Archive for September 2014

Does your doc accept gifts from a drug company? If so, what should you do about it?

Does your doc accept gifts from a drug company? If so, what should you do about it?
The Chicago Tribune reported today that the Federal Government is ready to go live with a searchable database that reports on money drug companies and device-makers have given to physicians and hospitals for research, speaking engagements, and entertainment.   There are dozens of ways to evaluate the quality of your physician, from online rating sites... Read more »

Do our prescriptions define us?

Do our prescriptions define us?
I dropped two more prescriptions off at the drug store yesterday. I get a little uneasy doing that because they tell a story to strangers without any context. Both were for anxiety, and I wonder if the pharmacist thinks, “Yeah, she looks high strung.” I never really considered what pharmacists thought about me until I... Read more »

Maybe we need death panels: facing hard facts

Maybe we need death panels: facing hard facts
Let me be clear, the Affordable Care Act does not, despite Tea Party hysteria, propose anything even remotely like a “death panel.” The closest this country has gotten to such a thing came long, long ago with the advent of the HMO. It has been rare in my medical history for a procedure or medication... Read more »
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Cancer survivors still smoke and that doesn't really surprise me

Cancer survivors still smoke and that doesn't really surprise me
The night before I went to the ER and was admitted to the hospital, where I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, I smoked my last cigarettes. That was more than two years ago. During the first year, the thought of smoking was far from my mind. I had always loved the smell of a freshly... Read more »

The cancer nobody cares about: BCG shortage tied to Merck's manufacturing delays

Since 2012 BCG, the gold standard treatment for stage one bladder cancer, has intermittently been unavailable to patients on an international scale. A BCG shortage stands most of us in my community completely still. Imagine, if you will, the possibility of having your cancer treated successfully with a drug injected into your bladder over six... Read more »

As an atheist, I'm grateful Christians pray for me

As an atheist, I'm grateful Christians pray for me
I’ve heard quite a few people write and speak about how they were abandoned by friends after being diagnosed with cancer. I am very grateful that wasn’t my experience. From high school friends I haven’t seen in 35 years to Facebook friends I’ve never met in person, from close friends to work colleagues, people seemed... Read more »
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Hot tips for avoiding crummy jobs

ChicagoNow has initiated a new series called “This Blogger’s Life,” which each week has a theme. This week’s is “Crummy Jobs” in honor of Labor Day. See them all here. As I think about the jobs I’ve had over the years, nothing really stands out as “crummy.” That’s probably because it’s been 25 years since I’ve... Read more »