Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
While I don’t think the show covers any of that subject, it did make me realize that this isn’t just a problem for Alaska schools. When I think back to my elementary days, I remember the school buildings seeming old even then. They were probably filled with PCBs and other contaminants. It’s a wonder really, that there aren’t more of us suffering like my sister.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Whatever you call it, it sucks. Chemo fog refers to the memory problems cancer survivors experience after chemotherapy treatments. Approximately 20-30% of chemo patients end up with chemo fog. According to Mayo Clinic, very little is understood about this bizarre condition. According to chemofog.net, scientists have attributed the following cognitive changes to chemo treatments:
- Word finding. You might find yourself reaching for the right word in conversation.
- Memory. You might experience short-term memory lapses, such as not remembering where you put your keys or what you were supposed to buy at the store.
- Multitasking. Many jobs require you to manage multiple tasks during the day. Multitasking is important at work as well as at home — for example, talking with your kids and making dinner at the same time. Chemotherapy may affect how well you’re able to perform multiple tasks at once.
- Learning. It might take longer to learn new things. For example, you might find you need to read paragraphs over a few times before you get the meaning.
- Processing speed. It might take you longer to do tasks that were once quick and easy for you.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
It seems that people have always intuitively understood the therapeutic effects of laughter, and more recently science has been able to explain some of these benefits. The act of laughing increases oxygen flow and circulation while lowering blood pressure. Laughter also balances our emotions. The Mayo Clinic suggests that daily laughter can go a long way in helping cancer patients cope with their illness. Here are a few tips they recommend:
- Watch a funny movie and laugh out loud.
- Laugh with friends — go for coffee together, talk a walk, go window shopping.
- Take time to read the comic section of the paper every day.
- Play games such as Pictionary, Bingo, Charades, Bowling ... anything that puts you in a situation of humor and fun.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Carol Woods is no stranger to the horrors of cancer. She lost her uncle and brother to the disease. Her 53-year-old brother-in-law is currently battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Frustrated by the devastation brought on by cancer, Carol decided to begin a fund-raising operation for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Instead of organizing a marathon or a bake sale, Carol decided to go for something a little bit spookier: a haunted costume party. On October 23, she held the 5th annual haunted costume ball for cancer research, complete with a costume contest, raffles and live music. Now that's celebrating the Halloween season with a healthy dose of activism! To view photos of this event, click here.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Chemo Babe is not your ordinary cancer patient. She's bold. She's bald. She'll don a corset and whip to fulfull her identity as a malignancy-fighting super heroine! This larger than life persona belongs to a breast cancer patient who considers herself a social scientist, intrigued by the complex relationships cancer victims develop with their environments as they battle their disease. According to Chemo Babe's website,
I needed a symbol for my fight, and pink ribbons evoke images of playing dress up or wrapping gifts to me. They do not rev me up for another round of mortal combat.Chemo Babe is a regular blogger, sharing her fiery insights as she progresses on her journey. To learn more about her, click here.
So I created ChemoBabe, a persona who keeps me fighting. She has enough spunk and edge to get smacked down by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and stand back up ready to fight some more. A persona who the cancer could not touch. Somebody who could say that cancer is horrible and talk back bluntly to the euphemistic ways people skirt that horror in everyday conversations.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I can remember these words coming from my Mother's mouth as if it were yesterday. At the time, I found her insistence on eating my greens infuriating. Today, I'm more thankful than ever.
Research from the University of Illinois shows that broccoli contains "sulforaphane, the powerful cancer-fighting agent" (EurekAlert). This compound is released by beneficial bacteria in the digestive track, and our bodies then absorb it, helping us to stay cancer-free. Other veggies high in sulforaphane include carrots, collard greens and cabbage.
It isn't just a form of cruel and unusual torture; insisting on veggies is an important thing for every parent to do!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The Non-Hodgkin's Project is all about exposing this link, as well as forcing Monsanto to acknowledge responsibility for this issue. According to The Non-Hodgkin's site, Monsanto "the controversial biotechnology company, manufactured 99 percent of all the PCBs produced in the United States." If you would like to sign a petition telling Monsanto just this, click here.
Monday, November 1, 2010
The first map displays data from 1950-1969:
The second shows data from 1970-1994:
The first thing you probably notice is that there's a whole lot more red on the second map. This means that more people are suffering from NHL. Several sources have noted a dramatic increase in NHL over the past few decades:
- "Research has documented a steady increase in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma over the past several decades." (ScienceDaily)
- "Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) is one of the fastest rising cancers in the developing countries. In many countries, including the US and Canada, the number of new cases diagnosed each year have almost doubled in the past 30 years." (lymphoma.about.com)
- "Between 1973 and 1991, the 73 percent increase in the incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was one of the largest among the major cancer sites in the United States." (rex.nci.hih.gov)
*Note that these two maps compare NHL mortality rates for white women. To see the maps for other demographics, click here.