This is a holiday story. Here in Seattle we rarely have snow. And when we do, the rain soon comes to wash it away. That's a good thing because we have few snow plows and our environmental way of thinking prohibits putting salt on the icy roads. Plus no one knows how to drive in a real winter. So the truth is snow and Seattle don't mix. Nevertheless, it will be a white Christmas for folks who long for that. And when you can't drive much you walk. That's a good way to get to know your neighbors better and...

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Megan Barcroft of Dallas, Oregon is 30. She'd been trying to get pregnant for years. When she wasn't successful she turned to fertility treatments. And, like so many others, she developed a multiple birth pregnancy – triplets. By definition such a pregnancy is high risk, to the mother and the babies. A mom like Megan is monitored closely. In her case, it resulted in four weeks of bed-rest in the hospital and then an emergency C-section when she developed preeclampsia, dangerous hypertension that can lead to a stroke. She gave birth to two girls and a boy at the end...

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The other night we had a very provocative discussion about prostate cancer treatments. There are many treatments and, unfortunately, no clear answers as to which is the right one and when. Yes, there are strong recommendations to do this or that in a given situation, but is anyone in urologic oncology really sure what's best for cancer control and quality of life? No. And can you have total confidence in every study? No. Some are just plain self-serving for shaded" for practitioners of this approach or that. That point was driven home by urologic oncologist Dr. Bruce Dalkin, a new...

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Some weeks it is hard to decide what to blog about BUT NOT THIS WEEK! First: I am thrilled to call your attention to our new pages on patientpower.info. We've added video that showcases "Powerful Patients," we've added stories and photos from these people and others, we've added "Voices from the Heart" inspiration, and started our "Hall of Fame" to recognize people who've made a difference to patients. Please take a look, tell others, and share your story! Second: You may know that I often attend the big medical meetings, mingle with the doctors, and bring patients news about what...

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Two years ago Ralph Goodman, 62, of Bellevue, Washington was told his episodes of dizziness and lapses in focus were indications of the most serious diagnosis, an inoperable form of brain cancer. Some people would have emotionally crumbled, knocked to the floor and unable to get up. Not Ralph. While he was shocking and upset, he soon moved on to a much healthier view of his situation. This week I interviewed Ralph, a man I've known for years through our synagogue. Ralph was happy to tell his story of traveling the world as a young man, reaching success in sales...

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He was calling in from a hotel room in San Francisco. I was sitting alone at the microphone 2,500 miles away at an office conference table in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His words of wisdom pierced the night, and I hoped people around the world were listening. We called him "Bob" because he still worried what he was about to share could limit his future job possibilities. His subject was anxiety and depression and having the courage to get help. Right at the outset Bob marveled that years ago, when depression first was debilitating at age 19, he never "in a...

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At the Healthcare Internet Conference" near Orlando, FL – We've talked before about how the days of "The Doctor as God" or "I'm the Doctor, You're Not" is over. But some major hospitals are having trouble putting the patient in "first position" on their websites even though their stated mission is to put patients first. Over the years it has been patient care that has been valued. That has not been necessarily true for hearing from patients, featuring patient stories and photos, or encouraging patients to talk to other patients publically or have an active online give and take with...

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Andrew's Blog: Overcoming the Impossible: Life After Illness from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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As I write this, we still don't know the results of the national and state elections. It will all be determined this week. And while the people we elect to lead us have many, many issues to tackle, we are focused on healthcare. We can only hope the folks who are elected can help improve on the situation we have now. Issue #1 of course, is that many Americans either have no health insurance or lack adequate insurance. Issue #2 is the cost of prescription medicines. Drugs cost hundreds of millions to develop and when they come to market it's...

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The television commercials are captivating: How ordinary people - many of them "Real Americans" in Sarah Palin's terms – find themselves with insufficient insurance coverage or no insurance to cover a medical event. There are more than 40 million Americans like this, and it is a situation we have to solve in the near-term. So we at Patient Power have wanted to do our part to promote a dialogue about this in much greater depth than the TV spots. After all, Michael Moore goes on "The Larry King Show," and the AMA has a project "Voices for the Uninsured," and...

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