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1 day ago · Sustained on Her Journey by Connect Members: Meet @cindylb in About Connect: Who, What & Why

Thanks for sharing and contributing to mayo connect. Laurie

Tue, Jul 23 12:03pm · Anyone dealing with Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia (ADH)? in Breast Cancer

The internet can be helpful but scary. After my diagnosis I was googling everything and all it did was raise my anxiety. I now use Mayo, cancer.org and few other web sites as references so I know what questions to ask dr.; then I can make an informed decisions.

Everyone is unique and treatment or results for one person does not apply to everyone.

Laurie

Sun, Jul 21 6:49pm · Your Tips on How to Get Off to the Best Start with a New Specialist in Visiting Mayo Clinic

If you have not read, see my list of items to prepare for appointment.

https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/your-tips-on-how-to-get-off-to-the-best-start-with-a-new-specialist/?pg=1#comment-240765

This web page has a phone number for help with portal:

https://profile.mayoclinic.org/help?applicationId=c77283b6-1f64-4808-a8af-7bbc3c45595b

Even after you get registered for Portal, I think you can only send messages to dr you have already seen.

Prior to appointments at Mayo, I usually get a form to fill out as preparation for appt.

If you have medical records you want to send prior to appt., contact the person who scheduled your appt and ask about sending medical records or introduction letter. If unsure who to call, try calling central appt desk at 507-538-3270 and they can transfer to right appointment desk. If you have received a hard copy confirmation of appointment, there might be phone number on that.

Good luck
Laurie

Thu, Jul 11 10:14am · Tips for cancer survivors to keep cool in the summer heat in Cancer Education Center

My doctor also suggested using Pedialyte. Though I normally think of Pedialyte being used by children, it can also help adults. I carry a few individual packages with me, and if I get overheated or dizzy, I add to a bottle of water. It helps increase level of fluids and electrolytes.

There are generic version of Pedialyte that are less expensive. I have used the Walmart version.

Laurie M

Mon, Jul 8 9:17am · Letrozole and Cholesterol in Breast Cancer

I have suggestion for anyone who is going to start letrozole. Ask your doctor about having your LIPIDS / Cholesterol tested prior to starting and then again after you have been on Letrozole for a few months. I did not have tested prior, my dr did not mention that letrozole could increase cholesterol. I had always had to watch my cholesterol but never required medication.

A few months after starting letrozole I had cholesterol tested as part routine check up and was surprised how much it had increase from previous test two years ago. How much of increase was due to letrozole vs diet could not tell because did not test prior to starting new medication. I talked to oncologist and primary dr about. Increase cholesterol is a known side effect of letrozole. After reviewing other factors that contribute to cardiac disease (blood pressure, family history, etc…) they both agreed I should stay on Letrozole and I do not have to start cholesterol meds, YEAH ! Did not need a new medication and new set of side effects.

Laurie

Thu, May 30 8:01am · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

Update to previous post. After having bad side effects when taking Arimidex I am on Letrozole. Been on for 5 weeks and minimum side effects. Little bit of joint pain in hand and feet, but it is so minimum that it does not prevent me from doing anything.

Laurie

Sun, Apr 28 8:32am · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

Welcome to Connect.

I think the decision to take an AI for 3-5 years is one of the harder decisions of dealing with Breast Cancer. I took Arimidex for 6 months prior to surgery as part of research study. As a result, I know the Arimidex did what it was suppose to do based on test results during diagnosis and then again after 3 months of Arimidex. With that being said, it came with side effects, for me it was depression.

I stopped taking after surgery, then did chemo and radiation. I have had multiple discussion with oncologist about AIs and have agreed to try Letrozole for a month and then will meet with oncologist again.

I am willing to try it, but if side effects are to severe, I will re-evaluate.

Everyone has different reactions to meds. And you hear more from those who have negative side effects then those with no problems. My sister had breast cancer and had no problems with AI.

Good luck
Laurie

Thu, Apr 18 8:58am · Tips needed: How do you manage finances during a big medical event? in Just Want to Talk

This great topic, if dealing with major or multiple medical issues, taking care of billing and insurance can be very stressful and time consuming at same time you have anxiety from medical conditions. I had three separate medical issues in 2018, and still trying to resolve some of the charges and insurance claims.

I have private insurance (Blue Cross) and not covered by Medicare.

Here are few things I do to help with billing and insurance:

Pre certification. If in doubt, call insurance company about what needs pre certification. My insurance company (Blue Cross) uses another company for pre certification (AIM) so sometimes it takes multiple calls. If something needs pre approval, call your clinic and make sure they know it requires pre approval. Never assume that the clinic knows what insurance company requires. At Mayo they have separate department that can help you with pre certification. Here is web site with Mayo contact info: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-needed-how-do-you-manage-finances-during-a-big-medical-event/

In order to keep track of bills and insurance claims I use a spread sheet. For every medical charge, I enter the information into spread sheet. Example of information I enter: date, type visit, and amount clinic charged. When I receive the insurance EOB, I then enter the amount insurance paid.

This can be time consuming, but it makes it easier to determine if insurance has not processed a charge.
I also have separate tabs in spreadsheet to keep track of prescriptions, travel expense, parking, etc…

At tax time, this spreadsheet has all the information I need to determine medical costs for a year.

This process may not work for everyone, but I have been doing for years, and it works for me.

Laurie M.