Living well with breast cancer by choosing wisely

Over at Wonkblog, I checked back in with one of my favorite people, Amy Berman.AmyBerman_1x1 5 (1)

Amy is a program officer at the Hartford Foundation. She is on my real-life Madden team. She has been living with stage IV breast cancer for several years now. By the judicious use of palliative care, she is living well despite the challenges of a spreading cancer. It is a strange experience yucking it up over Skype sipping diet soda and discussing metastatic cancer. Life is funny like that.

We spend so much time debating what a good death might look like in end-of-life care. She has had a good life for the past several years despite an incurable cancer, because she has sought and received excellent care.

More here.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

2 thoughts on “Living well with breast cancer by choosing wisely”

  1. I am very sorry your friend is ill. That's awful.

    On a separate topic which is none of my business, unless you've been feeling lonely and put that in because you wanted more comments?,… um, what's up with the diet soda? You know those don't work, right?

    I don't mean to be too too obnoxious, b/c f.e., I am not on board with the soda taxers. But I hate to see nice people eating fake sugar…

  2. So, I'm not sure if the system ate my last comment. But if it didn't, just to be clear, I thought you were the one drinking the diet soda. Obviously, if it's your friend, then I wouldn't say a word!

    She seems like a pretty unusual person, and it is wonderful that she is helping publicize that program. I am sure when my time comes, I will panic, and it will be helpful to be able to learn from people who've already been down the path. Still, I hope she lives another 20 happy years. You never know. (This is probably not the time to bring up my friend who thinks veganism can cure cancer?…)

    But what I really wanted to ask about is, do you think that we should be having more of a discussion about … Oregon?

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