Archive for December, 2009

Medical Studies about Cancer and Lying
December 28, 2009

What do cancer patients want from their Doctors? A study presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s annual meeting stated among other things patients want honesty about their chance for cure.

 I wonder how the question was posed to the 500 patients in their interview.

Was it, ‘True or False, Do you want your radiation oncologist to lie to you about the chance that your cancer is cured?’

Yikes! Maybe I am wrong, but do some people want the lie?

In a recent entry in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Danish scientists surveyed 3,000 women who had breast cancer surgery. About half of the women said they had pain for up to 2 years after surgery, but only 1 in 5 told their doctors about their pain.

I wonder how the question was posed to the patients. Was it ‘True or False, No pain, Right?’ 

Yikes again!

Doctors know patients lie, and patients know when they are lying to their doctors. The question is; Does everyone know they are lying to each other when it comes to pain and cancer prognosis? What would be the goal to lie?

Cancer is such a complex disease, that honesty is truly the best policy, but then again lying can be easier than the truth. It wasn’t that long ago that doctors held a bad or terminal diagnosis from a woman patient and told her husband or some other male at first. Not that long ago women kept their diagnosis to themselves so not to upset the family. How interesting that deceit has a long and growing history when it comes to the patient-doctor relationship.


What We Did Before Social Networking
December 21, 2009

What did we do with-out social networking? We lost touch with friends. Long distance phoning was expensive and people moved. We tried to stay in touch with old friends but after a few moves, decades, and name changes, old friends became lost. Enter the phenomena of social networking via FaceBook, Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIn and others, and it is no surprise that the over 50 year old female demographic is the fastest growing group in social networking. We are all finding each other and catching up! Those of us over 50 are very excited to be able to rekindle friendships. We can easily share pictures of ourselves, our kids, our pets, our homes, or our grand children with a touch of a button. Some of us are even able to scan in old photos of a sweet sixteen party, a prom, or a wedding. It is so easy to get caught up, that it can feel like time never passed. Young women today are in constant contact with friends and family. They can text, email, and Skype all the time. No bad date or bad haircut is not reported and talked about with several friends via cyberspace. It will be interesting if attrition holds true for them too. For those of us over 50 a new set of problems has arrived with social networking. Today the way to get rid of someone who turns out not to be a real friend, or we remember we never did like them, is filled with tasks: not returning their texts, emails, calls, de-friending them, or even sending an email that their social networking friendship is not for you!

Questions and Conversations, Appropriate or Not?
December 14, 2009

What do you do when asked a question or involved in a conversation you think isn’t appropriate? Do some questions or conversations about money, sex, health, politics, family or work make you uncomfortable? Is it questions and conversations with certain people that make you squirm? What about stranger conversations like the person next to you on a long flight?

The Holidays bring us closer in proximity to strangers and family members than other times of the year. We are in lines more often, at parties, on planes and trains, and visiting. Does this proximity breed familiarity? How often have you had to say that a conversation makes you uncomfortable? How often do you change the subject matter to a conversation you feel is more appropriate? How often do you walk away, get up or leave?

Over the years I have been on long flights when seat mates have told me about their lives with-out my soliciting any information. I have heard about marriages and children and job regrets. I have heard about home conditions and business dealings and sex lives that made me use the “I am not comfortable talking with you” statement many times. I have been asked to pray with, hold hands, look at pictures, take pictures, taste food and toast drinks. Last week something new was asked of me. I was asked to witness and sign a health directive for a stranger. I told him I was not comfortable with his request. We happened to be on the same elevator.

I understand that talking with strangers is often easier than with friends or family, but a health directive? Isn’t that the conversation you want to have with your family or at least your attorney? Isn’t that a question you need to ask someone you know? I ended up feeling a bit like Scrooge in turning him down. Who else has had a similar situation?

Woman Business Entrepreneur Learns the Reality of HD TV
December 7, 2009

Recently I was on a TV talk show in High Definition. It was a great opportunity, great exposure, and great for sales. It was not so great for my middle aged self esteem. I did not have a make-up artist styling my face nor did the TV studio provide one. What this means is that all my wrinkles, lines and shadows were accentuated and not favorably. 30 Rock just did a spoof on the Tina Fey character appearing in HD. It really was not far off the mark! I put the link to 30 Rock in case you missed it at the end of this post.

I can only ask myself, What was I thinking? I was going into a situation unprepared, an obvious violation of business 101. I know a great make-up artist that had I called would have helped me out in a minute, but I didn’t call. Can I blame the lighting in the studio? Can I blame the gorgeous host, young enough to be my daughter? Yes, I blame everyone and everything including myself!

Now I am obsessed with viewing TV personalities. The women on the View, how do they look so good? Nancy Grace, her eye make-up looks so beautiful. Bonnie Hunt’s skin looks great and no shadows. Oprah’s hair looks so shiny. Ellen, that girl does not look her age. As a viewer we are watching their shows, listening to what they say and not distracted by their make-up. Yes I know they all have make-up artists and great lighting and it is their shows, but I for one will not be criticizing any woman, man or animal on HD TV ever again.