Connect with us

Health

Love on borrowed time: Cancer patients find romance despite terminal prognosis

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

TORONTO — It could have been a meet-cute in a romantic comedy between a man and a “mutant.”

After weeks of online flirting, Patrick Bardos was en route to meet Anne Marie Cerato for their first date at a coffee shop in downtown Toronto. He texted Cerato to let her know he was only a few blocks away on a packed streetcar crawling through rush-hour traffic. Cerato said she had just passed the same intersection. “Are you wearing blue shoes?” she asked.

Bardos looked down at his lapis-blue sneakers, then up to search for Cerato among the thicket of commuters. He felt a tap on his shoulder. Bardos turned around, and there was Cerato, just like the photo on her dating profile — long dark hair and brown eyes sharpened by angular glasses. Better yet, unlike many of his previous dates, he was taller than her.

“You’re short,” Bardos blurted out. “But I’m short too. And that’s not what I meant.”

Bardos must have said something to redeem himself, because the two kept talking until the coffee shop closed. They decided to grab a bite at a nearby restaurant, and once again shut down the house. It was then Bardos realized that he was late for his own birthday celebration, so he rushed back to his apartment to attend to his peeved party guests, who spent the night listening to him rave about this woman he just met.

As smitten as Cerato, then 33, was with Bardos, she knew she didn’t have time to waste on a dead-end relationship. So on their second date, she decided to drop “the bomb.”

Knowing Bardos was a comic book fan, Cerato tried to soften the blow by appealing to his superhero sensibilities. “I’m not an alien,” she said, “but I am a mutant.”

To Bardos’ disappointment, Cerato admitted she wasn’t a member of the X-Men. However, she had been exposed to her fair share of radiation in treating a form of lung cancer driven by a genetic mutation.

After two years in remission, Cerato had recently learned her cancer had spread, and chances were, she wouldn’t be around in five years.

This was Bardos’ chance to run for the hills, Cerato said. Bardos took a moment to consider his dilemma: How does one fall in love knowing loss is imminent?

When facing a disease with life-or-death stakes, matters of the heart may seem like a secondary concern. But cancer can serve as a “litmus test” for a relationship — and many fail, said Dr. Robert Rutledge, a Halifax radiation oncologist.

He said it’s not uncommon for people to sever ties, even marriages, with partners rather than confront the prospect of losing a loved one to cancer, and by proxy, face their own mortality.

But while some couples collapse under the strain of sickness, Rutledge said, for others, it can heighten emotional connections. The people who stand by their partners when the end seems near tend to be the ones who are worth the time patients have left, he said.

Sitting across from the “mutant” he was falling for, Bardos resolved to be that kind of partner for Cerato.

That was in fall 2011. Seven years later, Bardos and Cerato are married, own a house, have travelled the world and even celebrated their “25th anniversary,” adjusting their romantic milestones for love on a condensed timeline.

Before he met Cerato, Bardos said he would waver between ruminating about the past, and fretting about the future. Now, Bardos said he’s able to immerse himself in the moment, so he can spend it with her.

“She made me a better person, very quickly, just by being herself,” he said.

At 40, Cerato said she has defied survival statistics thanks to recent developments in targeted-gene therapy. But knowing her time is finite, she was forced to decide what she could live without and whom she could not.

“I feel like, in a way, it’s a gift that I was able to realize that at 30 and not at 60.”

For Morgan McNeely in Edmonton, this realization came a month before she turned 25 when she found out she had terminal stage-4 colon cancer.

After her diagnosis in 2015, McNeely found herself without her studies, her scientific research and her restaurant job, and short a few relationships she thought she could count on.

She suddenly had a lot of free time on her hands, so she and a friend decided to amuse themselves by swiping through Tinder.

McNeely turned down a number of propositions, including one lothario who offered to assist her in crossing items off her “sexual bucket list.”

She was expressly not looking for love — the last guy she had dated split because of her “cancer drama” — but one of her Tinder matches proved persistent, and they started dating.

Having lost so much, McNeely was afraid to let her guard down. But he told her, “I see you beyond cancer.” And soon, he helped McNeely see that too.

