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Archive for the ‘medical’ Category

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 7, 2008

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  So, I thought I would start this post with something I wrote about ovarian cancer, over a year ago.  The Sad Reality of Ovarian Cancer.  Why It’s Important To Know The Early Symptoms

One of my saddest cases working as a nurse was on the oncology unit. I had a young woman as my patient (she was in her late twenties, only a few years older than I was at the time), and she had been diagnosed with end stage ovarian cancer. I had been working on the oncology unit for over a year, and many times patients came to my unit in the last few weeks or days of their lives, mostly so they could be given large doses of pain medication to keep them comfortable. Everyone knew these patients were coming in not to be cured, but to die. It was always hard and always sad, but this time the woman dying was so young.

Unlike many of my other patients, I would never get to know this woman. She would only live another few days, and during that time she would be mostly unconscious from all the medications. But even so, I will never forget her. What I remember most was the sadness that surrounded her, her family standing and sitting around the bed, just waiting for her suffering to finally be over. Among all of the darkness and grief, a little girl (maybe two or three years old) was happily playing and skipping in and out of her mother’s room, blissfully unaware. Every time I saw the little girl I thought how painful it must have been for her mother to know she would be dying and leaving her beautiful baby girl. How sad she must have been knowing she would miss all the important moments of her daughter’s life. And how sad it was going to be for that little girl, growing up without her mother, never getting to know her. How could something so unfair be happening to this family? It seemed unfathomable to me, but I was watching it happen with my own eyes, I couldn’t deny it. That was almost twenty years ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I didn’t know it then, but only a few years later I would come eerily close to being in a similar situation as that young woman. And it was the thought of not being there for my children that was the hardest thing to deal with. The thought of not being able to see my babies grow up (my son was 3, my daughter just 4 months), of not being able to be their mother, not being there for their birthdays, their graduations, and their weddings, not being there to protect them from the world…Those were the thoughts that haunted me, even more than any fear I might have had of dying.

I would need to have surgery quickly and have the tumor removed, only then would I find out if the cancer had spread. Even though I was referred to the best oncologist in the area, I knew the outcome wasn’t good if it had spread. I don’t think anyone (unless you have personally been through it) can understand the horror of being put under anesthesia, knowing that when you wake up you might be told you are dying.

The last thing I remember just before I was put under, was my doctor telling me that because I was so young he would try to save my uterus and one ovary. I told him I was blessed to have two beautiful children, and that the only thing that mattered to me was being able to be a mom to my children. I pleaded with him not to take any chances, if there was even a remote chance it had spread, to please take everything and not leave anything behind. At this point, I was crying, and I grabbed the doctor’s arm before he turned away to let the anesthesiologist finish putting me under…and I said; “Promise me, promise me you won’t leave anything behind.” I don’t remember what he said…I just remember waking up in the recovery room. I remember calling out to everyone who walked by, “good or bad, good or bad, good or bad?” I said it over and over, but none of the nurses would tell me anything. Moments later my doctor was again standing over me, and he told me that he was able to get it all, and that I was going to be okay. I asked him if he was sure, and he said he was sure. I would be one of the lucky 19% of patients diagnosed early enough to survive, but even more importantly, I would get to be a mother to my children.

There will be 22,430 new cases of ovarian cancer in the United States this year, and 15,280 women will die. Maybe awareness of these few early warning signs will help raise the percent of women who can be diagnosed early, and be successfully treated.

I want to add something today, that I didn’t mention when I wrote this original post…

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Posted in health, Health & Wellness, healthy living, life, medical, women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Top 10 Hot Topics From BlogHer Health and Wellness

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 1, 2008

Top 10 Hot Topics From BlogHer Health and Wellness – by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at

It’s the last day of 2007, and I thought I would do this post on some of the hot topics from BlogHer Health and Wellness. So, in no particular order, here is what I think are the top ten. — read the full post at BlogHer.

And, my New Years wish for you…and the world.

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, Blogroll, body image, chronic illness, daily life, Health & Wellness, healthy living, medical, music, opinion, parenting, thoughts | Comments Off on Top 10 Hot Topics From BlogHer Health and Wellness

New Study: The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 27, 2007


Quite Smoking…If not for yourself then for the ones you love. — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Recent studies show that about one third of non-smokers who are exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke, have similar damage to their lungs as actual smokers. It shouldn’t really come as any surprise that secondhand smoke is bad, it only makes sense that if smoking is bad for you, than secondhand smoke can’t be too good. Right?

To give you an example…Over 15 years ago I had a patient who was dying of lung cancer and had never smoked a day in her life, her husband was the smoker. It was very sad.

