Thursday, 28 May 2009

YogaBear needs help!


Yoga Bear need us to blog about them! And I for one am quite happy to blog about them, as they are great! :o) Free yoga for cancer patients? Amazing. They are so cool. They have their own blog as well, which is always full of interesting articles and of course they're on Twitter, so it's easy to just check out their latest info.

And everyone involved is friendly and helpful. We still need to try and sort something like this in the UK, and I am sure we will. In the meantime, supporting Yoga Bear seems a small thing - I would love them to get the $3000.00. They deserve it.

So, here's the thing:
"As a blogger, your voice can change the world. Innovative social media tools, such as blogging give you the means to promote any number of worthwhile charitable causes. It's a big challenge, but one we know our community of blogging friends is up for: making the world a better place.

Zemanta has been working with Social Actions an initiative that aggregates civic causes from more than 50 databases, to create a tool that recommends charitable causes to bloggers while they write. In recognition of Zemanta's effort, we were awarded 2nd prize at the Change The Web Challenge .

To demonstrate the power of blogging, Zemanta will donate its $3000 in prize money to the charitable causes that our blogging community loves the most."

So, here we go Yoga Bear...hope you win!

Yoga Bear

This blog post is part of Zemanta's "Blogging For a Cause campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

Monday, 25 May 2009

ginger causes cancer cells to "commit suicide"? evil chuckle...

Monday, 25 May 2009

This post has been prompted by my friend Tracey's post about how ginger can help prevent nausea in chemo patients. Luckily for me, half a glass of red wine a night [all I could stomach] worked very well in that regard ;o)

But I have been researching the effect of ginger on ovarian cancer on the internet [as ya do!!], and ages ago I found an interesting article [it was old] about how ginger attacks cancer cells, and how [ha!! The little beasts!!] it can make them commit suicide. Imagine! Must be the only creature in the world that people will be hysterically laughing as they watch them die.

But, gloating about the death of cancer cells aside, I recently found a new article about ginger and cancer. In the interim, I have been taking 'one a day' ginger capsules from Boots, and I have ginger in my diet whenever it is sensible.

No, I don't have ginger on my cereal in the mornings…but I have found lots of great sauces full of ginger and chilli for example. I am not a faddy eater, and I do not think that a 'special' diet [what are all those books about?? Pah!] will cure or prevent cancer - but ginger does seem to have it's upside, so adding it to my normal intake is no problem, as I love it anyway.

Here's the most up to date article I have seen:

How does ginger fight cancer?
by Sarah Siddons

Scientists are hoping that ginger might prove helpful in the fight against ovarian cancer. When you were young, ginger ale may have been a popular choice for quelling your upset stomach on a day home from school. For years, ginger has been used to combat nausea - but did you know it's now also being looked at to combat cancer?

In research on tumor-bearing mice, scientists discovered that ginger can kill cancerous cells in two different ways. In the first way, apoptosis, the ginger causes the cancer cells to "commit suicide" by destroying themselves while leaving the surrounding healthy cells untouched. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger prevent precancerous tumors from creating the perfect breeding ground and climate for growth [source:
Rossiter]. In the second way, autophagy, ginger tricks the cancerous cells into eating themselves [source: Huebeck].
Research is now looking into one of the toughest cancers to fight - ovarian cancer. Repeated chemotherapy can actually lose its effectiveness over time as the cancer builds a resistance to the repetitive treatment. Because ginger can work two ways, researchers are hoping that it would help deter resistance from the cancer [source:

In another study of mice, those that were given ginger had distinctly impeded human cancer growth [source:
DeNoon]. The bad news is that such promising research has only been conducted on mice. The good news, however, is that it would seem that humans might be able to get the same benefit just by eating products with ginger and ginger root in them, and it doesn't take much to get to the equivalent levels used in previous studies.

Cancer prevention and fighting abilities aren't the only potential benefits you may get from adding a bit more ginger to your diet. Read on to discover a few other unexpected benefits you might gain from that extra glass of ginger ale.

Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger Foods Help Themselves ...