“I feel lucky every day, because of him,” she said. “I’m not happy I have cancer, but I’m still thankful for what it’s brought me.”

Still, McNeely said disease can complicate a relationship. When she and her boyfriend got a cat together, McNeely said they had to consider whether he could take care of the pet without her. When they discuss the prospect of marriage, she worries about whether debts related to her illness would transfer to him after she dies.

This is the case for many terminal cancer patients: Their greatest concern is not their own death, but the impact it will have on loved ones they leave behind.

Julie Easley is all too familiar with this tension, not only as a social scientist whose research has focused on young people with cancer, but as a survivor who has suffered loss herself.

When Easley met Randy Cable at a bar in Fredericton in 2004, she felt an instant jolt of recognition. At 28, Easley’s life had recently been handed back to her after beating stage-2 Hodgkin lymphoma. Cable, then 29, had been diagnosed with colon cancer and told he had three months to live — that day, the clock had run out.

From then on, it was love on borrowed time.

Easley knew the isolation that can come with fighting cancer. She was doing research at the hospital where Cable was being treated, so she started visiting him after work.

One night, Cable was too afraid to fall asleep, having been told he could go into cardiac arrest at any moment. Easley offered to stay over to monitor his breathing. She crawled into bed with him and put her hand over his chest, feeling it rise and fall as they both drifted off. After that, she slept over more often than not, holding hands throughout the night.

At times, it almost felt like they were a “normal” couple. To entertain themselves, they would pretend the reflection in the TV screen revealed another room in their imaginary apartment.

“There’s something about seeing that strength of character and that beauty of the human spirit when you’re stripped down to your most vulnerable state,” she said. “I fell in love with that.”

Easley said it took Cable some time to realize she was more than just the “girl he was sleeping with.” When Easley first told Cable she loved him, he fell silent. He had told his mother that his biggest regret was that he had never been in love, according to Easley, but she had proved him wrong. “I love you too,” he said, eyes welling up with tears.

In fall 2005, little more than a year after they met, it became clear the end was near. Cable’s friends and relatives gathered around his bed, and he asked Easley to climb in with him. This time, instead of her holding him, he cradled her in his arms as he died at 31.

Thirteen years later, Easley continues to honour Cable’s memory through her work in the young adult cancer community, and feels grateful for the memories he gave her.

“If you ever truly want to know the value of life, you spend time with someone who’s fighting for every scrap of it,” said Easley. “I knew it would end. The part I didn’t know is the unexpected beauty that happened within that.”

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Health

Researchers warn about the severe psychological distress caused by eating junk food

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) Does junk food make you sad? While the current state of the American food industry is more than enough to make anyone feel depressed, new research from Loma Linda University demonstrates a link between junk-laden diets and psychological distress. Based on their findings, it appears that what you eat can and does affect your mental health — and that the prepackaged garbage peddled as “food” can have a seriously deleterious effect on your emotional well-being.

Even after adjusting for other external factors, the scientists found this relationship held steady: The more junk food a person ate, the more distress they reported feeling. When you consider the physiological effects junk food has on the body, it is no wonder that people report feeling like they are more distressed: They are in distress, they just don’t know it’s because of what the “food” they’re eating is doing to them on the inside.

Estimates suggest that the average American gets 60 percent of their daily calories from processed or junk food. Junk food consumption is a widespread problem here in the United States. Now, there are questions about whether or not junk food is a driving force in the plague of insanity (and stupidity) striking the U.S.

Scientists link junk food to poor mental health

Published in the journal International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition in early 2019, a study from Loma Linda University scientists finds a link between poor diet and poor mental health. Even after adjusting for external factors such as gender, age, education and income level, the association between junk food intake and mental illness remained.

The power of the elements: Discover Colloidal Silver Mouthwash with quality, natural ingredients like Sangre de Drago sap, black walnut hulls, menthol crystals and more. Zero artificial sweeteners, colors or alcohol. Learn more at the Health Ranger Store and help support this news site.

Study leader Jim E. Banta, Ph.D., MPH, an associate professor at the school, says that their conclusions support the findings of previous research. To conduct their study, Banta and his team looked at data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The scientists used 240,000 phone surveys conducted by CHIS between 2005 and 2015, and included data on socio-demographics, health status and health behaviors.

