When You Need Medical Help Fast

In medical emergencies, it can be crucial to seek help quickly. As an RN, I’ve seen instances where getting immediate care can make all the difference.
For some injuries and illnesses, there is a short window of time during which medical treatment should be administered. Once that window closes, the chances of successful treatment shrinks. In medicine, it’s known as the “golden hour.”
Here are some guidelines on recognizing emergencies and getting help quickly:
Seek treatment within 3-4 hours
If the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a portion of the brain is blocked, a stroke occurs—and brain cells can begin to die after just a few minutes. Sudden bleeding in the brain may also cause a stroke. Symptoms include sudden weakness, paralysis or numbness of the face, arms or legs; trouble speaking or understanding speech; and trouble seeing. A stroke is a serious medical condition requiring emergency care. It can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability or even death.
A drug called tissue plasminogen activator (or tPA) is injected into a vein in your arm, and can break up blood clots in the arteries of the brain. But it must be given within four hours to be effective. It should be given as soon as possible.
If you suspect you or someone else is experiencing the symptoms of a stroke, dial 911 immediately. Don’t drive to the hospital or let someone drive you—medical personnel in an ambulance can begin this lifesaving treatment on the way to the emergency room.
Seek treatment within 72 hours
Symptoms of this temporary form of facial paralysis caused by a swollen, inflamed or compressed nerve that controls the facial muscles vary from person to person. They may include twitching, weakness or paralysis on one or both sides of the face (though the latter is rarer); drooping of the eyelid and corner of the mouth; drooling; impaired taste; or excessive tearing in one eye. Symptoms usually come on suddenly and reach their peak within 48 hours. Bell’s palsy can occur at any age but is less common before age 15 or after age 60. Among the 40,000 Americans afflicted each year, Bell’s palsy is more common among those with diabetes or upper respiratory ailments like the flu or a cold.
Though most people eventually recover, it can cause long-term facial disfigurement. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment (at an urgent-care center or the emergency room of a hospital) fast—within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms. Oral steroids can reduce inflammation and restore function of the affected nerve.
Seek treatment within 72 hours
Tetanus is a serious bacterial disease and potentially lethal infection. The tetanus infection, which is fatal in one of every 10 cases, can cause painful muscle contractions, especially in your jaw and neck muscles, and can interfere with your ability to breathe. It’s commonly known as “lockjaw.”
The tetanus vaccine can protect you against developing the infection, for which there is no cure. You may develop tetanus if you have been contaminated with dirt, animal feces or manure through a deep cut or puncture wound. Seek help within 72 hours if you haven’t had a booster shot within 10 years or aren’t sure of when you were last vaccinated against tetanus. Treatment includes a shot of tetanus immune globulin along with a standard booster.
Seek treatment immediately if it suddenly rises and stays that way
If your blood pressure registers a systolic reading (top number) of 180 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic reading (bottom number) of 110 mm Hg or higher for more than a few minutes with repeated checking, it’s considered a hypertensive crisis and you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment.
Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness or weakness, change in vision or difficulty speaking. When blood pressure rises quickly and severely, results can include stroke, memory loss,heart attack, damage to the eyes and kidneys or loss of kidney function. To lower your blood pressure, you’ll most likely be treated with an adjustment of your oral medications.
Seek immediate treatment
Flashes of light or floaters (small bits of debris that look like spots, hairs or strings) in your eyes or darkness over part of your visual field that occur suddenly or in great numbers may signal a possible retinal tear or detachment, when the retina pulls away from the layer of blood vessels it needs to provide it with oxygen and nourishment. Although it’s painless, it can lead to vision loss and requires immediate medical attention by an ophthalmologist.
You’re more at risk if you have a family history or retinal detachment, are older than 40 or have had a previous severe eye injury or trauma. Treatments include surgery or a procedure that injects air or gas into your eye (known as pneumatic retinopexy), draining and replacing the fluid in the eye, or cryopexy, where the surgeon applies a freezing probe to the outer surface of the eye directly over the retinal defect.
What about non-emergency situations?
When it’s not an emergency, you have more options. For times when it may not be convenient to see your doctor, but you don’t need emergency care, there’s LiveHealth Online. It’s a quick and easy way to see a doctor 24/7 for face-to-face video conferencing. What a great resource! In fact, we at HealthyWomen like it so much we’re offering a free coupon for your first visit.