Though a pill supplement would likely be most widely used if ginger was shown to work as well against cancer as hoped, you can still get all of ginger's suspected benefits just by ingesting it in your favorite foods. Foods like ginger bread, ginger snaps and ginger ale are all pretty popular. You might want to add even more ginger to these recipes, though. In addition, you can add ginger as a spice to soups, stews and marinades. Not only will you be protected, but your food will be too -- foods that are susceptible to bacteria after being prepared and then sitting for a while (think chicken or potato salad) may have their bacterial growth reduced by the presence of ginger [source: Bob].

Sipping on that ginger ale when your stomach was upset as a child wasn't just a placebo -- numerous studies and research, including the Mayo Clinic's strict grading system, agree that ginger has some sort of anti-nausea properties.

Some believe that ginger works well against postoperative, or after-surgery nausea, while others swear by it to reduce motion sickness. The Mayo Clinic, however, advises the use of ginger only to reduce nausea -- and vomiting -- during pregnancy. While more research needs to be done, early studies are very promising, especially in that short doses don't seem to do any harm to the mother or baby [source: Mayo Clinic]. Longer doses may cause problems, so, as with any medication or supplement, you should seek medical advice before beginning treatment.

Other health benefits from ginger exist as well. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger prevent precancerous tumors from creating the perfect breeding ground and climate for growth [source:
Rossiter]. In the second way, autophagy, ginger tricks the cancerous cells into eating themselves [source: Huebeck ]

No matter your treatment, you should always consult a doctor before starting, even with something like ginger that seems to have little to no side effects.

So!! Ginger biscuits? Bring 'em on!!!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

thought for the day :o)

This has always been one of my favourite songs since I saw it in a film [can't recall what it was called] in a flea pit cinema in Hillbrow a thousand years ago; so long ago that you could still smoke in the 'bioscope' - imagine that! I am surely getting old... :o)

Now I've decided it's MY song! The best version is by Joe Bonamassa,
but there's no YouTube of him unfortunately. You have to have the Nina Simone version [which is also pretty cool], Muse version? No. Unless it's the live version where he actually got involved and showed a little emotion...

These are the lyrics - SO appropriate to me, now;

Birds flying high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Reeds driftin' on by, you know how I feel

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life
For me...and I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River running free, you know how I feel
blossom in the trees, you know how I feel

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life
For me...and I'm feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun, you know what I mean, don't you know?
Butterflies, all havin' fun, you know what I mean
Sleep in peace, when day is done
And this old world is a new world and a bold world
For me...
Stars when you shine, you know how I feel
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine, and I know how I feel

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life
For me...and I'm feeling good

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


Tuesday [I think], 12May 2009

Last Saturday we flew to Venice. Just for a short break - which we can’t afford [obviously!], but hey, what’s plastic for anyway? Better to pay for a holiday we desperately need than a tax that we don’t really get much benefit from. The tax we HAVE to pay, and we find it, so we should find money for having fun right? Well, I think so anyway. Life’s short.

After last years 'Fun Event', Aj decided to treat me for Valentine's day [I believe his reasoning is this: I could have died. Ok! That’s true [revolting thought though it is], and I am grateful to be both alive and cherished by my husband.] - and what a wonderful surprise it was!! I read the card, saw I was going to Italy, didn't quite believe it and read it again and started crying! Crying? Uff - I don’t usually do crying, but really, this was too much.

Usually we don’t "do" Valentines, as Aj's Mum died on the 14th February five years ago. So it's not really a celebration in our house actually. And anyway, why have only one day when you are treating the person you love to something special? Seems strange, when it should be every day. Life’s too short to be limited to one Valentine’s day!

Anyway, that was my present - and I didn't even buy a card for him. I felt awful! But there you go - I will know better next year. Obviously Valentine’s day is now a 'free for all' again – excellent! [I do love Valentine’s cards and presents]. So, off we went to Bristol airport, caught an EasyJet flight to Venice, Marco Polo airport, jumped off the plane with just hand luggage [bliss! I love having just hand luggage], into a bus, half an hour later we were at our canal side hotel. It really couldn’t have been simpler - the trip was a breeze.

