Shelley’s battle to beat lung cancer

This video was created on YOU TUBE by a dear family friend whose wife died of lung cancer at the (much too) young age of 51…

 

This is a very sad story, but apparently very common.  Dave’s message is painfully clear; please share it.  Get any symptoms checked out and demand answers when you feel something is not quite right with your health.  If you feel you have been misdiagnosed, keep pushing.  A simple xray, taken when her symptoms first appeared, could have helped Shelley.

 

My mother passed away at the age of 65, also from lung cancer.  She too was much too young to die.   Feeling tired and short of breath, she sought medical attention. She was misdiagnosed with and treated for pneumonia after an xray showed fluid in her lungs.  Unfortunately, by the time the fluid was tested (at my insistence, by another doctor) to determine the cause of the fluid, it was too late.  Her lung cancer was too advanced to treat.

Be proactive and persistent for your own health and that of your loved ones.  Early detection is the best way to beat cancer of any kind!

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Carter approved: Mum Mums

As I spend a lot of time talking about my grandson, I thought I would post a series called “Carter approved”.  My first Carter approved product is Mum Mums, a rice-based teething biscuit that comes in various flavors…

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Mum Mums are free of the most problematic allergens, (gluten, wheat, eggs, milk, soy, sesame, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts and fish)a as well as verified non-GMO. Mum Mums are baked and contain minimal amounts of salt, sugar, fats and oils.  Rice has always been considered an ideal first solid food for babies as it is easily digestible, yet contains many vitamins and minerals.

 

 

We all know how teething babies want to put everything in their mouths; these biscuits are no exception. They literally melt in the mouths of babies, although their claim to be mess free is suspect…

 

The banana flavor of Mum Mums is Carter approved!  Buy your Mum Mums

 HERE

 

Sciatic nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain, AKA sciatica, happens when the sciatic nerve is pinched, inflamed, or compressed.  The sciatic nerve (colored yellow in this picture)  runs from the lower back at the base of the spine down both legs…

Sciatic nerve pain

picture from Wikipedia

Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by traumatic injury (like a car accident), pregnancy (fetus putting pressure on the nerve), spinal disc herniation (most common), tumors and even carrying a thick wallet in your back pocket! (piriformis syndrome)

There may be others, but these are the ones I read about when I googled “why do I have deep pain in my legs between my hips and my knees?”  I vaguely remember having the same problem when I was pregnant years ago, but sometimes I get this pain for no apparent reason.

My sciatic nerve appears to be affected by cold temperatures, or cool and damp weather. Swings in temperature or barometric pressure do me in as well.  The pain usually only lasts for a day, but last weekend I was miserable from Friday to Monday.   Advil helped, but as soon as it wore off the pain was back.  A topical cream containing capsaicin helped,  and I hear creams containing arnica do too but I have yet to try that.

Bonding over the flu bug

What do bonding and the flu bug have in common?  Not much, except when you and your family members spend 24 hours looking after each other.

My son started feeling the flu bug symptoms first in this household.  Around 9pm he complained that his stomach felt bad after an evening snack.  He started vomiting violently shortly after.  I had gone for our usual one hour walk with my husband, but could not muster the energy to complete the usual trek half way through.  I guess my body’s energy level was being used up trying to fight off the flu bug.

I had gone for our usual one hour walk with my husband, but halfway through could not muster the energy to complete the usual trek.  I guess my body’s energy level was being used up trying to fight off the flu bug.

Although I did not understand why I was so tired at the time, it quickly became apparent on our return home.  If my other son, his girlfriend and her 3-year-old daughter had not been sick with the flu the previous week, I would have attributed our illness to the salmon the members of our household ate for dinner a few hours earlier.

I went to bed exhausted around 1130 pm, and soon after the vomiting started.  My husband started vomiting around 2am.  Luckily we have enough bathrooms to accommodate three sick people at the same time; it was not a pretty site.

A kind neighbour brought (left it on the doorstep and rang the bell) over Pedialite freezies, Gatorade and gingerale to keep us hydrated throughout the 24 hour ordeal.

I posted a similar story a few years ago.  When I worked in the health care industry, the flu shot was mandatory each year.  The occupational health nurse went around the hospital I worked in, inoculating members of each department.  It was quick and convenient.  Since retiring, I see the advertisements for free flu shots at local drug stores here in Ottawa each fall, but never seem to find the time to stop in to get one.

After this ordeal, I will make sure I get my flu shot next year!

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Anger, laughter and your immune system

 

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It has been said that one minute of anger weakens your immune system for four to five hours, while one minute of laughter boosts your immune system for over twenty-four hours.   I’ve read these statements several different places recently; I believe scientists are on to something.

