New Bruns wick Breast Cancer Network Inc. P.O. Box 1473 Fredericton, N.B. E3B 5E3 http://www.BRUNNET.NET/CANCER/. Newsletter Ed itor: Carol Loughrey, 506-452-2157, email firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 455-0944 January, 2002 My Journey Implications of a By Cindy Pickard History of Cance r on Various Insurance Plans I was diagnosed with breast cancer on my 44th birthday in By Lydia LaPointe, CLU, Chartered Financial Planner November of 2000. My mastectomy was fo llo wed by six months Travel Insurance – Blue Cross; Emergency Medical of Chemo and sixteen treatments of radiation which is standard for Care/ Horizons Plan, Coverage up to 180 days. Exclusion for pre- my type of cancer. I experienced the usual feelings and fears as existing condition which has deteriorated or has just been shared by my many “Survivor Sisters”. diagnosed or needed a medical consultation or treatment or required a change in medication, (etc) – within 3 months if you are When my treatments were finished, a wave of relief and closure under age 60 or 6 months if older than 60. Life Insurance -With in swept over me. My strength was returning along with my hair. I 3 years of cancer diagnosis or treatment, generally not available, was very anxious to “Get my life back” as I have vowed all during except basal cell carcino ma. After 3 years, if over 40, “Easy the dark days of my treat ments. Access” plan available, maximu m $25,000, level cost, payable to age 100 Death Benefit doubles for accidental death. Long Term My words were to be tested when I was invited to a co-worker’s Care Insurance -Pays if you need care at home or in a facility. 40th birthday party. As this was my first outing, I was very excited Available as long as cancer treatment/diagnosis was more than 2 and spent the day choosing my wardrobe, painting my nails, and years earlier. Critical Illness Insurance -Pays lu mp sum if you styling my proud growth of one-inch hair. At the party, as we are diagnosed and live 30 days, not available to cancer survivors talked and laughed, I was aware that something had drastically unless many years have passed changed. It was as if a wall had been shoved between me and my NBBCN Award to Dr Sykes friends. Their jokes and comments about husbands, boob -jobs, Each year the NBBCN gives an award to a health care provider in and looking old left me thinking, “They just don’t get it!”. After the province who has provided exceptional care to those diag nosed parting comments like, “But you look so good” and “We knew you with breast cancer. In October 2001, this award was presented to a could do it”, I bid them goodbye. I arrived home with a sadness I surgeon from Perth-Andover. had trouble describing to my husband. I shed a few tears as I tried to decipher these feelings. I felt jealousy and envy of my friends’ When breast cancer survivors were asked to comment on Dr. good health and carefree innocence towards life. I felt angry that Sykes, the follo wing wo rds and phrases were immediate: my innocence had been ripped from me similar to that of a child empathic, understanding of our fear, shows great compassion for who has witnessed the dark side of life. My husband summed up the family, gave direct ion, and a great listener. These same my feelings as “Having a foot in both worlds” I have visited the comments were given to describe his wife, Janet. Several dark side but now welco me the warmth of the light. mentioned how Mrs. Sykes would invite cancer patients into her home and teach them to tie turbans. True to his nature, he was also This wave of feelings surprised me but I have come to welco me responsible for organizing the very successful Cancer Support them as I have my diagnoses as a learning experience that I can Group in h is community. use to help others. I now feel much wiser and more compassionate towards others and that is a great gift to possess. Dr. Sy kes B.A., M.B.B.Ch ir., M.A., F.R.C.S.(Eng), L.M.C.C., F.R.C.S.(C), was born in England and has practiced medicine in When I return to work and get back to the daily routine of life, England, the United States and Canada. He is presently a surgeon some of my innocence and wonder hopefully will seep through the at the Hotel Dieu of St. Joseph in Perth-Andover. cracks of my wall but there will always be a part of me that will respect where I’ve been and will rejoice in my journey back. He is a member of the Royal Co llege of Surgeons of Canada, Associate Member of Canadian Urological Society, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, New Brunswick Med ical amount of iron was increased even further and then the tissue was Society, and the Canadian Medical Association. exposed to the drug. Within 16 hours nearly all of the cancer cells were dead, while the vast majority of normal breast cells did not Past award winners are Dr. Eshwar Ku mar, a Saint John Radiation die. The next step is animal trials and if those prove successful, Oncologist. Dr. Ralph MacDonald, a Fredericton surgeon, and Dr. move on to human trials. American Chemical Society 12/05/ 01 Roberge, a Moncton oncologist. Five Year Survival Get Active In December Statistics Canada issued a report “Five-year relat ive This newsletter has had many articles extolling the value of survival fro m prostate, breast, colorectal and lung cancer”. exercise to reduce our risk of recurrence. A recent article Survival time after diagnosis is used to evaluate treatments. described as “sedentary suicide” the inactivity that is killing an Unfortunately, the other piece of the puzzle, which is stage of increasing number of Canadians. It talks of many different