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How to Be “Younger Next Year” With Exercise

I’m back from the gym and finished my aerobic exercise with 20 minutes on the elliptical. My heart rate was at 70 percent to 85 percent of my target—a high-endurance workout. (Go, Judi! Go, Judi! Go, Judi!) I also completed some strength training and stretching with an hour yoga class. (Go, Judi! Go, Judi! Go, Judi!)
Dr. Henry S. Lodge (also known as Harry) and Chris Crowley, authors of the Younger Next Year series, would be proud. Harry’s first rule to help limit decay in an aging body is to “exercise six days a week for the rest of your life, especially during your life after 50.” I had heard about this series, but never read any of the books until I received review copies of Younger Next Year for Women and their latest, Younger Next Year: The Exercise Program.
Younger Next Year for Women
“Harry’s Rules will change your life,” says Dr. Mehmet Oz.
“It’s got all the tools that women need to achieve longer, sexier and more passionate lives,” says Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, codirector of New York Center for Women’s Sexual Health. Wow-o-wow.
The series has more than 1.5 million copies in print and a 10-year history of helping change lives for the better. I was curious to find out what passionate followers had discovered.
Younger Next Year For Women was an easy read, and I thought Harry’s seven rules and Chris’s advice for those entering their second and third acts were helpful. Harry, a renowned doctor and gerontologist, is the Robert Burch Family Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He is also Chris’s doctor and good friend. Chris, a former litigator now in his 80s, has followed Harry’s rules and continues to stay active.
Harry’s Rules
So what are Harry’s Rules? Read below and see if you are following these rules during your life after 50. Chris says that you should treat exercise like a job. It’s definitely easier to treat exercise like a job if you are retired. However, even if you aren’t, these are rules that require attention post-50.
As the book recommends, “Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program and don’t overdo it the first day.”
1. Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life. (This is a tall order that I’m trying to accomplish since I retired from my full-time job. I go to the gym about four to five days a week and try to ride my stationary bicycle at home six days a week. This is hard work.)
2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life. According to Harry, “Light aerobic exercise is long and slow exercise at an easy pace—up to 65 percent of your max heart rate. Hard aerobic exercise is when your heart rate is at 85 percent of your max. You can figure out your target heart rate and max numbers by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying the results by the appropriate percentages.
3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week. (I don’t lift weights, but I do lots of yoga, lifting my own body which is way heavier.)
I do planks in yoga for strength training.
4. Spend less than you make. (I hear you. I’ve planned a monthly and yearly budget for my second act. It’s not always easy to keep within my parameters each month. Overall, I’ve been doing a pretty good job. Check, check, check.)
5. Quit eating crap! (Check, check, check. For the most part, I’ve been eating healthier and doing more cooking since I retired. I’m on the FODMAP diet, which is keeping my irritable bowel under control.)
6. Care. (I am so grateful for my wonderful family and friends. I feel lucky that after 30 years of a fast-paced corporate lifestyle that I can now prioritize my passions over a paycheck.)
7. Connect and commit. (Speaking of passions, I’ve met many new friends since I retired. There are my blogging buddies, my yoginis and yogis, my YTT 200 yoga teachers and students at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, plus all the people I’ve come to know through my consulting. Oh, oh, oh, there’s also my boyfriend L. We continue to be a great team. He doesn’t exercise like I do—I’m going to give him a copy of this book to read. Hear that, L?)
Younger Next Year: The Exercise Program
There is much more to share about the Younger Next Year series, including all the information in Chris and Harry’s latest book, Younger Next Year: The Exercise Program. It describes ways to “use exercise to reverse aging and stay strong, fit and sexy.” It features a guide that shows “25 Sacred Exercises, the foundation for a whole-body strength-training regimen by Bill Fabrocini, P.T., illustrated with step-by-step directions for doing each exercise correctly.” (I was pleased to see that many of these exercises are the same poses we do in yoga.)
Thanks to Chris and Harry, I know why I am busier than ever. I figured out that if I count exercise as a job, I now have three part-time jobs—my exercise, my blogging and consulting, and my yoga training. I’m actually doing more during my life after 50 than I did before!