I’ve been hearing a lot today (CNN) about two interesting studies on the subject of secondhand smoke. One shows actual MRI images of smokers and non-smokers, with an image of a non-smoker that was exposed to secondhand smoke in the middle. The other was a study out of Indiana, that shows a 70% decrease in heart attacks of non-smokers admitted to the ER, that directly coincides with a smoking ban that was put in place at the same time.

It’s not a smoking gun, but it’s smoking-related, and it’s there in bright medical images: evidence of microscopic structural damage deep in the lungs, caused by secondhand cigarette smoke. For the first time, researchers have identified lung injury to nonsmokers that was long suspected, but not previously detectable with medical imaging tools. — From Science Daily

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Posted in awareness, children, chronic illness, family, friends, health, healthy living, life, medical, news, self help, smoking, thoughts | 10 Comments »

BlogHers Act on Maternal Health

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 15, 2007

BlogHers Act

The new BlogHers Act site is LIVE. Check out this post by Lisa Stone explaining the goals of this new site.

The site before you is the result of terrific work by a great team. Maria Niles, Denise Tanton and Web Producer Julie Douglas led a significant production, design, and project management effort, working with the insight, connections, passion and original concept of Contributing Editors Emily McKhann and Cooper Munroe of The Motherhood, whose blogging on this essential topic we can now enjoy in its new home. Thank you, wonder women. — read full post

This years commitment is to Maternal Health…

Are you aware that maternity is a leading killer of women worldwide?

It’s true. Every minute of every day, somewhere in the world a woman loses her life because of issues related to pregnancy or giving birth. In 2007-2008, BlogHers Act is committed to saving some of these lives by harnessing the power of women online and our blogs to address maternal health, the global health issue recommended by this community.

This is a very important issue, and a great way for women to help other women. I hope you’ll get involved. Just go to the New BlogHers Act Site, and see what you can do to help.

Posted in BlogHer, family, health, life, medical, parenting, women, world | Comments Off on BlogHers Act on Maternal Health

The HPV Vaccine, Your Blood Pressure, and Rising Co-pays.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 8, 2007


Thanks to Virginia, BlogHer’s resident technology editor, I recently learned how to use a “feed reader”, also know as RSS. Don’t laugh, I know I’m a bit behind the times. I like having so much information in one place, but it can be a little overwhelming as well.

This week I noticed there was a lot of women’s health issues in the news. So I thought I would use this post to touch on a few of them.

Since September is “Healthy Aging Month“, let’s start with the growing problem many of our seniors are facing, in trying to afford their prescription medications. It seems seniors are having to make financial decisions to not buy medications, especially when they have higher co-pays. Here is an excerpt from High Co-Pays Cause Seniors to go Without Meds.

The data highlights a tough decision for older Americans: Spend more or skip some of their medicines, including those for chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

“Consumers are sensitive to price. When they have to pay more, they tend to consume less,” senior researcher Boyd Gilman said in a prepared statement.

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Posted in blogging, BlogHer, daily life, health, medical, women | 4 Comments »

In Health News This Week

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 1, 2007

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The approval of a new vaccine against smallpox was announced Saturday by the Food and Drug Administration, which says the shots could be made quickly if the virtually extinct virus reappears.

The vaccine, ACAM2000, is intended to innoculate people at high risk of exposure to smallpox, a highly contagious disease. The FDA said the vaccine also could be used to protect individuals and populations during a bioterrorist attack.

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Posted in blogging, Blogroll, chronic illness, health, medical, news | 4 Comments »

New Study: Diet Soda May Increase Risk of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Metabolic Syndrome.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on August 11, 2007

New Study: Diet Soda May Increase Risk of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Metabolic Syndrome — by Catherine Morgan and cross-posted at

A new study, says that drinking more than one soda a day (even if it is a diet or sugar free soda), can be associated with an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors linked to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Low-Carb Diets to combat metabolic syndrome

Eating a low-carb diet improves the hormonal signaling involved in obesity and improves the sense of fullness, allowing weight loss, according to study leader Matthew R. Hayes, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Posted in awareness, blogging, BlogHer, Blogroll, health, Health & Wellness, life, medical, self help, weight loss, women, YouTube | 16 Comments »

Bugs Creep Me Out — And the vampire bugs (a.k.a. mosquitoes), also carry the West Nile virus.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 17, 2007

By Catherine Morgan — cross posted at BlogHer

I hate mosquitoes, doesn’t everyone? These buggers can really get big too, and I’m pretty sure they are bigger here in Florida than they were in Pennsylvania.
 Cornell University
Last year one got in my house that was the size of a small bird…yuck, yuck, yuck. Bugs really creep me out. O.k. – before I give myself a bug anxiety attack, let me get to the point of this post. West Nile virus and how to prevent it.

