Thursday, April 30, 2009

Testing, Testing....

So my recent vitamin D test came back much improved, though not quite up to "normal" standards. My 25-OH result is now 42 ng/ml, and previously it had been 23 ng/ml. Optimal levels are between 45 and 52, so I'm almost there. I've been supplementing with 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, in addition to 5 minutes in front of the vitamin D lamp every-other day, though now that I'm outside most of the day working in the garden and soaking up the rays, I've pretty much laid off using the lamp.

I had an appointment with Dr. P (my "alternative oncologist" who's been tracking my vitamin D levels) on April 8 to discuss my recent vitamin D test results and any other questions I might have. Dr. P was impressed with my recent weight loss due to my healthier eating habits...he commented multiple times on how good I looked! Chalk one up to a mostly vegetarian, sugar-free, trans-fat-free, wheat-free diet! I do FEEL great too.

Tomorrow I'm getting some routine blood work done (approximately 10 vials if it's anything like the last ones I've had done), and Saturday a.m. is another PET scan. I'm fairly confident that the scan will be good. And if it's not, well, I'll be very surprised!

While talking with Dr. P, he suggested I get a methyl B-12 shot, which I did there while at the office. He thought I might notice an improvement in my energy levels, but I didn't, really, so I'm wondering if I really need them. I've been feeling fairly energetic lately as it is.

I thank God daily for my new-found outlook on life...I feel more alive now that I've got cancer than I did in my pre-C days, partly due to the fact that I've been taking better care of myself, and partly because I view each day as a gift. And I think I'm even a little more playful..."Never take life too one gets out alive anyway".

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Drink Up!

My homemade Concord Grape wine--now I don't feel so bad about drinking it!

The following recently was published on one of my lymphoma mailing lists...good news for the wine drinkers amongst us!

Drinking wine may increase survival among non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients

April 21st, 2009

Pre-diagnostic wine consumption may reduce the risk of
death and relapse among non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients, according to an
epidemiology study presented at the American Association for Cancer
Research 100th Annual Meeting 2009.

Xuesong Han, the first author of the abstract and a doctoral candidate at
the Yale School of Public Health, said their findings would need to be
replicated before any public health recommendations are made, but the
evidence is becoming clearer that moderate consumption of wine has
numerous benefits.

"This conclusion is controversial, because excessive drinking has a
negative social and health impact, and it is difficult to define what is
moderate and what is excessive," said Han. "However, we are continually
seeing a link between wine and positive outcomes in many cancers."

This study was the first to examine the link among patients with
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Han and her colleagues analyzed data about 546
women with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

They found that those who drank wine had a 76 percent five-year survival
compared with 68 percent for non-wine drinkers. Further research found
five-year, disease-free survival was 70 percent among those who drank wine
compared with 65 percent among non-wine drinkers.

Beer and/or liquor consumption did not show a benefit.

The study team at Yale also looked at subgroups of lymphoma patients, and
found the strongest link between wine consumption and favorable outcomes
among patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These patients had a 40
to 50 percent reduced risk of death, relapse or secondary cancer.

Researchers then conducted an analysis to examine the effect of wine
consumption among those who had drunk wine for at least the previous 25
years before diagnosis. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who had been
drinking wine for at least this long had a 25 to 35 percent reduced risk
of death, relapse or secondary cancer.

Those patients with large B-cell lymphoma had about 60 percent reduced
risk of death, relapse or secondary cancer if they had been drinking wine
for at least the previous 25 years before diagnosis.

"It is clear that lifestyle factors like alcohol can affect outcome," said

Source: American Association for Cancer Research