Month: March 2006

Truth in Fur Labeling Act Can Save Cats and Dogs

Every year in China, millions of cats and dogs are killed for their fur which is then exported to countries around the world, including the U.S. While it is strictly illegal to sell cat and dog fur in America, there is a loophole that makes the law almost impossible to enforce. That is, clothing stores are allowed to sell fur garments without specifying whether the fur is real or synthetic, the species of animal the fur comes from or the country where the garments were made as long as the fur’s value is $150 or less. This means that as many as 500,000 or one in seven fur garments sold in the U.S. lack labels specifying this important information. This leaves most American consumers unaware that their clothing could contain dog and cat fur, but most would be disgusted and outraged if they knew. Read the rest and take action.

One more month to go

I have one more month to go of the high dose dex, which I’m now taking on a schedule of 7 days on and 7 days off. After the end of April, I’ll take what’s known as standard dose, which is 4 (40 mg each day) days at the start of the month or ten 4 mg tab once a week. For the past three years, I’ve taken it once a week, along with some other drug, or on its own, until it stopped being effective and I had to take more. I’ve never taken so much as I’ve had in the last three months though, and it’s wearing me out. I know I only have one more month to go, so I just have to hang in there. Dex causes me a lot of problems, as it does most people. I have stomach problems, thin skin, blurred vision, high blood sugar (on dex days), muscle weakness, PVCs, fatigue and about all the cushing’s symptoms you can get. I think the hardest thing about it is being so weak and shaky. If you’ve ever taken dexamethasone, you know what I’m talking about. You can’t even write because your hands shake so much.

When I see the doc on April 5th, I hope to find out if my insurance company has approved the harvest of my stem cells. If that’s the case, then I’d see when I can proceed with that. Since I’m in a trial, I’d have to drop out before I could have the Cytoxan (conditioning chemo), so I’d probably wait until Revlimid is approved by the FDA for the treatment of MM to do it. That way, I can stay on it for free as long as possible and then have it prescribed to me after the harvest if I need it. I’m so tired of feeling crummy that SCT almost looks good at this point.

M-Spikes about the same as last time

It’ll be time for another blood test within a few weeks, and I was late in posting my last m-spikes, but here they are. Even though my quantitative IgA has gone down, you can see that the m-spikes remain about the same. I have had lower than this in the past, but .5 is better than 1.5, which is where it was when I started the trial, and much better than over 3.0, which is where it was when I was diagnosed. This is the report from the research nurse:

Hi Beth,Your M-spike from 3/8: 1st one in Beta Gamma= 0.3, 2nd one Gamma= 0.2.

These appear about the same as Feb. (0.29 and 0.18, respectively).

Major confusion!

Today I went for a Zometa infusion, thinking it was Thursday. I checked in and got my infusion. Nobody said a word. I drove home and preapred to go for an MRI, still believing it’s Thursday. Luckily, my sister called me. Somehow, the day of the week came up, and I was told that today is Wednesday! It would have been interesting to see see if I had gotten in for the MRI too! I have done things like this before. I have been a day late for appointments or a few hours off. It hasn’t happened very often, but usually I’m allowed to keep the new appointment I made for myself. :) I had the added bonus of the nurse where I get my Zometa telling me I look terrible.

ACS CAN Celebrates Victory In The U.S. Senate To Secure More Cancer Program and Research Funding

This just came from the ACS. Thanks to everyone who contacted their senators!

This week we have made tremendous progress in our fight to secure more funding for cancer research and programs. This victory is especially important after Congress cut cancer program and research funding for the first time in more than a decade last year.

Yesterday, the United States Senate voted 73 to 27 in favor of the Specter-Harkin amendment to the Senate budget resolution. This amendment included an additional $7 billion in funding for education and health programs, much of which will go to funding critical health and cancer-specific programs at the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Senate also approved a budget amendment sponsored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) to provide an increase of $390 million for cancer research and prevention programs in the FY’07 budget.

Specifically, the Feinstein-Mikulski-Collins Cancer Research and Prevention Funding Amendment would provide:

– $244.6 million increase in the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the National Cancer Institute and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities;

– $120.48 million increase in the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fund the following programs:

o The National Cancer Registries Program,

o The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program,

o Colorectal Cancer Screening, Education and Outreach,

o Skin Cancer Prevention Programs,

o The Prostate Cancer Awareness Campaign,

o Ovarian Cancer Awareness,

o The Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer Program.

– $25 million increase in the budget for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the Nurse Reinvestment Act/Nursing Programs.

These victories would not have been possible without the hard work of ACS CAN advocates throughout the country. Nationwide ACS CAN advocates generated nearly 10,000 emails and phone calls to senators in favor of the amendments. Your efforts made all of the difference. You are responsible for this incredible victory.

We should take time to celebrate our successes, but also know that this is still the beginning of the process and there is a long road ahead and much work yet to be done. The U.S. House still needs to act and final funding decisions will not be made until the appropriations process this fall.

While we know that there are no guarantees in our fight for more funding, we do know that there would have been no hope of increased funding this year without the passage of these critical amendments.

Thanks again for all of your great work! Your voice is being heard.


What a good movie! It was even better than I expected. Transamerica stars Felicity Huffman, of Desperate Housewives fame, and is a quirky tale about a male to female transgender who is about to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. Huffman’s character experiences more than just a physical transformation by the end of the movie. This isn’t meant to be a movie review or a spoiler. I just really liked it and was glad I went to see it. Thanks to all my friends who made yesterday one of the most fun days I’ve had in a long time. Sorry about getting to the restaurant late!