Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Toss the Talc

Talcum Powder. Toss it. That's my thought after reading this article . The article mentions several studies that suggest talcum powder (or talc) increases the risk of some kinds of gynecological cancers, including ovarian, endometrial, and uterine cancer.

Seems to me I've read about this before. But this time I'm tossing the one container of talc that is in our house. Guess where I got it? Brought it home from the hospital...it was in the "bathroom kit" given to me a year ago when I had debulking surgery for ovarian cancer.

Many women use talc on their genital area after showering or bathing. And young moms use it in the form of baby powder on their babies.

Please! Please read the above-mentioned article if you are using talc in any form.

According to the article, "Talc is made from a magnesium silicate mineral that is similar in its properties to asbestos. Both asbestos and talc form tiny shards and can break off and imbed into parts of the body. If it is inhaled, these tiny particles can imbed into the lungs and cause respiratory difficulties. In animal tests it was shown to cause tumors after the animals had been forced to inhale it."

How in the world can you avoid inhaling particles that are so tiny they float in the air? Get rid of the stuff. Toss it in the garbage.

In my estimation this stuff should not be used on babies and it should not be used by adults.

Just my humble opinion...based on the above mentioned article and the studies mentioned therein.

Toss the Talc!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Short Sunday Scripture

John 6:35-40
35Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Match is now a Has-Been

Yesterday's post had some good guesses to yesterday's Question of the Day. Melissa's correct answer was "the match".

The question was prompted by my reading an 1898 book by D H Montgomery that dealt with the flow of English history from pre-historic times to the year 1898. Montgomery had made the statement (in regard to matches) that the match was the "commonest, and perhaps at the same time the most useful domestic article in existence".

Folks, I want to emphasize that 1898 was a mere 112 years ago. That is not a great deal of time. Imagine! The match being the most common and useful item in the home in 1898!

Compare that with today's home with its TV, DVR, internet, game room, iPods, cell phones, microwave, dishwasher, automobiles, yada, yada, yada.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Most Useful Domestic Article in Existence in 1898

I pick this book up at odd moments and read a page or two at a time. It's a slow way to read a book...a couple pages at a time...but there it is. The Leading Facts of English History by D. H. Montgomery. Second Edition, Revised. Ginn & Company, Publishers, 1898.

I am on page 357 with only 46 pages to go. The book begins with "Britain before History begins" and continues through Roman occupation, the Danes, Saxons, Normans, Feudalism, Reformation, the Stuarts, the American Revolution, yada yada. To compress that much history into 403 pages is a feat in itself! To read it through, page by page, is another feat, if I do say so myself.

A lot of kings died at the hands of others in this book. As did the next king. And the next. Sometimes their whole families were killed by succeeding kings. The English fought the French, then the Germans/Austrians, then the Spanish, then the French again, then the Spanish again, on and on and on. The Irish and Scots come into the picture now and then. Suffice it to say, ain't nobody happy with anybody. Everybody's killing everybody.

If you've never before been convinced of the depravity of man's sinful nature, you should read an abbreviated history such as this. You will see that it is not just in this generation that nation wars against nation, and people against people, and person against person. The human race continues with an ongoing, disgusting, continuous self-murder that rolls from one generation to the next. I'm surprised we haven't gone extinct for we are super efficient at the killing of ourselves.

But that is not what I proposed to blog today. No, I was going to type some very short chit-chatty Question of the Day for you to ponder. I'm sorry about straying from my original thought.

I read of this item on page 356, at the end of the second paragraph (in case you have a copy of this book on your bookshelf, which I doubt...the only possible possessors of this book being my friends Paul and Laurie in Chico. They like books. A lot.)

But I digress...so onward to the Question of the Day!

Can you guess what Montgomery named as the "commonest, and perhaps at the same time the most useful domestic article in existence" in England in 1898 when this book was printed? (Clue...it was invented in 1834 and, no, it wasn't toilet paper.)

(Oops, I have to edit the date of this invention...Montgomery says it this way: "..between the years 1829 and 1834, a humble invention was perfected of which little was said at the time, but which contributed in no small degree to the comfort and convenience of every one.)

Leave your answer in the comments.

P.S. The year 1898 was a mere 112 years ago. A lot has happened since then. Life is totally amazing!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

PET/CT and Glowing Freckles and Reports and Hope

Living in a small town, population 2700, has its limitations. But in our small town the available health care is not one of those limitations.

