Sunday, June 29, 2008

Has the Cure for Cancer Been Found?

Scientists to test if cancer cure can work in humans

Updated Sat. Jun. 28 2008 3:30 PM ET News Staff

American researchers will soon start a human trial to determine whether a treatment that can eradicate cancer in mice will do the same in people.

The treatment will transfuse specific white blood cells, called granulocytes, into patients with advanced forms of cancer. The granulocytes will come from healthy young people with immune systems that produce cells that have high levels of anti-cancer activity.

In the animal studies, white blood cells from cancer-resistant mice cured all lab mice who had malignant tumours. The cells have also been able to kill cervical, prostate and breast cancer tumour cells in Petri dish tests.

"All the mice we treated were 100 per cent cured," lead researcher Dr. Zheng Cui told CTV News. "So that was very surprising for us."

Cui, an associate professor of pathology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, will announce the study Saturday at the Understanding Aging conference in Los Angeles.

Granulocytes account for about 60 per cent of all white blood cells in the human body. The scientists already know, via a small study of human volunteers, that granulocytes from people under the age of 50 are most effective at killing cancer cells.

The study will begin with 22 cancer patients for whom conventional treatment has been unsuccessful. The researchers say that they will know within three months if the treatment will work in humans.

Cancer researchers worldwide will be watching the tests closely.

"Certainly in the mouse, being able to do these things is quite remarkable and very exciting," said Dr. Ronan Foley of the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, Ont. "Oftentimes when it is translated into the human situation it doesn't work as well. But that doesn't mean it isn't going to work."

With a report from CTV medical correspondent Avis Favaro and senior producer Elizabeth St. Philip

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Experiment

When I was little, one of my homework assignments was to blindfold my Mom and cloths-pin her nose and then feed her a bite of apple and then a bite of onion to see if she could tell the difference. This was an experiment to prove that if you can’t see or smell the food then you can’t identify it.

Very cool assignment.

When my mom got home from work, I sat her down in the chair and covered her eyes and put a cloths-pin on her nose. Then I fed her a rather large bite of onion that she chewed and swallowed. Finally, not having an apple in the house, I shoved a big spoonful of margarine in her mouth.

She was not a happy lady. Between gagging fits, she explained that it’s not just smell that helps us to identify what we are eating, but also that texture plays a role (a HUGE role if my mother’s reaction was any indication) in food identification.

When I was visiting my Mom I sprinkled cornstarch all over her kitchen to kill the ants that were coming in the house, due to the unusual amounts of rain KS had been having. Yesterday I asked her if the ants were still around. She said that they are gone now, but not before the weirdest thing happened. She said that overnight there were so many ants that they could have carried away the blender to make their own Margaritas in their own anthill Tiki Bar if they had wanted to.

I sort of giggled and said, “Yeah, sorry about that. I found out it's cornmeal that kills ants, not cornstarch. I probably only gave the ants dry-mouth and helped them out with any annoying sweaty foot problems.”

Thank goodness the cleaning lady finally came and wiped off all of the counters - even behind the microwave. For all I know cornstarch makes ants reproduce 100 times faster than normal.

Yet again I gave my Mom the proverbial big ol' mouthful of butter, all in the name of science. No wonder she sleeps with one eye open when I’m in the room.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm Happy Damn-It.

I've started this post three times. The first start was about my 1 hour and 45 minute trip to Sears for a battery. And the 2nd was about the conversation I overheard coming out of the mall between a little girl and her mom. Both experiences were not positive and I changed my mind about retelling them. I am crabby enough the last few days without putting crabby into words.

This 3rd start is going to be positive and happy.

Grace is cute and Alan made cinnamon rolls. There. That's as happy as it's going to get.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Grocery Store Strike. (I can't be trusted)

I learned today that I can no longer go to the grocery store without a list. I don't know how it happened but I got home with Twinkies, pizza rolls, pop-tarts, brownie mix, toaster strudels and cinnamon rolls. I swear I don't remember putting ANY of that in my cart. I wonder if I got my cart mixed up with someone else's when I was looking at corn? heh.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pictures of flooding in Cedar Rapids, IA

Downtown Cedar Rapids, IA and the surrounding neighborhoods are underwater. Despite being overwhelmed with flooding, the city is running out of potable water. Only one out of the four water towers is supplying the city.

My cousin, Corie, took these pictures on 6/13/08. She was returning home from a vacation with her kids. She said that she wasn't sure how the pictures would turn out as they were driving the speed limit and not blocking traffic by taking pictures like the many thoughtless pea-heads who were stopped on the roads and the bridge. I think the pictures are really good.

Thankfully her home, as well as the rest of my family living in Cedar Rapids, is safe. The only home damaged was Corie's Mother-in-Law's house. According to the email I received with these pictures, her Mother-in-Law lives about four blocks from the Dairy Queen pictured. Well, the Dairy Queen sign. It seems that the actual Dairy Queen is a bit swamped at the moment.

It's impossible for me to fathom the stress this situation is causing. Please keep my family, along with the many people in the state of IA that have been affected by this horrible weather pattern, in your thoughts and prayers.

Corie just wrote that a 2nd water tower is now operational and the people of Cedar Rapids are again allowed to bath. She also said that the surrounding towns are helping by sharing water from their towers.

I'm such a horrible sick person.

My poor husband. I just asked him if he would maybe like to put on his headphones, or if he needs me to find him some earplugs. The sound of me choking on the green (pea soup green) crap that I've been coughing up makes ME want to throw up. Alan must have some incredible gag reflex to not be wretching in the potty right now.

Ever notice that when you're really sick you try to remember back 10 or so days to who you were around so you can curse their names. I remember two such people who were sick or just getting over sick about 10 days ago.

~~~~~~PS - Tanya, you didn't give this to me. I just hope I didn't unwittingly give it to you!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Why My Mom Should Win Hostess-of-the-Year

As you know by now I got to visit my Mom for two whole uninterrupted weeks. It was so much fun to be mommied again.

After my bath the 1st day there, I grabbed a towel, dried my face and promptly dropped it to the floor. ACK! It was mildewy smelling. Horrible! I picked up another towel and smelled it. The 2nd one was just as bad as the 1st. Gag. Bleck. Finally I just ran around in circles in the bedroom until I was dry. Mom, bet you're glad you were at work that morning!

Now I wasn't thinking poorly of my Mom. The poor woman can't smell to save her life. Well, I think she could possibly smell smoke if it was strong enough, so no calling social services for the aged. (Just kidding mommy. We all know you're not anywhere near old, yet, just olfactorily inhibited!)

I was a little peeved at her housekeeper. This lady knows my Mom can't smell. That's why the housekeeper is supposed to sniff inside the fridge when she comes to clean. She had obviously been neglectful of sniffing the towels when she washed them. They were baddddd. Gack. Icky bad. I wondered how long my Mom had been drying her body with towels that smelled like old jelly shoes?

I gently inquired to my mom if she would mind if I rewashed the towels. Of course, when asking, the gagging noises may have been a little overboard.

The towels smelled exactly the same after a 2nd wash that included vinegar. I finally gave up and admitted defeat. And that's how I learned that Pregnancy Nose is not a myth.

My sweet angel of a Mom took me to ALCO (how many of you remember ALCO's?) and we bought the detergent that I use at home. I rewashed towels for a 3rd time so that bathtime could remain vomit-free for the remainder of my visit.

Thanks Mom!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Yay home!

I'll catch up on some of my thoughts soon. There are lots. But tonight I'm going to cuddle up on the couch with Alan and Grace and watch some Lost.