Hilarious side note: at Bristol airport they scanned me, as I bleeped on the way through the security – everyone was a little disconcerted, as I had a vest on, and no metal to be seen, but my back was causing chaos with the scanner. So I mentioned to the woman who was searching me [I did rather have visions of a strip search - oh no!] that I'd had chemo. It must have been the platinum. So, "oh ok off you go then" was the reply – so I assume this happens with regularity. Luckily I had my letter from the onc/gyn explaining everything anyway. Bionic woman goes to Venice…oh, and they confiscated my bottle opener! So odd, as it’s been through at least 500 security checks...oh well, better safe than sorry eh?

Anyway. Venice was amazing. A beautiful city. Incredible architecture and wonderful light. Lots of lovely Italians. I love Italians. Wonderful hot, sunny weather [we had one afternoon and night of rain - brilliant!]. I have a t-shirt tan. And my fabulous husband. And both of us full of energy for walking! Walking in Venice is a must - there are no benches to sit on and we were actually 'informed' by a person who looked like she needed to get a life [poor duck], the we should NEVER eat in the street, as it’s AGAINST THE LAW in Venice. What? Well, that made us chuckle for sure as we were eating in the street all the time - even sitting at a cafĂ© is eating in the street right? They charge exorbitantly for food and drink there - plus you pay a 'cover' of around €2.00 to sit in a chair at a restaurant. Hilarious. We managed to find a supermarket, and bought our own wine there. And I went to the Farmers Market opposite our hotel - bought fantastic Pinot Grigio for €3.00. They had stunning white asparagus too, but sadly we had no cooking facilities. So. No asparagus.

One cool thing, they are quite happy to open a bottle for you once you’ve bought it, and even give you smashing plastic cups [eek! Plastic – oh well…]

We spent our time walking about – we managed to remove ourselves from the tourist track, and even ended up at the sea. We probably didn’t see half the 'tourist' trap, as we were so enamoured of the architecture of the back streets. So we will go again - next time, self catering, now that we know the lay of the land.
this is me eating illegal [and delicious] pizza...;o)

Saturday, 9 May 2009


ah Venice!! So amazing, and even more special as it was my Valentine's day present from AJ. We walked and walked - and still didn't see everything! It's wonderful - totally surreal. We will go back for sure.

Aj enjoying the Piazza San Marco

Aj and bread?!

the cats...

one of the zillion pretty bridges

Venetian Carnival Mask

more masks...

us at a cafe on the Grand Canal

I love this - it seems I am conquering the World!

This was a really fabulous weekend! Even breakfast at the hotel was cool!!
We LOVED it!!!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

an interesting article on the symptoms of menopause - and a maybe on relief


Ok girls, I am not condoning this, I am just interested, and thought you may be too. I am totally going to try it though!! A good nights sleep would be nice...see what you think! The remark of Dr Nyjon Eccles, who conducted the research: “There is no doubt that the menopause can be a challenging time for many women." totally cracked me up...what ever would he say about women who have surgical menopause PLUS chemo after effects?? Would be interesting to ask...:o)

Thursday May 7, 2009
LadyCare can bring relief from hot flushes and night sweats

By Alison Coleman

Many women dread the menopause, which is hardly surprising given some of the horror stories you hear about hot flushes, night sweats, irritability and insomnia.

For some women, hormone replacement therapy [HRT] can be the answer, but for those who are worried about its possible side-effects, there is LadyCare, a fully tested drug-free product.

This small, discreet device, which uses patented static magnetic technology, is simply attached to the underwear over the abdomen. Over the years, thousands of women have hailed it a success.

In a national study carried out by the Chiron Clinic in London’s Harley Street, more than 500 women going through the menopause were asked to wear a LadyCare for three months and complete a questionnaire before, during and after treatment.

Women reported that symptoms such as mood swings, difficulty sleeping, sudden weight gain, feelings of doom and marked fatigue were reduced by up to nearly 70 per cent, while other symptoms, including hot flushes, irritability, loss of libido, inability to concentrate and disturbing lapses of memory were reduced by 33 per cent across the group.