“This and other studies like it could have big implications for treatments in behavorial medicine,” Banta said of the findings.

“Perhaps the time has come for us to take a closer look at the role of diet in mental health, because it could be that healthy diet choices contribute to mental health. More research is needed before we can answer definitively, but the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction,” he added.

The fact that scientists in the 21st century are only now just beginning to even consider the possibility of a relationship between nutrition and mental health is truly disturbing. Natural health practitioners have long been aware of the importance of good nutrition for total well-being, including mental state.

Is poor nutrition turning America insane?

Vitamin D deficiency is a well-known cause of depression. B vitamins, iron, selenium and magnesium also support good mental health and deficiencies in these nutrients can also cause depression and anxiety. There is a growing body of research which strongly supports poor nutrition as a causative factor not only in depression, but in other mental illnesses — including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD and more.

For example, Dr. Banta notes that some research has linked high sugar consumption to bipolar disorder, while fried foods and processed grains are linked to depression. There is no ignoring the link between diet and disease — whether it is of the body or of the mind makes no difference.

Nearly 60 percent of the American population’s diet comes from disease-causing food, and it is hard not to wonder if obesity, heart disease and death aren’t the only problems being caused by junk food diets.

Are the increasingly insane leftists just running around in a nutrient-deprived, sugar-spiked frenzy? Whether you’re talking about the inanity of “social justice” score-keeping or the rapid acceptance of censorship to silence conservatives, it’s clear that the far left is missing a few bolts upstairs. A diet of GMOs, pesticides and toxic food additives will do that to you, though.

Continue Reading

Health

Eat healthier to improve your physical and mental well-being

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) The physical health and mental well-being of a person depend a lot on nutrition and the food that he eats. Diet also influences the risk of developing chronic diseases. While the relationship between physical health and diet is well-understood, little is known about how diet and its quality influence the development of mental disorders. In a recent study, researchers from the University of Regensburg in Germany investigated the behavioral effects of a Western diet on pattern separation – the process of keeping items distinct in memory. They discovered that a diet consisting of increased amounts of sugar and saturated fatty acids, reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and an increased ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids (Western diet) harms memory. The results of their study were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.

The Western diet impairs pattern separation

In this study, researchers investigated the utility of spatial separation – a behavioral process associated with the hippocampus – in the assessment of dietary interventions and the behavioral effects of the transgenerational administration of a Western diet on pattern separation. Pattern separation is the process of keeping items distinct in memory and is mediated by the hippocampus. Previous studies have suggested that there is a relationship between hippocampal function and diet quality in both humans and animals.

To examine the association between them, the researchers used rats, feeding over seven generations a diet containing increased amounts of sugar and saturated fatty acids, reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and an increased ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids. This diet composition is characteristic of a diet known as the Western diet. The researchers administered it transgenerationally because previous studies have shown that interventional diets need to be implemented over several generations to induce behavioral effects.

100% organic essential oil sets now available for your home and personal care, including Rosemary, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Clary Sage and more, all 100% organic and laboratory tested for safety. A multitude of uses, from stress reduction to topical first aid. See the complete listing here, and help support this news site.

They compared the spatial pattern separation (or local discrimination) performance of these animals with that of rats fed a standard diet. For the test, they presented the rats two locations and allowed them to learn across trials to respond to the correct location. During spatial discrimination training, they designated a location as the correct one and rewarded the rats if they touched the correct location. They reversed the correct and incorrect locations every time the rats successfully got the correct ones nine times out of 10 trials.

The researchers found a separation-dependent difference between the standard and Western diet groups in the number of discriminations performed in the pattern separation task. The rats fed with a Western diet performed fewer discriminations. Rats with lesions in the dorsal hippocampus showed impaired pattern separation when the locations were close together but not when they were far apart. The researchers associated this impairment with hippocampal dysfunctioning. Their results align with previous studies which demonstrated that consumption of a Western diet impaired cognitive functions, damaged brain regions, and contributed to the occurrence of neurodegenerative diseases. Their results confirmed that pattern separation could be negatively affected by transgenerational administration of a Western diet.

