Julie Adams, a bohemian free spirit who likes to challenge the status quo in healthcare, and Lorna Cook, a dynamic powerhouse of networking and marketing energy, founded chemo@home in 2013. We are passionate about growing chemo@home across Australia; aiming to provide true patient centred care to cancer and chronic illness patients and their families. This blog is partly health information and partly a reflection of our personal experiences and opinions. Happy reading. www.chemoathome.com.au
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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
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
Carbon neutral, eco-friendly, sustainable, deforestation, workers
conditions in third world countries, culturally aware, natural fibres, low
waste, free range, pole and line caught, against animal testing, the list goes
The downside to this obsession, the joy of conscious shopping, is
that it is a nightmare for others to shop with me. Really, it's a stiff drink
after experience, for most. Ask my friends who left me in the juice isle
of IGA when we were on holidays. They finished all our shopping whilst I
was choosing a juice which met my exacting standards. I do think though,
that shopping with me is an "educational experience". The same gorgeous
friends will now send me a photo of their purchases when shopping, just to let
me know they are doing their bit.
It may have even ended a budding relationship. I declared I
couldn't eat grapes in winter to my new beau (no judgement if you do!), they
weren't in season, and were only available because they were imported.
Alas, my phone went cold. My inability to eat an out of season fruit became the
"Grapes of Wrath".
chemo@home tries whenever possible, to be a conscious
consumer. Hospitals and day-units have a huge carbon footprint.
They use lots of resources and produce lots of waste. Our patients are
also helping the environment by not driving their cars to the hospital or
day-unit. One nurse traveling to them, seeing 4-5 patients a day, instead
of 4-5 patients traveling to the hospital. Saving fossil fuels, reducing pollution.
As for this little ole conscious consumer, I can't wait to
discover the next brand that delights my senses by ticking all the boxes on my
hefty list. Julie
There are few of us who escaped the news coverage of what happened when the Australian government wanted to boost the economy back in 2009, by funding the installation of “pink batts” into homes. Tragically, four young men died, from what was found to be a lack of oversight by the government resulting in massive system failures. Simply put, the government provided the money, but did not ensure that there was the appropriate legislation, regulation or training available to make it safe. And where there is money to be made, there will always be some who will want to profit from it. Some of these people will have no regard for the safety of the product they are supplying, some will be ignorant of what is needed to make it safe. The result is the same. When people ask me, “is giving chemo in the home safe?”, I find it difficult to answer. To be honest the answer is both yes and no. I have worked managing a “home chemo” service for just under 20 years. I’ve developed a
Recently I had an abnormal test result come back. I’ll withhold the details, so those who are squeamish don’t stop reading. Suffice to say it is a test that only women need to have done, it is done as an early detection test for cancer, and no woman enjoys it. The abnormal result is not one you want, and means you need further tests to confirm the findings, to work out if any treatment is needed and importantly to make sure there is no cancer. So, my fabulous GP, Penny, did a referral and off I toddled to a surgeon for more tests. In the surgeon’s office the additional tests undertaken where inconclusive, that is, there was nothing bad found but he also couldn’t see all the bits he needed to be able to see to say that everything was definitely OK. His recommendation at this stage was a very reasonable one, and one that many surgeons in the same position would have given. The recommendation was to do a “biopsy’ and send it off to the lab for further analysis. To ca
In 1997 a study was published in “Blood”, arguably the most respected medical journal on blood cancers on planet earth. The study was about the effect of exercise on treatment related fatigue after a type of bone marrow transplant called a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. The study peaked my interest, not just because of the positive benefits of exercise on reducing fatigue, but because it also showed a benefit in other somewhat more unexpected areas. It also reduced the length of time a patient’s white blood cell count is low after transplant, the severity of diarrhoea and the severity of pain. Of these the one that interested me most at the time, was the effect on the white blood cell count. The white cells are the part of your blood system which fight infection; without them the body is more prone to getting nasty bugs and less able to fight them off. So, what was so interesting about this finding? In the early 80’s a medication, granulocyte-colony stimulatin