Our small town hospital has working arrangements with Big Hospitals in the City north of us and the Bigger City south of us. That means they are able to provide clinics/treatments/specialists that are otherwise available only in the City and the Bigger City. As a result our small town hospital provides excellent service to a large rural area. And since we sit close to the state border, it serves patients in two states.

To provide indepth PET, CT and MRI scans the hospital works with two mobile units that come to town every other week. One of those big trucks has the letters "MRI" marked on its side and it sits beside the hospital every other Friday. Every other Saturday the PET/CT truck will be sitting there.

The local radiologist reads those scans and can have his written report ready sometimes within the hour. And certainly within 24-48 hours, depending on whether this is a weekend and if it is or isn't an emergency. That may not be too amazing to you but it is to me. I belong to an online ovarian cancer forum and some of the ladies,who get their cancer treatment at very large hospitals in very large cities, complain about waiting 2 or 3 weeks for the results of their scans. Perhaps they do not know that they have the right to copies of those reports themselves. Perhaps they do not ask, as I do, "May I have a copy of the written report as soon as it is completed?" The doctors/nurses/technicians are always happy to comply with my request and I have never seen any reluctance on their part to provide those results.

My early scans in 2009 were CTs. In January 2010 the oncologist ordered a combination PET/CT. That same week we watched the movie Avatar in 3-D! Since prep for the PET/CT included injection of a radioactive substance I figured I had glow-in-the-dark freckles just like the Na'vi people in the movie. At least for a few hours...the stuff dissipates within 6 hours, during which time they advise you to stay away from babies and pregnant ladies and don't go around hugging people. (Moral...don't hug anyone with glowing freckles!)

You may be asking, "What's the difference between a CT and a PET? And why combine the two?"

Basically, it is this...."In one continuous full-body scan (usually about 30 minutes), PET captures images of miniscule changes in the body's metabolism caused by the growth of abnormal cells, while CT images simultaneously allow physicians to pinpoint the exact location, size and shape of the diseased tissue or tumor.Essentially, small lesions or tumors are detected with PET and then precisely located with CT.." You can read more here.

Last Saturday I had another PET/CT. Monday I was soooo apprehensive, worrying about negative results, that I just couldn't make myself travel the two blocks to the hospital to pick up the report. Instead I waited until this morning to go to the front desk and ask for the report. The lady there handed me a sealed envelope and even as I held it in my hand my mind sputtered with "what if".

But I opened the envelope and began reading, slowly and carefully. Medical reports are written in medicalese but since I had read previous reports (and googled key words) I knew what to look for. I knew which words might be "good" or "bad". I read it carefully once. Then I read it carefully a second time. And even though I have not yet reviewed this with my oncologist, I know he will be very happy with it. And with his choice of chemo.

My Onc Rocks!

Those few exclamatory words do not negate my recognition that God is in all of this...that He has chosen this path for me to walk...that He is working in my life every step of the way, using this to test and refine me and cause me to trust Him more deeply every step of the way. This earthly life is temporary and we must not put all our hope in this life only. We must remember that. And in our hopes for good health, we must not lose sight of the eternal hope we have in Christ Jesus. When all is said and done, our only comfort, our bottomline comfort, must be that we are not our own...that if we belong to Christ we belong to him body and soul, in life and in death. That is where our true comfort lies. We are safe in His hands in life. And we are safe in His hands in death.

For you see...while the scan results today were good...there will come a day when they are no longer good...or I will succumb to some other disease of old age. I'm in my 60s. That means in a few short years (or at the most, decades) my life will be over. That is the way of this world and of this life. That's where we end up. But as Christians we are comforted by the words of Scripture...the promises that Christ has died our death and now gives us His life...that He will not lose one of those that are His. (John 6:39)

So in regards to "aging" and moving towards physical death, I think of these verses: 2 Cor. 4:16-18 "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Long Braids and Kind Deeds

I can't help it. I'm noticing it everywhere! On every head! Every head except mine, that is. I figure it will be about three weeks before any hair returns to the top of my head. That is, unless the hair follicles have been so badly damaged during this second series of chemo (six months!) that hair will never grow again. My mind jumps between the two possibilities. Thick curly hair! Sparse stubbly hair! Which will it be?

So this morning I was reaching to grab a couple donuts for Hubby and self at the local quick shop when I noticed the long hair of the young man standing next to me. It was shiny brown and plaited into a long braid that hung well below his shoulder blades. I caught his eye as he turned and smilingly joked, "I don't suppose you want to give me some of that hair, do you?"

