Thursday, October 18, 2007

Will Wyeth actually pay?

Drug Maker Shares Breast Cancer Survivor's Pain
Jury Rules in Favor of Woman Who Says Wyeth Drugs Caused Breast Cancer

(and why do they make it sound like the woman "says" the drug caused the cancer? they should say it was PROVEN by doctors and scientists and then decided by a jury)

I'm telling you, I would have a difficult time deciding if the risks where worth it IF I had been given a choice back when my symptoms were so bad. By the time I understood more about menopause (through doing this website), my worst symptoms were over and most of my problems have been of the "aging" kind more than menopause. I have been advocating that every woman should be allowed to make her own decision based on her family history and her own research and beliefs.

This is what scares me and makes it so real: Wyeth must pay Prempro damages Wyeth must pay $99 million in punitive damages over its mishandling of menopause drugs that helped cause three Nevada women's cancers, a jury ruled. The panel ruled Oct. 12 that the company owed the women $35 million in compensatory damages. Jurors in state court in Reno concluded yesterday that Wyeth, the largest maker of hormone-replacement medicines, should also pay the three women punitive damages for concealing the breast-cancer risks of its Prempro and Premarin drugs. Wyeth said it would appeal. The three women's suits are among about 5,300 against Wyeth over its menopause drugs.

I don't have to make the decision about hrt....I've been without it for 17 years, but I AM faced with a similar decision regarding my psoriasis....the side effects of the medicine that would most likely clear this up (it's about 75% on my body now), are lymphoma, TB and a very weakened immune system. When I read that info above, it made the possibilities so real...these are actual women who thought they were doing the right thing

"A Nevada jury awarded Rowatt more than $42 million for her share of $99 million in punitive damages, and $35 million in compensatory damages — the largest ever judgment against the nation's leading maker of hormone replacement therapies. Rowatt followed her doctors' orders and took Premarin, and then Prempro, to ease the symptoms of menopuase for nearly eight years. "They kept telling me there may be some heart benefit, and I believed them," Rowatt said. "If you can't believe your doctor, who can you believe?" Seven years ago, Rowatt was diagnosed with breast cancer. With no family history of breast cancer, she blamed the drugs for causing the disease."

The possibility of getting emphysema or lung cancer is what made me finally stop smoking. I smoked for 43 years, knowing what kind of risk I was taking, but it wasn't until I was 57 that I realized what it could mean. Now I'm facing additional risks if I feel I have to take Humira to clear the I'm not totally convinced I'm out of the woods from the long term smoking or even from other types of cancer....with no cancer in my family (except for a few long lost cousins). I'm not sure it matters any more. What about the money? Does it make up for the risk? "[The money] really can't give me back part of my body," she said. "The chemotherapy I had to endure is terrible." (she was awarded a total of $140+ million) She'll probably never see it but I'm sure it feels like a victory, just the same. What do you think?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hormones out of whack? It may be your thyroid!

I wish Oprah's show had covered more about the thyroid instead of so much of Dr. Northrup's holistic views. Although I do believe in the connection of your soul and heart to your health, I also feel we need more specific info when it comes to this issue which can be found on her website. Thyroid problems can mimic menopause and with so many women going "on their own" because of all the confusion about hormone replacement, I don't believe checking out what "you've swept under the rug" is sufficient advice for making sure your hormones are in balance. What do you think?

Here's another issue someone wrote to me about today and I believe it all goes together:

The Anti-Estrogen Diet Could Change Your Life
Sylvia Hubbard Monday, Aug. 6, 2007

Plagued by a stubborn roll of belly fat that just won't disappear no matter how hard you diet? Worn down by the daily grind of life, but your doctor only issues the standard "eat less, exercise more, and get more sleep" advice?

Maybe you need to take a long hard look at the "anti-estrogenic" diet.
It's not really a diet at all in the usual sense, but more of a change in the types of foods eaten. The idea behind it, as the name suggests, is to eliminate foods high in estrogen, which create a condition called "estrogen dominance," according to Ori Hofmekler, author of The Anti-Estrogenic Diet. Read this article here

Monday, October 08, 2007

90 degree weather in October?

I don't know about you, but I'm totally disappointed in the weather Michigan is experiencing! Of course, tomorrow it will be more like fall temps, but here it is Oct. 8 and I haven't even been to the cider mill yet for some fresh cider and donuts!! I WILL go in the next week though!

Today is Columbus Day. Ok, so what? No government offices open today, but everyone else has to go to work or school. I heard on the news that there were protests out west about the US celebrating someone who really wasn't so great afterall. Another example of how far things have gone since the days when we studied about Columbus "discovering America".

I was just looking through one of the "dating" sites out there to see what's available these days. never seems to change. I'm still surprised about the guys who say they want to find a woman who likes sex. Just like in High thing that is most important. You would think that guys in their late 50's would finally realize that women don't want to plan ahead on the sexual activities for the first date! Most of the guys don't actually say it, but you get the idea from they way they describe the first date. Oh well, I don't really think about dating much anyway these days. I've never met one guy from those sites because I always back out before it gets to that point.

