Friday, September 28, 2012

Spring and Summer 2012

It has been a long time since I have updated my blog. However, it has been a very challenging summer and I am looking forward to a much more pleasant autumn. So far so good as you can see by the pictures I have posted.

Good news first:
I will say that my cancer seems to be in check. It was four and a half years ago that I was diagnosed and in that respect I am feeling very good and thanking God every day for the journey he has sent me on. When you constantly repeat the verse from Jeremiah 29:11, and believe it with all your heart you had better be prepared for your future. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Over the past year, to year and a half, my friend Anita and I have taught and baptized four women. During this time Anita started going to another church but continued to help me with the teachings. Early this spring God put it on my heart to start a Life Group for new believers. I told my pastor but then I kept putting it off...I did not want to teach alone. At the same time I knew we could not leave these ladies wanting more and not getting it - they were hungry for God's Word. Anita came one Sunday to play with the Worship Team so I told her of my plan. She got so excited about it and said that God was also touching her heart to do something with the women. She has come back to South Denver and we are teaching a Life Group together - it is awesome. Two more members are joining us this next week. Pray that we can accomplish God's work in these women and the journey he has designed for us.

Not so good news of the summer:
The death of six friends - three of them within four days of each other. One of them was the lady that stood with me when I was baptized. She was diagnosed in January and died within 6 months - she was only 54. I currently have two friends in hospice, one is Anita's ex-husband. She and her four children are currently in Arizona with him. I have three more friends, here in the apartment building, that have been diagnosed with Cancer. It never stops.

I started a health regimen of walking around Sloan's Lake (about three miles - give or take a little) when suddenly one day my right knee blew out on me. This happened in May and I had a trip planned for Omaha over Memorial Day. I went but it was not the best time that I have had. I was going to the pool at least three days a week when something happened to the heater and the pool was closed most of the summer - very hard to get back in the habit of going.

I have had two bad falls, one at home and one at the church. Both very stupid but both hurt a lot. I fell into the corner of the wall and hit my right shoulder with full force - right in the crease of my arm...tripped on my pajama leg. The fall at the church was right into the corner of a door...and yes I hit on the right side again and over my mastectomy. And I hit my left knee but only had bruises and it no longer shoe caught on the carpet while I was setting up the class room...good thing it was not my right knee again.

Last but not least...fires in Colorado with lots of smoke, lack of moisture and lots of heat. I developed allergies after I moved to Colorado and my little cat, Ember, has allergies also. It has been a time of seeing who can out sneeze the other. I feel so sorry for her - I can take pills to help out but I can't get anything down her...she becomes like and octopus - where do all those legs come from anyhow?

Well, this has been my summer in a nutshell. I know that all of you have had your trials also. I pray for my family and friends daily...not all at the same time of course. The Bible tells us that we should 'pray without ceasing' and that is what I, many times the prayers come flowing while I am looking at Facebook - what a terrific reminder to pray for each of you.

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3-6




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Researchers Accidentally Discover Chemo Helps Tumors Grow

Scientists from the Seattle based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have stumbled upon a very inconvenient truth.

Chemotherapy is so damaging to the healthy cells surrounding a tumor that it changes their DNA, causing fibroblasts, those cells involved in wound healing and maintaining connective tissue, to produce a molecule called WNT16B that actually encourages prostate tumors to grow and invade neighboring cells.

The researchers also confirmed these findings for breast and ovarian cancer tumors.

The unsettling findings reported by the journal Nature Medicine in August 2012, helps explain why cancer patients sometimes derive little to no benefit from chemo treatments, essentially enduring the worse than death side effects for naught.
Peter Nelson, the study co-author said, “The increase in WNT16B was completely unexpected”.

It also sheds light on why tumors might shrink from an initial round of chemo only to regrow later becoming resistant to further rounds of the devastating treatment. Peter Nelson confirms the eventual resistance tumors develop to chemo adding: “WNT16B, when secreted, would interact with nearby tumour cells and cause them to grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy“.

Professor Fran Balkwill, a UK based expert on the tumor microenvironment commented that these findings are in line with other research which has demonstrated that “cancer treatments don’t just affect cancer cells, but can also target cells in and around tumors”.

Researchers seem unfazed by these disquieting results that, though unexpected, did not seem to give them any pause whatsoever in questioning chemo as a valid tumor treatment for the long term.

Instead, they chose to stick their heads further into the sand suggesting that drugs to inhibit the production of WNT16B were in order for “new and improved” chemo treatments.

If one drug doesn’t work, let’s just add another, then another, then another ….

Apparently, “chemo brain” affects cancer researchers too.

~by Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
~September 22, 2012