about her surgery and subsequent death were making an assumption that this surgery was about vanity as opposed to what she felt was a necessary procedure.

            It seems, according to the articles that i read, that the rare reaction to the anestheisia runs in the young lady’s family.  When they have surgery with the anestheisia their bodies go into a very high temperature and reacts in a way that can cause death. 

            Unfortunately, there is no way to know ahead of time if a person’s body will react this way; until, there is a reaction.  Still, it does seem like there should have been at least a heads up notification to the medical personel doing the procedure; and maybe there was for all any of us know.  Still, it is a tragedy; this young lady wanted to grow up and be a part of the medical profession herself. 

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