Breast Cancer – an awareness of a different kind

 I read a fascinating blog post this morning about breast cancer and chemotherapy. Did you know that about 8,500 breast cancer patients do not benefit from chemotherapy as part of their treatment? Not only are patients being subjected to a toxic chemical soup and all the side effects that go along with it, but are also health care cost savings. I’ve heard many chemo patients say that if their cancer comes back they will not do chemo again. That alone is enough for me to think that we should scrutinize cancer treatment protocols very closely. Here is the link to original post that got me thinking about this.


Flowers for Valentine’s Day? Not for Chemo Patients

Valentine’s Day is on Friday, which means the florists will be busy. Me, I prefer the chocolatier – more on that later this week, but, back to the flowers. Flowers are uplifting. They are alive, pretty and offer a nice pop of colour especially this time of year in the northern hemisphere. They also smell pretty… sometimes. On the first day of chemotherapy treatment the nurse warned us about scents.

Chemo patients are especially sensitive to smells.

Despite this warning, I would watch people come into the cancer unit armed with large bouquets of fresh flowers. This just didn’t make sense to me, nor did the visitors who bathed in perfume before coming to visit the hospital. If their perfume bothered me, can you imagine someone undergoing chemo who just has to get the littlest whiff of something to have the contents of their stomach project across the room? Lovely visual isn’t it. Did I get my point across? If your loved one is undergoing chemo save the flowers and perfume for another day. Holding back on scents may not only apply to the cancer unit. Hospitals in general and most work places have become scent sensitive. You can read the guidelines put forth by the Ontario Human Rights Commission here. It’s not just perfume. The Commission also lists other sources of scents for scent sensitive people (scroll down the linked page to see the list).



Good News Cancer Research at McMaster

Herpes helps fight cancer. Interesting byline, isn’t it? I don’t tend to read the medical journals so I rely on news articles to keep me informed of the medical world. This isn’t a cure, but anything that lessens the negative side effects of chemo is good news. The two year wait for FDA approval is not such good news.



I learned something new…

Sometimes it is worthwhile reading other blogs. I’ve been visiting Marie over at 66 Square Feet for well over a year now. Recently she posted about a common shrub that we can accredit chemotherapy for. It is worth popping over to her blog and having a read. Not only does she share very useful information, but her garden on her New York City balcony is outstanding.