1.17.2017

Mesothelioma Prognosis & Life Expectancy

This is a paid sponsored guest post.

The definition of prognosis is the possible outcome of a disease, which is based on the condition of a patient. It is used to estimate the chance of a patients survival or recovery, and if there is a possibility whether the disease may reoccur. With this particular form of cancer, early detection can have a significant impact on a patients mesothelioma prognosis because most to all of the treatment options are still available.
This is especially true if the cancer is detected in stage 1 or 2.  This allows surgery to still be an option and having the opportunity to successfully remove a developing tumor before it spreads could potentially add 5 - 10+ years to a patient’s life.

Sadly, in most cases, the detection of the disease is already at an advanced stage because mesothelioma cancer has a long latency period. Discovering cancer at a late stage often leads to a poor prognosis because the patient has a weaker immune system, and the tumors have spread reaching other parts of the body. This makes it especially difficult for the physicians to capture and treat the spreading cancer cells.

Factors That Affect A Patients Mesothelioma Prognosis

 

Prognosis of mesothelioma cancer is greatly influenced by certain factors and the life expectancy and the possible treatment options are highly dependent on these.  Before we dive in to each influencing factor, here is a short video on Mesothelioma Prognosis. 
The first factor is the stage in which the mesothelioma is initially diagnosed.  Stage 1 and 2 offer longer life expectancies because the tumor can still be located in its local and original developing site. Stage 3 and 4 mesothelioma offers a very slight chance to exceed the median life expectancy, since the tumor has already metastasized to different parts of the body. The stage of cancer plays a vital role in knowing the prognosis of the patient.
Another factor is the size of the tumor.  This is important because it let’s the mesothelioma specialist if it is still operable or not.  
Third factor is the mesothelioma cell type.  There are three types of cells and depending on which one the patient has and is being affected also is a big factor on a patients prognosis.
Fourth factor is the location.  Mesothelioma can develop in the lungs, abdomen, heart and very rarely the testicles.  The prognosis of a patient will be better if the mesothelioma is found in the lining of the lungs as compared to the lining of the heart.
Lastly, a patients overall health and age are absolute critical factors in the prognosis of their cancer. The mesothelioma survival rates are night and day compared to a person diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 45 to a person diagnosed at the age of 65.

Mesothelioma Treatments Will Directly Impact A Patients Prognosis


This is a hard fact to swallow but needs to be understood; mesothelioma cancer is incurable. The only thing physicians and mesothelioma specialists can do for a patient is to curate a treatment plan that will yield the best possible results on improving and lengthening the life of the patient.
The choice of treatment and how well a patient responds to treatment also plays a great role in their prognosis. At the end of the day, the choice of undergoing any specific treatment is totally in the hands of the patient. If a patient elects surgery as the basis of their mesothelioma treatment plan and the tumor is successfully decorticated, the recurrence rate of their tumor growing back is 50%.  Those who do not undergo treatment at all have an average life expectancy of roughly 4 to 8 months.
Undergoing a multimodal therapy, which with mesothelioma usually tends to be a trimodality treatment (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy), can help the patient drastically improve their prognosis. This type of treatment has shown great success in the past.  Some patients who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma cancer undergo this kind of treatment and live for an extended 16 to 19 months! Of course, the results of this treatment always depend on how the patient responds to it. Every patient is different and so will their responses be towards the various treatments administered.
The prognosis of mesothelioma cancer will never be identical from patient to patient as this is a multifaceted disease.

Sources:
Tan, W. W. (2014 April 23). Mesothelioma. Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/280367-overview#a7

Understanding Cancer Prognosis. (2014November 24). Retrieved from
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/diagnosis-staging/prognosis

1.16.2017

10 Reasons I Love Working from Home

Call me old-fashioned but I would love, love, love to be a stay-at-home mom. Not because I feel they work any less or have it all great (as the grass is hardly ever greener on the other side) but because being a mom is the best job ever and I am in love of taking care of my family.

We are all different but here are my top 10 reasons for working from home --- or better named, 10 reasons why I LOVE working from home...listed in no particular order.

