Tag Archives: Treatment

Woman says mom made her use a wheelchair and invented illnesses leading to years of treatment

Woman says mom made her use a wheelchair and invented illnesses leading to years of treatmentGypsy Blanchard said she always knew she could walk but her mother Dee Dee Blanchard made her stay in a wheelchair.



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Luann de Lesseps Checks Herself into Alcohol Treatment Center After Palm Beach Arrest

Luann de Lesseps Checks Herself into Alcohol Treatment Center After Palm Beach ArrestDays after her headline-making arrest, Luann de Lesseps is heading to rehab



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Teen Mom Catelynn Lowell Heads Home After Treatment For Suicidal Thoughts

Teen Mom Catelynn Lowell Heads Home After Treatment For Suicidal Thoughts“Teen Mom OG” reality star Catelynn Lowell Baltierra is heading back home to Michigan after six weeks in a treatment center following a struggle with suicidal thoughts.



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Ben Affleck Spends Christmas with Ex Jennifer Garner and Kids as He Continues Treatment

Ben Affleck Spends Christmas with Ex Jennifer Garner and Kids as He Continues TreatmentBen Affleck, ex Jennifer Garner and their three children celebrated Christmas as a family



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Turkey wants to bring wounded from Syria's Ghouta for treatment

Turkey wants to bring wounded from Syria's Ghouta for treatmentTurkey is working with Russia to evacuate around 500 people from the besieged Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday. “There are around 500 people, including 170 children and women who need urgent humanitarian aid,” Erdogan said ahead of his departure on an official visit to Sudan. Ankara aimed to bring people in need of assistance to Turkey to provide treatment and care.



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College Student with Breast Cancer Underwent Treatment Without Missing a Single Class

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Colleen Cappon’s senior year of college was different than most. While she lived in an apartment with her friends, stayed up late doing homework and went to parties on campus, the then 21-year-old had another side of her life that made her very different from the average college student.

Every other weekend, she left school to drive two hours from campus to her hometown of Watertown, New York, where she would undergo chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.

Just weeks before Cappon began her senior year at the State University of New York at Cortland in 2007, she was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. That summer, while she was getting ready for a night out with friends, doing what she calls the “boob scoop” into her bra, she felt a lump in her breast. A bit alarmed but not overly concerned, Cappon thought she should see a doctor just in case. At her subsequent doctor’s appointment, she had an ultrasound done. The doctor told her it was likely just a fibroadenoma — a mass of dense cells. She recommended that when Cappon came back over winter break, she get the mass removed.

But something felt off to Cappon, and she thought, “Why wait until Christmas?” She still had a month to go before heading back to school, so she decided to have it removed. “I can’t really explain it,” she tells PEOPLE of her gut instinct.

The mass was removed and then tested per standard procedure. And as she soon found out, Cappon’s instincts might have saved her life: The test revealed she had breast cancer.

At the time of her diagnosis, Cappon, who is now 31 and living in Albany, New York, was set to start her senior year of college. She had her class schedule, her lease signed on an apartment with friends and she didn’t want to give up that experience.

But she had to start treatment — and the sooner, the better. So Cappon devised a plan with her doctors. Every other Thursday night, she’d drive the two-hour distance from campus to her parents’ house. On Friday, she’d undergo chemotherapy, spending the rest of the weekend at home to recover before heading back to school on Sunday evening.

“I’m a very social person,” she says of her choice to stay in school while undergoing chemotherapy. “I knew if I missed out on this, it was not going to be good for my mental health during my treatments. And they say that’s the half of it, the attitude and positive environment and everything.”

She spoke with each of her professors about the situation, and confirmed with her academic advisor that she’d be able to schedule her classes on Monday through Thursday. Everyone was supportive, she says, and professors told her not to stress about deadlines and assignments — they’d be happy to accommodate any schedule changes she needed. But Cappon didn’t want to be accommodated: She made it through her whole senior year without missing a single class or assignment.

“I’m such a stubborn person, and it kind of pissed me off that this was even happening in the first place, so I made it a point to be like, ‘No, I’m not going to miss any classes. I’m not going to miss any exams, I’m going to do all my homework assignments,'” she said. “And I did.”

Though she was making frequent trips home each month for chemotherapy, Cappon was able to retain much of her “normal life” at school, she says. She even went to parties when she was feeling up to it.

Cappon finished her four months of chemotherapy in December 2007. That same month, she underwent a double mastectomy, an experience that turned more emotional than she was expecting. She went on to have reconstructive surgery in May 2008.

