Monday, November 10, 2014

Medicare proposes covering lung cancer scans for heavy smokers

(Reuters) - The U.S. Medicare program is proposing to add lung cancer screening tests for beneficiaries with a history of heavy smoking, the federal government announced on Monday.

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Brittany Maynard: It’s more than death with dignity

Brittany Maynard has passed from this life.  This brave but unfortunate 29-year-old woman with incurable progressive brain cancer drew public attention by choosing to go public with her choice about end of life care.
“Brittany suffered increasingly frequent and longer seizures, severe head and neck pain, and stroke-like symptoms,” according to a statement Sunday night from Sean Crowley, spokesman for Compassion & Choices, a national nonprofit working to expand end-of-life options.  “As symptoms grew more severe, she chose to abbreviate the dying process by taking the aid-in-dying medication she had received months ago. This choice is authorized under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act. She died as she intended — peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones,” the statement said.
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Its Not a Contest

Its not a contest to see who has the biggest list of ailments or who is the healthiest. A few weeks ago, while at the gym, I met a woman who was in the breast cancer club - we recognized our lymphedema sleeves, which leads to conversations, how long has it been (15 years or so for her). 

We chatted a bit about the benefits of our gym for dilapidated people. She said she has Parkinsons and they worked very well with her. I said they had been so good with me working through my RA and fibromyalgia and her reply was 'okay, you win'.

I thought to myself, no it isn't a contest and I don't think I wanted her diagnosis either. She had tremors visibly.  

Why did she think it was a contest? I have no idea. Maybe then she could think of me as someone in worse shape so she could feel better about herself? I have no idea.

Read more from Caroline's Breast Cancer Blog

After hepatitis C cure, companies target next big liver disease market

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Now that new medicines promise to cure millions of hepatitis C patients in coming years, drugmakers including Gilead Sciences Inc are turning their attention to other liver diseases, with a potential market that could rival the success of statins, which generated more than $30 billion a year in sales at their peak.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vegan pizza

After I got the kids off to school today, I spent pretty much all morning balancing my checkbook. I guess that's what happens when you go a month without writing anything down! While I did that, and paid a bunch of bills, I watched last night's episode of Parenthood. I absolutely love that show, and I'm so sad that it's on the final season!

I was SO cold this morning that it was hard to get motivated to go out for a run. When I woke up and checked the temp, I was shocked to see that it was 24 degrees outside. I was really tempted to just skip the run and take a hot shower instead, but I knew I'd feel better if I just did it.

I decided to go run at the track again. I feel like I've run more miles on the track in the past three weeks than I have in the past three years combined, but I kind of like running there. It's quiet, there's no traffic, and it feels nice and soft to run on. Normally, I do long runs on Fridays; but I decided to run the Monroe Half this Sunday, so I shifted the schedule a bit, and just had 3.5 miles to do today.

My planned easy pace was 9:53-10:47/mile. After a half mile, I was surprised to see my pace was in the low 9:00's, because it felt pretty easy. I don't know if that means the speed work + cross training is actually working, or maybe I was just having a good day, but I'm happy with that! I consciously tried to slow down a bit, because I want to save my energy for Sunday. I ended up doing 3.5 miles in 32:32, a 9:18/mile pace. (I forgot to press the stop button on my Garmin, until a few minutes after I finished).

My plan for Sunday is to just run at a pretty easy pace. I think I'll feel good for about 8-10 miles, and then it'll get tough, so I want to plan on saving some energy. My longest run since August was 10 miles, and that was a month ago. I run enough that I can pretty much just go run a half-marathon on a whim, but that's not to say it'll be easy. I expect to be sore afterward! But I really like this particular race, and if I take it nice and easy, I should be able to enjoy it. There is also a chance that my brother Nathan will run it with me--I hope so. I'm planning to run about a 10:15-10:30 pace, but if I happen to feel really good that day, I may aim for sub-10:00.

For dinner tonight, I made what ended up being one of the best pizzas I've ever tasted--and it was cheese-less! We always used to do "Pizza Fridays" and make homemade pizza, but we haven't done that in a long time, so I wanted to do it today. I made my favorite whole wheat crust recipe, and divided the dough into fourths so that we could each make our own individual pizza.

After getting home from the grocery store, I realized we didn't have any pizza sauce; so I just took a can of tomato paste and added a touch of sugar, some Italian seasonings, and enough water to thin it out. I decided to make an all-veggie pizza with no cheese.

I chopped up garlic (lots of garlic!), peppers, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms, and sautéed them in olive oil. Then to assemble my pizza, I spread the tomato paste mixture on the pre-baked crust, sprinkled on some red pepper flakes, and topped it with the veggie mixture. I sprinkled some black olives on it, too, and then baked it at 450 for about 10 minutes.

I wasn't sure how it would taste, especially with that tomato paste-sauce, but it was AMAZING. I'm already looking forward to making the same thing next Friday! I didn't miss the cheese at all, and the entire pizza was only 9 PointsPlus (crust was 6, sauce was 1, olives were 1, and the oil from the veggies was 1).

One of these days, I may try doing a vegan challenge just for a month, to make myself get more creative with food (vegetables in particular). I'm not planning to become vegan, but I do think that it would be a good challenge to try. Speaking of challenges, I forgot to pick a challenge for November. Maybe I'll consider the cross training (bike riding) once per week my challenge for the month.

Jerry's off work tomorrow and Sunday, so I'm not sure what our plans are yet, but I am hoping to have a pretty low-key day tomorrow. I love cold weather, but it makes me want to curl up under the electric blanket and watch a movie ;)

Read more at Runs for Cookies

Mother of boys found in squalid Denver home jailed for 90 days

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - The mother of four small boys found inside a squalid Denver home malnourished and unable to speak except by grunts was sentenced on Friday to 90 days in jail and five years of probation, prosecutors said. Lorinda Bailey, 36, and her common-law husband, Wayne Sperling, 67, were charged last year with multiple counts of child abuse after police found the boys aged 2, 4, 5, and 6 living in an apartment littered with cat waste and swarming with flies. Bailey pleaded guilty in August to one count of felony child abuse. ...

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Pittsburgh researcher found guilty in wife's cyanide poisoning death

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - A jury found a University of Pittsburgh neurological surgery professor guilty of first degree murder on Friday for the cyanide poisoning death of his physician wife, in what prosecutors described as a crime of jealousy. 

The jury of eight men and four women rendered its verdict in the trial of Dr. Robert Ferrante, 66, after 15 hours of deliberations, said Mike Manko, a spokesman for the Alleghany County District Attorney's Office. Ferrante was accused of killing his wife, Dr. ...

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Friday, November 7, 2014

5 Things You Never Knew About Emma Stone

Emma Stone

Emma Stone just turned 26 years old, and the actress keeps getting better with age. Everyone already knows how much she loves the Spice Girls, but we've dug up some extraspecial fun facts about Andrew Garfield's better half just for her birthday.