Yes, it can be exhausting at times, and I still have aches and pains, but it’s also exhilarating. Hope I can keep this up for the next 30 years. Well, maybe not all these activities. Better get back to my mindfulnessmeditation and yoga, which reminds me to take each moment as it comes and live in the present.
Cheers to a healthy 2016!
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Who Is Caring for the Caregivers?

A wife, hesitant to put her ailing husband into a nursing facility or assisted living facility, chooses instead to care for him at home to save on costs and give him more attention.
A daughter, holding down her own full-time job, helps her elderly mother, who lives nearby, with medical or nursing-type tasks. She also oversees her mother’s doctor appointments and does her grocery shopping and much of the cooking.
Caregiving in the United States, as carried out by those who provide unpaid care to an adult or a child, runs the gamut from millennials on one end (one-quarter of caregivers today are millennials between ages 18 and 34) to those who are 75 years or older (nearly 1 in 10) and are the sole support for a loved one. In between, there are men and women from every age, gender, socioeconomic, racial and ethnic group taking on the responsibility of caring for another.
A large majority of caregivers (85%) help care for a relative. Forty-nine percent are caring for their spouse.
While there are countless joys that come with caregiving, there are also countless stresses and strains. With almost 44 million family caregivers in our country—that’s nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population—is it any wonder that a part of this population suffers from.
The fact is that the longer caregivers provide care, the more likely they are to report that their own physical or mental health is fair or poor, especially those caregivers in more complex or demanding care situations.  That includes those who are the primary caregivers or who have the additional stress of holding down a job (six in 10 caregivers are employed).
A June 2015 research report, Caregiving in the U.S., a joint effort of the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, found that, on average, caregivers spend 24.4 hours a week providing care to their loved ones. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of them provide 41 or more hours of care a week. Caregiving is particularly time-intensive for those caring for a spouse or partner (44.6 hours a week), the report finds.
Caregivers need support. If they don’t get it, not only are they at risk, but so are the people they care for. Â poor eating habits, failure to exercise or seek medical attention for their own health all put caregivers’ health in danger.
But who is caring for the caregiver? Usually, it’s just the caregiver herself or himself.  The Family Caregiver Alliance urges caregivers to take stock of their personal situation and take responsibility for their own care.
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Catching Up on the Health Headlines

Now that the summer is coming to a close, many of us feel that it’s time for a fresh start, a feeling that is sometimes reserved for the beginning of the new year.
If you’re among the many who are ready to get back on track with your health, or if the lazy days of summer have kept you from staying current with the latest health news, here are some recent happenings:
1. How Low Can You Go?
No, I’m not talking about the “Limbo Rock“ and those memorable lyrics of Chubby Checker’s. We may not still be singing his song (although now it’s stuck in my head!), but those words have new meaning: Our blood pressure may need to go lower. Just when you thought your blood pressure was something to brag about comes a major study that was ended more than a year early because the data that had accumulated was so overwhelming—so convincing that federal health officials announced that they had “potentially lifesaving information.”
The risk of heart attacks, heart failure and strokes was reduced by a third and the risk of death reduced by a quarter in the study participants who were assigned to reach a systolic blood pressure (the top number) goalbelow 120. Since nearly one in three adults in this country has high blood pressure, the study is sure to shake up a lot of people.
Not too long ago we thought we were good with a systolic number of 140 or lower. However, as Dr. David Reboussin, the principal investigator for the study’s coordinating center, told the New York Times, people with high blood pressure should not panic and do not need to rush to their doctors to ask to have their medications changed. Stay tuned for some updated guidelines, which are being discussed by the committee.
2. Get Your Sleep
Your grandmother was right. And so was your mother. They weren’t saying “Go to bed already!” just to get rid of you; they really had good intentions. Getting enough sleep does help you catch fewer colds. New research confirms that it keeps your immune system in good working order. When study subjects had a cold virussprayed into their noses to see if they developed colds, the 45 percent who slept less than five hours came down with cold symptoms compared with just 17 percent who slept at least 7 hours most nights.
That’s one study I wouldn’t volunteer to sign up for.
