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Showing posts from June, 2018

Go Fund Me – I Don’t Want Chemo

As a woman I have breasts.  As a white, western, woman I have about a 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer.If I get breast cancer, I really don’t want chemotherapy, if I can avoid it.Not unless it will make a significant difference to my outcome. Until recently, knowing if this was the case, was difficult.
Rarely does a study comes out and say that chemotherapy is not needed; that it does not reduce the likelihood of the cancer coming back and does not increase survival.
But that is exactly what has happened in a large trial on breast cancer patients with hormone-receptor–positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)–negative, axillary node–negative breast cancer, who would have until now, been given what is known as adjuvant chemotherapy.
Adjuvant chemotherapy is chemotherapy which is given after a potentially curative procedure (in the case of breast cancer this is surgery) to mop up any remaining cancer cells in the body that we can’t see. It’s a tricky business.  We’ve …

When healthcare is NOT about the patient.......

Have you ever believed in something, something you thought everyone else believed in as well; only to find out that in fact nothing could be further from the truth?
Just after we started chemo@home 5 years ago, a very high up health executive said to us during a meeting, "It's not about the patients, don't bring emotion into this".  It was possibly the first time (but definitely not the last time) that such a jaw dropping statement like this was said to us.
We had started chemo@home on the entire principle that treatment WAS ALL ABOUT THE PATIENT.  For us, the patient and their family are at the centre of everything we do.  Their choices, about their treatment, is what matters most.
To find out that there were health managers and executives who put other concerns before the patient was, for us, mind blowing.  What are these concerns you might ask.... well let’s just say that a lot of emphasis is placed on a health services "activity", the number of staff they …

How to End a Relationship by Not Eating Grapes

I don't much like shopping.  Not for food, clothes, homewares, furniture, cars or houses. But give me a cause, a reason to think more deeply and then I become a passionate shopper.  The ultimate conscious consumer.
Being a conscious consumer is defined as having an increased awareness of the impact of purchasing decisions on the environment and on health and life in general.
It is of course a double-edged sword. No decision can be made on the spur of the moment, far too much thought needs to go into every purchase.  The joy, however, from having purchased an item that attains the level of accountability I demand is immense.
It started years ago with "buy Australian". Something which has turned into Australian made, Australian owned, Australian produce... oh and even if it is Australian I want it as local as possible.
I support brands, the ones that disappear one by one on our duopolies shelves, who look after the environment, who understand their supply chain.
Carbon neutral,…

Which "Hospital" Lets Your Dog Stay With You During Chemo?

When I am asked why we started chemo@home, I often talk about how when my Dad was sick, some 20 odd years ago, that there was no “@home” services but that I was lucky enough to work in a hospital where the nursing staff taught me (the pharmacist) how to give the antibiotics my Dad needed, and this allowed us to take him home over Christmas.  This was to be his last Christmas with us and I am forever grateful that he spent it with us, his family, at home, and not in a hospital.
This is absolutely true.There are however, two other reasons that I was led down this path.Today I’ll talk about one of these.
I've worked in a number of hospitals, both public and private, for around 25 years.I loved everything about working in a hospital.There is a comradery amongst the staff, one which is built on working hard, doing a difficult job under challenging circumstances, which is hard to find outside of a hospital environment.I think, maybe, serving in the military may provide a similar feeling.