He saw the scarf covering my bare head and laughed a friendly laugh and then responded, "Well, I've already given to Locks of Love once!" I gave him a warm smile for that, for that is surely a kind thing to do...to donate your hair to an organization that provides hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children who have lost their own hair due to some illness. Then we both became engrossed with paying for our items and we were out the door before we could visit further.

I'm thinking he may mull over this brief meeting and perhaps, just perhaps, he'll donate to Locks of Love once again. I think that would be a nice thing for him to do.

Maybe I'll see him again. He and his wife left in a vehicle with a local license plate. If I see him again and his braided hair is clipped to collar-length I think I just might give him a hug.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Think I May Have Proposed This Law Once Before

There should be a law. How many times have you heard that expressed? We see some problem, something we think should be changed, and we instantly react with, "There should be a law!" Well, I'm proposing this one.

I'm a bit older that most of my readers. Hubby and I have kids, grandkids and greats! We love each and every one of them and pray that life will go well for them in all respects.

But we miss our kids. Not that we don't see them, because we do, often. But we miss our kids...when they were little...when they were toddlers or babies. We miss the days of their first sweetness.

So here is my suggestion. Mothers (and dads) should join together to petition Congress to pass a law (as if we need any more laws on the books!!!) that once a year, for 24 hours, on the day of our choosing, we can have our children back as their sweet toddler self. Oh, how lovely they were to us then. Oh, for another glimpse and another hug! But, no, that is not how God designed time and so we must move on. Time does not reverse nor can we cut, copy and paste time. Nope. Can't be done.

For those of you who are young(er), don't forget to relish the time you have with your children during their young days. They are precious.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Rumble-Dumble-Dum of Thunder

As I type I hear the rumble-dumble-dum of thunder outside my office window. The sound is long and rolling and somehow slightly comforting in that it is NOT acute crashing thunder.

I love rolling thunder. Especially in the middle of the night when it awakens me long enough to notice the storm outside. That kind of thunder allows me to roll over and snuggle deeper into the blankets because I know we are safe from the distant lightning. To my way of thinking low rumbly thunder is merely pleasant background noise to rain.

The crashing kind of thunder indicates ground strikes of lightning close at hand. Light travels faster than sound. The time delay between the lightning flash and the resulting thunder tells us the approximate distance of the lightning. When we were kids we counted the seconds between lightning and the resultant thunder. If I remember correctly, five seconds meant the lightning was approximately 1 mile away from us. If we could count "one-chimpanzee" five times we knew we were safe. It's when you see the flash and instantly hear a gigantic "BOOM" that you know the strike is close...dangerously close.

About an hour ago we watched the local weatherman on Channel 9 as he pointed out the path of the storm on a radar map. He indicated a tornado touchdown about 7 miles NNW of us and traveling in a direction away from us.

I took these two photos at the height of the storm. The first photo was taken out our back door with the camera pointed NNW in the direction of the tornado at about the time it was sighted. The orange of the sky was fascinating.

The second photo was taken only moments later. The camera is pointed out the front door and shows the sky to the SSW. The color of the sky was totally different. It merely looked like dark storm clouds.

To the north of us, in the direction of the tornado, we had this peculiar orange sky. To the south of us the sky was merely stormy dark.

Weird. Awesomely weird.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Sentimental Story on Stage!

Everyone likes a story with a good ending and this one fits the bill. This is one of the sweetest headlines I've read in a long time. Click here to see how Cleo, with the help of Annie, found his way home again to Isabelle, Celeste, Opal and Iris!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Begin the Day With a Dragon and a Great Mystery

I'm thinking the fellow who invented the helicopter must surely have been fascinated with Dragonflies. In flight they know how to hover, fly forward and sideways, and then hover some more.

They're plentiful near wet areas out in the country but I don't see too many of them here in town. So I was pleased and delighted to see this critter peering in at me this morning through the kitchen window.I headed out doors to get a little closer glimpse. Isn't he cool?
And while I was out on the deck I took photos of our Great Mystery! This phenomenon has been puzzling me for three summers.
Here's what we see (but we do not understand). Every morning one leg of each of the four metal chairs on the deck has water at its base. The leg itself is dry to the touch. There is no hole in the top of the hollow leg. There is no rain water inside the legs. It simply has to be condensation....but why just one leg? It is never two legs of the same chair. I suppose you think some neighborhood dog visits our deck each morning. But I assure you that is not so! We never see a dog in our backyard.
I do not like to leave mysteries unsolved. Everything has its explanation. But this is truly a puzzle. Got any ideas???