3. Replacing Joints Carries Higher Risk of Heart Attack
No, I’m not talking medical marijuana here. I’m talking knees and hips, which are aging along with us. Eventually some parts just wear out. If medications, exercise, physical therapy, injections, weight loss, creams, ointments and nutritional supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin don’t do the trick, you may have no choice but to replace the offending joint. Important to know is that in a new study of about 20,000 people who went through those surgeries, it was found that their chance of a heart attack was higher in the month after the surgery. The risk didn’t last much beyond that month, though. What did persist for several years after the surgery was the risk of blood clots, which can be dangerous if they break off and travel to your heart or brain.
4. Brain Freeze
It’s not just what happens when you eat ice cream too fast. A 23-year-old woman with a highly aggressive type of brain cancer had her dying wish fulfilled: to have her brain cryogenically frozen in the hopes of having her mind resurrected by neuroscience in the future.  While some people declared the idea crazy or preposterous, who knows what science will be capable of decades or centuries from now? After all, many things that were once science fiction are now science facts. For instance, who would ever think that a robotic limb could be controlled with the brain? Or that human skin lost to a burn or a wound could be sprayed back on?
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Do Women Really Need So Much Calcium?

How much calcium do women really need? Does it change as we get older? Will it really help build strong bones and prevent fractures? Are supplements helpful?
I’ve wrestled for many years with these and other questions related to calcium and vitamin D, the vitamin that aids calcium absorption. And I’ve worried that I wasn’t getting enough of either.
That’s why I was glad to read Harvard Women’s Health Watch report titled, “How Much Calcium Do You Really Need?” The answer, according to that report, is: Not as much as we may think and not as much as current U.S. guidelines call for.
The minimum daily calcium requirement for women 50 and younger is 1,000 milligrams a day and for women over 50 it’s 1,200 milligrams. For those of us in midlife, we’d need to drink four 8-ounce glasses of skim milk a day to get the recommended amount. If, like me, you’re not a milk drinker, it becomes really difficult to consume 1,200 milligrams a day, without also taking in a whole lot of calories and saturated fat in dairy products.
Here are 10 tips to help you eat more low-fat dairy foods, from ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Some vegetables and fruits also contain calcium, but who really eats four helpings of collard greens a day? And that’s the vegetable with the MOST calcium. If you want to get all your calcium from oranges, you’ll need to eat 22 oranges a day—and that’s just not happening. If you want to try the seafood route, you’ll be eating sardines or salmon for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Again, not happening.
Some foods are fortified with calcium, such as orange juice and cereal, but you still probably need to consume more than you want to get the recommended calcium.
Of course, no one tries to get all the calcium we need from one food—we get a little here and a little there. But, if you’re like me, you don’t get 1,200 milligrams most days.
The Supplement Situation
I’ve tried taking calcium supplements, but I prefer to get my nutrients through my diet. Studies show that high levels of calcium from supplements can increase risk of kidney stones (ouch!), while dietary calcium may offer some protection against stones. Even scarier, one study of postmenopausal women showed that women who took 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day had an increased heart attack risk.
Studies also show that calcium isn’t properly utilized by the body unless we get ample vitamin D. And, vitamin D can be tricky to get through diet alone. The current daily recommendation for vitamin D is 600 IU (800 IU for people over 70).
Some foods, like milk, are fortified with vitamin D, but the best source is sunlight. However, unless you live where it’s sunny year-round and you get out and expose your skin to sunlight for about 20 minutes a day (without sunscreen), then you may come up short. To make things tougher, our skin’s ability to convert sunlight to vitamin D gets worse with age (what doesn’t?).
Alternative Recommendation
That’s why the recommendation from Harvard University’s Dr. Walter Willett comes as good news to me. Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of public health, says we may only need about half as much calcium as current guidelines recommend for healthy bones.
He suggests 500 to 700 milligrams of calcium a day, in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 500 milligrams and the United Kingdom’s goal of 700 milligrams. Willett maintains that most women could get at least half of that through diet and, if necessary, could supplement with a low-dose calcium supplement.
In the Health Watch article, he summarizes the scant evidence on which the current U.S. recommendation is based and cites recent studies that show that calcium and vitamin D supplements don’t prevent fractures and that calcium (from diet or pills) doesn’t reduce risk of hip fractures.
