Lymphoma - A Parent's Journey of Life and Death Seen Through the Eyes of a Child

It was January 2003, the New Year passed. It was supposed to be a happy, and healthy Year. The New Year can be your second chance. A chance to make yourself a better person by strengthening relationships, setting goals, and striving for your dreams. Anxiously awaiting a call back from the pulmonary doctor my Father went to see about 2 hours earlier, I tried to work, but could not concentrate. I had a nervous feeling in my stomach since the night before when I realized my Dad was very sick. He sounded out of breath when speaking on the phone with him. I could hear him coughing, and sensed a weakness within him. All I could do was wait until after he saw the doctor the next day.
The word Lymphoma was foreign to me, but sent a shock so piercing through my body that I went numb. The only words that came out of my mouth when I was speaking to the doctor were "the what?" With slight hesitation she asked me if my Father shared his health issues with me. I replied, "Apparently Not!" I could not get more information until my Father gave permission. Though Lymphoma was an unknown to my sisters and me, it was not foreign to my Father who was diagnosed with it a year before. At that point he did not need treatment and because there is no cure for Mantle Cell Lymphoma, he hoped for a trial drug when the time came. Since we had lost my Mother to cancer in 1995, my Father wanted to spare us this devastating news until absolutely necessary.
At this moment, the disease that was lying still in his body, decided it was time to erupt. A family meeting would be scheduled with the cancer specialist my Dad had been seeing all year. As my younger sister, her husband, my Father's girlfriend and I gathered around my Father's hospital bed, it seemed surreal. The only option was to give my Father prednisone and follow with a chemotherapy treatment. (C.H.O.P.) Since he was so weak, there was a chance of complications that could put his life in danger. We didn't have much of a choice.
Almost every bad thing that could have happened did, plus situations that even confused the doctors. My Father ended up in the Intensive care unit 2 times. The second time he had to have a breathing tube inserted. In the meantime his kidneys were failing and he needed dialysis. On top of this, he developed a necrosis of the feet and upper lip. This caused gangrene to set in. Part of his lip died due to this lack of blood flow. There was a chance he would have to have portions of his feet amputated. After removing the dead tissue on my Father's lip his speech became impaired. The circulation problems affected his hands and he didn't have the dexterity he once did.
Based on the experience of watching my Mother wither away from cancer, I knew my survival skills would set in. You have to step out of your comfort zone and become the pillar of strength that your parent's always were to you. You become the optimist when you are feeling pessimistic. You put on a brave face when all you want to do is cry. You become the caregiver when you are used to being cared for. You become the advocate and speak with conviction when before you were the listener. You become the educator by researching the killer disease when before you were the student. Before was when you were the child and your parents were your teachers. They laid a canvas for you and with their guidance and nurturing you began to paint the picture. The picture of your life. If you were lucky like I was, you were given the tools and teachings you needed so when a situation like this arose you were able to rise up and orchestrate to the best of your ability.
The hardest part was I couldn't do anything about the physical destruction of my Father's body. Only weeks before he looked so strong, and healthy. Now he couldn't walk, and could not speak with the articulation of the intelligent man he was. He could no longer eat, and a feeding tube was inserted. How do you convince a man in this state, that has been through so much pain and suffering, that he should be happy to be alive? It is selfish in part because you want him alive for you. Was any part of this good? For me it was day-by-day survival. For my Father it was day-by-day survival. How ironic. One of us was healthy and the other near death, yet the survival skills were needed by both. I felt like every ounce of my being was sucked out of me. I felt like I had to live for both of us.
After a while you see how tired, how sad, and how lifeless your loved one becomes and you accept that their fight may be over. It should be their choice to live or not. Just seeing my Dad was enough for me, but it wasn't enough for him. I knew he hated, that we had to see him like this. There must come a point in time when you are so sick, that you give up hope, and do not want to live as you are. My Father had been SELFLESS his entire life. At this moment in time the choice was his. We owed him the right to surrender. He surrendered on April 8, 2003 and his wonderful, strong soul rose to the heavens where he was reunited with his beautiful bride. There is a missing piece in my heart and soul where my parents once were. A void that can never be filled. I have some solace in knowing they are not suffering, and are at peace in each others' arms. I am thankful for the time I had with them.