The researchers concluded that spatial pattern separation can help detect the effects of dietary interventions and that the Western diet can impair pattern separation.

How to make your diet healthier

A healthy diet can provide many benefits, the most important of which is the prevention of chronic diseases. Here are some things that you can do to make your diet healthier:

  • Eat slowly
  • Choose whole grains
  • Add probiotics to your diet
  • Increase your protein intake
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid frying food and eating fast food
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Try new and healthy recipes
  • Eat vegetables first before every meal
  • Eat fruits instead of drinking them
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop drinking sweetened beverages
  • Get adequate sleep

Eating healthier and becoming aware of your nutritional needs will not only improve your physical health, but these will also benefit your mental and emotional well-being.

Continue Reading

Health

Apples: Eat them to keep the doctor away – and boost stem cell therapy

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) There is some truth behind the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are superfoods, and they are good sources of antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative damage and boost the immune system. They also contain dietary fiber, which is good for digestion and the maintenance of gut microbiota. But there is more to apples than just being healthy, antioxidant fruits. In a recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research, researchers from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea showed the beneficial effect of apple extracts on the proliferation of adult stem cells. They also identified the possible molecular mechanisms underlying apple’s pro-proliferative effects.

Apple ethanol extracts can enhance the proliferation of stem cells useful for tissue regeneration

Tissue regeneration using adult stem cells (ASCs) has significant potential in the treatment of many degenerative diseases. It also provides a promising means of repairing chronic tissue or organ failure due to injuries, congenital defects, and aging. Stem cells are essential in regenerative medicine because they can be used directly in cell replacement therapies. However, studies on their application in clinical settings suggest that age negatively affects the proliferation status and differentiation potential of ASCs. This presents a possible limitation in their therapeutic use.

In the hopes of addressing this limitation, researchers turned their attention to the pro-proliferative activity of apples. Apples are rich sources of valuable phytochemicals that are known to be beneficial to human health. They possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anticancer activities. These antioxidants can help maintain human cells and protect them from harmful oxidation products. In addition, apples contain metabolites that could ensure longevity and increase the number of human cells in culture. (Related: Apples could hold key for increasing lifespan.)

Mother Nature’s micronutrient secret: Organic Broccoli Sprout Capsules now available, delivering 280mg of high-density nutrition, including the extraordinary “sulforaphane” and “glucosinolate” nutrients found only in cruciferous healing foods. Every lot laboratory tested. See availability here.

Because of this, researchers hypothesized that apple extracts might exert beneficial effects on ASCs. They obtained apple extracts using ethanol as the extraction solvent and tested these on human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) and human cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (CB-MSCs). They also used 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and Click-iT 5-ethynyl-2?-deoxyuridine flow cytometry assays to evaluate the pro-proliferative effects of the extracts.

The researchers found that treatment with apple extracts promoted the proliferation of ADSCs and CB-MSCs. Apple extracts also induced the stepwise phosphorylation of p44/42 MAPK (ERK), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K), S6 ribosomal protein (S6RP), eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4B, and eIF4E in ADSCs. p44/42 MAPK (ERK) is a signaling pathway involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. Inhibition of this pathway results in cell apoptosis. mTOR is a key signaling node that coordinates cell cycle progression and cell growth. p70S6K is a cytokine that regulates cell growth by inducing protein synthesis. eIFs, on the other hand, are proteins or protein complexes involved in translation and protein biosynthesis.

The researchers also reported that apple extracts significantly induced the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in both ADSCs and CB-MSCs. VEGF is a potent angiogenic factor, which means it promotes the formation of blood vessels. VEGF also plays a role in other physiological functions, such as hematopoiesis, wound healing, and development. IL-6 is a promoter of proliferation. The researchers further confirmed that the apple extract-induced proliferation of ADSCs under serum-free conditions is mediated by ERK-dependent cytokine production because when they pre-treated cells with PD98059, a specific ERK inhibitor, it inhibited the phosphorylation of the mTOR/p70S6K/S6RP/eIF4B/eIF4E pathway.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that extracts from apples are potent pro-proliferative agents, and the beneficial effect of apple extract on the proliferation of ASCs may overcome the limitation in their therapeutic use in tissue regeneration.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending