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Attack of the BUGS! Why did folks in the fifties think that bugs would have to be Gi-normous in order to do humanity in?

It really only takes a little one.  Clostridium difficile (C. diff) or E. coli or Staph or Streph... . I mean THEY'RE EVERYWHERE! Getting into EVERTHING, they suck.>>>>>

It's a lot less lurid, but the actual little bugger looks something like:

And this is how THEY ATTACK!!!

I babbled on about MRSA (staph) a while back and at the risk of sounding DOOM! DOOM! and gloomy. Remember to be careful around hospitals.
...and gyms. and schools, cafeterias and public transportation... let me see, what HAVE I forgooten - oh yeah, to breathe!

13 June 2006 @ 09:09 am

You are what you eat. 
Carbs are bad.
I'm ALL organic.
I stopped losing weight, it was making me fat. Every time I lost ten pounds I gained fifteen back.


Good health IS NOT just nutritious food... But, Good nutritious food JUST IS good Heath.
Plus a little of this>    That is Charlie Smigelski RD, who came to speak at the hospital I work at on diet and it's effect on HIV positive people.   Interesting guy, great science. Apparently, even cows are too modern for our body to process efficiently. Nuts, berries and protein... from some dubious sources. Very cave-man, that talk left me wandering around the grocery store asking myself: Could I have scavenged this? Is this something I would have hunted for in a pack... or whatever a bunch of cave-persons are... I was surprised to find that there was a LOT of things my fellow cave dwellers and I could have noshed on. 
Ar'ee, my cave buddy (I just can't imagine people way back then saying Charlie, I have been WAY too influenced by Hollywood), would have no problem with the bags of nuts, the apples, pears... the whole produce isle would have been like home, or maybe valhalla
He would quickly react to the squabs and game hens, marveling at the ease of cooking - no plucking feathers and eye-balls for hours... unless they were the good parts back then! I wonder if he would have cried at the sight of a thirty pound turkey?
I know sometimes I do, when it has to be stuffed, dressed and in the too-small oven on the too small-cooking pan when it's not QUITE defrosted.
I could make Ar'ee understand a lamb chop, using wild hand gestures my Italian grandfather would be proud of.
But I'm afraid Twinkies, Ranch Dressing and Spam  are another matter all together.


This is the most wonderful news. It will affect so many people. However, people will now begin to understand that Cervical Cancer in Women and Anal cancer in Gay Men are sexually transmitted. HPV, the cause of these cancers, is a virus. You get this virus as a result of having sex. So... "Let's talk about sex, Baby. Let's talk about you and me. Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be, let's talk about sex."
~Salt 'N' Pepa, "Let's Talk About Sex"      

Once again we will have to decide what to tell children, and the parents of children, and WHEN to tell them MANDATORY vaccinations at 8? Younger? Ask yourself how easy it is to tell parents that they must educate thier children. They must make hard choices.

FDA Panel Endorses Cervical Cancer Vaccine – A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Panel has recommended approval of a vaccine for two types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) known to cause about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. The FDA is expected to approve the vaccine from Merck and Co. sometime next month. Around 3,500 American women and 290,000 women worldwide die of the disease each year. This may be one of the biggest advances in cancer prevention since the Pap test, which tests for abnormal cells in the cervix, was introduced decades ago. Summary based on an article by: The Associated Press

08 May 2006 @ 01:05 pm

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

By John Masefield (1878-1967).
(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)

(Words for my Brother John)
06 April 2006 @ 11:11 am

Rituximab (Rituxan ®) Improves Response Rate in Mantle Cell Lymphoma
 Amy Brown

Mythologically, Mab was the Queen of Connact; the warrior queen of the Ulster Cycle. She was the combined mother/warrior aspect of the Triple Goddess.

All of our Chemo Drugs should be given the names of warriors. I had 6 cycles of  "Genghis Khan" and 4 of  "Richard the Lionhearted" just sounds more like what these thing do. They win battles for us. They are great and powerful warriors who conquer at our bidding. In the beginning they might have been brutish and horde-like, but now they are wise and powerful generals. "Next Thursday we start you on "General Patton", he gets the job done!" is how I imagine a conversation going. And let's not have exam rooms, let's meet our doctors in "The War Room" for "Strategy Plans". I don't think uniforms with epaulets would be inappropriate... 

Rituximab (Rituxan ®) Improves Response Rate in Mantle Cell Lymphoma


Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, rituximab (Rituxan®), monoclonal antibody, targeted therapy. (Definitions of many terms related to cancer can be found in the Cancer.gov Dictionary.)


Rituximab, when added to standard chemotherapy for initial treatment of mantle cell lymphoma, shrank or eliminated tumors in a significantly higher percentage of patients than the standard chemotherapy (CHOP) alone. Further follow-up is needed to show whether this approach also increases overall survival time.


American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, New Orleans, June 5, 2004.


Rituximab is now widely used in the treatment of various kinds of non-Hodgkin’s B-cell lymphoma. It is known to be effective as the initial treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the most common form of the disease, and in other types it has proved effective as second-line treatment (that is, treatment given when the first treatment doesn’t work or stops working). But the drug’s use as initial, or front-line, therapy is still under study in many forms of lymphoma, including mantle cell lymphoma. Mantle cell lymphoma is an aggressive form of the disease and is often resistant to chemotherapy; median survival from time of diagnosis is only three to four years.

