Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday's recipe links - today SOUP FOR YOU!

Looking for some new soup recipes? Check out today's links on my recipe blog. Super yummy and all of them are vegetarian. Perfect for the cold, miserable weather most of us have been having. I've got my feet warming in a big pot of the coconut red lentil one right now.

Monday's health links

  1. Interesting and potentially promising new therapy for the prevention of bone loss - nitroglycerine ointment.
  2. Some drugs used to prevent bone loss may lead to a higher incidence of rare and unusual fractures.
  3. The whole "cancer coach" thing was news to me and I have appreciated the debate carried out in blog land. As an alternative to cancer coaches, how do we feel about patient navigators? This article includes a profile of the doctor who first advocated the role as well as a breakdown of its history and its possible benefits for users. And this article says navigators improve cancer survival rates. Perhaps one of the keys to their success is that they are health care professionals, often nurses, who undergo additional, specialized training.
  4. Moderate alcohol consumption linked again to improved heart health. Moderate is 1 to 1.5 drinks for women and 2 drinks for men. Recall, however, that moderate consumption is also linked to increased risk for some forms of breast cancer.
  5. University of Alberta finds that marijuana use improves appetite and sleep quality for advanced cancer patients.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sorry for the blackout

My computer is acting up, so it is hard to blog this week! I will be back asap.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday's recipe links... posted on my recipe blog.

Monday's health links

  1. Get moving and significantly cut your risk of prostate cancer. It will also protect you against a bunch of other diseases. Men, why are you still reading this? Get going!
  2. In related news, link found between prostate cancer and early male pattern baldness. 
  3. Too much red meat has been linked to cancer. Here's some guidelines from Britain on what may be safe.
  4. It's not good enough anymore just for mom to watch what she's eating during pregnancy. Now, a study shows that dad's diet is important to the health and well-being of children.
  5. Getting psyched up to start jogging - now, when is the best time to stretch?
  6. "Man bags" linked to back pain. Now, Jon and other male friends, before you start laughing, they are including laptop bags in that category, too!
  7. Finally, this Wednesday is Pink Shirt Day in many parts of Canada. Please join us in saying no to bullies.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday's health links

Good morning and welcome to a Valentine's Day edition of health links - because I love you.
  1. Folic acid is a possible cancer risk. I mentioned this a while back and there are renewed concerns since some cancer survivors are being told to increase their folic acid intake (as I was). The advice in this article is that no one should take more than 400 micrograms a day from all sources - so monitor how much you are getting from both supplements and foods that have it as an additive.
  2. Examining the link between imaging procedures and cancer.
  3. Connecting the dots between diet and IQ in children.
  4. Berries could cut the risk of Parkinson's.  Good in the fight against cancer, too. It's Valentine's Day - go share some berries with someone you love.
  5. University of Alberta researcher has discovered the mechanism that stops human genome p53 from suppressing tumours.
  6. Finally, this is Heart and Stroke month in Canada. On this day when we share our hearts with the people we love, please make a commitment to yourself and those you love to take better care of them.

Happy Valentine's Day

This morning my wee-est wee boy (he's 5) crawled into bed with me.

Bunny: "Is it a weekend day or a school day?"
Me: "It's a school day, Sweetie."
Bunny: "But it's sort of a holiday, right? It's Valentine's Day!"
Me: "That's right."
Bunny:  "That's the day we give love to everyone. We give everyone cards with love."
Me: "Yup."
Bunny: "I'm not giving you a card."
Me: "Oh?"
Bunny: "No. I love you most. I don't give you a card. I've given you my heart."
Me: choke
Bunny: "I love you, Momma. I love you most." - big smooch on the mouth.

I hope someone gives you his or her heart today.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stop eating fastfood...and start reading my recipe blog

Too blatant? Sorry - but really, I want you to live a long time. So, stop eating at Mickey D's and start building a relationship with your fridge and stove. Click here to check out my latest blog entry where I introduce you to the joys of Cookstr.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Regaining power against cancer

I saw my oncologist yesterday for "maintenance." If that isn't what they call it, it should be.

We engaged in the regular checking-in chit chat and, aside from updating him on the status of my meds and general well-being, I told him I was getting 5 hours of exercise a week. "Good!" he said. "But not walking, right? You know, like walking while you're shopping? It has to be VIGOROUS!" Insert visual image of my doctor  pumping his arms with great glee. Vigorous? Let's see. OK - yes, I think it is pretty vigorous, but it is walking. I do the Wii Walk It Out game everyday. It usually takes about an hour (which is actually a total of 7 hours a week) and for the majority of that time I am walking very quickly, pumping my arms and/or flexing my arms with 2 and 3 pound weights. I am breathing hard, my heart rate is elevated and I am sweating (or is that just the hot flashes 'cause I'm going to confess I break a sweat while drinking the occasional glass of red wine I allow myself and I'm pretty sure that doesn't qualify as exercise).

