Be Good to Yourself
JULY 1, 2010
My mom was an encouraging woman. She managed to raise three children while
she juggled her schedule as a military officer's wife and as a first grade
teacher. And although her main classroom contained a group of six and seven year
olds, I learned most of my life lessons from her.
"You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar" encouraged me to be kind and
use my words carefully.
"Always say 'please' and 'thank you'" encouraged me to have a grateful heart.
"Many hands make work light" encouraged me to work with others to accomplish a
I have a head full of mama-isms that had a profound impact on the way I view
life - even today.
If you haven't taken notice of our HysterSisters campaign: Give Me a Second, I
invite you to read more about it here:
We have a wonderful video with a message, encouraging women to get a second
opinion any time they are faced making medical decisions.
And, please, share our greater task - and pass along the video to all your
sisters, mothers, aunts, girlfriends, co-workers.
Be good to yourself!
Many hands make the work light,
Kathy with blessings galore!
No Time for a Vacation? Take Mini-Vacations!
JULY 1, 2010
Every summer the commercials on TV start to show off all the magnificent
places around the world for vacation. Resorts on the French Riviera. Cruises to
Alaska. Horseback riding on a dude ranch in Colorado. Disneyworld!
If you are short on time or money or "days off from work," you don't need to
miss vacations completely . Taking the time to create mini-vacations for
yourself is a sure way of de-stressing, re-energizing and enjoying the summer
Read on for ten mini-vacations you can arrange without taking a week off:
Pick a weekend and make the decision to unplug from your laptop and turn off
your email, letting co-workers know that your email will be off on the weekends.
2. Enjoy a day at the park or patio.
Pack a picnic lunch, grab a blanket and a book you've been wanting to read and
spend the day under a tree at a local park or in your backyard or patio.
3. Visit the zoo.
Head to your local zoo and spend the day browsing all the animal cages, checking
out all the new arrivals and spend some time watching the penguins and monkeys.
Don't forget the cotton candy and a snow cone!
4. Travel within your own state.
Plan a leisurely drive in your own state, something that could be an hour or two
or more. Enjoy where you live and explore what your state has to offer. Grab a
map, Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks and don't forget the camera!
5. Be a food critic.
Visit all the Italian restaurants in your area and rank them. Write about each
of your food choices and keep track of your favorites. Not into Italian food?
You can be a wine critic!
6. Pamper yourself.
Take a day off for pampering - at a spa or salon. Or, have a spa day at home
with a group of friends.
7. Get caught up on a hobby.
Look for pieces to add to your collections or learn a new hobby like knitting or
8. Read a book series.
Head to the library or local bookstore and visit with the librarian or book
expert. Ask about favorite book series and pick up book #1.
9. Watch a video series.
Get an entire TV series you've heard about but missed. LOST or 24 are a good
place to start. Have a touch of nostalgia? I Love Lucy and Gunsmoke are also
10. Check your local museums for a new exhibit
Read about it ahead of time. Research the artist or subject. Plan to read each
of the side comments throughout the exhibit and take your time enjoying the
Managing Hot Flashes in the Summer Heat
JULY 1, 2010
The summer heat is on. But those "hot moments" associated with menopause may be just the beginning of your journey through menopause. While the outdoor temperatures rise, it might be a good time to ask yourself how your "internal thermostat" is doing. Hot flashes are the most common symptom associated with menopause. They can cause your face and neck to become red and flushed, and can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. The good news is that there are ways you can manage hot flashes, so you can focus on chilling out during the dog days of summer.
The exact cause of hot flashes is unknown but they are thought to be a result of changes in the hypothalamus, the body's thermostat. If the hypothalamus incorrectly senses that the body is too hot, it sets off a chain of events that lead to a hot flash. Some women never experience hot flashes while others struggle with them for several years.
While there is no treatment to cool down a hot summer day, there are options available that may help you "keep your cool." Estrogen therapy is proven to be the most effective treatment for menopausal hot flashes.
In addition to using hormone replacement therapy, try the following tips to help manage hot flashes:
Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation
Avoid areas that aren't sufficiently air conditioned or ventilated
Limit alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and spicy foods
Wear lightweight clothes made of cotton
Always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program or making changes to your diet.
Reasons to Get a Second Opinion
JULY 1, 2010
If you have been told you need surgery or an extensive treatment for your
medical issues, there are important reasons to get personal input from other
Make an appointment with a specialist in your area of need. If your need
involves cancer, make an appointment with an oncologist. If your need is benign,
see a board-certified doctor in that area of expertise. Take your medical files,
a list of symptoms, medications, and a family history with you (as well as any
records you have kept of your symptoms). Your second opinion surgeon may examine
you and your files and offer you a different diagnosis.
