Monday, March 01, 2010

quality of life

I just returned from the 10th Annual Conference For Young Women Affected By Breast Cancer in Atlanta.

I am so tired I can barely see straight.

It was a terrific experience and I really learned a lot but I'm feeling too brain dead to share any of the many stories swirling around in my brain.

Instead, I'll share some notes I took from a presentation by Dr. Julia Rowland, director of the National Cancer Institute's Office of Cancer Survivorship, called "Living Fully Is The Best Revenge."

In particular, Dr. Rowland shared with us the "factors associated with quality of life outcomes" - the things that need to happen for those of us who have had cancer to live long and well. My editorial comments are in brackets.

1. Accessing state of the art care (well, yeah).

2. Social support (having it and using it).

3. Finding or having a sense of purpose or meaning in one's life.

4. Learning to express oneself.

I think that these factors apply to quality of life for anyone, not just someone going through cancer treatment.

I'll be back on the other side of chemo.


The Maven said...

Good thoughts for everyone, definitely. Hope chemo isn't too rough on you this month. We should do coffee when you're feeling better. I'll likely have to bring the Spawn with me, but he's probably more entertaining than I am most days :P

Nat said...

Coffee? I want to go to coffee!

I'm glad after all the issues getting there the conference was excellent.

laurie said...

OK the four of us (including Spawn) will have coffee some time soon.

RivkA with a capital A said...

I would have liked to attend. I look forward to reading about it.... and experiencing it vicariously

Rosa said...

Hope the chemo is as low-impact as it can be. What great suggestions! I am a cancer survivor and I work for ChiliTechnology. The ChiliPad is a great invention for people who have medical conditions that make them too hot to sleep - it's a cooling mattress pad. You can set any temp. you want down to 46 degrees. It also heats up to 118 - if you need that. Unlike the electric blanket it keeps the electromagnetic field far away from the body - so doesn't increase your risk of cancer or get in the way of healing. It really helped me during chemo when I was getting sweats and chills. Hope this helps someone!