  1. No commute and that saves gas money and when filling up the car cost me $3.60/gallon yesterday, that is a plus.
  2. Flexible hours. Yes, I have flexible hours in the office too but when you are at home, there is an added flexibility as I can start as early as I want as no waiting for the office doors to be unlocked.
  3. Double-duty: I can tackle the laundry while I work and moms, you know the machines do most of the work and it only takes moments to move from one machine to the next. Now the folding, that takes time but it is doable.
  4. Pets. Yep, pets. Hearing them squeak and tweet throughout the day is soothing.
  5. Music and talk radio. I have a greater freedom to listen to what I love without earbuds and that is a plus-plus! Earbuds tend to give me headaches after a while so this is really cool.
  6. School break day fun. If school is out, I can be a mom, do my job, and watch the little one while she plays and entertains me. Being able to work and be there for your child is a PLUS and I can take work on the go many times as well. That means, I can tackle work while she tacks up to ride and then watch her ride!
  7. Meal prep: I can squeeze in the time to get a big batch of whatever going and it can be baking, etc. while I tackle more on my to do work list.
  8. School drop-off and pick-up. Yes, I get to pick up darling almost every single day from school but being able to drop her off is a HUGE perk as it gives me the time to do an extra fun hair style for her if she wishes....and she often does. 
  9. Comfy work clothes. Yes, I work in a pretty casual work atmosphere but being able to work in my workout clothes before workouts, or in my jammies as I slowly move into my day is pretty darn cool.
  10. Home is where my heart is. I LOVE being home. I have all I need and love here and can workout, cook, bake, relax, work, and find my inner peace. Yes, some days are harder as I am a mom tackling anxiety and depression, but my work from home days are the closest I can get to being a stay-at-home mom, at  least for now, and I love it!
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for being able to work from home.

Daily Bible Verse: Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. ~ Psalm 127:3-5

1.09.2017

3-Day Refresh Review

This post includes affiliate links. Y'all, I'm just a mom working hard trying to get my family out of debt so if a product appeals to you, I would love to be your coach and guide you along the journey of fitness, health, and faith. I am not being paid to write this post. All opinions are my own.


Last week I tackled the BIG and tried the 3-Day Refresh challenge and having accountability partners made it all the better!

First, why.

I was feeling a bit off over the holidays and as much as I wanted to stay on track, I did up my carbs a bit more than usual but more of a focus was....I was drinking waaaaay too much coffee! I thought three days of focused eating and clean, vegan nutrition could be good AND I had heard wonderful things about the program.

Second, my fears.

I thought I would be starving to death and irritable. I thought it would be way too hard to manage an eating plan for myself while feeding my family and didn't want to make two meals or stand out as a sore thumb as the one eating odd. And I didn't want to eat odd. I wanted to be modeling good, healthful eating for my daughter. I didn't want to sit there at dinner and just drink a shake. I worried about tummy upset, diarrhea, and if I could do this program on the go and at work.

Third, learning more.

I ordered the program and read through the details and immediately realized that some of my fears were ridiculous. I wouldn't be just drinking a shake all by my lonesome and the dinner suggestions were amazing! Darling daughter and I immediately reviewed them all and came up with a meal plan for all of us. She wanted to give it a whirl too but I did stress that I was getting my protein via the shake. She didn't to get some too so would be modifying but having a kid eager to eat more veggies, and try more veggies, is cool! But that girl would do almost ANYTHING to avoid meat. I did modify a bit more for dear hubby so he wouldn't abandon ship and added mini cheeseburgers to his dinners to make it more "manly" but I got to tell you, men can do this too. My hubby just doesn't eat much during the day and needs a HUGE meal and he does love himself some meat!

Fourth, the plan.

It is easy to follow and you can do it at home, on the road, or at work. There is room for you to modify it according to your taste buds and pick your own snacks. Where I did broccoli and homemade hummus, one accountability made a fresh juice (recipes provided on the plan but I lacked a juicer) and another did apple slices with almond butter. I loved the integrated tea breaks and that it got me back to starting my day with a glass a water.

Fifth, the results.

I lost almost 3 pounds but that wasn't my goal. I wanted to feel better and cut back the coffee. Win-win! The bloat decreased and I lost 0.75 inches at my waist....all bloat. Honestly, I think my coffee and carbs contribute to my bloated belly issues.

I learned that I do NEED carbs in my diet and continued to workout through the program. On day 2 I had to eat a very small carb bite to dull the headache and day 3 for dinner, I had a very small portion again and my body just felt better with that. Yes, some may say I cheated but one thing I have been very good at over the years is listening to my body and if I can take a bite of carbs to stop a headache versus taking pain killers, I will take a bite of carbs.