kinds disease at time of diagnosis, is not available to the analysts to do of illnesses and their links to inactivity, including cancer. their province-by-province comparison. So the stats assume that, Statistics Canada defines an active life style as either 1 hour of on average, individuals are diagnosed at the same stage in each walking or other low intensity exercise every day, or 30 to 60 province – that may or may not be true. minutes of jogging or other moderate intensity exercise 4 days a Fi ve-year survi val of patients diag nosed in 1992: week, or 20 to 30 minutes of high impact aerobics or other New Canada British vigorous exercise 4 days a week. On ly one in five Canadian adults Brunswick Columbia are active. Source: Nutrition Action Healthletter, November 2001 Women Fredericton Surveys Members The steering committee of the Fredericton group has decided to Breast 77% 82% 85% send a survey out to its members this month to get advice on what Colorectal 52% 59% 61% the group might do differently as well as what it is doing well. Lung 11% 17% 15% Those who respond have a chance to win a gift certificate fro m Men Anne Smith Creations. Prostate 83% 87% 91% Woodstock Plans Workshop Co lorectal 47% 56% 59% The Woodstock group is planning a one-day public workshop in Lung 15% 14% 12% April on Caring For the Cancer Pat ient. This will be of special interest to the caregiver, as it not only deals with the patient but British Co lu mbia, which had the best overall survival, has had a also how the caregiver can deal with the stress, etc. Topics include central cancer agency since 1935. New Brunswick is one of only a nutrition, humour and talking with children. For more informat ion few provinces left with no such agency. Centralized cancer contact Doreen Kidney at 328-3772. agencies generally deal with radiation, chemotherapy and also Research News education, research and prevention programs. B.C. spends $44 per citizen per year on its agency. -Researchers in Toronto have found that women with high levels Sources: Statistics Canada and Report Card on Cancer Care in of insulin in their b lood are more likely to see their breast cancer Canada – Winter 2001. return and more likely to die of it. Insulin levels are boosted by lack of exercise and diets high in fat and sugar. The study’s lead Breast Cancer Support Groups author states that there is already evidence that insulin contributes -Fredericton normally meets the last Thursday of the month in the to breast cancer, colon cancer and probably prostate cancer ris k. community roo m in the Atlantic Superstore, 471 Smythe, 7 to 9 High levels of insulin can also interfere with tamo xifen. Globe and pm January 31, instructor Stacy Macklern will lead a session on Mail Dec 28, 2001. belly dancing February 28 Naturopath Dr. Parissa Bunin will tell -A new generation of breast cancer drugs has proved to be more us about a naturopathic protocol for those with a history of breast effective than tamo xifen for some post-menopausal women, cancer, or going through treatment March 28 Richard Anderson suggests research. The drugs, known as aromatase inhibitors, will talk about the well spouse support group (spouses are shrank tumours better and helped more wo men survive their welco me to this session). illness. The drugs appear to have fewer side effects than -Woodstock meets the first Thursday of each month at 7pm in the tamo xifen, although they seem to increase the risk of osteoporosis. community room of the Atlantic Superstore. Contact Doreen The drugs affect the body's production of oestrogen, so they only Kidney at 328-3772 or Marsha Shaw at 375-6077. work on wo men who have gone through menopause. One study -Moncton meets the last Thursday of the month at 7pm at the showed how the drug Arimidex, known under the generic name YW CA, 35 Highfield St. Contact Lynn LeBlanc at 384-2810. . anastrozole, helped wo men with early breast cancer. After an -Saint John meets the third Wednesday of each month at Loch average of 30 months' treatment and 33 months' of follow -up, 317 Lo mond Villa (Lion’s Den) Loch Lo mond Road at 7pm. For of the 3,125 wo men taking Arimidex suffered relapses, compared further info rmation, contact Val Landry at 657-3873. to 379 of the 3,116 given tamo xifen. In another study, 324 wo men -Sussex meets at 6pm on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the late stages of cancer in Germany, Spain, France and Britain, (except June, July, and August) for dinner at the All Season’s took either tamo xifen or an aro matase inhibitor, called Femara, Restaurant, Main St. A lthough most members are breast cancer known by the generic name letrozo le. Tu mours shrank in 60% of survivors, all cancer survivors are welco me. Contact Brenda wo men who took Femara for four months, compared to 41% of Graham at 433-5028 or Joyce Bean at 433-5652. wo men taking tamo xifen. Those taking Femara also lived longer. -St Stephen meets the 2nd Monday of each month at Charlotte Co. BBC News 12/11/01 (Ed itor’s note: In Fredericton the cost of a Hospital; 6:30 to 7:30 p m. For further info rmation call Kim Ross one month dose of tamo xifen is $16.33 and of arimidex is 465-4444 o r Sh irley Johnson at 466-2918. $180.50) Join NBB CN -An ancient Chinese treatment for malaria is proving highly To join NBBCN, send $15 to P.O. Bo x 1473, Fredericton, N.B. successful in eliminating cancer cells in test tubes. Using the high E3B 5E3. You will not only support our initiat ives, but also concentration of iron in tumours, as the basis of the test, the receive the newsletter by mail.
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