Archive for the ‘Health issues’ Category

It’s not often that I go from cheers to jeers within minutes as I did this morning reading two separate news reports. The first was a post from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz “Give women every chance 2 fight off a killer.” She pointed out that 1 in 8 women in America has a chance of developing invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. She goes on to describe her own story, telling of those seven surgeries as she fought her own cancer. She then describes her disappointment in the “FDA’s decision last month to pull the metastatic breast cancer indication from the Avastin (bevacizumab) label” and why.

My sister fought for eight years against breast cancer and tried every kind of treatment she felt would work for her, whether through advice of her doctors, other cancer survivors or those into natural remedies. She lived far longer than was originally expected and attributed that to her choices. That’s why when I read Wasserman-Schultz’s post, I felt hope — hope that a representative in Congress “got it” and that maybe women would be allowed the right to choose, in this case medications that have a proven track record for some. Guess that gives “pro-choice” a broader meaning!

A few minutes later, I ran across this headline, “Scalia: women Don’t Have Constitutional Protection Against Discrimination.” What the hell?! And I quote: “The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not protect against discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, according to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.” This, coming from a U.S. Supreme Court Justice whose work impacts everything we do in this country, more than, I would suggest, any other “job” in America.

Fortunately the article does refer to the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, “any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,”and commented,  “that would seem to include protection against exactly the kind of discrimination to which Scalia referred.”

Others will argue for or against the FDA ruling and for or against Scalia’s opinion. I, for one, am once again strongly reminded of the impact of those individuals we elect to represent us. Whether they take action themselves or appoint others to take action for us, the fact they make decisions that impact my life, my family, friends, all of us in this country should make each and every one realize the importance of voting. And then of holding our representatives accountable. I’d rather be cheering then jeering any day.


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My family still teases me for getting a tear in my eye at some commercials (yes, guilty), and my niece still remembers how I cried when I took her to see the dinosaur flick, Land Before Time, years ago. So it was no wonder that it was a Kleenex moment when I watched the Elizabeth Edwards interview on the Today Show this morning as Matt Lauer talked with her about the publication of her new book Resilience.  

The book focuses on her continuing experience as a cancer survivor and of course, being the wife of former N.C. Senator & VP Candidate, John Edwards, most recently known for his admitted affair.  Others will talk about the “affair”, it was her own story that caught my eye. It was the story of the loss of her father, of her 16 year old son, of her battle with cancer, of the joys of her other children, that made me bring out the Kleenex brigade.

And it was the story of how she wants to take her youngest daughter on a trip with her (her daughter’s one wish). Knowing she can’t “handle luggage and an 11 year old” on her own now, Elizabeth said she was thinking of taking a tour. Hearing that, off popped the memory lightbulb as I remember my own sister in the same cancer battle, trying to set up a tour so that she might take her young daughter on a trip as well. 

The final “big” trip didn’t happen, but my sister did create many loving memories that will carry through the years and listening to the interview this morning, I applaud Elizabeth Edwards and all like her who are making the effort to do the same for their child. It’s off to the bookstore at lunch today to get Resilience and to get inspired — inspired with tissues in hand admittedly.

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Swine flu media blitz influencing the youngest generation?? I don’t know if the author this particular story, Little Pig is Missing,  was subliminally impacted by the recent massive media coverage of the swine flu… but I do know this story made me smile widely. Written and illustrated by Quinn, an intrepid five year old, I was given this as a gift and recognize it for the treasure it is. Couldn’t resist sharing your story and some of your illustrations – thanks Quinn!

Little Pig is Missing    Written and Illustrated by Quinn


Little Pig and Daddy Pig

Little Pig and Daddy Pig are swimming in the jungle water .






Tiger and Rhino

The Tiger and the rhino came and they were talking to Daddy Pig. The rhino stepped on Tiger’s tail and he ROARED!





Little Pig got scared and ran away.   And then he was lost forever….but the parrot brought him home.

Parrot in Little Pig is Missing by Quinn

Parrot saving Little Pig


And Little Pig and Daddy Pig swam at slug-o-rama in the sluggy water.


                  THE END



copyright 2009 Quinn C

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I pass the National Education Association (NEA) main office everyday going to work and today I happened to notice a big sign out front celebrating “National Teachers Day.” Of course it made me think of the numerous teachers in my life, both good and bad, and pay a mental tribute – again both good and bad.

I remember in third grade a certain Mrs. Kennedy (it was always Mrs. or Miss in those days, no Ms. to choose from). She was an African American women, strong in opinion but gentle in approach. There was no doubt that I liked her, but what made her memorable was the fact she was going to have a baby and actually talked about it. I think we all learned more about “sex ed” though her conversations on the subject than anything we received officially for years to come, whether in school or at home. It made us more aware of what was real vs. rumor as well,  helping down the road when the subject was of much more considerable interest.

Then there was Mr. Cook in the 9th grade, our Spanish teacher who refused to speak English to us from day one. I suppose he thought that was a good approach, “immersion” as it might be called now, but without any English explanation, I was lost from the beginning, and Spanish was my first language too – not from heritage but logistics as my dad was in the Army and we had been stationed in Columbia. An honor student, I actually flunked the class which was shocking to everyone but me, I felt relief the year of torture was over, until I discovered upon entering the 10th grade, that “Senior Cook” and I were paired once again.