So now I am thinking I need to add in something with a little more, well, vigour. But I cannot get to a gym easily during the day. Dare I float the idea of running? I hate running. Really hate it. I have never been good at it; as an elementary school kid I was near the back of the pack, sneaking in walking and loathing the "natural runners".

A few years ago I was, ironically, an avid Ultimate Frisbee player. That is a sport with a LOT of running in it. Running to catch the disk, running to stop someone else from catching the disk, running away from the amused eyes of the 18-year-olds you are playing against to throw up behind a tree...lots of running.  It was the least fun part of the game for me. But I still remember one magical day when I was running to get away from my defender and I actually accelerated. :-0 The only analogy that comes to mind is I was shooting for going to 10, and instead I went to 11. And it was an incredible feeling. So I guess I am a little nostalgic for that feeling of physical improvement. Improvement and power.

This has been a year and a half of feeling not much but the loss of power, physically, psychologically, emotionally. And in recent weeks, the fear of recurrence has begun to creep around my psyche. The motivation is building and I am starting to seriously look at not just running but a whole range of options to improve my bone strength and physical fitness. I have to start taking my training more seriously. I'm in a fight here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday's health links

  1. Dogs pretty good at diagnosing cancer, see here  and here. True story: my dog likes me, but loves my husband. It's ok - I don't take it personally. But, since I got cancer, my dog spends a lot more time hanging around me. When I read stories like this, I don't know whether to be touched or terrified. :-) 
  2. Practice prevention to avoid heart disease - good advice here for the other diseases as well. Vancouver Sun.
  3. Healthy snacks. Financial Post.
  4. Childhood obesity caused by bad habits, not genes. Bloomsburg Business Week.
  5. Report out of India disagrees with previous studies and says that cell phones do pose a significant health hazard.
  6. The benefits of drinking tea. The book featured in this article sites the studies that say it helps prevent recurrence of breast cancer. I thought this was disproved. I need someone to clarify this for me. Luckily, I'm still taking my green tea supplement and drinking tea 2 to 3 times a day for its other benefits (but some days I get sick of tea). Vancouver Sun

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Illusion, a short film

Got a minute? Another member of my My Crazy Sexy Cancer breast cancer group posted this powerful film she and her partner made about breast cancer and early detection. I would love it if you could watch and pass it along to women you know, especially young ones.  Too often the message is directed at older women - but none of us are immune.

It is called Illusion. The film makers are Nikki Mackey and Connie Finn. And here's a link to Nikki's website, Cats not Cancer.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cool diversion - Cornel West on Craig Ferguson

When I get a chance to watch late night TV, I rarely seek out Letterman or Leno anymore. Not when I could be watching Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show on CBS.  I'm rarely disappointed and almost always entertained, even if it's just the band at the end of the show (it's here that I first saw Paolo Nutini, my favourite singing Scot).

It isn't always gold; he gets the popular stars of the day promoting their new movies (and some of his sketches are too silly even for me). But he also pulls in a broad range of people that make a significant contribution to life, either through writing, activism, science, the arts or journalism. And what is rare about his interview style, for me at least, is the respect he shows his guests. He asks real questions and, shockingly, really listens.

This week there was gold, at least for me, and so for this week's cool diversion, I'm going to feature an NPR article and 5 minute clip from his interview with Dr. Cornel West in honour of Black History Month. It is a powerful example of something I think we see too rarely on TV, thoughtful conversation with a goal, not to sell things but to engage minds.

So, check out the listings occasionally to see who he is interviewing that week. If it's someone that looks interesting, I bet it's a great interview.

I'll warn you - the clip contains some salty language and discussion, albeit brief, of a sexual nature. It's late night TV after all. So, not suitable for most worksites or kidlets.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Path

Inner Landscape #14 - The Path by Ria Vanden Eynde of Painting 2 Cancers

From Ria's website, " But look :) in the photo, where the tree branches are getting entangled and you can't see which is which anymore, where the darkness is most intense, that's where the brightest light is ...."

To learn more about Ria and her artwork, visit her blog Painting 2 Cancers.

Thank you, Ria, for letting me share your work.

Bittman`s Food Manifesto for the Future

In the New York Time`s opinion pages today, Mark Bittman has published a call to action on the state of food in the United States. If you care about your own health or that of the planet, please read it. And if you don`t, what the hell is wrong with you?