Hormones Matter TM

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Sex Hormones and Breast Cancer: Too Much of a Good Thing Isn’t

October 31, 2011

You remember Goldilocks, right?  She didn’t like her porridge too hot or too cold but rather just right.  Likewise, she didn’t like her bed too hard or too soft, but rather just right.  It would appear that in many facets of life, our health is based upon a similar premise.  More importantly, many of these factors can be easily measured. Blood pressure that’s too low leads to passing out while blood pressure that’s too high can increase one’s risk for stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.  Likewise, not enough blood is considered anemia which is associated with feeling weak and tired while too much blood is considered polycythemia and is

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The Match Game of Health Care that Works – Part 1

October 29, 2011

Finding healthcare resources – people, treatments, care – is a match game. Your quest is to find resources to partner with you to feel better, heal and experience the life you want to live. Reading “match game,” the vision that probably came to mind involves perusing a list of “providers” your insurance company included in a thick volume of paperwork. Or maybe you wish you at least had an opportunity to have access to such a list. You see lists organized by “specialty” (which you may or may not understand) and geography; and you hope you can find someone with solutions for your needs – someone to help you feel

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We Cannot Manage What We Do Not Measure

October 27, 2011

Pay attention to the whimper or be forced to cry uncle. Those are your choices. Those were the choices that faced the nation ten and twenty years ago as naysayers to the economic policies certain to bankrupt our country became evident, but they were ignored or lambasted as fringe. The collective wisdom forged forward with derivatives, with the merging of investment and saving banks, against the whimpers of many, only to cry uncle in 2008 as the catastrophe loomed. As the ‘other 99%’ seek to realign our political and economic situations, women must lead the changes in the health industry. We must pay attention to the whimpers, to the evidence

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Unite Walking Uteri and Repair the Economic Moral Fabric, One Woman at a Time

October 20, 2011

For a website devoted to women’s hormone health research, I seem to write a lot about the current economic and political situation.  That may seem odd on the surface, but a deeper dive reveals an inextricable connection.  The recession has forced American values into re-alignment and like or not, health is at the center.  And women’s health, because we bear children, is at the nexus. As a woman, who has born children, I take offense to the fact that in political, economic and healthcare debates, women have become no more than walking uteri.  From both the political Left and Right, our choices to bear or not bear children seem to

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Metastatic Breast Cancer

October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011 Nancy Brinker, Founder of Susan G. Komen Foundation. Dear Mrs. Brinker, I am writing this letter because I know your motivation in founding the Susan G. Komen Foundation was based in Love. The Foundation has done enormous work in increasing breast cancer awareness so that women are getting screened and checking their breasts on a monthly basis.  So many women have been empowered to ask questions. Now I’d like to request that you push the Foundation forward in a direction that will stop the metastases of breast cancer. I’ve been reading about it because of the awareness that the Foundation started.  This is what I have found out…

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Underinsured, Underdiagnosed and Anonymous: My Hormonal Hardships Part 2

I am continuing to write this anonymously because I continue to fear the social repercussions and potential backlash of publicly revealing my real name in association with my disease and disorders. I am uninsured and told by many, uninsurable. We left off from Part 1 of my story with a tentative diagnosis of endometriosis, a ruptured ovarian cyst, and ever-increasing doses of oral contraceptives. At that point in my life, I was scared, in pain and worried that I and the doctors should be doing more. But, as it turned out, there was not much more that I could do. The doctors said that even if it wasn’t endometriosis, the

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Underinsured, Underdiagnosed, and Anonymous: My Hormonal Hardships, Part 3

I am continuing to write this anonymously because I continue to fear the social repercussions and potential backlash of publicly revealing my real name in association with my disease and disorders. I am uninsured and told by many, uninsurable. We eloped without much fanfare at the Office of Civil Marriages in the spring, and over-nighted a certified copy of our marriage certificate to my newly-wed husband’s H.R. Department ASAP. A month later, we received our new medical cards, and my husband’s primary physician gave me referrals to a network-approved gynecology specialist and internist. The gynecologist ordered another abdominal ultrasound, blood draw, urine sample, and Pap smear to check for viral,

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Underinsured, Underdiagnosed, and Anonymous: My Hormonal Hardships, Part 4

I just learned, after years of pain and misdiagnoses, I had cancer. My husband and I were suspended in a state of utter shock and disbelief, as the GI/endoscopy center rushed us referrals for a variety of different radiology and imaging services. We were feeling overwhelmed and under pressure, but had precious little time to openly react or otherwise respond to my diagnosis. Right now, we had to have my cancer staged and graded sooner than seemed humanly possible. I drank barium contrast and fasted for digestive system x-rays, I went on a clear liquid diet and temporarily stopped my meds for full-body PET scans, I repeated barium prep for

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Underinsured, Underdiagnosed, and Anonymous: My Hormonal Hardships, Part 5

Since the last post, I had begun chemo. My radiologist became my primary doctor, as the oncologist remained largely unavailable to me, after hearing the news that my health insurance would lapse within the coming months. The oncologist increased my dosage of radiation, and rescheduled my GI, endoscopy, and radiology follow-up exams to earlier dates. The radiation office not only waived a significant portion of their own service fees for me due to the situation, but also helped us to handle a big part of the lengthy medical dispute we were facing with our insurance company. They eradicated most of the tumor, but could not remove my residual scar tissue,

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Are We Marks? The Greed and Chicanery of 21st Century Corporate Culture

October 12, 2011

By now everyone is aware of Bank of America’s latest in a long stream of fee gouging practices- the $5 debit card fee. This is on top of an endless array transaction fees charged to customers that generate billions in profits annually, and of course, the billions from the bailouts and the foreclosure crisis. Although blatantly evident on Wall Street, the shift in corporate ideology that rewards chicanery pervades every aspect of American life, especially healthcare and most especially women’s and children’s healthcare. We’re at a place in time where corporations would rather spend billions lobbying favorable regulations and billions more fighting and paying out consumer or patient lawsuits for

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