Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Editorial: Agent Orange still poisons many Vietnam War veterans

For many Americans, the enduring memory of the Vietnam War is of the protests that defined a generation and shattered the illusion of America’s purity on the world stage. But for the 3 million men and women who served in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and early 1970s, the memories are more visceral: the fog of combat, the stench of death, the sting of returning to a seemingly ungrateful nation.

For some veterans, there’s something else, and it’s no memory. Exposed to the toxin-laced Agent Orange a half-century ago, they are now suffering long-term effects including heart disease, Parkinson’s, type II diabetes, immune system disruption, and a variety of potentially lethal cancers. The time has come for them to get the moral and financial support that are our nation’s debt.

Robert Schmid of Leverett is one of those Vietnam vets. Schmid was a soldier on the ground when planes overhead showered down herbicide to kill jungle foliage and reveal enemy troops. Amid the gunfire, he paid it little heed. “There is so much activity,” he told reporter Lisa Spear, “that it is just another thing happening.”

Now 72, Schmid has suffered a heart attack and attributes his coronary heart disease to his time in-country. Donald F. Moulton, another Vietnam veteran, suffers from an aggressive form of leukemia. He told fellow veteran John Paradis that he was exposed to Agent Orange while a Navy Seabee clearing vegetation to build bases, hospitals and schools.

“We weren’t even using the words Agent Orange then and we just took it for granted,” Moulton said. “I can tell you this, we weren’t pulling any weeds over there — that stuff pretty much took care of everything.”

And no wonder. Agent Orange contained toxins including the now-infamous dioxin, and the U.S. military sprayed close to 11 million gallons of it in Vietnam. In the decades since, scientists have concluded beyond a doubt that the herbicide is to blame for health problems including the ones suffered by Schmid and Moulton — and the government has begun paying benefits to veterans who grapple with those issues.

Veterans collect monthly benefits ranging from modest to more substantial; veterans interviewed by Spear reported payments between $300 and $3,000 a month, depending on their debilitation. But many of those afflicted don’t know that they and their spouses are entitled to the help, despite the pain and expense associated with long-term ailments.

Too many veterans remain unaware of the benefits they might collect, says Timothy Niejadlik, director of the Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans’ Services office in Greenfield. To help spread the word, his organization recently held a town hall meeting at Greenfield Community College to provide information, health screenings and help in filing claims.

“A lot of these diseases are equated to age, so (veterans) are just thinking that it’s part of their natural aging process,” said Niejadlik.

Says Schmid: “There are a lot of vets who don’t take advantage; either they don’t know about it or they are shy about asking for it — and I was like that, too.”

Happily, Schmid did ask and now receives a $300 monthly benefit that not only helps with his health-related expenses but also signals a recognition — long overdue — of the sacrifices he made in that distant land. Other vets deserve that same recognition and our nation’s thanks.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Garden is Progressing Nicely

This was taken March 28th:

Look at us now.  I'm SO HOPEFUL that these Hay Bales will be fruitful.  The tomatoes look great, thus far.  If this works, we'll do a lot of hay bales next year.

Check out the difference:

Planted in a hay bale

Planted in soil

Yesterday's Shish-Kabobs.... YUMMY!

I had a nice sirloin tip roast in the freezer.  It occurred to us that it's been YEARS since we made shish kabobs.  They were just great.

I marinated the meat in 3/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar, 1/2 Cup Olive Oil, 4 Tbl Brown Sugar, Finely Minced Onion and Garlic, Cracked Black Pepper.  Refrigerated that for about 4 hours.

I used our new favorite, Baby Bella Mushrooms, Onion, Bell Pepper and Cherry Tomatoes.

We were tickled with the flavor... the vinegar/brown sugar really zipped them up.

The remainder of the roast will be in a stir fry tonite.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q&A With Tanya Wildes, MD: Managing Multiple Myeloma in Older Patients

In this question-and-answer session,
'Cancer Therapy Advisor asked Dr Wildes
about the management of
multiple myeloma among older patients.
Tanya M Wildes, MD, is an assistant professor of medical oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Her clinical and research focus is on the management of multiple myeloma and other hematologic cancers among older adults. She also studies risk prediction of falls and geriatric assessment in older patients with myeloma.

In this question-and-answer session, Cancer Therapy Advisor asked Dr Wildes about the management of multiple myeloma among older patients, and how clinical practice is changing as baby boomers reach late adulthood.

Cancer Therapy Advisor (CTA): How are the demographics and incidence of multiple myeloma changing in the United States?