Along with the decrease in calcium requirements, Willett suggests an increase in vitamin D intake to 800 to 1,000 IU a day.
As with calcium, the debate continues about proper levels of vitamin D. A recent University of Wisconsin School of Medicine study showed little value from high-dose vitamin D supplements. In that study, the groups of women who received high-dose or lose-dose vitamin D showed no advantage over women who received no supplements when it came to spine health, total bone mineral density, overall muscle mass, physical mobility or overall fall risk.
With so many conflicting studies, clearly more research is needed.
Even though the government recommendations have not changed, I feel some relief in knowing that my diet may be providing enough calcium—hopefully just the right amount for strong bones and no stones.
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My Post-50 Yoga Journey: The First Step

In January I started training to become a yoga instructor. I thought I would share my transformative journey as it unfolds. For fellow yogis, my stories will remind you of why you practice. For non-yogis, come along for the ride—maybe I’ll entice you to try a class or two.
Why Do I Love Yoga?
I began my yoga practice about seven years ago, shortly after losing my husband. It was a way to physically and mentally focus and relax. Yoga and mindfulness meditation helped me heal through stages of grief. According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, as interpreted by Mukunda Stiles, “Yoga is experienced in that mind which has ceased to identify itself with its vacillating waves of perception. When this happens, then the Seer is revealed resting in its own essential nature, and one realizes the true Self.”
In some ways you could say I lost my soul mate and found my “soul mat.” Yoga was my ticket to wellness after many months of dealing with my husband’s progressive illness and eventual death. It helped me to stop, breathe and be in the moment.
During the past two years since leaving my full-time job, I’ve grown to love going to my weekly yoga classes. Instead of resisting, I am more open to change. Yoga has shown me how to slow down and find greater balance. I have developed a sense of gratitude for all that I can do.
I am growing and improving each day. An inspiring quote touches my heart. A fellow yogi strikes up a conversation. A perfect pose or an imperfect pose invigorates my body.  Plus, I’m starting to take the goodness of yoga off the mat and bring yogic philosophy into my overall lifestyle. (My friend W says I’ve become very “zen.”)
Last fall, I decided to take a big leap. I went to an open house at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies and signed up for its 200-hour yoga training program.
Welcome to Anatomy + Physiology
I’m proud to say that I just finished my first 20 hours of anatomy and physiology. I learned a whole lot from my amazing instructor N and her skeleton companion, Raja. It was much better than my high school or college biology class. Perhaps I am a more eager student during my life after 50.
Ooh, ooh, ooh, there’s a ton to understand about the body’s muscles, bones, joints and connective tissue and how they all work together. There’s Sanskrit language to grasp—from asanas (poses) and bandhas (respiratory locks for proper energy flow) to ujjaye pranayama (breathing exercises), mudras (hand gestures), mantras(words, sounds or prayers to focus and change the mind) and more.
7Â Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle
While I clearly am on the first step of my journey, I left my first class with a greater conscious awareness of my body. Here are helpful tips I learned for a healthy lifestyle:
You only get one body (at least in this lifetime), so be good to it. The late, great yogi B.K.S. Iyengar said, “The body is my temple.” Are you treating your body like it is your temple?
Good posture is important as we age. Go ahead, put those shoulders up and back and widen yourdiaphragm. My instructor says, “You want to expand throughout your life.”
Joy is found in the hips. If you’re lacking joy in your life, then maybe you should try some hip-opening yoga poses. Want to know which muscles to stretch? Here goes: psoas, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, hamstrings. (Go, Judi! Go, Judi! Go, Judi!) There’s more, but stretching these four will get you on the path to a joyful life.
Resistance causes stress. BTW, that stress hormone called cortisol is stored in the mid-waist area. Got that? Yep, the more stress, the greater your middle-aged middle. Whatever’s bothering you today, let it go!
Your digestive system includes some long tubes. The small intestine is about 22 feet, and the large intestine is about 5 feet. (Wow-o-wow, that’s a long way down.) Seated or standing yoga twist scan help move food through the digestive tract.
Your body is made up primarily of fluid. Stay hydrated and drink water.
Be kind to your knees. Raja’s kneecap fell off quite a few times during classes.
