Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vitamin D Linked to Breast Cancer Survival Rates

This is not actually news - the association has already been made - but it contributes to mounting evidence that helps warrant more research on the topic. The study does not imply that low Vitamin D can cause breast cancer but there does seem to be an association between breast cancer and low Vitamin D and, as they say in this article, it's something oncologists should be paying attention to. It has been my experience at our Saskatoon Cancer Centre that oncologists are not interested in our Vitamin D levels. The only reason mine was tested was because my Naturopath requested it and because I, after all my research into breast cancer, felt it was important to optimize my Vitamin D levels as well. It surprises me that the Cancer Centre doesn't pay more attention to Vitamin D levels in patients.  My previous doctor never tested my Vitamin D levels during annual physicals and only, after my diagnosis, had it tested at the request of my Naturopath.  That said, I think my new GP is more likely to test my Vitamin D as a standard practice.

A couple of other points are that many studies I've read about say it matters more what your Vitamin D levels are at the time of diagnosis, suggesting that it might not make much difference to one's prognosis to bring your Vitamin D levels up after you've been diagnosed.  On the other hand, I don't think it's known for sure, so I have aimed at maintaining an optimal level of Vitamin D just in case it does help prevent a recurrence. It's a bonus that there are many other health reasons to aim for optimal in terms of Vitamin D and not to settle for what our department of health proclaims to be the "normal range".  "Optimal" is considerably higher than what has been determined as "normal".  

11 June 2012

A new study published in Carcinogenesis found vitamin D levels are linked to breast cancer survival rates.  The researchers found that out of 1,800 women, participants with vitamin D levels above 30ng/mL were about half as likely to die within 5 years of diagnosis compared to women with levels below 30ng/mL. 

With every 10ng/mL increase, survival past 5 years increased by 20%. The results were still significant when the researchers adjusted for weight and age. 

Also, women with higher vitamin D levels during the study were more likely to have smaller tumors. 

The authors recognize that the study implies association, not a cause-effect relationship. Regardless, vitamin D is definitely something oncologists should pay attention to. 

Via: Vitamin D Council > News:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Quilting Instead of Weeding

And this is another reason why I wasn't helping Kevin with the garden this weekend. I spent Sunday doing the quilting I should have done last Sunday but didn't.

I'm really happy with how it's turning out. It came together so much better than I thought it would. It's not too wonky at all. Not everything matches up 100% and, after having to trim my squares, I knew they wouldn't but things match so much better than I had even dared hope! Yeah! Here's some close-ups of squares where you can see that my points matched up quite nicely for the most part.

And there are some, such as these, that didn't match quite so nicely in placed but still, not too bad. Not too bad at all! By the time it's all quilted and snuggly, those little mismatches will hardly show at all!

After I finished this part I had to decide if I would simply quilt and bind it as it is or whether I would add borders to make the quilt bigger. After laying it out on the bed, I decided to add some borders, which I did this evening. I added a 3" tan border all the way around and next I'm going to put together another narrower border using bits of all the patterned fabrics in the quilt. That will make it a bed-sized quilt.  This has turned out to be a very good learning experience.

And here's the "stained glass" shot of the quilt top. Pretty!
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Pat's Fiat Compliments of the Government of Canada

Here's a better photo of Pat's new Fiat and her funny license plate.

Pat would want me to explain that she wouldn't normally be wearing orange shoes (they clash with her car) but, in keeping with the theme of Alyssa's bridal shower, we were to wear something orange or pink.
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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Happy 27th anniversary to us! Kevin brought me flowers! And what did we do to celebrate? It was a perfect day for rooftop dining so we went to the Yard and Flagon on Broadway and snagged a table in the sunshine. Then, we were both so exhausted ... it being Friday ... that we both fell asleep in the family room and were out for the count from 8:00 until 11:00. Then we watched a movie and went to bed.

Our colds are still taking the wind out of our sails. While we're much better than we were, we're not out of the woods yet. I'm back to being toast on Friday nights after enjoying a couple of months of uncommon energy and verve. It seems that my cold is trying sneaking back up on me. I think I needed either a stronger/different antibiotic or I needed a 10 day prescription instead of 7. I'll give it a few more days and hope I improve before going back to the doctor.

I laughed at this sign in front of a house on 10th very close to Broadway. It would appear they have trouble with people blocking their driveway. Ha!

I love seeing the life coming back to our yard! Kevin worked in the yard all weekend. I didn't.

I was busy doing more important things like attending Alyssa's bridal shower! She was positively aglow!  It was a perfect day for a garden party!

I caught a ride to the shower with Pat who got a new car! Isn't it cute?  I want one. I really do! It's a Fiat and I had just been telling Kevin it's what I would like. Look at Pat's license plate! If you can't read it in the photo, it says, "I 'heart' CPP". Hilarious! Now that she's retired and about to celebrate a "special birthday", she said the government bought her a new car!

What a beautiful weekend!
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