Month: August 2003

MRI

I had an MRI and an ultrasound yesterday. The ultrasound was done first to rule out DVT as a cause of leg pain. I’ve been having pain in the right leg since June. We’ll see what the MRI says in the next couple of days, I suppose.

Duke blood

This is the blood I found in the HLA test kit Duke sent to me back in February. I was about to throw it away, but decided to look at it. I’m glad I did, because it contained 2 tubes of someone’s blood. A 46 year-old female with type AB+ blood. This is something that should never have happened! I can’t just throw it out. It has to be properly disposed of, so I’m hanging onto it until I go for my next appointment at UNC, and someone there will properly dispose of it. I found the blood when I lifted the blue foam out of the container. It was underneath there.

Someone's blood in my kit

Guided visualization

I ordered a CD called “Healing Cancer: Meditations for Life (Empowering dreams and enriching lives through the art of meditation).” I’ve listened to it several times, and can say that it definitely relaxes me. A few time I even fell asleep. I’m going to try to keep up with the 2-3 times per day suggested participation.

This is a list of all their products.

A sad story

I help out the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas, and sometimes there are stories that just break my heart. I wonder how people can be so cruel? If you have a companion animal, please make sure he or she is neutered or spayed. If a time comes when you can’t take care of your pet, please find a caring rescue organization to help you. They will find a foster home for your dog or cat until a permanent home can be found, and your friend won’t have to suffer needlessly. He or she will still be sad to have to leave home, but will at least be well taken care of.

They have named me Chance because I have truly gotten another chance at life and I hope this one will be better. I was dumped in a water reservoir, put there to drown and I just kept circling and circling until I got tired and started to go under. Some nice men saw me and jumped in a boat and came out to save me. I have been starved to the point that several of my teeth have fallen out due to malnutrition. So covered in flea feces that the water from my fur ran blood red when in the bath. I am a wonderful sweet guy who loves other dogs, cats and children. I was housetrained in one week and will let you know when ready to go out by knocking on the door. I am a senior collie and need a nice home and family to live out my days.

If you would like to adopt Chance or another well-deserving collie, please send email to JSmith@collierescue.net

A second birthday

A messy face!Mmmmmmmmm!Cake face!

My nephew Jacob had the party for his second birthday today! His birthday was July 31st. Click on an image to see the(very)large version in a new window.

Changing my mind

Before my diagnosis, I thought I wanted to have a master’s degree in network or information security. I took a few semesters off and decided to sign up for a few courses for fall semester. The more I think about it, the less I want to do it. Instead, I want to get into a history program somewhere. I’ve always loved history. I took tons of history courses as an undergraduate and loved them all. It’s not going to help me earn more money, like the security degree would. It’s just going to be something I’m really going to enjoy.

My MM specialist told me that he thought I’d be one of the ones that makes it beyond 5 years – maybe 7 to 10 years. When I told my local oncologist about that, he said he thinks that’s stretching it. I have no idea how long I have. Nobody does. If I do only have 7 years to live, then I should start doing some of the things I want to do, and stop worrying about how much money I’ll make, right?

Like most other people, I do have to worry about money though. I still have to keep up with my expenses. Oh, and the expenses are even greater when you have a disease like MM. Even though I have insurance, I have many more co-pays than I ever did before. Seeing a doctor a few times a month and Coumadin clinic every week or so adds up. I rarely had prescriptions to pay for before. Now I have the drugs for my disease and a few new ones to help with the problems the drugs cause!

When I was younger, I struggled and worked long hours just to survive. If your life was anything like mine, you know what it’s like to have to choose between eating and doing laundry sometimes. That was a long time ago. I’m better off now, thank goodness. I can make some choices about how I spend my time. I don’t have to put in long hours anymore. I have a family business and a very supportive family. I’ve taken practically the entire last 6 months off, and I think it’s helped me in a few ways. I hadn’t had a real vacation in the last 6 years, so I’m making up for it now.

Anyway, I’m not going to worry about my future earning power so much. I’m going to learn about something I love, rather than something that will be good for business.

Warning about salmon

There was some alarming news released by the Environmental Working Group about farmed salmon being contaminated with PCBs. Here are some quotes from the article, and a link to the full story. For now, I’ll buy just the wild salmon. It’s more expensive and has a fishier taste, but is worth it to avoid the toxins.

The EWG said its limited study found the farmed salmon had 16 times the PCBs found in wild salmon, four times the levels in beef, and 3.4 times the levels found in other seafood.

They said their findings are supported by other studies done in Canada, Ireland and Britain.

“In the case of farmed salmon, you have high-density fish pens off the coast of British Columbia, for example, where you have an environment that is relatively pristine but these fish are fed fishmeal from all over the world,” EWG Vice President for Research Jane Houlihan said in a telephone interview.

Often this fishmeal is heavily contaminated with PCBs, Houlihan said.

Click here to read the full story

Oral Care Should be Part of Cancer Management

Oral Care Should be Part of Cancer Management
Cancer treatment puts a patient at risk for complications that can affect
the teeth, gums and jaw. Consulting with a dentist prior to treatment can
help minimize these risks, as well as minimize the severity of
complications that do arise.

Click here to read the Cleveland Clinic Health Extra