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Debra Sherman

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Debra Sherman died Tuesday of lung cancer after more than a year of living with the disease. She spent her final days sharing what she learned about cancer with readers.

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The most recent employment report from the U.S. Labor Department showed the job market remained tough in January. If it’s difficult for healthy individuals to get a job, what is it like for cancer survivors?

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In my last blog post, I wrote about pain and addiction, and quoted my palliative care doctor. Some readers took that to mean that I am at the end of the road, so to speak, since I am calling for palliative care. No, I’m not! (At least I hope I’m not.)

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I was a bit surprised by how readily this new physician I visited agreed to prescribe more pain medication for me. My previous experience before I was a cancer patient was that doctors were unwilling to prescribe highly addictive drugs — but they weren’t palliative care doctors, like him.

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At a time when there are so many vital questions to ask, and research budgets everywhere are under attack, I wonder why well-meaning researchers pick obvious questions to ask. Is it easier to get funding? Are they cheaper to execute? Is the bar lower?

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The oncologist is the person who will look after my cancer for the rest of my life, however long it lasts. I need to trust him or her implicitly. Just for starters, I need to trust the treatments prescribed for me will work, even if they make me feel sicker than I felt in the first place.

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Certain foods long have been known to help ward off cancer. Nutrients found in broccoli, cabbage and blueberries, for example, have the capability to sweep away cancer cells floating around a healthy body. But can they help someone who already has cancer, like me?

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If you decided to travel for your cancer treatment, there are resources that can help lighten the financial load.

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When faced with cancer, here are some tips to decide if it is best to rely on local medical care or consider traveling to a big-name medical center given the hassle and expense.

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I recently spoke with Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the ACS. I told him how I wished I had undergone screening earlier, thinking my cancer would have been caught before it could spread to my bones and my brain. “I would not have screened you,” he said bluntly.

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