Patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

Elaine Waples underwent major abdominal surgery in 2010 for stage 3 primary peritoneal (ovarian) cancer that had metastasized to several organs. Since then she has undergone years of a robust treatment regimen including 8 rounds of chemotherapy. Her journey is chronicled on the online health care magazine Care and Costs, edited by her husband, Brian Klepper.

Hospitals: Are We All Talking?

Elaine Waples | January 22, 2013
Complications from my cancer sent me to the hospital again recently. The news that I was in trouble came unexpectedly from my oncologist’s office on Thanksgiving eve, following a routine blood test. “Your liver numbers are out of whack.” My response was “Really?” as if I’d been notified that my driver’s license had expired.

The Granny Plan

Elaine Waples | October 22, 2012
It'??s no surprise that Americans are tilting the scales in the wrong direction. We are straining our waistlines and health coverage beyond the limits. Unfortunately we live in a culture that promotes it.

Getting Engaged

Elaine Waples | September 24, 2012
We hear inspiring things about patient engagement. The very concept has a hearty, spirited, do-right sound to it. After two years of cancer treatment, there are a few fundamental principles I think patient engagement should mirror.

Guest Blog: Attitude

Elaine Waples | August 31, 2012
I'??ve come to believe that seriously sick people are often subject to some very interesting comments from well-intentioned non-sick people.

Guest Blog: Old Puzzles, Busy Guys and New Science

Elaine Waples | June 11, 2012
I am a two year cancer survivor, in remission, feeling good, and focusing on a quality of life that I perhaps took all too much for granted in the past. But like all cancer survivors, I worry about what may be happening inside my body...

Four Perfect Questions

Elaine Waples | April 9, 2012
I remember when my father-in-law passed away nine years ago. A nervous young doctor had the uncomfortable task of telling him that nothing more could be done about his leukemia and it was perhaps time for hospice.

Guest Blog: Marcus Welby, House and the Wizard of Oz

Elaine Waples | March 22, 2012
Things are different for me now. Today I belong to that group of people with serious illnesses who spend lots of time in doctors' offices, diagnostic labs, and imaging centers. I quickly discovered that I had some interesting choices about my care.

Is My Cancer in the Wrong Body Part?

Elaine Waples | March 2, 2012
For the past two years of chemotherapy and difficult treatment, I have struggled to suppress what feels like a petty sentiment about all the pink attention. If I just own up to it, I feel left out and I really want a parade with everyone wearing teal in support of ovarian research and care. My cancer!