October was too short!

So much info on breast cancer and other topics this month that I ran out of October days, so these are my “leftovers.”

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These are the “leftover” leaves from the last rain.

Christine’s Story:

While waiting in the bus terminal in Philadelphia for my trip to State College earlier this month, I met a woman who had come to my demonstrations at The Wellness Community. This non-profit center provides free cancer information and support, so I knew she was a cancer survivor.  I found her story very interesting.

Christine is about my age (early 70s) and has been cancer free for 3o plus years. She had Stage One cancer and treated it with natural remedies, refusing chemotherapy and radiation. She took her medical prescriptions to her herbalist and he gave her the homeopathic or herbal counterparts. (She was brought up on home remedies.)

Her daughter contracted cancer in her 30s or 40s and went the medical route. She also had Stage One cancer and is also cancer free. However, the portal in her chest that was used to transmit the drugs became infected and she became ill.  The result was that the infection was so severe with no known cure that she is now in a wheelchair. However, her cancer has not returned.

Because both Christine and her daughter had early stage breast cancer, I think either method would have worked.  But what concerns me is that other medical procedures, such as the portal, also have risks. I guess the bottom line is that you need to decide which path is for you and make sure that all other precautions are taken.  Christine seems happy and healthy and she says her daughter has adjusted to her situation.

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We still have a few roses blooming in front of our condo building. Maybe I should call it the “Last Rose of Autumn.”

Happy Afterthought: Earlier this month my friend Dorothy underwent successful cancer surgery for her Stage One breast cancer. I went to visit her in NYC with our mutual friend Linda and Dorothy insisted on showing us her surgery results.  Because of the surgery, her breasts were uneven in size, so the surgeon lifted and evened them up, and now Dorothy has permanently perky boobs!!  Sorry, no breast photos! This double tree picture will have to do….

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Additional notes from Mary Lou Meyers, breast cancer survivor, whose profile appeared this month. This was in response to my note about cruciferous veggies.

There is a great deal of information out there about specific cancer preventatives such as broccoli.  There are also many support groups in many instances connected with hospitals.  Most patients will be informed of those in existence in their area.  “Living Beyond Breast Cancer,” a group founded by an oncologist puts out a pamphlet at least once a month entitled “Insight” which has both case histories of women undergoing treatment as well as the latest information.   There are frequent teleconferences as well as regular conferences at many different locations.  It was very heartening and reassuring for me to go early in my treatment knowing there were so many others facing the same dreaded disease.   Check www.lbbc.org for the latest information.  Sincerely, Mary-Lou

P.S. I went to the website and found this article (below) on ginger’s ability to ease chemotherapy-related nausea. How interesting that this medical topic is about a natural remedy.  (Note: Photo of ginger root taken from the Internet.)

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People taking ginger along with standard anti-nausea medicine experience less nausea than those who take medicines alone

By Kristine Conner, for LBBC; Reviewed by: Keith I. Block, MDJL Ryan et al.

Ginger for chemotherapy-related nausea in cancer patients: A URCC CCOP randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 644 cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2009; 27: 15s (suppl; abstr 9511).

Taken along with standard anti-nausea medication, ginger can significantly reduce chemotherapy-related nausea, according to the results of a Phase II/III study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center, in Rochester, NY, at oncology practices affiliated with its Community Clinical Oncology Program. The results were presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Two-thirds of study participants were women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, suggesting that ginger may be an important tool for alleviating nausea in this group.

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Also, I have a menu idea that is not really a recipe, so I am putting it here, since I used some “leftovers” in the ‘frig and this is the Leftovers category, with a broad meaning beyond food. I tooke a photo even though it’s not a true recipe. But the meal took very little time, was really satisfying and colorful to my eyes. With all the protein goodness of black beans, the beta-carotene* of sweet potatoes, and the chlorophyll of asparagus, as well as the freshness and enzymes of the organic salad with sprouts, this was a quick, easy, and health  giving meal. *See Glossary for definition.

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Small salad (Romaine lettuce, grated carrots, sunflower grass)

Cooked sweet potato or yam, sliced and pan fried with a touchof olive oil

Black beans (canned) heated and topped with Veggie shreds (Cheese made from soy)

Simmered asparagus topped with pesto

Notes: I had baked the sweet potato the night before and had half left. I  keep black beans in my cabinet because the dry black beans take forever to soak and cook and still are hard. I spotted the asparagus that day in the supermarket and bought them even though they are out of season. And I had made the pesto a few days earlier from some end of season basil. So, except for the salad and asparagus, everything was already made and while the sweet potato and black beans were warming, I threw together the salad. Don’t be afraid to mix and match whatever you have in your ‘frig. Please don’t wait until the food is “old.” Use the odds and end up the week you make it.

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Book recommendation: I reviewed  Susan Silberstein’s book, Hungry for Health  in March of this year. Now I have another one of her gems: Breast Cancer: Is it What You’re Eating That’s Eating you? In 84 pages she explains the connection between diet and cancer, gives the good news and the bad news, discusses the Asian connection (traditional ASian diet more protective), coping with stress and much more.It is easy to read, very informative, and worth $11.95 plus postage. Go to the CACE website (Center for the Advancement of Cancer Education) for ordering information: www.BeatCancer.org. Susan has also put together a Breast Cancer Kit: Empowering Tools to Help Prevent or Reverse Disease. For ordering info, go to www.BeatCancerKit.com. Susan’s dedication to beating and treating cancer is incredible!

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Finally, check out the Breast Cancer Action’s newsletter, now online. Sign up at: www.bcaction.org/source. It’s free.  This organization is the watchdog for corporations that pollute our environment with carcinogens. Here’s a letter to take action from the organization from organizer Barbara Brenner, who sent it to me:

Dear ellensue,
Since we launched the Milking Cancer campaign, over 2,500 people have taken action to tell Eli Lilly to put our health first and stop manufacturing and marketing rBGH. We’re demanding an end to their shameful profit cycle of making drugs to treat cancer and supplements that cause it. And, we need your help. If you haven’t already, send an e-mail to Eli Lilly’s CEO, and then send him a “Thanks for the cancer” card in your name.  And tell your friends and family to do the same!
Your support is so critical in efforts like this, because we never have – and never will – take money from big pharma giants.
October will be over soon. But Breast Cancer Action won’t stop until we get what we need – a world without rBGH. The time is now. Demand a better world – one without artificial hormones in our food.
Thanks so much for being part of BCA’s work.

That’s all, Folks!!! Hope to post November Home Page this coming week. My bandwidth needs to be expanded (increased readership!) so there may be a short  delay.

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