What You Need to Know About Multiple Myeloma and How to Diagnose It

Some facts about this disease:
  • Malignant disorder of plasma cells
  • Peak incidence between 60-70 years
  • Rare under the age of 30
  • Males are affected more than females.
-The tissues are infiltrated by proliferating cells.
-One type of abnormal immunoglobulins (paraprotein) usually IgG or IgA.
-This paraprotein may cause auto-immune manifestations.
-The paraprotein may coat the platelets and coagulation factors.
-Production of incomplete immunoglobulins (light chain only) by plas. cells which are excreted in urine (Bence-Jones protein).
-Diminished production of normal immunoglobulins increases infections.
Clinical picture:
i- Skeletal:
  1. Bone aches and pathological fractures
  2. Multiple osteolytic lesions in the skull and osteoclast stimulation
ii- Neurological:
  1. Compression of spinal cord by vertebral lesion
  2. Infiltration of roots, nerves and muscles by plasma cells.
iii- Renal Failure: due to:
  1. Bence-Jones proteins: precipitated in kidneys
  2. Nephrocalcinosis: caused by hypercalcaemia
  3. Hyperuricaemia: due to destruction of plasma cells
  4. Amyloidosis of kidneys
  5. Pyelonephritis: due to susceptibility to infections
iv- Anemia: due to:
  1. BM (bone marrow) replacement by plasma cells
  2. BM inhibition by chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  3. Haemolysis caused by paraprotein
  4. Renal impairment
v- Bleeding Tendency due to:
  1. Coating of coagulation factors by paraprotein
  2. Coating of platelets by paraprotein
vi- Cardio-Vascular
  1. Raynoud's phenomenon due to cold antibodies
  2. Hyperviscosity syndrome
vii- Others:
  1. Repeated infections
  2. Amyloidosis
1- Blood picture:
  • Anemia
  • Increased ESR
2- BM Examination:
Full of plasma cells
3- Biochemical:
  • Increased calcium in blood
  • Increased uric acid in blood
  • Alkaline phosphatase: normal
4- Immuno electrophoresis:
Shows marked increase in one type of immunoglobulins
5- Renal:
  • Bence-Jones proteins
  • Urine electrophoresis: for paraprotein and light chains
  • Kidney function tests: may be impaired
6- X-ray:
Multiple osteolytic lesions in bones especially in vertebrae, skull and pelvis.
1- Chemotherapy:
Melphalan or cyclophosphamide.
2- Radiotherapy:
To control tumour masses.
3- Symptomatic:
e.g. infection, renal failure and pain.
Brought to you by Sayed EL Assal who is a physician graduated from faculty of medicine 7 years ago and since then he's working in health field.

3 Things That Increase Your Risk of Getting Leukemia

There are always things we can do to reduce the risks of getting certain diseases. If your family history already has occurrences of leukemia in it then taking precautions is a wise step. Read on to see what things can increase your chances to contract this disease.
Doctors are still not sure of all the causes for leukemia, but there is a consensus on what factors will increase your chances to exacerbate this disease.
These are three common risk factors associated with leukemia
  1. Smoking or Tobacco - the dangers of these toxins are clearly stated on the sides of the cigarette packages. It hasn't dampened the sales of this product and the health damage is well known.
  2. Chemical Exposure - such as benzene and formaldehyde. This could have been over a period of time causing chronic cases that surface after years of exposure.
  3. Infection - one type of infection is a form of HIV called HTLV-1. This virus infects T-Cells, atype of white blood cell. Usually contracted through needles, blood transfusions, sexual contact or breast feeding.
This type of cancer is contracted when your bone marrow starts over producing the white cells which are the fighter cells. These white cells can also be mutated or malfunctioning cells, in either case they cause havoc for you system.
If you read the book "Cell Talk" you will discover that the 7 trillion cells that reside in your body have a communication system. They have their own way of talking so the way you think and feel is transmitted to and through the. this opens the door for alternative treatments and other options for hope.
There is no doubt this condition is serious, but you can seriously combat leukemia with complementary options.
Start by going to Luekemia Options for more information and alternatives on this subject. It's time to take back your Health. It's time to enjoy life again and it's your time to find out about all the choices you have for Good Health.
Your body was designed for healing, give it what it needs and it will do the rest.

Leukemia Treatment With Green Tea?

