March 08, 2007

Back from Young Survivors conference

A couple of weeks ago I attended a conference for young women surviving breast cancer. While there, I met a woman who has lived with mets for 31 years!

Here's what I learned:

Dr. Funmi Olopade, oncologist at U Chicago (and a colleague of my cousin!) reminded us that breast cancer is not one disease but many -- Basal-like (triple negative, ER-, PR-, HER2-); Her 2 +; and ER+ (Lumina A and Lumina B).

Physiatrist Dr. Julie Silver said don’t assume all your fatigue is due to cancer. It could be skipped meals, not enough protein, too much caffeine. At her suggestion, I started wearing a pedometer to be sure I get 10,000 steps daily. I'm at 3751 right now, with quite a way to go to get to 10,000 in one day.

From Dr. Andrew Putnam, a pain management specialist, I learned that pain can be physical, psychological, social, spiritual, even existential.

Sage Bolte is an oncology social worker. She recommended the following websites for how friends can help:

Plus she said, "Find what works for you: Who cares if it’s the placebo effect if it works!?"

After the conference we learned that we had all been exposed to the norovirus at the hotel. The friend I traveled with was quite ill. I didn't even get an upset tummy. And this is the second time I ahve been exposed to norovirus since December. Asied from cancer, I must be as healthy as the proverbial horse!


  1. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Hi Jill!

    I am one of the mets sisters on or is it com? I must ask you what you learned about the woman who had lived with mets for 31 years? I'm wondering what therapies she has done and if she has done anything out of the ordinary.

    Donna in Texas

  2. Hi Donna,

    Wish I had more information for you. I don't know where she had mets, nor how she treated them, but just knowing she had lived so long with metastatic BCa gave me hope for myself!

    All the best,