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Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Seeking Participants

I'm happy to announce that I've signed on as a Cure Click Trial Ambassador. Cure Click is an initiative started in partnership with WEGO Health designed to spread the word about important clinical trials by mobilizing health activists such as myself.

The first clinical trial I've learned about evaluates a new potential treatment for HR+/HER2- breast cancer. The majority of breast cancers are hormone-receptor positive (HR+), which means the cancer cells grow in response to hormones. Such cancers are typically treated with hormonal therapy.

There is a clinical study available seeking participants who have breast cancer in order to evaluate whether the study drug combined with hormonal therapy has better outcomes than hormonal therapy alone.

More about the study:

The investigational drug is administered by oral capsules and the hormonal therapy by injection into your muscle.

At least 193 people have already taken this drug in clinical trials.

There will be 550 participants in this trial.

If you are interested, the full study details and eligibility criteria are listed here.

Eligibility Criteria:

Participants must:

have been diagnosed with breast cancer which expresses at least one hormone receptor (estrogen receptor or progesterone receptor) and is HER2 negative

have stopped having monthly menstrual cycles either naturally or through surgery or hormonal treatment

Participants must not:

have received chemotherapy for metastatic disease (neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy is allowed)

be currently participating in any other clinical trial

have a history of central nervous system metastases

Please complete the online questionnaire to check if you’re eligible for the trial.

If you’re not familiar with clinical trials, here are some FAQs:

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are research studies to determine whether investigational drugs or treatments are safe and effective for humans. All new investigational medications and devices must undergo several clinical trials, often involving thousands of people.

Why participate in a clinical trial?

You will have access to new investigational treatments that would be available to the general public only upon approval. You will also receive study-related medical care and attention from clinical trial staff at research facilities. Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

Learn why I’m talking about Clinical Trials

Please feel free to share this post if you know anyone who might find this information interesting. 

Survival > Existence,

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It's Time for Bed. Are You Too Tense to Sleep?

Do you have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep during the night?

I sure do. I've always been prone to insomnia but, while I was undergoing cancer treatment, it was especially bad.  

I've learned the hard way that the best way to keep yourself wide awake is to freak out about not sleeping. Now I know that putting the focus on relaxation, rather than sleep, is the key.

It's impossible to relax and fall asleep if you've been tense all day. To help you get relaxed, I share nine tips in my latest CURE article.

It's Time for Bed. Are You Too Tense to Sleep?

There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep. Homer   

The worry and stress of living with cancer often leads to insomnia. I often couldn’t fall asleep, or would pass out and be wide awake a few hours later, unable to get back to sleep. I had no idea how badly it was affecting me until my therapist pointed out how fatigued I was during an especially miserable session.  

As I always tell my children, “When you’re tired, everything’s worse.” In my struggles with insomnia, however, I’ve learned that putting the focus on sleep doesn’t help. In fact, it often makes things worse by creating more anxiety.  

Instead, I've learned I must back up a step and focus on relaxation. If I can relax, I can activate healing responses within myself, one of which is sleep.  

You can’t go to bed and instantly relax if you’ve been anxious and stressed all day. The following steps will strengthen your relaxation muscle and help you face bedtime ready to sleep: 

Read more at CURE.

Wishing you a great night's sleep!

Survival > Existence,

Image courtesy Al Thomas

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January is National Blood Donor Month. Have You Considered Donating Blood?

Every January for the past few years, I've written about how important blood donation is to me. My latest CURE post focuses on the importance of blood donation to cancer patients and how we, as cancer survivors, may be eligible to give this precious gift of life:

Did You Know You Might be Able to Donate Blood? 

A week or so before my mastectomy, I found myself in the blood donation center at my hospital. Before my diagnosis, I thought a lot about donating blood, but never actually rolled up my sleeve. Now, here I was, making an autologous blood donation in preparation for surgery.  

I went in hoping I wouldn’t need my blood and it could be used by someone who did. What I didn’t know was that “autologous” meant my donation was usable only by me. Disappointed my blood would be destroyed and realizing how easy it was to donate, I promised the nurse I would be back.

Since then, I’ve donated blood and platelets many times and encourage other survivors to consider it too. You might think, as many cancer survivors do, that you aren’t eligible to donate, but according to the American Red Cross:

Eligibility depends on the type of cancer and treatment history. If you had leukemia or lymphoma, including Hodgkin’s Disease and other cancers of the blood, you are not eligible to donate. Other types of cancer are acceptable if the cancer has been treated successfully and it has been more than 12 months since treatment was completed and there has been no cancer recurrence in this time. Lower risk in-situ cancers including squamous or basal cell cancers of the skin that have been completely removed do not require a 12 month waiting period.

Precancerous conditions of the uterine cervix do not disqualify you from donation if the abnormality has been treated successfully. You should discuss your particular situation with the health historian at the time of donation.

Since 1970, National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January, when seasonal illnesses and bad weather make it especially hard to collect enough blood for patient needs. What motivates me to go out into the cold (and I don’t like needles any more than the next person) is the following from the American Red Cross:

More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.

I’ve written about blood donation several times at WhereWeGoNow, but one comment left by a reader truly put it all into perspective . . . 

Read more at CURE.

If you're interested, find out today if you're eligible to roll up a sleeve and give fellow cancer patients the ultimate gift! 

