Monday, March 2, 2015

Queensway Carleton Hospital receives $1M gift for elder care

What an amazing gift!
“This unit is designed to take our frail, elderly patients, and treat them in a very holistic manner with the intention of getting them recovered … and back to the living environment from which they came,” said Melanie Adams, president and CEO of the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation.
A total of 30 of the 34 rooms in the future unit will be private, and contain floor-to-ceiling windows. A communal dining room will also be contained within the unit – a way of encouraging mobility and socialization amongst patients for better outcomes.
Queensway Carleton Hospital receives $1M gift for elder care
Created to serve the growing population of seniors in the hospital's ... “We're living longer and our health care needs are becoming more complex, so it's a ... $8.6 million being provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Breakthrough in understanding how cancer cells metastasize

This study is based on mice. It might be a breakthrough.

Date: February 27, 2015


A protein commonly found in human cells could be an important switch that activates cancer cell metastasis, according to a new study. The finding focuses attention on a biological mechanism that until now was largely overlooked. The discovery of the protein's effect significantly expands our understanding of epithelial cancers such as breast and lung cancer.


 M. S. Ioannou, E. S. Bell, M. Girard, M. Chaineau, J. N. R. Hamlin, M. Daubaras, A. Monast, M. Park, L. Hodgson, P. S. McPherson. DENND2B activates Rab13 at the leading edge of migrating cells and promotes metastatic behavior. The Journal of Cell Biology, 2015; 208 (5): 629 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201407068

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pink washing; the language of cancer

As I lay dying

I" am dying, literally, at my home in Hollywood, of metastatic breast cancer, the only kind of breast cancer that kills. For six years I've known I was going to die."

 This is excellent , an article by Laurie Becklund who writes:
"Susan G. Komen , has raised $2.5 billion over the last 20 years,... channels only a fraction of those funds into research or systems to help those who are already seriously sick. Most of that money continues to go to a breast cancer “awareness” campaign that is now painfully out of date."
She also writes:
"Promise me, I told my friends and family, that you'll never say that I died after “fighting a courageous battle with breast cancer.” This tired, trite line dishonors the dead and the dying by suggesting that we, the victims, are responsible for our deaths or that the fight we were in was ever fair."
Laurie Becklund dies at 66; former L.A. Times reporter, author
"They call it Door of the Devil," wrote Times journalist Laurie Becklund in 1983, "a craggy spot not far from 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Measles in North America

There are dozens of ‪#‎measles‬ cases in Canada, and far more in the United States. We've mapped them out:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

PART XXXIII: Colonoscopy

Hubby's prostate cancer is on hold. It's not getting any worse. We are checking to see that it isn't metastasized. It will, but for now, we are leveling off with Naturopathic support.

Hubby starts the day, feeling weak and dizzy (having to fast for his test) doing this...
Backyard deer from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

There are those whom complain about healthcare, but through Ottawa Hospital we've had nothing but  follow-up appointments made promptly. I am glad we're retired, though, because through our 'waiting times' haven't been long with specialists, the times we sit waiting have been long. Just know you'll lose a day, if you travel in from rural Ontario.

10:17 Left house

We left the house at our mutually agreed upon time: 10:25 for a 12:45 check in time, for a 1:30 procedure time.

12:15 Arrived

As with many doctor's offices, we must remove our boots and put on little blue booties. That done, we check in at the desk.

They want you there early. Why? Paperwork. You'd think, what with their electronics, that they'd have all this information on file. Nope.

We arrived at 12:15
See us in the window?
What helps us is a booklet with all the information, as well as print outs from the pharmacy, with all the meds he takes. Hubby check pertinent info into his blue folder.

Paperwork done, check back in with the receptionist, who was a nurse sitting in for a receptionist. She took my name and number, saying they would call me when the is a half hour remaining.

We sat, discussed the day: appointment 1:30, which would take 15 - 30 minutes (depending), half hour recovery (which is when they phone you) and then you can go home.

1:00 p.m. now what?

How many times do you think he's written all this down?
at least a dozen

I took off. By now (where did the time go?) it was 1:00 p.m. and I went out into the mall. There was a cute pet store nearby, do you know they make doggie training pants and doggie diapers?
doggie depends

Thankfully, the building IS in a mall, and I could walk about.

By now I was hungry, having had a sandwich for breakfast, as I knew that things could take a long time.

Into Kelsey's for lunch. The server found me a quiet spot, where I could access their Wifi, and play about. Bless her heart, she gave me a booth.


trying to be patient!
Thing is, in order to access the free Wifi, I had to sign up using my email address. When I arrived home, they sent me a coupon, as promised, for a fattening dessert. "Welcome to Kelsey's eKlub."
Some clever marketing expert figured it would be fun to misspell 'club.' Shudder.
I don't eat desserts. Sigh. Not at my age and weight! The trials of "free." Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, our Ottawa Social Media king on good eating, would be horrified.

I finished up my yummy Thai Shrimp with noodles, who knows when dinner would be, and walked back over to the office.

