practical tips

8 Instant Pot Tips for Reliable, Safe and Easy Instant Pot cooking

8 Instant Pot TipsAfter several years of using the Instant Pot almost daily, I've learned some quirks and tricks to using the Instant Pot.

I hope these 8 tips will help you cook reliably, safely and easily with the Instant Pot!

5 Ways to Avoid MRI Claustrophobia

5 Ways to avoid MRI claustrophobia

Claustrophobia is one of the biggest hinderance to getting an MRI scan.

In addition, MRI scans are long, making it quite an arduous endeavor!

5 Tips to Prepare for an MRI Scan

5 Tips to Prepare for an MRI ScanAfter going through more than 20 MRIs and a lot of trial and error, I've learned to prepare for MRI scans in as efficient and comfortable a manner as possible!  

Since MRI scans are a challenge in and of themselves, I hope these tips will make it stress-free leading up to the MRI scan.

How to Minimize CT Scan Radiation Damage

3 Tips to Minimize CT scan radiation damageOne major concern with CT scans is the radiation damage it can cause.

This becomes more of an issue when you get frequent CT scans, as in the case of routine cancer monitoring. Ever since I was diagnosed, I have had an average of 4 chest CT scans each year.

 How much radiation do I get from a CT scan?

Hotel Discounts for Cancer Patients

Traveling to various places for medical appointments or treatments gets quite expensive after a while.  Thankfully there are discounts for cancer patients at certain hotels.

Diary of Radiation Symptoms

I had IMRT radiation to the head and neck (mainly the right side) for 30 sessions, a total of 66Gy of radiation.  I found that the radiation symptoms changed quickly, so I hope by documenting them here, it will help others who may be going through something similar.


Day 1 - Radiation #1

  • muscle tightness

Day 2 - Radiation #2:

  • muscle tightness
  • eyes very tired (like after being in sun)

Day 3 -

  • no soreness in jaw muscles
  • no more fatigue like Day 2

Day 4 -

Diet Suggestions During Head and Neck Radiation

Radiation to one's head and neck poses a challenge to eating enough. Radiation treatment also raises one's metabolism, so more calories are needed, otherwise weight is quickly lost.

When I had radiation, we wrote down everything I ate or drank every day, along with the calories. I had to eat at least 1500-2000 calories per day. Weighing myself every day also helped to motivate me to eat more. It's best to set a goal of the weight you do not want to drop below.

*** Breakfast ***

Comfortable Head Wear during Chemo

Comfortable Headwear during chemo, Buff headwearHair loss is a common side effect of chemo and/or radiation.  I lost all my hair during chemotherapy.

There are many options available, such as wigs, caps or hats.  I looked at wigs, but the ones I tried on didn't look right on me and were very scratchy.  I wanted something comfortable and easy to clean

Tips for Visiting Cancer Patients

Six tips for visiting cancer patientsCancer patients are going through a very difficult time in their lives, not only physically, but emotionally as well.  There are special considerations for cancer patients going through treatment because of their weakened physical state.

Here are 6 tips to guide your visit with a cancer patient.

How to proceed after a cancer diagnosis

We were at that point in February 2008.  After the announcement from the doctor that I had a rare malignant cancer, we were thrust into the world of cancer.  We wanted to do whatever it took to get rid of my cancer.
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