Ritiuximab, the first monoclonal antibody to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, works by targeting the CD-20 protein often found on the surface of B-cell lymphomas. The antibody binds to the protein, leading to destruction of the cancerous cell.

The Study

The 122 patients in the study were divided randomly into two groups. One received the standard therapy known as CHOP, a combination of cytoxan, adriamycin, vincristine, and prednisone. The other group received CHOP plus rituximab.

The study’s research team was lead by Wolfgang Hiddemann, M.D.,Ph.D., of Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.


About 34 percent of the patients receiving CHOP plus rituximab had a complete remission compared to just 7 percent of those receiving CHOP alone. The majority of patients in the rituximab group--94 percent--had either a complete or partial remission compared to 74 percent of those receiving CHOP alone.

Side effects were somewhat more severe in the rituximab group, with more frequent suppression of cells important in the immune system. However, rates of severe infection were only slightly greater among those taking rituximab (7 percent) compared to those taking CHOP alone (5 percent).

“We can really say this benefit had no costs in terms of side effects,” said Hiddeman.


The study does not show whether patients treated with rituximab plus CHOP will survive any longer than those in the CHOP-alone group. Also, the results apply only to patients with mantle cell lymphoma, which is one of the less common forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


These findings, added to those of other recent studies with rituximab, suggest that it will be used increasingly as a first-line therapy, said Howard S. Hochster, M.D., a lymphoma researcher at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City. “I think this is strategy you’ll be seeing more and more,” he said.  Culled from NIH website

04 April 2006 @ 08:55 am
Tubing misconnections—a persistent and potentially deadly occurrence 

Tubing and catheter misconnection errors are an important and under-reported problem in health care organizations. In addition, these errors are often caught and corrected before any injury to the patient occurs. Given the reality of and potential for life threatening consequences, increased awareness and analysis of these errors—including averted errors—can lead to dramatic improvement in patient safety. 
from: JCAHOnline - March 2006  Read More

Getting your wires crossed, getting your signals mixed, not knowing your ass from your elbow; these are the things that drive us CRAZY. Those little SNAFU's that happen to everyday people THAT CAN SOMETIMES BE DEADLY. Yikes. I'm definately doing the "Not this one" on the leg or arm if something has to go, and I'm going to make sure there are no other  "William Weeden's" in the hospital at the same time looking for an appendix out or  Sex Reassignment Surgery. 
So, the next time you hit "reply all" instead of "reply" ask yourself: OK how bad was that?

JACHO's brochure offers the following suggestions on how you can avoid being the victim of medical errors
 [to obtain a copy of the full brochure, call JCAHO at toll-free 1 (877) 223-6866, or log on to their website at www.jcaho.org]:



Rural States Have Lowest Risk, Says EPA 

Just when a guy thinks he has forever escaped the boredom of rural life. BAM! Cities=Bad. 

Although this isn't REALLY such a surprise. Still, I hate to have it be a statistic. That makes it all so real. I remember a friend telling me what I would have to do to live the longest, and healthiest, possible live I could (she was an actuary) I remember thinking "But why would I want that, that's NO fun at all?" What is the best balance a guy could do? 

Give up one year of extra life for an occasional:  Cheese-burger and fries?
Give up one year of extra life for an occasional:  Alcoholic bender?
Give up one year of extra life for an occasional:  Banana split BINGE!
Give up one year of extra life for an occasional:  Smoke-fest?

Decisions, decisions, now I need to calm myself and lie down.
What is one year of your life worth? Come on - I know it's an SUV... 

 Now, breathe.

01 April 2006 @ 09:25 am
31 March 2006 @ 11:03 am

THE TRI-CORDERS are here! THE TRI-CORDERS are here! I want one. Well it's more like a hand held "online look up" device which gives you all the information you need about something... THE TRI-CORDERS are here! THE TRI-CORDERS are here! 

I can't believe I'm a "Label reader", when did I begin to care about fat content and sodium percentages? (Hint: around the time I went from a size 32 to a size 35 ass size) Now, of course, I have to figure out the difference between FIBER and ROUGHAGE. Thank God for whole wheat broccoli pizza!   As I (apparently along with the rest of the country ) expanded my wardrobe (size not quantity) I went on a learning curve. What kind of food? When to eat it? How much to eat? Do I have to exercise? Short answers: More Veggies. More often. MUCH smaller amounts. Yes.
And for all of that I need a new toy MY TRI-CORDER! I could look up food content, track my excerise program, "Why, I can make a hat or a brooch or a pterodactyl and other cool stuff... I am saving my pennies now!
30 March 2006 @ 11:02 am
Protein linked to cancer spread identified
Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:05 PM GMT
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By Patricia Reaney

"LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have identified and blocked the action of a protein linked to the spread of breast, prostate and skin cancer cells to the bones.
The molecule called RANKL is produced in bone marrow. In studies of mice, researchers from Austria and Canada showed that inhibiting the protein could stop the cancerous cells from migrating to the bones.
"RANKL is a protein which tells tumour cells to come to it," said Professor Josef Penninger, of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
"It sits on the bones and when tumour cells circulate in the body then RANKL attracts them into the bones," he told Reuters. "

Protein! I thought that was the "good stuff". I get kind of rankled (get it: RANKL) when people don't jump on a story like this and make it front page news. THIS IS BIG

Identity is everything, sort of like BIG being "John"... if it can be named, you know what it is.  Now we just need a little sumpin' sumpin'  that we can slather on to be safe from the BAD SUN yet still get a little color on our faces, and what the hell is it with with my pasty white legs!