2:10 back to waiting

Cleverly, I'd saved my booties, as they were all gone from the box. The floor was a mess. I looked around, and found one entitled woman, in an tailored tweed coat, elaborate coiffeur, expensive handbag. She was wearing her boots, while the rest of us either donned our lovely booties, or sat with sock feet.
Lovely waiting room with Wifi!

I put on my saved booties.
Some people chose to keep their boots on.
Fake fireplace, also plays music.

2:19 The CALL

They said hubby was ready to be picked up in a half hour. They phoned me, I should have just checked in at the desk.

I sat, read my book, "Elephants Cry".

2:43 approach the desk

I am here to pick up my husband. He's out, just getting dressed, and will be ready to leave soon.
Putting on my boots, on the bench behind the fake fireplace, I sat, waited. Used the bathroom. Waited some more.

3:00 Where is he?

By now, I was getting worried. Their electronic system lets the nurses in the back know that his ride is here. She told me that he was getting dressed and just had to see the doctor before leaving.

3:11 he appears

He doesn't have colon cancer. This is a good thing. Thanks to all who have been asking. It is comforting. Sometimes it is awfully lonely being a caregiver. We have another two months until further testing.

I help him with his coat, hand him his boots. Off we went, jiggety jig. They'd given him juice and cookies, since he'd eaten nothing for 24 hours. Apparently he could now eat whatever he wanted. That is to say, excluding his food intolerances of yeast, dairy and eggs.

We hopped in the car, happy it was sitting in the warm sunshine. We always hit rush hour traffic, and I was anxious to get going. As hubby said, it's logistics that make these appointments a pain-in-the-arse. Hubby had a coffee headache, so we found a wee spot, in a hairdressing salon, that had coffee in North Gower! Who knew?

4:52 home again

little dweeb!
When we left the house the Trailcam said it was -9 C. Arriving home, after a day of sunshine,  it was 11 C. (on the plus side). This is only because our house faces south, and the overhang keeps in the heat. The bird feeder was just about emptied, those dratted red squirrels!

Princess Daisy went outside to play. Lady Annabelle mushed us both, happy we were home.
Hubby, still making jokes, his coffee headache gone. What a relief!

Home again from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
We left at 10:17, arrived home at 4:52, after a trip to the city for a medical procedure.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Supreme Court of Canada ruled this morning in favour of allowing physician-assisted death

Special Notice from Hospice Palliative Care Ontario
Friday, February 6, 2015

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled this morning in favour of allowing physician-assisted death.

In the judgment, available here,  the court ruled that:

Section 241 (b) and s. 14  of the Criminal Code  unjustifiably infringe s. 7  of the Charter  and are of no force or effect to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.

The Court's also ruled that:

The appropriate remedy is therefore "a declaration that s. 241 (b) and s. 14  of the Criminal Code  are void insofar as they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life; and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.  "Irremediable," it should be added, does not require the patient to undertake treatments that are not acceptable to the individual.  The scope of this declaration is intended to respond to the factual circumstances in this case.  We make no pronouncement on other situations where physician-assisted dying may be sought. 

The ruling was suspended for 12 months to allow Parliament and provincial legislatures to respond by enacting legislation consistent with ruling. 

The Court declined to create a mechanism for exemptions allowing physician-assisted death during the 12 month suspension period.

The Court also expressed the view that nothing in the judgment would compel physician to provide assistance in dying. 

What Happens Now?

Parliament has 12 months to introduce legislation that is consistent with the Court's ruling. Various healthcare associations and interested parties have offered to will work with government to craft regulations to address the issue. HPCO will support such work with the The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association .

As stated in our February 5, 2015 advisory, access to hospice palliative care is our main focus. While the legislation and other details regarding physician-assisted death are worked out over the next 12 month, HPCO will maintain our focus on promoting awareness of hospice palliative care and the need for better access to high quality hospice palliative care in any setting where someone may be expected to die. 

HPCO will also distributed all materials developed by CHPCA for marketing National Hospice Palliative Care Week in May 2015. The materials will be available at end of March.
HPCO's Key Messages 

We have updated our key messages to include that hospice palliative care providers and healthcare professionals must have the option to not participate in assisted suicide.

  • Most Canadians are not being referred to hospice palliative care in a timely fashion - the support for living well until dying can be greatly increased.
  • The decision will have complex and confounding implications for end-of-life care in Canada and we cannot lose focus on the need to improve access to hospice palliative care.
  • As a hospice palliative care organization we know that the health care system continues to underutilize and under-deliver palliative services, the first option for patients with terminal or life-threatening conditions. 
  • Improving access to hospice palliative care in any setting where someone may die must remain a public policy priority.