Dr Wildes: Between 2010 and 2030, there is expected to be a 57% increase in the number of myeloma cases diagnosed annually.This increase will be largely driven by the aging of the population. One projection estimates that, among individuals age 64 to 84 years, the incidence will increase from 12,700 in 2011 to 2013 to 24,400 in 2032 to 2034 — an increase of over 90%. Currently, 2 out of every 3 individuals diagnosed with multiple myeloma are aged 64 to 84. In 15 years, that number will be 3 out of every 4.

CTA: What are the biggest challenges in managing multiple myeloma among older adults?

Dr Wildes: The biggest challenge in managing multiple myeloma in older patients is finding the balance between effectiveness of treatment and toxicity. The trend toward more intensive therapy to obtain deeper responses must be balanced with the real world risk of toxicity.

Jump For The Rest of the Interview

Novel Test For Multiple Myeloma Uses Microchip, Conventional Blood Sample

This will delight Dominic.  He's dreading his Monday morning Bone Marrow Biopsy.  When Dr. S. told him that she wanted one done, he exclaimed "What????  I just had one!".  She checked his chart and said, "Dominic!  That was last June!".  (she looked at me like we were dealing with a child...LOL)

Using a conventional blood test and microfluidics, researchers at MIT have developed a less painful approach to testing for multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells. When white blood cells become cancerous, they begin to accumulate in the bone marrow and eventually in the bloodstream. The traditional method to test for multiple myeloma is painful. A needle is inserted near the hipbone and is used to draw a sample of bone marrow. The sample is then analyzed for the presence of cancerous white blood cells.

The approach developed by the MIT researchers involves passing a blood sample through a small microchip with repeating V shaped grooves, similar to a herringbone pattern. The grooves cause the blood to swirl, increasing the chances that the fluid will make contact with the base of the chip. George Whitesides, a professor of chemistry at Harvard University, was the original designer of the chip. The MIT researchers built on this design by adding CD138 antibodies to the base of the chip. When the blood swirled in the grooves, white blood cells in the sample would attach to CD138 antibodies on the chip base.

Very low numbers of white blood cells, only 2 to 5 cells/mL of blood, were found in blood from healthy donor samples when the chip was tested. In contrast, the blood samples of patients with multiple myeloma had 45 to 181 white blood cells/mL. Additionally, researchers were able to detect the ratio of plasma cells producing kappa-type and lambda-type antibodies, which may inform disease progression.

“Capturing plasma cells from blood samples can serve as a liquid biopsy,” explained former MIT postdoc and lead investigator Mohammad Qasaimeh. “[It] can be performed in clinics as often as required, and serve as a diagnostic and prognostic test during and after chemotherapy treatment. Moreover, captured cells can be used for drug testing and thus serve as a tool for personalized medicine.”


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Understanding Multiple Myeloma

NAPSI)—You may be surprised to learn that multiple myeloma is the second most common cancer of the blood, after leukemia. It starts in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. In time, myeloma cells collect in the bone marrow and may damage the solid part of the bone and eventually harm other tissues and organs, such as the skeleton and the kidneys.

In fact, there are approximately 114,000 new cases diagnosed every year. If you or a loved one is among the 230,000 people living with multiple myeloma worldwide there are a few facts you should know.

What Can Be Done

For many people with the disease, an autologous stem cell transplant may be an answer for eligible patients. This involves collecting the patient's own blood-forming stem cells and storing them. He or she is then treated with high doses of chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. This kills cancer cells but also eliminates the remaining blood-producing stem cells in the bone marrow. Afterward, the collected stem cells are transplanted back into the patient, so the bone marrow can produce new blood cells.

To help people learn more about the disease and its treatments, the Multiple Myeloma Journey Partners Program was created.

This peer-to-peer education program for patients, caregivers and health care providers leverages storytelling as a tool to improve the patient experience. Journey Partners are multiple myeloma patients who have experienced similar emotions, faced the same challenges and asked the same questions about living with the disease. A Multiple Myeloma Journey Partner will come to any community in which 10 or more people would like to attend the free one-hour educational seminar. The main benefit is that multiple myeloma patients know they're not alone, and the program provides educational resources and services that help patients and families navigate their journey to achieve the best possible outcomes.

As John Killip, a Multiple Myeloma Journey Partner, puts it, "It was conversations with my support group, family and health care providers that influenced my decision to have a stem cell transplant in 2008, when I was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma, at the age of 65. Mentoring other multiple myeloma patients is one of the highlights of my life. I became a Journey Partner to share my story and help others with the disease make sense of the diagnosis and overcome the fear of the unknown."