But I am just one person and results can vary as we are all so different. One thing my whole group had in common was a tough day 1 with carb and other "bad" habit withdrawal but we all felt energized by the second day and got better and better. But don't take my word for it. Here is what they have to say.

This was the first time I did the 3 day Refresh program. I really didn't know what to expect but I questioned the fact that I would follow it through. I felt I was going to be starving the entire time and would eventually deviate from the dietary instructions. I've had hypothyroidism for 17 years now and although I take my medication daily, I've always experienced bouts of exhaustion and decrease in mental clarity. I did crave carbs between lunch and dinner but felt the juice option helped depress them. I did feel more energetic after the 3 days and felt more alert and not as foggy headed as usual. I dropped an inch from my waist (36 to 35). I lost 2 and a half pounds (143.5 to 141) and although that may not be a lot I feel great. The constant bloated feeling from the post holiday smorgasbords disappeared. I feel refreshed and ready for the year. Looking forward to making healthier diet choices and to my fitness journey. ~ Mercedes

This 3 Day Refresh was much needed to re-introduce structure & clean eating to my much maligned eating habits. It really brought me to my knees in gratitude. The belly bloat is gone! Down 2" on my waist from 42" 😞 to 40" 🙂 Day 1 was a bear without sugar & caffeine. Days 2 & 3 were smooth sailing. Down 5.6 lbs overall! ~ Terry

Finally, would I do it again?

Absolutely! So if you are interested, let me know by emailing me.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful the great products that are nutritionally sound.

Daily Bible Verse: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

1.02.2017

I'm depressed...but I am not weak

I am coming out of my self-imposed cave of shame and admitting, I am depressed. I have been battling it a bit more in the past couple of months and I am tired of it. I know what I need to do and will do to come out of this darkness but also believe, by telling my story I can help others.

I hate that so many with depression feel shamed or embarrassed to say it out loud and to ask for help. I also hate that when you do, many will rush over your words with an easy "snap out of it", "you have so much to be happy about", etc and never truly listen.

Y'all, depression is an illness that needs to be respected and treated.

But how do you know if you are depressed?

We are each different so my signs may not be yours but here they are: I am more tired, I lose interest in things that I love, I slack in motivation, I get moody, I am ready to give up.

The thing is, these are all very vague symptoms and can be signs of many other things. I could really just be tired. I could be over training. I could be coming down with a cold. I could be having a bad day. I could be slacking on my good nutrition. My vitamin D levels could be going down again. 

So how do I know it is depression? It sticks with me. And I see the triggers in my life.

Like signs, triggers can vary from one person to another but most are pretty much the same. For me, I am stressed at work, I have been juggling financial issues at home in attempts to get out of debt and balance increased expenses, there are relationship issues that are ongoing and wearing me out, I have been worried about loved ones fighting life-threatening diseases and/or alcohol. 

And this starts the vicious cycle. The depression and stress weaken me so my outbreaks intensify and become more frequent. This makes me tired, achy, annoyed, and I can lose my cool. We all do sometimes so please, be kind and understanding when your loved one loses their cool. There is a reason. Anger, etc. is a sign of something wrong. Not the problem to be fixed.

And words. Words can hurt. Being told I am a Christian and shouldn't get mad is irritating. It just escalates feelings of failure as yes, I know I am a Christian, yes, I know I should be loving, patient, and kind, and yes, I know I am flopping at times. But really?! Do you think pointing out my failures is going to make anything better? In all reality, I already know I am flopping. And y'all, Christians flop too. No one is perfect outside of Jesus. 

I know all this but this doesn't make things magically vanish.

So what am I going to do?

Take my life back and get back into control.

I will run every day.

I will cross train.

I will pray and keep the faith.

I will read the book and do the journal I purchased at the end of the year on Surviving Depression. This will be my personal development commitment right now. 

I will go talk to someone, a professional or an unbiased friend, and just get things off my chest.

I will attend the healing mass at church this coming Friday. When I announced it darling daughter quickly piped up, but mom, you aren't sick. Well, first, you don't need to be sick to attend a healing mass and second, I am sick. Depression is a sickness that needs help and care and I will turn to God.

I will drink my daily shake. It makes my tummy feel better, it energizes me, it fuels my body well, and all of those added together will only help me move forward.

I will NOT beat myself up anymore or hide in shame. 

Depression hurts but I am strong. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the strength of God in times when I feel weak.

Daily Bible Verse: The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. ~ Psalm 34:17