Survival > Existence,

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Thought for the New Year: Do You Need a Time Out From Cancer?

Happy almost New Year! As we move forward into 2015, I'm wishing you all the best for the New Year. 

I hope you have exciting plans and opportunities for the New Year. For me, I'm thrilled to share a piece of good news: I'm now writing for CURE as a featured contributor.

My first article, offering tips for quieting your mind, is especially relevant this holiday season. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets harried and overwhelmed!) 

Do You Need a Time Out from Cancer?

The mental noise that comes with cancer is deafening. Taking cancer time-outs can quiet your anxiety.

“I think, therefore I am.” René Descartes

I think a lot and have always assumed the millions of thoughts banging around in my head were productive.  Sure, I end up worrying nonstop too, but that’s the price of thinking things through and problem solving, right? 

With apologies to Descartes, I tend to believe, “I think, therefore I am working the problem.” 

Over the years, infertility, miscarriages and breast cancer worked my mind to exhaustion. When I was under siege, sleep was the only break I got and it never came easily or lasted long enough. As soon as I opened my eyes, the thoughts were there again, right where they left off. 

As painful and fatiguing as all that thinking (and worrying) was, I felt compelled to keep at it. In truth, I was in a continuous thought loop and couldn’t get out. 
 
What I needed was a time-out. 

Read more at CURE.

I wish you peace and serenity, health and happiness in 2015!

Survival > Existence,

 

Image courtesy Ehsan Khakbaz H.

PS: I plan to post an article a week at CURE. To find them, click on my CURE badge, which you'll find below and in the sidebar to the right. I really appreciate your support over at my new home at CURE! Make sure to visit often and leave comments (I answer every one!) 

 

 

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Season's Greetings from Debbie & WWGN!

Time to Settle In
& Get Cozy!

 

It's getting colder, the holidays are upon us and, all of a sudden, I'm feeling the need to slow down and get cozy. Of course, that means hot chocolate, marshmallows, a comfy throw and my favorite holiday movies.

 

What brings you comfy, cozy happiness? Whatever it is, make sure to allow yourself to luxuriate in it this holiday season.

 

Don't think of it as goofing off. Think of it as prioritizing live out loud joy at the very top of your "to do" list.

 

You deserve it!

 

Wishing You & Your Family
a Happy & Healthy
Holiday Season &
a Very Happy New Year!

xoxo,

Debbie

Copyright: vell / 123RF Stock Photo

Comments

karen sutherland's picture

dear Debbie,

this has been a very difficult season, the second tsunami of so many holidays over such a short period of time since I became a widow. my avoidance and sheer reluctance to be merry and bright lead to getting lost in time, thinking c'mas was not next week, but the following week. now I have lots to do, and scarcely time to get it all completed. tonight I started organizing a bit, starting with making lists - rather overwhelming to say the least. but then I decided to make another list - not one about shopping, wrapping, running hither and yon - but one to help me cope and not feel so sad and scattered. the first word on my "for me" list was "BREATHE", and it all flowed from there; I know the people who love and care deeply for me wouldn't want me to be spending these days in angst and stress, ending up too exhausted to enjoy my children and grandchildren on C'mas Day. so I am making time for myself to reflect on all I feel so grateful for, to send out Love and Kindness to others who are also struggling and in need of some TLC, to conjure up so many happy memories over Hugh's and my nearly 46 yrs of blissful, wonderful holidays, to feel his presence near me, and to not swallow any tears that will probably accompany those memories. hot chocolate and marshmallows - yup! and a good nap when I am weary - definitely! thank you for your lovely post and for all the good wishes you've sent. I wish you and your family happiness, peace, and joy...

...with much love,

Karen ooxoo

Debbie's picture

Dear Karen:

Thank you so much for gifting me your beautiful comment. I'm very sorry for your loss and so grateful for your wise words. Your "for me" list is a beautiful reminder of the importance of self-care, especially when we have experienced loss. I wish you and your loved ones a lovely holiday and all the love and strength that comes from being together in good times and in bad.

Much love,

Debbie

 

 

marie's picture

May you be blessed with peace, health, and happiness this holiday season Debbie - thanks for you all your support this year. Marie x

Debbie's picture

Dear Marie:

Thank you so much and I wish you the same! 

Merry Christmas and all the best for a wonderful New Year!

Debbie

 

 

 

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New Podcast: Thriving In a New Normal After Cancer

What does it take to move beyond traumatic life experiences? Because we're all different, there is no one answer. Each of us brings our unique strengths to survival and hopefully, by sharing our stories, we provide each other with hope, encouragment and inspiration.

That's why Melissa Wilson and I got together recently on a new episode of her The Grass Gets Greener podcast series. Melissa is a bullying survivor, and anti-bullying blogger and advocate. Her podcast series spotlights survivors of all kinds of traumas who have worked through individual struggles to go on to thrive.  

Of course, Melissa asked me about my cancer experience and what I've done to bring about healing. We also talked about a traumatic event I experienced that I don't talk about very often (hint: it's something we have in common.)

You can find the podcast episode here. Download it at iTunes and check out the other episodes. 

As I always say, we're all survivors of something. Coming together to talk about healing is good for all of us and, as always, I'm honored to be a part of the conversation.

Survival > Existence,

Picture Copyright: nikkytok/123RF Stock Photo

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