Learn More

For more information or to request a program, you can visit www.mmjourneypartners.com. Anyone interested in becoming a Multiple Myeloma Journey Partner can contact the program coordinator listed on the website. The program is sponsored by Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi focused on rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, immunology, and oncology.


Our New Kitty- JAGGER

We have a new child.  "Jagger".  He looks almost identical to our "Jada"... she's just a little slightly brown.... but they're the same size and markings.

He's a sweet, sweet little boy.  He's SLOWLY beginning to be accepted by the 2 females. They allow him to sleep within 10 feet of them....little bitches.

I LOVE male cats.  SO affectionate!  It took him a few days to trust us, but now he's part of the family.  We live 3/4 mile back in the woods...  any little creature that is brave enough to venture here becomes "ours".  He's becoming quite the "Daddy's Boy".





The Genetics of Health: Understand Your Genes for Better Health

I had the pleasure of reading this book on the beach last week, yellow highlighter in hand.  This was not my typical "beach read", but I found this book fascinating.  (And learned quite a few things that I shall work into our lifestyle.... one of which is the doctor's info on skeletal strengthening, which will be helpful to Multiple Myeloma patients.)

From the publisher:

Take charge of your health by understanding the connection between our evolutionary past and our future wellbeing with this practical guide to personalized health and nutrition—from distinguished physician Dr. Sharad Paul.

Recognized as one of the best in his field, surgeon, academic, and philanthropist, Dr. Sharad Paul combines everyday health with evolutionary biology and explains how to improve your overall wellness by following a diet and exercise plan according to your gene type. Starting with our brains, this book covers everything from skin and muscles, to hearts, diets, and stress management. Throughout, Dr. Paul shares key information and provides steps to improve our daily wellbeing—impacting everything from our energy levels to memory retention to our overall longevity.

Our evolutionary past and genetic makeup determine how and why the body works the way it does and how it all combines to make us unique individuals. Presenting a compelling blend of medical mysteries, patient stories, and science, Dr. Paul has developed a revolutionary approach to wellness that will result in beautiful skin at any age, a healthier diet for muscle endurance and skeletal strength, a more resilient and efficient heart, better mood and memory balance, and more.

“Reading Dr. Paul’s book is like taking an exhilarating journey through the shifting landscape of genetics, health, and evolution.” (Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize winner for The Emperor of Maladies: A Biography of Cancer)

“Dr. Paul has been described in the media as 'one of the most inspiring, intelligent and compassionate men you are likely to meet.’ TIME magazine, in 2008, called him ‘Open Heart Surgeon.’” (New Zealand Medical Association, in awarding their highest award in 2012)

“We need Dr. Sharad P. Paul. In the same sense as the world needs historians-philosophers-sociologists for the history of mankind, the world needs a physician-philosopher-literate for narrative medicine. Only a distinguished physician such as Dr. Paul, with a sense for ‘stories,’ understands the importance of narrative medicine when improving patient-physician communication. He is the Sigmund Freud and Arthur Schnitzler of our times.”  (Harald Kittler, PhD, professor of Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna and international thought-leader in the field of dermatology and skin imaging)

Dr. Sharad P. Paul, MD is a skin cancer surgeon, family physician, academic, skincare expert, evolutionary biologist, storyteller, and social entrepreneur, as well as an adjunct professor at Aukland University of Technology. Born in England, with a childhood in India, he is a global citizen who lives Down Under. In 2003, he received a Health Innovation Award and in 2008, was featured in international editions of Time. He has been called a Renaissance Man by New Zealand Herald’s Canvas magazine and a polymath by Good magazine. In 2012, he was awarded the New Zealand Medical Association’s highest honor, the Chair’s Award. He has spoken at ideas conferences like THiNK alongside Robert De Niro, Tina Brown, David Barash, and V.S. Naipaul. He recently won the acclaimed Ko Awatea International Excellence in Health Improvement Award for Leading Health Improvement on a Global Scale.

This is a hardcover book of 272 pages loaded with helpful, easy to understand charts and graphs.  I recommend this book to anyone who is the least bit health-conscious.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

175 Best Small-Batch Baking Recipes: Treats for 1 or 2

Unless I'm entertaining, I cook for just Dom and I.  So, I rarely make dessert for us, as we're both trying to keep our girlish figures!

This book sent to me by the publisher was a God-Send.

It's a new publication measuring 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches.  256 pages with gorgeous glossy photos.  (As well as the cover).

I made these today.... absolutely delicious.  And a dozen cookies will last us all week:

I highly recommend this publication..... this from the publisher:

Delicious and decadent small-yield baking recipes.

