Monthly Archives: November 2011

Feeling better

Edna faces the crowd as her employers receive ...

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The good news  is there is a definite improvement, as the cold symptoms start to retreat . the aching muscles, the snotty nose and the exhaustion, as well as the slight temperature, up to 37.5 have all started to disappear. along with the nose bleeds- so sometimes there are other bugs out to get you not just the meso. His cough is still present , but it sounds different to the usual one

We even managed to get to the theatre yesterday, to see “An Inspector Calls” , its a great production so glad we got to see it. We have also just discovered our box set of the West Wing, so are working through series one- never watched this originally until series three, so allnew to me as well

So still here. having a better day , hopefully the rest of the week will go well.

Full of a cold

I hope that this isn’t a harbinger of the rest of the year. After the flu jab reaction and nosebleeds, he now has a really bad cold , with blocked nose, sore throat and general run down feeling.

Must admit seem to have been a few people around with it , feeling a bit under the weather myself, but of course whenever he gets anything like this his general health deteriorate so much more. This means he has also lost weight, he actually lost about 2 kilos the weekend of the flu jab – straight across to me unfortunately. He managed to regain a kilo during the week but has now lost this again.

This of course makes you wonder is something worse is going on, then again if ate the same as him this week I would have lost weight as well. For lunch while I was at work , he had an apple!! I feel such a nag and so insulting when I keep asking what he has had to eat, understand how parents of anorexics must feel, it is as though you are on constant alert.

He mentioned today how fed up he was of feeling ill , these last two weeks have got us down. We could really do with a stable scan result to give us both a boost, not doing too well at the moment with the P part of PETAL, in fact not doing well with the E or T bits either.

Scan is now on Tuesday , with the appointment for the results on Friday , so well into the anxious countdown week .

Hopefully a better night sleep will improve matters, have given up wishing for him to have a good nights sleep, as these simply don’t happen anymore, so we will take what we can get.

Nosebleeds II – The Return

Sad news this week at the death of  an Australian meso warrier, Anita was diagnosed around 2007 in her forties, not only did she survive the initial diagnosis , she also had the miracle of a baby girl, despite chemo. Her memory now lives on in that baby girl.

It has been a difficult few months, having to say goodbye too so many warriers, Ray’s scan is due in two weeks and it is difficult to stay positive and keep some hope for the future. Research is ongoing but it seems so slow.

This week although the pain has been under control, seems to have been the week of nose bleeds. This happened during the second phase of chemotherapy but nothing since. This week , seems to be every day , over dinner , at breakfast or walking down the road, usually at a time of maximum hassle. No idea what has brought this on, possibly the ibrufen has built up , but other than that no idea.

Although this may sound minor  it is really depressing, it is yet another reminder that you aren’t normal, yet another  reminder of being ill. So emotionally I know that it brings him really down.

Any ideas gratefully received as to how to stop them occurring!

How the Royals deal with asbestos


Once widely used as a building material and insulator, asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma, Great Britain has one of the highest per capita rates of mesothelioma in the world with an estimated 4,000 deaths from the disease each year.  By contrast, about 2,500 people die of mesothelioma in the U.S.

Though asbestos use is now banned in new construction in the UK, the BBC has reported that as many 500,000 commercial and residential properties still contain the substance, including the apartment at Kensington Palace where the young Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, plan to live. The last major renovation of the palace, originally known as Nottingham House, was in 1960 at a time when asbestos use was at its peak.

Like other homes of that era, the palace likely contains asbestos insulation and asbestos thermal coverings around hot water heaters and pipes.  Asbestos may also be found in the electrical system around wires or as a lining for fuse boxes. It is also not uncommon to find asbestos in floor and ceiling tiles, roof shingles, chimney flues, paint, sealants and wallboard in older homes. The older and more brittle asbestos-containing materials are, the more likely they are to crumble and release their toxic fibers into the air, increasing the risk of mesothelioma.

To safely remove asbestos from properties such as the aging palace, asbestos abatement professionals use a variety of techniques including wetting down the crumbling materials to reduce dust.  To protect themselves from mesothelioma, they may also use specially-designed protective clothing and respirators.

The planned palace renovation comes at a time when the issue of asbestos abatement is making headlines around the world.  In Australia, where mesothelioma rates are rising, especially among women, legislators are calling on the government to force Do-It-Yourself home renovation television shows to warn homeowners against removing asbestos themselves. The renovation and asbestos abatement at the royal couple’s news residence is expected to take a year.



