Thursday, October 7, 2010


In which Our paranoid Heroine discovers that Cancer is really all about Marketing

“Its time to take a short break (from angels), but after these messages, we’ll be RIGHT BACK!” as said in best announcer voice.  There are some house-keeping items to take care of.  Yesterday I went to see my neurosurgeon, Dr. Bernard, also frequently deemed “brilliant” on this blog.  (In operas and musicals, main actors or actresses frequently have their own tune that accompanies them each time they enter the stage.  Think of the word brilliant as Dr. Bernard’s aria.) There is a reason he is dubbed as brilliant.  He knows things.  Things important beyond his specialty of neuro-surgery, and isn’t that saying something?  For awhile there, Jon and I thought about seeing a neuro-oncologist when we next flew out of state.  My chemo doctor recommended it because we had a few specialized questions.  Dr. Bernard is still open to giving us a referral, but I don’t know if we need it now because he knew the answers to all our questions. 
The most pressing question was whether pregnancy (not so much now, but later…) would enhance the growth of this kind of tumor.  The answer is no.  I may be paranoid usually (especially about nuclear facilities and commercialization), but this time I believe him.  My understanding is that some cancers are more directly linked with hormones: breast, ovarian, cervical, testicular, prostate, and in the brain, melingiomas (not my kind).  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  The studies on this are somewhat controversial, like so many things with cancer, but there is good evidence to suggest that these kinds of cancers particularly afflict the West. 
Why the West? Again, evidence suggests that all that processed food we’re eating is sending our hormones on un-amusing roller-coaster rides with cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease as the final big splash (no I did not say big Mac).  In my humble and cancerous opinion, these processed foods are around for the express purpose of supporting mega-companies.  They reel in the pound-adding dough, cushion their coffers, and then donate money to universities and institutes to do research on anything other than processed foods).  Have I mentioned yet that I’m paranoid? 
But conglomerates aside, Dr. Bernard asked me if I was eating a lot of fruit and vegetables.  I said I was actually thinking of going organic too.  To be truthful, paranoid me expected the currently doctor-approved line, “Oh, you can eat anything you want with cancer and you’ll be fine,” something I’d heard and read before, but didn’t necessarily believe.  Instead, my brilliant (angelic voices add to the aria) doctor smiled and said it was a great idea.  He asked if I’d heard of the raw food diet and suggested that taking red meat out of the diet might be an idea to consider too.  (The flesh is weak and hungry.  I’m not sure if I could manage that.)  I don’t know much about higher nutrition and cancer, but eating foods that are unhealthy when you already feel terrible is counter-intuitive, and taking out even one mode of control in this uncontrollable world of cancer seems hard.   Thank goodness my doctor is brilliant: I need a man I can agree with to be monitoring my health. 
Also interesting, I finally remembered to ask someone if I had a metal plate in my head from surgery—just in case I travel.  Everyone wants one more difficult thing to worry about in airports—especially us world travelers.  Yes, I can now boast a titanium plate complete with mesh and screws.  I must read Frankenstein soon.  I think I could really identify.  Maybe I’ll be carrying this book around with my specially-ordered “I have metal attached to my skull” card the next time I travel.  You know, the word lobotomy frequently flies into my head these days.  (As a reader, it is your responsibility after seeing word lobotomy to imagine hearing a loud gasp followed by the idea of horror, horror!)  
Internal commercial voice: “Hey, if you’re going to lose part of your brain, at least use a high-grade metal like Titanium® to cover the patch!!!”


  1. I think red meat is probably still fine but I would look at the sources for that meat (big conglomerates) and what they are fed (corn, etc.). Your game you can get up there or grass fed meats don't produce the same inflammatory responses of the grain fed meat. Katie

  2. Interesting. My boss just recommended that I watch a tv show called "fringe." So I looked it up on hulu. Just so you are aware, if you're ever in the vicinity of a paranormal/alien device that emits ultrasonic waves that put everyone else into a trance AND you are a midget AND you have some kind of implant in your head THEN your skull will explode. Now aren't you glad you aren't a midget?

  3. Hahaha I have totally seen that episode of Fringe. I don't think organic is crazy at all. I try to buy organic produce whenever I can, as long as it's not too much more expensive. After all, I have A LOT of mouths to feed around here. A lot of people here have gone in on organic meat co-ops. It's become very popular. Alaskans will eventually catch up. We always run a little behind the trends up there.