This fantastic collection of small-batch baking recipes offers sweet satisfaction and simple preparation. They're perfect for a variety of occasions whether it's baking some after-school treats for the kids, a treat to be enjoyed in a household of two, or it's one of those days where you just feel like a sweet indulgence that can be enjoyed after a challenging day.

There's nothing like brownies, bars, squares, cookies, muffins, cakes and pies fresh from the oven -- they're the ultimate comfort food and welcome any time of the year. Whether you're a novice or longtime baker, these fully tested mouth-watering recipes will help you appreciated how easy and satisfying baking can be, even in small quantities.

Discover many familiar recipes as well as new ones that are sure to create warm memories for you, your family and friends.

*There are nearly 50 cookie recipes to choose from and they include favorites like Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies and Whipped Shortbread Cookies as well as new classics like Fabulous Florentines and Cranberry Almond Biscotti

*Bars and squares like Cappuccino Brownies, Cranberry Orange Apricot Bars and Crunchy Caramel Almond Squares are the perfect lunch bag or afternoon coffee goody

*Quick breads, loaves, shortcakes and coffee cakes like Fruit Scones, Blueberry Brunch Cake and Strawberry Shortcake, Banana Layer Cake, No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake and Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes are just some of the recipes featured in the mini cakes, cupcakes and cheesecakes section

*Savor fresh and fruity pie recipes from Dutch Apple Pie and Lemon Custard Tart to Peach Pie.

Whatever your taste or occasion, you're sure to find a recipe that will inspire you to bake for you or two.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Happy Easter!!!

The Frankenbunny

(This is actually quite cute, but if Monsanto designed it I'm quite sure it would be a highly venomous Easter killing machine that shoots out projectile eggs filled with Roundup and Agent Orange...)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Deep Nutrition (why your genes need traditional food)

Since Dom was diagnosed with Cancer, I have been increasingly concerned about our diet.

Much to my delight, the publisher of this book sent me a copy to share with you.

It's a whopping 487 page Hardback book.  

Unlock your genetic potential with Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, the groundbreaking book that unites modern science with traditional wisdom to give you the full story of human health.

What is Deep Nutrition?
Physician and biochemist Cate Shanahan, M.D. examined diets around the world known to produce the healthiest people—diets like the Mediterranean, Okinawa, and “Blue Zone”—and identified the four common nutritional habits, developed over millennia, that unfailingly produce strong, healthy, intelligent children, and active, vital elders, generation after generation. These Four Pillars–fresh food, fermented and sprouted foods, meat cooked on the bone, and organ meats—form the basis of what Dr. Cate calls “The Human Diet.”

Rooted in her experience as an elite athlete who used traditional foods to cure her own debilitating injuries, and combining her research with the latest discoveries in the field of epigenetics, Dr. Cate shows how all calories are not created equal; food is information that directs our cellular growth. Our family history does not determine our destiny: what you eat and how you live can alter your DNA in ways that affect your health and the health of your future children.

This new edition has been revised and updated with a prescriptive plan for how anyone can begin eating The Human Diet to:

*Lose weight, curb cravings and the need to snack

*Sharpen cognition and memory

*Improve mood

*Eliminate allergies and disease

*Build stronger bones and joints

*Get younger, smoother skin

*Boost fertility

*Have healthier children

Deep Nutrition cuts through today’s culture of conflicting nutritional ideologies, showing how the habits of our ancestors can help us lead longer, healthier, more vital lives.

Praise for Deep Nutrition:
“If you want to understand how optimal health starts with food, start with Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition leaves you with an appreciation of the profound relationship between our genes and the planet, inspiring us to be good shepherds of both.”
~~Dallas Hartwig, author of The Whole 30

“Dr. Cate gives you the big picture and the nitty gritty bedrock science of why this way of eating works.”
~~Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint

“Deep Nutrition explains in a very detailed and easy-to-understand way how our diets affect us on a cellular level. Dr. Cate Shanahan shows the connection between diet and gene health, and details how poor diet choices can affect future generations!”

~~Wellness Mama

“Dr. Cate Shanahan beautifully presents the scientific evidence why traditional foods enjoyed by our ancestors thousands of years ago can keep us lean and disease-free today.  Deep Nutrition is an eye-opening, engaging book that is sure to change your life and the life of your family.”
~~Vani Hari, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Food Babe Way

“[Deep Nutrition is] a different philosophy. I’ve seen great results from it—it’s worked well for me.”
~~Kobe Bryant, NBA player with the L.A. Lakers

“Deep Nutrition really helped me with endurance. I started to feel better as a player. I was able to run more, I was able to be more active …and I just decided to keep going with it to this day.”

~~Dwight Howard, NBA player with the Houston Rockets

Why Read Deep Nutrition?
Deep Nutrition is unique because it is the only book that gets you back to the diet we abandoned very recently. Within the past 50 years or so, we were convinced to abandon the diet that had been working for us for thousands of generations. Deep Nutrition is the opposite of a fad diet; it’s simply returning us to what kept us healthy before the epidemics of overweight and diabetes began.

Anyone who says that we still need more research to get to the root cause of any one of these diseases that is increasing, like overweight, diabetes or even cancer and Alzheimers, is simply not well informed. Everyone who seriously studies nutrition and its connection to health comes to the same conclusion: The modern diet is killing us and we’d do better to get back to the diet we all used to follow before so many of us started getting sick.

The most important concept in the book is this: The idea that Sat Fat is bad was based on fraudulent science–and I give you the evidence that convinced me this was the case. What it did, was open the door to selling more processed food. That’s why we’re sick. So you don’t have to go back 20,000 years and eat like a caveman, nor do you have to give up all animal products for fear of their saturated fat content. All you need to do is go back to the same diet everyone used to follow before we all started getting sick, what we call the Four Pillars of The Human Diet.

What’s New in the New Edition ?
With 2x content and 3x the references, the new Deep Nutrition has a lot to offer. But what was the driving factor behind doing all this work?

The Author’s Note at the beginning of the new edition lists four key reasons for writing the new edition, including answering more than fifty of the most common questions readers have asked over the years, fulfilling requests for a PLAN, and updating the evidence for returning to traditional foods with the latest research. But those just scratch the surface. Every chapter in the new edition is so chock full of new information, I didn’t have space to include all the reasons you’d want to read it in the Authors Note, so I’m including more here:

*When I wrote the 2009 edition I was living on Hawaii. Hawaii is the healthiest state in the US, and, I didn’t realize until I moved back to the mainland, that the generational decline in health I had noticed in Hawaii was even more dramatic back on the mainland, particularly health problems that result from impaired immune system function. So this edition addresses food intolerances, notably dairy and gluten, along with other issues I encountered far more often after relocating.

*Speaking of gluten, when I wrote the 2009 edition, almost nobody had heard of it. Today, one in five Americans say they are gluten-free. Considering that gluten constitutes about 1 %  of the average person’s diet, and vegetable oils constitute 25-35%, I’d say that it’s past overdue that we pay more attention to these industrially processed fats and their potential connection to disease. With that in mind, I’ve expanded the original Good Fats and Bad chapter to help expose the link between vegetable oils and cardiovascular disease, and included an enormous, entirely new chapter, Brain Killer, describing how vegetable oils promote oxidative stress that leads to impaired cognitive function at every age. The idea is to make it clear that if you had only one dietary change you could afford to make, this should be it.

*When I wrote the 2009 edition, the current low carb craze was just barely beginning. Now, many millions of people are abandoning the high-carb breakfasts, snacks and other junk and going back to eggs, cheese and other real, natural fats. This has created a very special problem, because in some cases, in spite of weight loss and reduction of medication dependence (for diabetics in particular), people’s total cholesterol will go up and their doctors advise them to start statins, often wrongly. So this edition includes information for both readers and their doctors on why this happens, how to tell if something is wrong, and why not to just assume a statin will help.

*When I wrote the 2009 edition, the rise in autism and other childhood developmental disorders was just barely being noticed. Now, it’s very clear that autism is increasing and, the question now is what’s behind the epidemic. This edition reveals the science that connects the consumption of vegetable oils and excessive carbohydrates to the epidemics of autism and other childhood problems, in order to better empower parents with tools to protect their family’s health.

*One of the most novel and controversial ideas in the original Deep Nutrition is the idea that birth order affects our looks by impacting skeletal development, and that subsequent siblings may be at a disadvantage, health wise. This edition expands that concept, originally called second sibling syndrome, to highlight how, in the context of a modern diet, there are also disadvantages to being born first. The goals of including this new information are two fold. First, to help prospective parents understand the absolute power they have to control the outcome of their children’s futures. And second, to help you recognize two patterns of skeletal asymmetry that predispose us to developing certain injuries so that you can recognize them before you hurt yourself.

Now Available Bookstores Everywhere !    

Now in a revised and updated edition, Deep Nutrition examines the traditional foods of our ancestors alongside the latest epigenetic research to show how The Four Pillars of the Human Diet can help anyone live a longer, healthier, more vital life. New content includes how to evaluate your body symmetry and understand your risk of injury, a chapter focusing on brain health, and a plan that enables you to implement all this great advice!

 AMAZON LINK  (this book is absolutely fascinating, gang.  I'm having a difficult time putting it down!)