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Fighting Cancer Takes Personal Strength and Modern Medicine

Two months ago, my sister, Marie, underwent emergency surgery. They discovered cancer throughout herabdomen, including a tumor on the outside of her colon that had blocked the colon and necessitated removal of much of her large intestine. Monday she began chemo treatments. Today, she is teaching. This speaks to both her strength and the strength of modern medicine.
Just a few decades ago, the type of massive emergency surgery she had and the targeted chemo treatments she is having to fight ovarian cancer might not have been possible. Even now, my sister might have died if she had listened to the emergency room doctor who wanted to send her home from the emergency room with a stool softener.
Instead, my marvelously stubborn sister listened to her body and refused to leave. The next day she underwent the emergency surgery that removed her colon and numerous tumors and saved her life.
Marie has had many rough spots since that day, but she’s continuing to fight the battle. Going back in the classroom to teach English and journalism to her high school students is testament to her big heart and strong will.
Here are a few of the practical lessons we’ve learned along the way:
Listen to your body. In hindsight, Marie realizes she had some early symptoms of cancer at least a few months before her emergency incident. She was extremely tired, had persistent heartburn and indigestion and had one painful bout of abdominal distress that went away after a couple of days. She talked to her personal physician about some of these symptoms, but they both failed to recognize them as anything other than normal aches and pains. I don’t fault either of them, because she didn’t have anything extremely out of the ordinary, but it is a reminder to pay attention to our bodies and not accept as normal things that seem abnormal to us.
Always have an advocate. I’ve blogged about this before, but it bears repeating. You may be too sick or too distraught to totally be on top of everything your health care providers are telling you. If at all possible, ask a friend or family member to be with you in the hospital and at doctor appointments.
Take notes or record it. My sister’s 30-something daughter, who has been her primary caregiver throughout this ordeal, was smart enough to use her phone to record sessions with Marie’s oncologists. Then she typed up notes and shared them with Marie, me and the other caregivers. Turns out, that was important because when my sister went to get her first chemo treatment, they almost gave her the wrong drugs. She had read the notes and knew that there had been a change in the drugs the oncologist planned to use. So, she was smart enough to ask and to insist they go back and check the most recent orders.
Insist on getting what you need. After my sister was released from the hospital and rehab, her insurance company denied her request for home health care. They couldn’t find an ostomy nurse available in the county where she lives. (Who knew there was such a shortage of ostomy nurses? But that’s a story for another day.) She was supposed to go to a local clinic for assistance with her ileostomy, but wintry weather and scheduling difficulties made that impractical. She continued having difficulty with her ileostomy bag, so much so that she was becoming afraid to go out. Finally, nearly six weeks after her surgery, she was approved for assistance. We drove about an hour to see an ostomy nurse, but it was worth it. The things we learned in that 30-minute visit saved my sister from much pain and the possibility of becoming housebound. The ostomy nurse corrected some of the incorrect techniques we’d been shown in the hospital and set Marie up with the supplies needed to make the process much easier and more secure. Now Marie can manage it by herself and is confident enough to go back to work and lead an active life. What a difference the right advice and the right supplies can make!
Stay active and stay positive. Before my sister started chemo, her health care providers told her she’d likely experience the can’t-lift-your-head-off-the-pillow fatigue. And she may experience nausea, a metallic taste in her mouth that makes her not want to eat and, possibly, bone pain. Marie knows and understands these things, but she’s taking the approach that she’s going to do as much as she can for as long as she can and hope for the best. She continues to go out to eat, keep up with her chores, go to physical therapy, visit with friends, go to the movies and even travel a little. Returning to teaching a few days a week wears her out, but she wants to make sure her students learn something this semester. She may fall asleep in the evenings, but she’ll get up and go again the next morning—for as long as she’s able.
None of us know how this will turn out. If all goes well, the chemo will reduce the size of the remaining tumors in her abdomen. In about three months, her oncologist will do another surgery to remove what’s left of the tumors and may implant some intra-abdominal chemo. More chemo treatments will follow. Then, if we’re lucky, the cancer will be gone.
If not, thanks to her good health and attitude and modern medicine, Marie may still have many good years ahead of her. And, hopefully, she’ll continue to listen to her body and speak her mind and get the most out of every day!
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