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Think about it for a minute.  When something or someone angers you, your blood pressure rises, your heart races, and you get a sick feeling in your stomach.  I know I do.  But did you realize that the sick feeling you get can manifest into something more sinister if it persists?  The sick feeling spreads throughout your body, causing stress on all of your organs.  It has been scientifically proven that stress has been linked to many health conditions and disease states.

Conversely, after a good laugh, you feel great and stress or tension is relieved, improving your mood, your outlook, and even your physical appearance!  I posted an article about the scientific benefits of laughter a while back.  Yesterday, when chatting with a dear friend,  I was reminded how anger can cause stress; inspiration for today’s post.

If you find yourself in any relationship that evokes prolonged and unresolvable anger, angst, tension, stress, or sadness, move on and let it go before you cause any permanent damage to your health!

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Simple tips to lose pounds and inches

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Each year (at least for the past 4 years since I started my landscaping business) I notice the pounds and inches creep up on me throughout my offseason.  The main reason is the difference in my lifestyle between the two seasons.

In the spring, summer, and fall (from April to October here in Canada) I spend a minimum of 6 hours a day working in gardens.  Not that gardening is an extreme form of exercise, but the stretching, bending, squatting and walking does add up.  During the winter months, my main work is freelance writing for which I sit at a desk for those 6 hours.  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out which lifestyle is healthier.

The fact that the Christmas holiday season falls during these winter months does not help.  Like most people… Continue reading

The skinny on fats

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There are all kinds of fat in our foods.  Trans fat, hydrogenated fat, partially hydrogenated fat, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, etc, etc.  Learn the difference… Continue reading

Let’s Talk Day sponsored by Bell Canada a huge success

Yesterday’s post sharing a promotion Bell Canada created to raise awareness and money for mental health was to encourage participants far and wide.  Today I am posting to show how effective the promotion has been since its inception.  The numbers for 2016 in the chart were not yet complete when the chart was published, but it shows how successful the campaign is and how it continues to grow each year…

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Aimed at raising both awareness and money for mental health, Let’s Talk Day appeals to all ages, especially the teenagers whose suicide rate has risen dramatically over the past few years.  What better way for them to express themselves than the social media they are so familiar with and dependent on.  The final totals for yesterday were fantastic…

A new Day record. 125,915,295 calls, texts, tweets and shares – and $6,295,764.75 raised for Canadian mental health.

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Here are a few pictures I copied off of Twitter that are symbolic of how people feel about mental health…

 

My favourite picture I saw circulating on both Twitter and Facebook was a sketch (origin unknown) of the faces of Robin Williams in a few of the roles he has played…

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Robin Williams’ face is familiar to just about everyone.  His suicide stunned and saddened the whole world in 2014.  His quote “All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul” is stunning and yet simple in its message;  mental health can affect and take its toll on anyone.

My favourite tweet on Twitter yesterday was…

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Raising over $6 M in one day is one thing. Raising awareness and understanding for 365 days: Priceless.

…a great message to end this post with.  Let’s not forget about the importance of talking and caring and understanding.  Today and every day…

Today is Bell’s Let’s Talk day for mental health

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Bell’s Let’s Talk Day is a promotion to raise awareness for mental health.  Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives for every:

  • Text message sent (by Bell or Bell Aliant customer)
  • Mobile & long distance call made (by Bell or Bell Aliant customer)
  • Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
  • Share of the Facebook image

 

If you are not a Bell or Bell Aliant Customer, you can participate by tweeting on Twitter using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag or sharing the image circulating on Facebook.

Let’s talk to raise awareness and money for a great cause!

 

 

Sensations kettle style potato chips from Sobeys

My new favorite potato chips come grocery stores.  They are  Sensations by Compliments brand, which is equivalent to President’s Choice at Loblaws, Independent Grocer or Superstores…

 

These extra crispy, kettle style chips are sensational (pun intended) tasting and always reasonably priced.   I am particularly fond of the black pepper & lime, and sweet chili & sour cream flavours pictured below.  There are many other varieties to choose from too, such as jalapeno, hickory barbecue, balsamic vinegar & caramelized onion, sea salt & malt vinegar, and more…

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The best part is that these Sensations kettle potato chips are gluten-free and processed in a gluten-free environment, with no artificial flavours or colours to trigger my food allergies…

 

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Sobeys’ slogan is Better Food For All; these Sensations kettle chips are definitely better for me.  Unfortunately for many of you, Sobeys locations are limited to Canada.  For you Canadian readers, give these chips a try soon, I’m sure you will love them too.  Your biggest dilemma will be deciding which variety to try first!