The results also revealed an amazing 100 per cent reduction in uncomfortable and embarrassing stomach problems such as bloating and gas, among the most distressing symptoms of the menopause.

Dr Nyjon Eccles, who conducted the research, said: “There is no doubt that the menopause can be a challenging time for many women.

“I would be bold enough to say that the LadyCare may prove to be one of the greatest natural solutions for the alleviation of menopause symptoms.

Many women who use LadyCare to alleviate their menopausal symptoms have also reported improved skin tone, increased energy, increased confidence and a general sense of well being.

In some cases, the benefits were noticeable within days. However, to achieve significant long-term benefits, women who use LadyCare are advised to wear it continuously, 24 hours a day.

Ladycare can help women of all ages, bringing them relief from symptoms during the perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause.

For women who want to take responsibility for their health in a safe, natural way and are unwilling to take prescription drugs to help them through this perfectly natural stage in their life, LadyCare could be the answer.

Information: Lady Care site


oh just look at our weather report! yuck!!!

Last week

Thursday, 07 May 2009

Last weeks good news was about Aj. You’ll recall from the last week part 1 post that I was a tad stressed about him having this lump in his lower abdomen. Well, off we went on Friday to get the results of the MRI scan.

The usual waiting around [and I think I was quite irritating, as I was actually babbling about the colour of the radiator? I am sure Aj felt like whacking me one], then a chirpy little Irish consultant arrived to give us the results. He was gabbling away in 'doctor-ese' about this that and the other, and eventually I had a small fit and 'Played The Cancer Card' because I wasn’t 'getting it'.

This is a new one for us girls, we found out about it in the Cancer Vixen book. Highly amusing. Instead of having a tantrum, you Play The Cancer Card. Bloody hell, why not - we have to have SOME advantage from having this repulsive disease right? Pretty chuckalicious I'd say.

Anyway, I told him that the word 'lump' now completely freaks me out, as I had OC last year and I needed more information in order to remain normal about this. He was SO kind! He went away for a bit, then came back to collect us so we could view the scan! How cool. It was a relief to see exactly what the radiologist saw [I think that's what he's called]. It’s just a fatty lump [lypoma]. Aj can choose to have them removed or not, and it would usually just be either a day case or an overnight stay. Phew! Hoorah!!

Off to the pub for us! Woop woop! That set us up for the fantastic break in Venice - no need to worry about Aj, and I had a brilliant cancer free weekend away. I am having lots of cancer free time now - I reckon eventually I will get past this to the point that I will only worry sometimes. Yay!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Promising discovery in ovarian cancer treatment

An interesting article in the news this week. The video is here

By Dr. Jay Adlersberg

A new weapon in the fight against ovarian cancer may soon help thousands of women who have run out of options.

Every year, about 25,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with this disease. Many of them are already in the advanced stages by the time they get that diagnosis. Because there isn't a good screening test and the cancer is often caught too late, overall survival is about 25 percent.
Now, a new discovery may help to improve those odds in women like Jill Kisker. Three years ago, the mother of two young children l was diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer. "I just thought, my kids are so little," Kisker said. "This just can't be true. How did this happen? How did I get here?"

Determined to beat the odds, she had surgery, six rounds of chemo and joined a study on an experimental vaccine. Kunle Odunsi, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., is testing a vaccine that targets and destroys a specific protein usually found in adult male testes but is also found on ovarian cancer cells.
"We're able to generate very robust immune responses," said Dr. Odunsi .

In a study of 22 women, 70 percent had a positive response to the vaccine. It was given as an injection once a month for seven months. Dr. Odunsi says he hasn't seen any side effects in women who have received the vaccine other than a little redness at the injection site.
"I think it's highly promising," Dr. Odunsi said.

In another study in women who already had several recurrences, the vaccine delayed their next relapse by nearly two years.

"The ultimate goal here is that this will translate into prevention of relapse altogether and therefore prolongation of overall survival," Dr. Odunsi said.

Three years later, Jill is still cancer-free, but she knows she's not out of the woods. "Whatever I have to do to be here, I'll do it, as long as I'm here," she said.

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