Your previous doctor may specialize in one area which did not provide relief for
you. A second opinion doctor may offer a different treatment option for your
concern or a different plan of treatment to consider. You may learn that you
don’t necessarily need surgery at this time but could try an alternative
treatment and then wait to see how you respond.
Gaining more information is a valuable commodity to a patient. Educating
yourself and gathering data is the first milestone in being fully armed as a
A new perspective
Your second opinion doctor may concur with the first, agreeing that you do need
surgery. However, this second doctor may offer a different method of surgery you
hadn’t considered. The second opinion doctor may determine that you are a
candidate for a less invasive method of surgery and have the experience to offer
you that the first doctor did not have.
Having a fresh perspective for your medical needs is helpful as you make
decisions for yourself. This is akin to being in a room and feeling trapped when
all at once a door is thrown open and a new vista is provided to you.
Peace of mind
Your second and third opinion surgeon may retest you and study your medical
files and agree with your first surgeon completely. You may wonder, was this all
a waste of my time?
Think again! Patients having input from various medical professionals who have
studied the charts, the history and the course of action are now fully equipped
to step forward with their plan of attack. The decision is even more clear.
Peace of mind goes a long way in helping us make difficult personal medical
Often, patients who did not interview other medical professionals, getting a
second opinion, are likely to feel out of control with their situations. If
complications arise following surgery, these patients may become angry and
Peace of mind is a valuable asset to the patient decision experience.
These are three great reasons to get a second opinion. Each reason provides a
stepping stone to the patient during challenging time.
Take Charge of Your Health: One Member's Story
JULY 1, 2010
One of the members of HysterSisters has shared with us the role that a second opinion played in her own
hysterectomy experience. Even with a cancer diagnosis that made a hysterectomy
practically a foregone conclusion, she was still able to make decisions that
allowed her to feel in control of the situation.
HysterSisters: What led to your hysterectomy?
Genie: After a couple medical tests to diagnose the
causes of some heavy bleeding, I received a sudden and unexpected diagnosis. My
doctor called me at work to say, “The mass was a Grade 2 endometrial cancer and
you need a hysterectomy now.” Needless to say, my mind went blank. He started
arranging the surgery in conjunction with an oncologist .
At my pre-op appointment later in the week, my husband and
I asked about surgery options. I asked if there were laproscopic options and was
told, “Are you more concerned about an abdominal scar or do you want to know
that you are healthy and cured of the cancer?” Since I didn’t believe I had any
other options, my TAH / BSO was scheduled for two weeks later.
I started obsessively researching hysterectomies, recovery,
surgical menopause and endometrial cancer. Luckily I found HysterSisters. I
found myself reading and posting in several forums—pre-op, post-op, and cancer
concerns especially. I also learned there were minimally invasive options. At
that moment with unwavering certainty I knew I had to get a second opinion even
if it meant canceling my scheduled procedure.
HysterSisters: Had you ever sought a second opinion for
a medical issue before?
Genie: I had never really thought about a second
opinion. I had been with this doctor for years and had no reason to doubt his
opinion. Although I was concerned about his attitude to some of my pre-op visit
questions, things were happening so fast that I didn’t think I had time to get a
second opinion. Remember,at this point I was just about 1 week away from my
Since both my husband and I believe that you have the right
to the best surgeon and procedure for your diagnosis, once we found out that
there was an option, we started to discuss how to get a second opinion. We found
two gynecological oncologists in our area who specialize in minimally-invasive
HysterSisters: What made it so important to you to not
have an abdominal hysterectomy?
Genie: There were several contributing factors. One
was I thought it was more invasive and since this would be my first surgery ever
in 50.5 years, I wanted to make it the least traumatic that I could for my body.
Mostly, though, there were several emotional factors including a sense that the
cancer was a betrayal by my body since I had been on a get healthy kick for
HysterSisters: You took a scary diagnosis and were able
to take charge of it a little bit. What do you hope others can learn from your
Genie: I continually tell people to explore options
related to their surgery. Procedures change. New research is done, so make sure
you and your doctor know what the new options are and whether they can work for
From the HysterSisters Forums
JULY 1, 2010
I thought it was just me, but in looking at this month's poll I see more than 54% don't get a second opinion. Of the 18.9% that did -- it helped them find alternative solutions.
I did not. I just thought my doctor of 20 years knew better than anything I could read on the internet in 20 minutes, including all the advice herein to seek a second. But due to a comedy of errors my surgery was cancelled as I was being prepped giving me a chance to do so and I avoided surgery at all.
This site and everything I read tells us to get a second opinion. Of course if it's an emergency -- you do it. But given the oportunity, why are so many women not seeking second opinions?
Join the Discussion
More Discussions to join about researching your options:
PCOS- Trying to Figure Out My Options
Questions and In Need of Support
Fibroids - Worth Trying Ablation?
More Information and Links
JULY 1, 2010
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