I just returned from the doctor’s office with some hopeful news. My white blood cell count has risen a bit, and now I am at just a little above 1.0. That may not seem like much, but it’s a step in the right direction.

In the midst of worrying, I recalled that my grandma died when her white blood cell count plummeted. Her doctor had treated her with too high a dose of chemotherapy and failed to check her numbers.  

My grandmother’s story suggests that you must be your own advocate to be certain a doctor is doing everything he or she should to have your best interests in mind. If you have any reservations about a doctor, there are many organizations, support groups and patient navigators that can serve as a second pair of eyes.

With the changing of the clocks, the colors of fall will soon fade away.  I had asked you to send me pictures of fall foliage in your neighborhood, and I want to thank the few who did! I want to create a collage to post next to my bed and look for inspiration and meditation to fall asleep. If you have a couple of photos, please email them to me at noreen@noreenfraserfoundation.org.

Next I want to talk about something that has the potential to impact many, if not all, of you: the potential health benefit of taking aspirin. Research from Harvard University in 2010 indicated that taking an aspirin once a day may decrease your chances of dying of breast cancer. Another study by British researchers in 2012, which studied aspirin’s ability to prevent heart disease, also showed that usage of the drug was linked to a lower risk of breast cancer death.

Inflammation precedes the development of many diseases. If we can keep our insides free from inflammation— precisely what aspirin works to reduce— we would be healthier. I am going to reach out to the researchers to learn more about their study so I can pass that on to you.  

About five years ago, my doctor recommended daily aspirin to me because he was taking it, and he said every doctor he knew took an aspirin before bed.

  
We don't always know the cause, but for those diagnosed with internal inflammation, the question of whether to take an aspirin sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Have a great week, and don't forget to send me fall foliage pictures!

Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is the Founder and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking women's cancer research. To stay in touch with Noreen, please 'LIKE' The Noreen Fraser Foundation on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.  Noreen can be contacted via email at noreen@noreenfraserfoundation.org.