West Nile virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Mosquitoes transmit the virus after becoming infected by feeding on the blood of birds carrying the virus.

Most people infected with the virus either have no symptoms or they have flu-like symptoms. Sometimes the virus can cause severe illness, resulting in hospitalization and even death. — read full article

Officials Warn West Nile Is Back

In 2006, 33 West Nile human fatalities were reported, and since 2002, 71 fatalities due to the virus have been reported in Texas, Schuster said, quoting state health service figures. — read full article

How do you know if you have West Nile Virus? The good thing is, 4 out of 5 people exposed to the West Nile Virus will not become ill. But for the 1 of 5 that will, here are some of the sypmptoms to look out for…

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Posted in blogging, Blogroll, daily life, family, health, life, medical, thoughts | 8 Comments »

UPDATED INFORMATION: The Alli Diet Pill — Pharmaceutical Profits & Propaganda

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 3, 2007

Alli — “The Diarrhea Diet”

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By Catherine Morgan – cross posted at

I’m not going to try to sugar coat it, I’m an opinionated person. Back at the end of May when I saw an article about an over the counter diet pill being approved by the FDA, and peddled by a pharmaceutical company, my skepticism antenna went into overdrive.

The result was a post I did the same day on why you should just say no to diet pills, which included several links of other recent drugs the FDA and pharmaceutical companies had claimed to be safe, and later were taken off the market. In my opinion this happens much too often. And the main thing that sets me off is, it seems to be all about money. (Shocking! Not so much.) The FDA takes money from the pharmaceutical companies to “study” and approve their drugs, then the pharmaceutical companies make millions (even billions) off the American people, then voila, the drug that was once “safe” is no longer safe. It’s a very interesting phenomena.

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Posted in blogging, Blogroll, daily life, dieting, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, life, medical, news, nutrition, self help, thoughts, weight loss, women, women's health | 31 Comments »

Why is Autism so controversial?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 23, 2007

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. image @ Kid’s Health

Autism: The Disease, The Debate, and The Devastated Families – by Catherine Morgan

This week in a New York Times article, the debate continued over the cause and treatment of Autism. A family once united is now divided.

A year after their grandson Christian received a diagnosis of autism in 2004, Bob Wright, then chairman of NBC/Universal, and his wife, Suzanne, founded Autism Speaks, a mega-charity dedicated to curing the dreaded neurological disorder that affects one of every 150 children in America today.

The Wrights’ venture was also an effort to end the internecine warfare in the world of autism — where some are convinced that the disorder is genetic and best treated with intensive therapy, and others blame preservatives in vaccinations and swear by supplements and diet to cleanse the body of heavy metals. — read full article,

But for those of us who don’t know too much about autism…What is autism? What are the sypmptoms of autism?

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Posted in Blogroll, Charity, chronic illness, family, health, life, medical, news, science, stem cells, women, YouTube | 1 Comment »

Dieting, Weight Loss, and Healthy Living. All kinds of links, for all kinds of dieting and nutritional needs.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 19, 2007

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. image from Low Carb Diets & Recipes

I didn’t lose any additional weight this week…but don’t worry, I didn’t gain any either. Not much to report this week so I thought I would do something a little different. Here are some links to articles with tips, inspiration, facts, and links to other dieting sites. Some you may have seen before, some you may not have. I’ll be back with next weeks “dieting update” as usual.

Until then, here are some great weight loss blogs for you to check out.

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Posted in blogging, BlogHer, Blogroll, cooking, dieting, food, goals, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, inspirational, life, lose weight, medical, nutrition, Positive Thinking, weight loss, women, women's health | 5 Comments »

UPDATE: Another Prescription Diet Pill (now available over the counter) — Why You Should “Just Say No”.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 27, 2007

This was a post I originally had on my Women 4 Hope site last week…But I thought it would be good here too.

I came across this article yesterday, and I was a bit troubled. I hope the American public doesn’t fall for this one. Let me know what you think? Friendly face and cute packaging — may help “sell” this product…but it doesn’t mean it is safe or effective. I hope you will get all the fact before you consider this product for weight loss.

Over-the-counter Diet Pill

In clinical trials, the FDA says that people using alli lost an additional 2 to 3 pounds for every 5 pounds lost through diet and exercise. The FDA approved* alli to be sold over the counter in February.

* Let’s face it the FDA approves just about anything the major pharmaceutical companies want them to. Many times these approved drugs end up making the pharmaceutical company millions, but doing nothing (and in some cases harming) the American public.

