Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What's really important at Christmastime

This is so beautifully said. It's a short piece by a Salon writer whose mother has terminal lung cancer, talking about the nature of love (versus commerce) and how Christmas brings out the sweet and the sorrowful. Brought tears to my eyes, and a profound recognition of truth.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Choosing to end treatment

I could not agree more with this story at CNN. I've been sad to hear about Elizabeth Edwards' death, but I am happy that she met it on her own terms.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fruits & veggies: No good?

This new study was highlighted in yesterday's LA Times. Apparently a review of extant research (NOT a meta-analysis--an important distinction) has found little to no effect of the kind of high-vegetable-content, low-meat-content diet that I and many other cancer survivors try to follow. In particular, the article says that the low-fat, high-fiber, high-veggie diet may not do much good.

Although I find this disappointing and a little discouraging, it probably won't dissuade me from seeing the low-fat, high-fiber, high-veggie diet as ideal for preventing recurrence. a) It tends to keep weight lower, and weight is a demonstrated risk factor; b) It tends to emphasize foods closer to nature and thus less processed and with fewer chemical additives. Though we don't yet know the role of such chemicals in cancer risk, it seems like avoiding them may lessen the chance of some kind of harmful exposure; c) Even without supporting data, the logic behind the diet makes sense to me, and the corollary benefits to cardiovascular function and organ health make me feel like it could increase overall health and thus leave me less vulnerable to cancer risk. Ultimately, it seems unlikely to cause HARM, so why not keep it up? (Of course, I write this after having guacamole, tamales, and refried beans for dinner--so maybe it's not "keep it up" so much as "start it up again"...!)