Chronic lymphocyte leukemia is the most common subtype of leukemia in the United States.  It is presently an incurable disease. Unlike most other types of cancer in which early diagnosis increases the probability that a patient can be cured, treatment with cytotoxic chemotherapy is associated with increased toxicity but no increase in patient survival.
Despite this grim fact, there is good news. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown patients with chronic lymphocyte leukemia in a phase one study, had a reduction of their lymphocyte in 33 % of participant. By doing so, the team of cancer researchers from the State University of New Jersey, established a positive link between green tea and a potential treatment of leukemia.
Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated that the consumption of green tea decreased the risk of cancer. Furthermore, prevention of the apparition of a tumor in animal models by  tea, supported its ability to interfere with basic cancer processes, like angiogenesis and inflammation.
Green tea in a pill is still a long way off before the Food and Drug Administration approves this to be prescribed by your oncologist. By counting the phase 2 and the phase 3 studies, we are talking about 4 to 5 years before commercialization if all went well. And I am not bring the cost of these pills.
A tasty drink made with inexpensive ingredient, tea bought from the local market could sidestep many of these concerns. After all, food is the one medicine that we seem quite willing to take at least three times a day.
Want to find more about green tea go to functional food green tea.
Yanick Bertand PhD has a passion to educate people in the fight against cancer. Through his many years of research on biological impacts to cancer, Yanick Bertand has discovered that a reaction occurs when we fight cancer with nutritional elements - such as the food that we eat. In his research on the fight against cancer, Yanick has come across critical information that is not known by the general public. It is Yanick's desire to educate the public on how they can help fight cancer.

Leukemia Cancer - Everything You Need to Know

Leukemia is generally considered and known as blood cancer, where as if considered in its real terms leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells and the platelets. These platelets actually help blood to clot. Additionally when the white blood cells reduce in amount they actually leave the immune system unlocked for attack and the patient sometimes die of a very usual illness like flu. In general the deficiency of normal white cells impairs the body's ability to struggle against infections. A shortage of platelets results in bruising and easy bleeding whenever there is a need of clot to stop the flow of blood.
All kinds of various acute or chronic diseases of leukemia are dangerous. Acute leukemia being a swiftly succeeding disease affects typically cells that are embryonic or primitive (which means the cells that have not yet fully developed or differentiated from the others). These not fully formed cells thus cannot achieve their standard utility. These cells are described as "nonfunctional" because they do not work like normal cells. They also number out the usual normal healthy cells in the marrow, resulting in a decrease in the number of new healthy normal cells made in the marrow. These later results in low red cell counts which is a typical form of anemia.
On the other hand chronic leukemia develops gradually, and allows the development of larger amounts of more developed cells. In broader perspective, these more grown-up cells can achieve some of their typical functionality but due to the increase in the number of cells like white blood cells the blood flow may slow down and result in severe anemia.
The leukemia is categorized in to four basic categories which are as follows:
• Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
• Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
• Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
• Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
For acute leukemia following are the signs and symptoms of leukemia:
• Fatigue or tiredness
• Shortness of breath during physical activity
• Sluggish curing of cuts and excess bleeding
• Mild fever or night sweats
• Black-and-blue spots (bruises) for no evident cause
• Pinhead-size red spots under the skin
• Pale skin
• Low white cell counts
• Aches in bones or joints
As far as chronic leukemia is concerned people with CLL or CML may not have any symptoms. Some patients learn they have CLL or CML after a blood test as part of a usual checkup. Occasionally, a person with CLL may see enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin and go to the doctor. The person may feel exhausted or short of breath or have frequent infections, if the CLL is more severe. In these cases, a blood test may show an increase in the lymphocyte count.
A comprehensive blood count is utilized to make a diagnosis of leukemia. This blood examination may confirm high or low point of white cells and show leukemic cells within the blood. Sometimes, number of platelet and red cell are fairly low. Bone marrow tests like aspiration and biopsy are often carried out to verify the analysis and to glance for any chromosome irregularities. All these tests spot the leukemia and its cell category. These tests must be continued after regular intervals after treatment commences to gauge how sound the healing is.

