Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Exercise Can Help Keep Breast Cancer From Recurring

If you've read this blog for any amount of time you already know that roller derby saved my life. It helped me beat cancer and keeps me cancer-free. Remember the scare I had in December, thinking that the cancer had recurred? I am convinced that because roller derby is such great exercise and a fabulous stress reliever, it was benign. So, in that vein, today I have a guest blogger. His name is Tim Elliott. Tim is very passionate about maximizing cancer patient's mental and physical health and how best to cope with a potentially terminal illness. He wrote a compelling article that I think will be of great interest to you readers. Thanks, Tim!

Exercise Can Help Keep Breast Cancer From Recurring
It’s all too common for patients who are receiving cancer treatments to stay sedentary; after all treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can literally sap your energy, and you can hardly feel like going out to exercise when you’re coping with cancer. However, new studies show that maybe that’s exactly what you should be doing. It’s been shown that working out and regular exercise can help not only improve fatigue and muscle strength and but also body composition and heart and blood vessel fitness.
Body composition in particular is important as it has been shown that women diagnosed with breast cancer live longer and have less chance of recurrence if they exercise. Obesity’s role in the recurrence of breast cancer and in increasing the death rate is becoming clearer and clearer each day. Furthermore, obesity has been linked to higher rates of cancer and recurrence even in environmental cancers such as mesothelioma.
Not only can exercise decrease the chances of cancer recurrence, people who exercise are also more likely to be diagnosed earlier. People who are more comfortable and in touch with their bodies are more likely to notice changes such as swelling or lumps, which are the symptoms of breast cancer, or trouble breathing, one of the symptoms of mesothelioma.
Of course, exercise also has the added benefit of boosting self-confidence and lowering anxiety both of which can be extremely beneficial for people who are coping with a cancer diagnosis.
It’s important to remember that if you do begin exercising, you may need to begin at a lower intensity that you are previously used to and build up more slowly than others. Also, if you are receiving radiation treatment be sure to avoid swimming pools because chlorine may irritate the skin over the treated area.
Ultimately, studies have shown that exercise can help the fight against cancer, and help keep breast cancer and other cancers from recurring.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Driving in Texas

I must admit that driving in Texas confused me. I could not get used to driving north to go south. All the one-way frontage roads make it so that you can see where you are trying to go but can't figure out how to get there! Whatever happened to square blocks, laid out on a grid? Then, as I was driving through Houston on the way home, I somehow managed to get into the Katy Toll Road lanes. That normally wouldn't have seemed odd, except that I was the only car driving on that side of the divider! I looked like a dumbass driving in the toll lanes when they don't even take tolls from 5pm - 8pm on weekdays (it was around 7pm). I found these rules for driving in Texas online:

23 Basic rules for Driving in Texas (Author unknown)

A right lane construction closure is just a game to see how many people can cut in line by passing you on the right as you sit in the left lane waiting for the jerks to squeeze their way back in before hitting the orange construction barrels.

Turn signals are clues as to your next move. A real Texas driver never uses them.

Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you or the space will be filled in by somebody else putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane change is considered "going with the flow".

The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.

Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive body work.

Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to insure that your ABS kick in giving a nice relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to stretch your legs.

Construction signs tell you about road closures immediately after you pass the last exit before the traffic begins to back up.

The new electronic traffic warning system signs are not there to provide useful information. They are only there to make Texas look high-tech and to distract you from seeing the police car parked in the median.

Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right. It's a good way to scare people entering the highway.

Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and apparently not enforceable in the metro area during rush hour.

Just because you're in the left lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn't mean that a Texas driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn't think he can go faster in your spot.

Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut during rush hour traffic in any major Texas city.

Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tire.

Throwing litter on the roads adds variety to the landscape, keeps the existing litter from getting lonely and gives Adopt-a-Highway crews something to clean up.

Everybody thinks their vehicle is better than yours, especially pickup truck drivers with stickers of Calvin peeing on a Ford, Dodge or Chevy logo.

Learn to swerve abruptly. Texas is the home of high-speed slalom driving thanks to the DOT, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers reflexes and keeps them on their toes.

It is traditional in Texas to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light changes.

Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right of way.

Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding.

Heavy snow, ice, fog, and rain are no reasons to change any of the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are Gods way of ensuring a natural selection process for body shops, junk yards and new vehicle sales.

Remember that the goal of every Texas driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.

Real Texas women drivers can put on pantyhose and apply eye makeup and talk on the cell phone at seventy-five miles per hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Real Texas men drivers can remove pantyhose and a bra at seventy five miles per hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic.