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Posts by Cait Telaak

Mouse Models and Avatars

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, healthcare positions accounted for 12% of all private-sector jobs, a number that has consistently been on the rise.(1) Included in this data were such vocations as pharmacists, physical therapists, dental hygienists, medical assistants, home health aides, etc. Many non-M.D. professionals within this population have had…

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How to Sign Up for Google Alerts

My recent(ish) surgery knocked me down a little more than expected, so I won’t be tackling the complex topic of mouse models/mouse avatars (with a detour into personalized medicine) until my next post in two weeks.  In the meantime, I wanted to share a neat trick a fellow attendee introduced me to at this year’s…

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Love and Hope

Reading this blog you get a lot of one person’s perspective, but so many lives have been impacted by cholangiocarcinoma.  When I asked fellow patients to give their perspectives from the conference, Tom, Heidi, Catherine, and Lois all graciously offered to share their thoughts.  If any readers didn’t share but would like to, please feel…

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Patients, Physicians, Progress

Science has never been my forte.  That’s not to say it disinterests me, but it never held my attention like the humanities.  For someone who has no natural talent for biology, however, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about cells.  I ponder the cells dividing in my own system, somewhat dispassionately considering the…

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Empowerment – Helen Scott’s Story

It’s natural for cancer patients to, at some point in their journey, indulge their curiosity.  When you are diagnosed with a disease as rare as cholangiocarcinoma, one of the first questions that comes to mind is: why?  A person wonders if maybe they have a genetic predisposition, or maybe they’ve unknowingly encountered carcinogens that altered…

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Even Keel – Andy Tebbutt’s Story

I can’t speak for other rare cancer populations, but the cholangiocarcinoma community is fairly tight knit.  In some ways, we are like members of the same college class after graduation.  We’re spread all over the globe, but when we talk it’s with the familiarity and an intimacy of old friends, and we even occasionally gather…

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Roller Coaster – Barry Cohen’s Story

Written by Cait with edits of style and flair by Barry Cohen Depending on your perspective, roller coaster might have a negative connotation.  For Barry Cohen though, it doesn’t, and that’s in no small part because he chooses for it to be positive.  Speaking with him for this feature was both entertaining and informative, and…

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Radiation Part II

And we’re back!  I meant to have this up last week, but between the holidays and family in town, that ambition crashed and burned in merry, yuletide fashion.  We left off last post with a promise of a deeper dive into what a radiation treatment, specifically stereotactic radiation, might look like from beginning to end. …

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Treatment Modalities: Radiation

I began the last treatment modality post with a tease about controversial cholangiocarcinoma treatments.  Liver transplant is arguably one of the more misunderstood modalities, but radiation just might get the worst rap.  When many lay people hear “radiation”, we think scorched earth.  Radiation historically represents one of the most aggressive treatments and one that by…

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Persistence – Jess Maher’s Story

Imagine for a second that there is a checklist that describes the ‘typical’ cholangiocarcinoma patient.  An impossible task, I know, as we are all so significantly (or perhaps maddeningly if you’re the doctor trying to fix us) different, but there are trends in the data.  Jess Maher is the opposite of most of what you…

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Top Ten Tips for an Easier Holiday Season

It’s no surprise that the holidays come with a mixed bag of emotions and experiences.  In the best of circumstances this time of year, while joyful, carries a fair amount of stress, but when cancer enters the equation, many of the already complex feelings are magnified.  Sometimes the patient is the one who typically hosts…

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Treatment Modalities: Liver Transplant

This post marks the first in a series reviewing different cholangiocarcinoma treatment modalities.  Moving forward, one post each month will look at the present state of a common treatment including an interview with a leading expert on the subject.  Please use the comments to share your feedback on information you would like to see in…

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C.A.R.E. Team Launches in Chicago

Melinda Bachini is a familiar face within the Foundation.  An 8-year survivor, she is on the front line of introducing the newly diagnosed to the Foundation’s services and helping them to navigate their new reality.  In addition to her work with the Foundation, Melinda sits on several national committees such as the NCI Patient Advocate…

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Team CCF Takes on the Chicago Marathon

Assuming you haven’t tackled one before, have you ever really thought about what it takes to run a marathon?  If a runner maintains a 12-minute mile pace (essentially a jog) and does not take walk breaks, it would take them 5 hours and 14 minutes to complete the 26.2-mile course.  For some perspective, if you’ve…

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Sneak Peek at the New Discussion Boards – the Foundation’s Hidden Gem

The Foundation’s discussion boards have long been a gathering place for patients and caregivers to share information and offer support.  When it was first created ten years ago, the discussion board corner of the cholangiocarcinoma.org site was on par with other similar forums, but as ten years passed and technology advanced, the decision was made…

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My Name’s Cait and I’m Here to Blog

Hello Cholangiocarcinoma Family!  I write to bid you welcome to the blog and to provide a brief introduction.  After some time under the watchful eye of multiple volunteers and leaders from the Foundation, the blog is returning to a single owner model.  This isn’t to say you won’t hear from a variety of voices, but…

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