“I almost had been looking forward to [the mastectomy], because after all this treatment, and having cancer, I was like, ‘I can’t wait to get rid of this part of my body that had the cancer in it, and I’m going to feel so much better,’ ” she says. “And a big part of me did feel better after the surgery, but there’s also a big part that feels almost a little resentful. Especially at 21 years old. Let’s be real, your breasts look the best they’re ever going to look, and I’m getting rid of them.”

But for Cappon, the timing of her diagnosis wasn’t the hard part. In fact, she views it as something positive, despite her young age. In college, she had more time to relax and sleep than she would have had she been working a full-time job. And since she was living with her friends, there were constant distractions from the cancer.

“It was a great situation to be in, honestly,” Cappon says. “I was never alone, I didn’t have a job yet, I could nap between classes whenever I felt like it.”

What was difficult, she says, was the uncertainty that came along with getting a diagnosis that so few women her age had received. Not only was it isolating, but it came with medical hurdles, too. She consistently found questions left without an answer: Her doctors couldn’t tell her if she’d suffer common side effects, or if she’d be able to have children after her treatment was over.

“There were a lot of unanswered questions,” she says. “There were a lot of questions about the side effects. I was told one time, ‘We’re not sure if your hair is going to fall out, because you’re so young, maybe your body will react differently.’ “

Perhaps the biggest unanswered question was about her fertility. Unlike many young women with breast cancer, Cappon wasn’t able to freeze her eggs before starting treatment because of how aggressive her tumor was.

“You don’t really care or think about having kids when you’re 21, until someone says you might not be able to,” she says. “They just said, ‘We’re going to give you this treatment, and we don’t really know what your future is going to be like. Let’s just concentrate on surviving this first,’ ” she says. “I go off the medicine in January, and it’s really just a toss-up.”

It’s a tough future for a 21-year-old to face. Cappon is now married to her college boyfriend, who she was dating during her cancer treatment. She says that at the time, she was open with him about the possibility that she wouldn’t be able to have children one day, and told him that she’d understand if he ended their relationship. “In the beginning, I said, ‘I don’t know what is going to happen with this kids thing. If you want out, I understand,’ ” she says.

Her boyfriend didn’t want out, and encouraged her to go through with the double mastectomy. His support brought a level of relief to the experience, she says.

“I feel a little guilty about it sometimes, because I had a boyfriend throughout the whole time that was encouraging me to do everything I could to make sure I came alive out on the other side of this,” she says. “Other young women who don’t have a serious boyfriend and are out in the dating world, who’ve had mastectomies, that has to be really tough, and weigh on your decision to get the surgery.”

Almost 10 years later, they’re hoping to start a family in the near future and they’re discussing her going off the drug Tamoxifen, which she has been on for the past decade in hopes of reducing the risk of the cancer coming back. For the first time, having a family is a real possibility within sight. Whether she’ll be able to, however, is unknown. She’s still not sure if she’ll be able to have children once she’s off the medication. She was one of the first women her age to go on the drug for a 10-year period, she says, and was told back in 2007 that they’d simply have to wait and see if it would affect her ability to have children.

“Again, more uncertainty,” she says. “But at least I’m here.”

In the years since her first post-chemo and surgery screening showed no evidence of cancer in May 2008, Cappon has connected with many other young women with breast cancer, something that she says has been “really rewarding.”

“I remember really clearly when I was diagnosed feeling like there was no one I could find at my age who had done this and came out okay on the other side, leading a healthy, normal life,” she says. “You’ve just gotta keep your chin up and remember you’re going to come out on the other side.” 


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Breast Cancer – Health.com

4 Women on What Brought Them Comfort During Breast Cancer Treatment

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Coping with breast cancer treatment isn’t easy, no matter how many casseroles appear on the doorstep, or how often the neighbors pick up the kids from school. Breast cancer patients face a roller-coaster of emotions, ranging from fear and loss to courage and gratitude.

To get through it, women often draw strength from supportive family and friends, and thoughtful texts, emails, and gifts. But sometimes a keepsake or another special object provides a dose of much-needed comfort. We asked four women who have been through treatment to share what that special item was for them.