  • Hospice palliative care providers and healthcare professionals must have the option to not participate in assisted suicide.
  • The decision on assisted suicide is no excuse to stop or slow important progress required in improving access to palliative care across Canada.
The Quality End of Life Care Coalition of Canada's Blueprint for Action makes four recommendations to improve hospice palliative care:
  1. Better access to tertiary care, hospice palliative care and a palliative approach in primary care.
  2. Caregiver support, including grief and bereavement.
  3. Education, training and research to support all healthcare providers to provide palliative care to patients with life-limiting illnesses.
  4. Advance care planning for all Canadians and tools to help healthcare providers initiate conversations about wishes, hopes, and goals of care.
Further resources:

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fluwatch: influenza 2015 STATS, admissions and deaths

There is still discussions around the flu shots. The issue is that the flu strains changed and mutated, and yet, it is still a good idea to get a shot at the beginning of the season. The graphs are showing a downturn in reported flu cases, thankfully.
It's starting to slow down.

Many viruses

Canadian Maps from previous weeks, including any retrospective updates, are available on the FluWatch website.

The time it takes from the start to the finish of a vaccine production, is sometimes sufficient time for the virus to change, which is what happened this year in particular with H3N2. Evidence from the NML, however, still suggests that the vaccine continues to provide protection against the circulating A(H1N1) and B strains.

A total of 104 ICU admissions have been reported in adults ≥65 years of age with influenza A and 52 ICU admissions have been reported in adults 20-64 years. A total of 236 deaths have been reported since the start of the season: one child under 5 years of age, two children 5 - 19 years old, 16 adults between 20 and 64 years, and 217 adults older than age 65. Adults 65 or older represent 92% of all deaths reported this season.

Toronto has it bad, of course the big cities, with more people, more people moving around, say, a transit system.

1,035 people hospitalized and 56 have died of flu this season in Toronto

Public Health in Toronto says flu cases this winter are above the 10-year average. An analysis finds virtually all the flu viruses in Canada this year are different from the one in the vaccine

Influenza remains on the increase in Toronto, with 428 confirmed cases of the flu in the third week of January. So far this season, 1,035 people have been hospitalized with influenza or suspected influenza in Toronto and 56 people have died as of Jan. 24.
The numbers don’t include anyone who come down with flu and not been treated by a doctor.
School absenteeism also continues to rise as the total number of cases in Toronto has hit 3,072, above the previous 10-year average. Those troubling numbers (PDF) were reported by Toronto Public Health on Friday.

Friday, January 30, 2015

PART XXXII: Follow-up with the Naturopath

Our delightful naturopath, Dr. Jenn, was very pleased with the results of the PSA test. It's gone from a too high post-op result with a slow increase.
Dr. Jen has put us on a wonderful regime of treatments that are designed to build up his immune system, as well as settle out his food intolerances.
It's so difficult managing two things at once.

Fecal test August fine.
Didn't have swollen nodes before the operation.
 The next appointment with Dr. at Ottawa Hospital is April.
Not taking prevacid and the other anti-acid pills.
BP seems OK. 111/56, 121/64,
If he has an upset much shorter duration. Sometimes he can figure out the cause.
Mild irritation every 3 - 4 days. Half of those too much coffee or a few things.
Maybe too much tomato. Very faithful about avoiding yeast, egg, dairy.
 Still taking Pectosol. Not causing gas or bloating anymore.
Another month of Hericium Erinaceus SAP - do another month. And a month of another product.
3 mos of nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea . EGCG alternate. Anti cancer drugs are good now that stomach issues are good.
Off exercise with back strain. Will get back to that. Studies talk about the link between BETA A and Increase Mulitsure for men, twice a day. Two caps/time.
Will switch to liquid calcium: better absorption and easier on the stomach. Take it before bed or in morning, coating stomach is good. Coversil in a.m.,
Do liquid calcium at bedtime. Pectosol should be away from everything. Move Pectosol at midmorning. Finish off calcium magnesium. Alternate with liquid.
Liquid calcium 1 tablespoon at bedtime.
Colon prep: the morning of colonoscopy, that night start back on highest dose of recovery probiotic, removes protective paint. ProBio SAP-90 afterwards.
Glutamine - not taking at all.
1. changing Multivitamin once old runs out.
2. PrioBio keep on dose, 1/day
3.Liquid calcium at bedtime, because soothing and better
4. Bio Enzymes
5. ECGC or Hericium Erinaceus

Keep rotating antiCancer products. Keep rotating nutrients.
Swollen lymph nodes can be from anything like the whole bowel thing. heck in with Dr. Jen in 3 mos. or so, especially when appointment for the colonoscopy.

PART XXXI: regular Urologist follow-up

At this point, we are checking in with the urologist every three months. Where has the time gone? Here is is the last week of January.
Between these appointments, hubby has a CT Scan and a PSA test.
Thankfully, his PSA has leveled off, if not gone down a tad (0.79 => 0.77). I've been keeping track of his scores on a graph.

The CT Scan showed some lymph node swelling. Our naturopath thinks this could be anything, including the body fighting  something else. That said, our Dr. want hubby to have a colonoscopy, just in case. The good news is, not another CT Scan for 6 months.
We're back to see him in another 3 months. I made sure to take photos, just for fun.

What was silly, is that we have been going here so long there is a new building on the site.