There was Mr. Mason, a high school history teacher who made me realize the importance of learning from the past so as not to repeat the future. There were others who taught me lessons I only vaguely remember now but who’s impact I feel all of the time as they have become part of who I am. And there was that nameless substitute health teacher (coach of the football team), whose one-liner, “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” has stuck with me always.

So here’s to you, the teachers of America, underpaid, overworked and unfortunately leaving the profession in droves as a result. You tend to be wonderful, compassionate people who really do care about our children. As we honor you today, may the halls of our leadership do something about recognizing your value to the future of this country and address your needs.

And if you are not a teacher but would like to show support, there is DonorsChoose.org, a wonderful organization that allows you to contribute in a meaningful way to the school of your choice. Of course, there is AAUW too, contribute so that a graduate study student can continue their higher education in today’s tough economy.

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Swine Flu Vs. ?

Ever increasing media coverage on the possible swine flu epidemic has caused most conversations at work today to start with, “have you heard…?”. As a quick reference, I found this  HealthandSurvival.com blog that lists symptoms and precautionary measures. I do have to wonder if the medical profession is ready this time around.

Now I’m like the next person, I’ll likely quickly turn my head at someone coughing, wash my hands and wash my hands, etc., but I also want to keep it in perspective. More people are killed by drunk drivers, by suicide, by other less spoken about illnesses than because of the swine flu. Just because it has reared it’s ugly head in Mexico, will we see discrimination against all things Mexican rise? Yes, I want everyone to be cautious and be proactive with their health, but no, I don’t want to see fear set in and reactions blown out of proportion.

Hopefully there will be  a rise of people going to the doctor’s early if they have any symptoms that match what is listed for the Swine Flu. According to a report I saw this morning, not going to the doctor or hospital early enough led to the deaths of some of the individuals.  That is a lesson we all can learn from, even as we send sympathy to the families.

Now if we could only get as much media coverage too about other issues that need attention and resources as well.  Let’s not make it swine flu vs. cancer or alcoholism, or other illnesses that don’t have such media impact. Keep it real, not hype.

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About this time every year, we hear stories of mankind destroying pieces of  the planet most of us live on. Very few species destroy their nests, why does it take what some consider the most intelligent of them all to negatively impact the living areas of every other living being? The latest news, how tons of released drugs taint U.S. waters, shows us how out-of-control we continue to be, no matter how many Earth Days we have, decade after decade after decade.

The good news? Earth Day actually does some good. It brings attention to the seriousness of the situation, on corporate, governmental, nonprofit and individual levels. It forces action, through legislation, guilt and positive guidance. And we are tuning in to the need for education, information and “things we can do” by the millions.

Recently I received notice from the virtual world,  Second Life  (SL). Launching today is EcoCommons, a virtual location “designed for environmental organizations in the 3D world of SL. Developed by TechSoup’s Nonprofit Commons team in partnership with OneWord.net and OneClimate island In SL, EcoCommons provides a network for environmentally focused nonprofits to promote awareness, community-building and environmental education efforts in the virtual world and beyond.”

Huh? An environmentally concious element in the virtual world? Isn’t that where young kids go to play games, chat or do whatever they do in there? Not really. If you haven’t read the news about SL recently, you won’t know that the fastest growing population in SL are 50+ with six figure salaries. The Nonprofit Commons group itself meets weekly and holds event after event to educate us on every type of cause you can imagine – all for the good.

To recognize the importance of the thousands of individuals SL reaches, the launch of the EcoCommons today features a keynote speech by Jacqueline Chenault, New Media Specialist, U.S. House Select Committe on Energy Independence and Global Warmingand will be broadcast live from SL. The event starts at 11am PST, and activities will continue throughout the day and week as part of Earth Week Second Life.

Real Life, Second Life, my life – where ever we live, we all need to take responsibility for our home, and in this case, not just our house but the planet we live on. Let’s make it last for beyond a week or two, beyond the “fad” of today and incorporate it into our lives and our expectations. We should hold businesses accountable, something totally out of whack as we’ve seen only too recently. We should let our voices be heard on the highest levels. And we should practice safe . . . environment every day 🙂

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What’s a “common cold” any way? Is it the sneezing, the coughing, the dry throat, the sore throat, the ears plugged, the higher temperature, the lack of energy, or simply put – all of the above?

Ask a doctor and for lots of money later and a negative throat culture, they will tell you to drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, wash your hands lots and stay low on the stress level. Hmmm, you have to wonder if they realize what they are actually saying.

“Lots of fluids”: ask anyone and they’ll tell you it means clear liquids. Vodka? Gin? They certainly would help you get plenty of rest.  Water? Have you checked the lead levels lately. Chicken soup? What about those hormone levels?

“Plenty of rest”: of a parent, don’t think so; of someone who is employed, don’t think so; unemployed, forget it. Retired? Maybe, unless you read the latest studies showing people have to work a lot longer than 62 or 65 to be able to afford retirement these days.

“Wash your hands”: only if you remember to sing two full rounds of “Happy Birthday” to yourself while soaping, otherwise it does nothing.

And “stay low on the stress level”: maybe it’s time to revisit that “drink clear liquids” and choose the 1st or second listed, since everything else, combined with watching or reading the news, will rise your stress levels considerably.

What’s common about the “common cold”? Just that everyone gets it at some point or the other and good luck when you do – since if you are like me, it’ll take you out for the count for at least a week!

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