I didn't have much to talk about today, but at least I posted something!! :)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Advertising to babyboomer women

I got this picture in an email for a menopause website last week and I just felt discouraged that they wouldn't take more time to find an image that more closely depicted someone my age. Here's what I put in my newsletter and then go here to see the numerous responses:

Most of you know that I don't make much of an issue out of my age (I'll be 60 in April) or the fact that I'm not the pretty young thing of my youth (I'd say until I hit about 40?), but I'm finally at the point where if someone is going to claim they are speaking to ME as a middle aged woman who is NOT a model, they really should try to use age appropriate photos so as not to send me over the edge like this one did.

I tried to let it go unnoticed, really I did, because it was in one of the fairly reliable, interesting, and as they say, "trusted" sources for menopause information, but my eyes kept going back to the smooth face on this lovely girl, the smokey, sultry eyes and that sunlit, slightly tossled mane of blond hair. I've got to be honest, I have no idea what is in the rest of the email. This really deflated my energy level today for some reason.

After nearly 11 years of running my website, I'm fully aware that the woman in the picture could very well be suffering with symptoms of peri-menopause and her looks have nothing to do with the need for information, but how do we get it through to these people who are trying to sell us something that we need to feel represented, understood and taken seriously. I may be wrong, but what do you want to bet that it's a man who put this particular email together? I really doubt if it was a woman, or if it was, it was a young woman who probably thought "this woman looks like she's wondering why she pee'd her pants as she was getting down off her horse." I just want to have the opportunity to review a product or information that is truly made for my benefit without feeling like whoever is pushing this or that, assumes they know what I need or want. And trust me, there are millions of women who feel the same as I do. Your comments are welcome.

A change is upon this website!

First of all I'm amazed that I haven't posted anything since July! I guess I just haven't found my groove yet...until today. I finally realized what makes other blogs interesting to me is that they (the people who write their blogs) just talk about themselves and the small (or big) things that happen in their everyday lives. I've been so used to trying to find the right things to say to a large audience (over 12,000 subscribers), that I found it difficult to bring things down to a more personal level.

Then it hit me....I write a monthly newsletter and constantly update my website, but I don't have a daily record of my thoughts, dreams, happenings, sorrows and rants. Yes, I knew that's what a blog is for, but I couldn't find my voice even in two blogs I started. Yes, I could (and have) posted daily on my forum, but still, it's not the same. Today, after reading a couple of really good blogs like this one and this one and this one I realized that I just needed to write about my day....each day. Simple. I've been making it too difficult all along.

I wanted to make a blog that lots of women would read, but then I didn't post very often and on top of that, I didn't tell anyone about the blog! hahahah....well, maybe I mentioned it once in the newsletter and a couple of times on the forum, but I clearly was not proud of my offering so I didn't really invite many people in. Today that has changed!

I used to switch back and forth from being "Minnie Pauz" and having the blog be an extension of her, the website and what I've been working on for over 10 years, to being "Dee" and writing about the things that irritated me or that I thought were important to all women. You know, trying to help "the cause"....mostly the "pause cause". :) I'm still going to be doing that and getting on my soap box, but now I'm more clear on what I want to say....I found my voice. I do hope readers will respond when they see something that touches them or that they relate to.

Speaking of that, I definitely hit a nerve in the latest newsletter when I mentioned the picture of a beautiful woman in an email I got for a menopause site. I will post it here, but in a different post since I want this one to be about my day TODAY, but in case I don't get it done, you can read all the responses I got here. Clearly, many women feel the same way I do about using appropriate photos or people in advertising that is directed to us.

Ok, so today (a Saturday) I'm sitting here waiting for the satellite service guy to arrive. Everything was going fine until a week ago Thursday when my office tv was only giving me half of the 8,000 channels it's suppose to show. :) No, I don't watch all of them either, but damn it, I want them to be available just in case I decide to see how many I can watch in one day!

First of all, let me explain how important the office tv is! I spend about 14 hours a day in my office, at the computer and I like to have the tv on for both noise and so I don't miss the news or my favorite talk shows, etc. Here's what my office looks like so you can see the relation of the tv to my computer:

Hey! The technician just finished so I'm feeling fully "connected" right now! :) It's a good thing since I had to miss my granddaughter's soccer game this morning waiting on the guy!

So half my day is now gone and the only thing I've accomplished is being able to watch tv while I'm on the computer! Guess I should be glad, but now it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I'm going to finish this post, add the post about from the newsletter and then pay the rest of my bills (which I do you?)

I'm also going to start telling people about my blog! I hope you will leave a comment if you come across this page in your travels through the internet. I just have to make it a habit to post here each day!