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Posted in dieting, Health & Wellness, medical, weight loss | 2 Comments »

First Do No Harm — My Statement To The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 17, 2007

I will not be invisible anymore. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has taken a lot from me, but I still have my voice, and I will be heard. With my voice I hope to help bring awareness and visibility to a disease that has been misunderstood and ignored for too long.

Conversation Piece

On May 16th and 17th the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee will meet in Washington, D.C. where a dedicated group of top CFS experts and advocates – will report on the latest research findings and patient needs, and submit budget allocation recommendations to the Secretary of HHS.

I was hoping to attend this meeting and give a five minute statement to the committee, as both a patient and an advocate of this disease. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons I will be unable to attend. However, the committee has agreed to enter my statement into the record, and for this I am very grateful.

The following is my statement…

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Posted in awareness, chronic illness, health, Health & Wellness, medical, music, YouTube | 4 Comments »

Medical Mistakes — A Leading Cause of Death in the United States

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 5, 2007

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Did you know that preventable medical mistakes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States?

By Catherine MorganHealth & Wellness at BlogHer

We all know about the oath our doctors take to “do no harm”. But, we also know that doctors are human, and humans make mistakes. What you might not know is; Death due to medical mistakes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It is estimated that over 100,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors.

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Posted in awareness, BlogHer, health, Health & Wellness, medical | 9 Comments »

What You Can Do To Stop Frozen Embryos From Being Tossed In The Trash.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 10, 2007

This is a one minute video that demonstrates what is currently happening to unused frozen embryos from fertility clinics. The senate will be voting this week to either support Stem Cell Research, or to put more restrictions on it. Please go to my political site “INFORMED VOTERS” to see more information, and to send an Email to the Senate asking them to support Stem Cell Research.

Posted in faith, life, medical, science, stem cells, YouTube | 3 Comments »

Are You Happy With Your Doctor? One Thing Every Person Who Has A Doctor Should Be Doing.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 23, 2007

Vincent Van Gogh's Doctor Gachet, 1890
Vincent Van Gogh’s Doctor Gachet, 1890

Are You Happy With Your Doctor? — by Catherine Morgan

As patients, we all know that we are not always treated with the respect and dignity that we deserve. There is a site called, and I recommend that EVERYONE (whether you are sick or not) go to this site and rate both your good and your bad doctors. It is very easy to do, and it is the only way that doctors will begin to realize that they can’t just treat us as numbers and dollars, we are human beings, and they work for us. And if they do a bad job, we are going to tell. It is also a good place to check and see if a doctor you are considering going to has a good rating or not.

I can not recommend this activity enough, the internet is a great tool for consumers, and a great way for patients to take their power back. So, go to and give your good doctors the credit they deserve…..and “tattle” on all those bad doctors who have mistreated and been disrespectful to you. And then pass this information on to your friends and family.


ALSO SEE: Keeping A Medical Journal


Posted in health, medical | Comments Off on Are You Happy With Your Doctor? One Thing Every Person Who Has A Doctor Should Be Doing.

New Study Shows Chest Compressions Most Important Part Of CPR – Would You Be More Willing To Learn CPR Now?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 17, 2007

A man is given CPR. Chest compression — not mouth-to-mouth resuscitation — seems to be the key in helping someone recover from cardiac arrest, according to new research that further bolsters advice from heart experts. (AP GRAPHIC)

Have People Been Reluctant To Learn CPR Because They Didn’t Want To Put Their Mouth To A Stranger? Would you be more willing to learn CPR now?

A new study shows that compressions are much more important in saving a life with CPR, than breaths are. It is more important to continue chest compressions, than it is to take the time to stop and do mouth to mouth resuscitation on someone who’s heart has stopped. It is believed that roughly 9 out of 10 cardiac arrest victims die before they get to the hospital, this is partly because they don’t get CPR. Will more people be willing to learn CPR and possibly save a life, if they don’t think they will have to put their mouth on a strangers? I guess only time will tell, as a nurse I hope the answer is yes.

If you want to learn CPR, you can go to The American Heart Association web-site.

Read article about how chest compressions are more important than breaths, in saving a life with CPR.


Posted in medical | Comments Off on New Study Shows Chest Compressions Most Important Part Of CPR – Would You Be More Willing To Learn CPR Now?


Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 1, 2007


Whether you are suffering from a chronic illness, pregnant, or just getting older. Keeping a personal medical journal, is important, and can really come in handy. Some may want to do this on a weekly or monthly basis, others on a daily basis, this will depend on the severity of your health issues.

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Posted in health, medical | 15 Comments »

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