Monday, October 25, 2010

Sensilarity

When I was pregnant with my children, I saw pregnant women everywhere.  Maybe we all liked grocery shopping at the same time (naturally, around 10pm).  Maybe we all enjoyed attending the same events (not too surprising when it's a sale at Babies R Us).  Whatever it was, it seemed as if I had an extra sensitivity to seeing pregnant women.  I think there is opportunity to coin a new word here.  Sensilarity--a sensitivity to finding people and things who are similar to you.  I seem to have developed a sensilarity again.  But this time I have a sensilarity to things with brain tumors.  As you may recall, this has happened to me before.  It has struck again.

Innocent box of chocolate, pecan, caramel turtles:


Hmm...this one looks different:


Turtle with a brain tumor.  Boom.  Sensilarity:


Thank goodness I'm not seeing pregnant turtles because then I'd be really worried.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stats and such

Apparently, you can track your blog statistics via blogger to see how many people view your blog, when they view it, and from where.  I was checking this out yesterday (yeah, I'm a little behind the times) and noticed that I have quite a significant international following.  Interesting.  So, welcome to my blog international readers! And for my "local" folks, a welcome to you as well.

A couple of weeks ago, Newsweek ran an article about cancer.  The article was titled, "Curing Cancer" and written by Sharon Begley.  A graphic in the article gave me pause and I have been thinking about this graphic for quite some time now.  The graphic showed the percent of people who live 10 years after diagnosis.  For the gentlemen with prostate and testicular cancer, a 10 year survival rate looks pretty spectacular, with 95% of patients surviving 10 years after diagnosis.  Melanoma, Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Breast Cancer patients all have a nice survival rate as well (between, 82-90%).  But then the bar graph takes a sudden drop to brain cancer patients with only 31% surviving 10 years after diagnosis.  All I could think was that I have only a 31% chance of making it to Isaac's 10th birthday.  Yikes.  I knew it was bad, but to see it on paper like that made it so.....real.

There is a light at the end of this grim looking tunnel.  After feeling quite upset about this for several days, I did a little research.  I looked up where this statistic came from (the Seer database from the National Cancer Institute) and checked it out online.  You can sort the statistics by other factors (is the patient female?  young?  caucasian? etc.) and I checked out the stats for folks in my age group.  Fortunately, the younger you are at onset, the better your chances are of survival.  In my age group, survival to 5 years past diagnosis is 68%, which was a little more reassuring, particularly given that what they post online to the public is not as updated as what Newsweek gets for their articles.  Besides, who are these 31% and 68% survival people?  Are they the ones who are working hard to kick their tumor's tush?  Or are they just lucky?

Either way, I feel an even stronger urge to raise money for research, raise awareness, and more importantly live my life the healthiest I can live it.  Hopefully, with good choices and a little luck, Isaac will be celebrating his 10th birthday with me there with him.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mother Nature to Humans: Chill, maybe

As things are quieting down, we are noticing patterns in our daily life.  Going to the park, playing outside, planning activities for after nap, cooking dinner, reading books, going to bed, and starting it all over again the next day.

Autumn always seems to infuse this sense of calm, as if mother nature is asking us to chill out--just like the weather.  So, we are trying to take a page from mother nature's book and chill.  It can be difficult at times; sometimes we adults don't feel like going to the park or we just want to read the newspaper.  All it takes is a little help from our kids to remind us that we need to simplify and just let go and play in a big pile of sand for awhile.

Lilla helping Isaac:


Of course, it has been really hot the last three days, so what does that mean?  If we were to take a page from mother nature's book now...what should we be doing?  Go to the pool?  What do you think?