This journey through BC Land has been assisted by a great many resources–helping to give me practical advice, useful information, guidance and increased understanding of the complexities of this disease. I want to start putting together a monthly post of the sources that have made an impact on my life in some form or another. So, for the first installment of Resources That Have Made a Difference…
As a Peace Corps Volunteer 20 years ago, I found an article I read mid-service to be very helpful in making sense of my experience. It was one of those articles that looked at the experience of being a PCV as having certain hills and valleys/ups and downs that were pretty predictable regardless of where you were serving. It helped me feel that my experience and how I was processing it were normal–and ok. This was important to me because much of what I was feeling seemed so new and uncharted, I thought there must be something wrong with me. Recently, through social media, I was turned me on to an article that The National Academy of Sciences published in 2005 by the National Cancer Policy Board, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition. This article gave me that same ‘ah ha!’ moment. Following the news that my Octo test recommended no chemo last year, I have often felt that I am in a no-man’s land. I have not been an active patient for over a year–but I have averaged 2 doctors appointments a month and been taking Tamoxifen during that time. The article helped me see ‘survivorship’ as being part of a greater continuum–and that my feelings of being lost have been very normal. They also offer good suggestions of how to navigate survivorship.
Medical articles abound on the Net related to breast cancer. But which ones to access and trust? I go with the same rules in studying bc that I use when I am studying history: make sure you access multiple sources and know that these sources are from respected sites. Is the source peer reviewed or vetted by a community that knows what it is talking about? With everything that is available, it’s hard knowing which sources and medical articles are important to your individual situation–and few people have time to sift through all of the information on their own. Medivizor is new on the scene and sets out to sift through available information and provide their users with relevant, understandable and actionable items–personalized for your own illness. It’s free and I’ve been impressed with the articles they are sending out related to breast cancer. They are also considering their users feedback and have recently made some excellent changes.
Another free resource worth a subscription is Cure. Cure is both an online site and a traditional magazine full of excellent, engaging articles related to cancer. The winter issue includes a range of articles such as “Coping with Appetite Changes” and “Planning for Cancer Survivorship” which I have found very helpful.
Come to think of it, all of these are cancer resources rather than simply bc sources.