A cultural weekend

With two weeks to the next scan, we packed in quite a lot this weekend, whilst the pain is under control. First it was off to see Sarah Millican, the comedian, this one was very much for me, as think he thought the audience would be very girly. In fact it was mixed and she was excellent, really funny, so we had a great evening.

Then on Saturday afternoon, it was off to the afternoon performance at our local theatre to see  a new play “Basket Case”. We often go to this performance as the tickets are discounted, also always makes us feel better , as just about the only place we can now go and feel young. Think the average age is about 80 and there is a definite aroma of lavender water, as well as a surfeit of surgical stockings.

Overall the play was fun, although did wonder if I had made a terrible decision when it started and found out it was about the death of the family dog , as someone who cried during “How to train your Dragon”, it doesn’t take much to set me off. Luckily the rest of the play was quite funny with Nigel Havers in the central role, pretty much playing Nigel Havers.

Went to our local Remembrance Sunday service at church, which was very poignant as a good friend lost her young nephew in Afghanistan, aged 19.So once again we gave thanks that Ray was still here and still fit enough to be attending the service.

Finally to finish off the weekend it was off to see Reginald D Hunter, another comedian. This time not quite so good, have seen him before but think this time we were a bit joked out, plus he had a support act, we didn’t rate, so this was possibly an evening out to far.




New research on mesothelioma prognosis


Further evidence of the global nature of this cancer this week, firstly , new research under way in Korea suggest they are going to see an increasing number of cases over the next 30 years. The a neew study from one of the country’s leading cancer centers suggests that the nuclei of mesothelioma cells may hold vital clues for predicting patient survival.

Though as an individual not sure you would want to know, but anything that suggest they are learning more about Mr Nasty has to be good.Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common subtype.  Doctors often use the cancer’s stage – a measure of cancer extent and severity – to predict how well patients will respond to treatment.  But now a group of scientific researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the U.S. and Kagawa University in Japan believe they have found an even more effective prognostic indicator – inside the nucleus of mesothelioma cells.

To conduct their experiment, the researchers examined the slides of 232 patients who had been diagnosed with the epithelioid type of malignant pleural mesothelioma. They then examined the nuclei of the cell samples to evaluate them on seven different features.

Thorough analysis of each mesothelioma cell sample revealed that two of the features, nuclear atypia and mitotic count, were directly related to patient prognosis. 

“Not only was nuclear grade an independent predictor of overall survival, but it was also a stronger discriminator of survival than all currently available factors,”

Good to see that the research into this is going on all over the world


continuing developments in immunotherapy for cancer

The good news is the developments in immunotherapy seem to be really gathering pace, so much research into genetics , immune systems and targeted treatment is being done throughout the world, that it feels as though when the breakthrough in treatment comes, it will be significant.

The bad news is a lot is still at very early trial stages, so all meso warriers need to keep hanging on. It also shows how important the trials are that are currently underway.

The latest story  was in the BBc news only today with “Skin transformed for cancer fight”


Skin cells have been transformed into immune cells ready to fight cancer in the laboratory.Scientists have opened up the possibility of one day using cancer patients’ own skin to fight their tumours. Oxford University researchers transformed skin cells into immune cells, which could be used to trigger a hunt for cancer.

It was achieved only in the laboratory, not in people, meaning any therapy is a long way off. However, the researchers believe it will be possible. Harnessing the power of the immune system is a field being pursued by cancer researchers, such as in the search for cancer vaccines.

This study, published in the journal Gene Therapy, was focused on dendritic cells, which organise part of the immune response.By showing identifying markers – or antigens – they tell the immune system what to attack. If they display cancer markers, cancerous cells will become the target.

The next challenge is to confirm that these laboratory-generated cells will be suitable for immunotherapy-based cancer-treatments used in the clinic.The research team used advances in stem cell technology to create new dendritic cells from a patient’s skin. These were primed to trigger an attack on melanomas using a marker, Melan A, which is unique to the cancer.

Experiments in the laboratory showed these dendritic cells were able to activate both immune cells which produce antibodies and those which kill other cells.

Dr Fairchild said: “The patient would in effect be treated with their own immune cells to prime an attack on their tumour.”He acknowledges that any therapy is a distant prospect. The cost and a safe method of producing stem cells are two of the barriers.

Even then he pictures a treatment working alongside, rather than replacing, other therapies: “It is a long and arduous process compared with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It’s extremely labour intensive.” Dr Caetano Reis e Sousa, a Cancer Research UK immunology expert, said: “By showing that normal body cells can be reprogrammed to become a sub-type of dendritic cells with superior activity, this research builds on previous work by Cancer Research UK scientists using blood stem cells as starting material.