Facts on Leukemia and What to Do About It

There are many facts known about leukemia and if someone is dealing with the problem it's these facts they need to know. Like all cancers, leukemia happens for a reason as its not some mysterious illness that science can't fathom. For instance it's exceptionally rare in S.E. Asia but is prevalent in all western developed countries.
Some of the facts that have been linked to leukemia are high voltage power lines and people living close to these have a much higher risk factor. The chemical formaldehyde that is commonly found in our homes has also been linked to it. Food items associated with leukemia are aspartame, the artificial sweetener in many soft drinks and chewing gum. Sodium nitrite is another; the additive is used in luncheon meats. Other meats that contain sodium nitrite are sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, bacon, ham, and any meats that have been processed.
Foods that are known to help leukemia patients are turmeric, the root vegetable that is the yellow colouring used in curry powder, bananas, oranges as well as grape seed extract. Also vitamin A which is most abundant in carrots, broccoli, squash and spinach. As with most nutrients it is always best to get them from natural sources and not in supplement form. In other words eat grapes, that is grapes with seed in them and buy turmeric fresh, grate it and use it in cooking.
There are many facts known about all cancers but unfortunately today our medical system is more interested in treating these different cancers instead of providing us with these known facts so we can avoid the problem in the first place. We don't have cancer prevention today; we only have expensive toxic treatments that are not very effective. Remember there is nothing in our 3 main treatments that will stop the return of cancer.
All cancers including leukemia have many known causes and these are; nutritional deficiencies, our sedentary lifestyle and the chemicals we encounter everyday. Leukemia is cancer of the blood; the body has lost control and makes too many white blood cells so why would it be any different to any other cancer. Anyone with leukemia needs to address all these issues, that is eat food in its natural state, get some exercise and be wary of all chemicals we use in our homes these days.
There is no such thing as a single cause for cancer, all cancers have multiple causes so the way to successfully overcome leukemia is to address the underlying causes and a change of diet is a great start. A strict natural diet is of paramount importance.
Alan Wighton is an independent health researcher, having spent many years specialising in cancer. For more information on effective ways to restore your health and why we only have chemotherapy to treat leukemia; please visit Cancer Facts & Information

Discover More About Childhood Leukemia and Its Chronic Symptoms

Are you aware of childhood leukemia and where did it come from? You may be thinking that this is not a problem for you or your children today, but how about the future and the next generation? Nobody can't tell where this hematological disease come from, what may have started it, or what may have caused it. And this is what makes it somewhat depressing.
If you have a child who suffers from this disease, have you tried asking your doctor what may have caused this? Usually they can't really pinpoint which is which, for there are so many possible things that can trigger this, like for instance exposure to chemicals like benzene and dioxins, improper use of plastic materials, multiple nutritional problems, and merely because of genetics. All of these may affect the immune system of a child which may lead to further problems and diseases like this cancer of the blood called leukemia.
Do you know that it has been said that every single person has cancer cells in the body and it is possible that we may have already acquired them even at birth. However, these cancer cells are merely not detected as cancer unless it reaches a certain number which can be confirmed as a detectable size through a series of tests done. So you might be wondering how come your child has reached the age of 2, yet that is the only time that he or she have acquired this disease.
You may not be aware of it at first, but in the previous years or months that you are taking care of your child, he or she might have already acquired the chronic symptoms of leukemia, however wasn't still diagnosed having it because the cancer cells can't still be detected. The chronic symptoms may occur to be as a normal illness like frequent fever any time of the day, occasional stomach aches, sweating at night, bruising, getting colds and cough more often than usual. These symptoms are due to frequent ups and downs of the composition of your child's blood count. And usually a pediatrician would ask for a Complete Blood Count test and may prescribe a medicine to cure any possible infections.
Even a pediatrician can't detect childhood leukemia that soon, unless they have done all the tests and created their own work plan to pin point the main issue. Results of the tests sometimes may lead to severe anemia, or iron deficiency, but with concrete tests such as bone marrow testing, you will then be referred to a hematologist who would be able to read the findings of possible cancer cells present in the bone marrow.
It is not that easy to detect childhood leukemia if you are not aware that cancer is already present in our system and it can be triggered. With a strong immune system you can definitely prevent these cells from multiplying. So, better start living a healthy lifestyle and be aware of the environmental factors which could cause such health issues.
Geri R. is an independent health researcher and writer, who has the passion to help educate people regarding health issues, parenting, and child development.


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