RELATED: What Not to Say to Someone With Breast Cancer

My grandmother’s wedding ring

"I was diagnosed three days after turning 44. My grandmother died of metastatic breast cancer but never complained. Her name was Sallie Minter, and she was my best friend. The day of my ultrasound where doctors saw my tumor for the first time, I told the ultrasound tech about Grandma and my fear of cancer. I nearly had a panic attack, but I wore her wedding ring to chemo, and it made me feel like she was with me. Even though she passed, I thought if she could go through this, I could too, even if I died. Her ring was such a comfort."
Andrea, 46, Raymore, Missouri

A very durable Dammit Doll

"I was diagnosed when I was 48, and my mom gave me a Dammit Doll when I first began treatment. Knowing me as she does, she understood I would likely get pretty frustrated with the cancer experience. She was right! While I experienced every emotion that exists at some point in these past five years, the Dammit Doll works for most of them! It’s built to withstand some smacking, and that’s what you are supposed to do with it. When I get frustrated, I grab the doll and smack it on something, as many times as needed. Learning to channel my anger about cancer has been my biggest lesson. It helps me because it reminds me that while yes, cancer is awful, you have to laugh. It also reminds me I have a great mom, which then leads me to focusing on how fortunate I am despite the diagnosis. Mom knew what was coming, and she gave me what she could—something that made me laugh even while I was smacking it around like crazy. Mom knows best."
–April, 53, Foley, Alabama

RELATED: 5 Steps You Can Take to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

A pair of sparkly stilettos

"What is it about putting on a pair of stilettos that makes you feel so wow? Cancer can take a lot, but not my sparkle. Wearing these shoes to my mastectomy gave me attitude, and I wanted as much attitude as I could get. I think about how when you go for your prom dress, wedding gown, or any party attire, the shoes make the outfit. Hospital gowns need some bling for sure. Everyone would walk in and stop and smile. I was dubbed “the diva in heels,” and I was completely fine with that. Sometimes those stilettos sat at the end of the bed because I physically could not put them on. The pain, the medication, the surgery were all taking over. But they were never far from reach, always there to remind me that there was strength in a shoe, in me. I wanted to be reminded that somehow I was going to still be able to walk in those again, even if at that moment I could not."
–AnnMarie, 45, Syracuse, New York (Check out AnnMarie's blog, Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer, here.)

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My 'What Cancer Cannot Do' bracelet, and my tattoo

"I was diagnosed in May 2013, at the age of 51. I had a lumpectomy, lymph node removal, radiation, and chemo. I now have swelling in my right arm and hand from the lymph node removal.

I have always been fascinated with tattoos, but I did not have one when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I was diagnosed, I promised myself that when I was finished with treatment, I'd get one. At that time, I didn't know how much it would help me through the scary times. When I am feeling fearful about anything breast cancer-related, I will place my left hand over the tattoo (it's on my left side ribs) and breathe deeply. It may sound silly, but I do draw strength from it.

I also draw strength from a bracelet given to me by the daughter of a friend who passed away from stage 4 breast cancer. The bracelet says: "What Cancer Cannot Do – It Cannot Cripple Love – It Cannot Shatter Hope – It Cannot Corrode Faith – It Cannot Eat Away Peace – It Cannot Destroy Confidence – It Cannot Kill Friendship – It Cannot Shut Out Memories – It Cannot Silence Courage – It Cannot Reduce Eternal Life – It Cannot Quench the Spirit." I wear the bracelet when I need extra strength, like when going through a biopsy, scan, labs…anything that I'm fearing. I also wear the bracelet to honor my friend on her birthday and the anniversary of her death."
–Mary, 53, Highlands Ranch, Colorado


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Breast Cancer – Health.com

Puerto Rico wants US aid after quake but not second-class treatment

Puerto Rico wants US aid after quake but not second-class treatmentThe calamity of Hurricane Maria could not have come at a worse time for Puerto Rico. People are wondering aloud if reconstruction money will be as forthcoming for them as for those hit by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida.



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Manafort Given 'shock-and-awe' Treatment: NYT

Manafort Given 'shock-and-awe' Treatment: NYTMatt Apuzzo, reporter for The New York Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about the aggressive way Special Counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing his investigation of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.



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‘I’ll See You in Heaven’: Michigan Mom of 6 Who Refused Cancer Treatment to Deliver Her Baby Dies at 37

‘I’ll See You in Heaven’: Michigan Mom of 6 Who Refused Cancer Treatment to Deliver Her Baby Dies at 37Carrie DeKlyen, the Michigan mother of six who sacrificed cancer treatment that would have saved her life but ended her pregnancy, died Saturday — three days after delivering her newborn baby. She was 37



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