All posts by tristanMom2021

How Can We Help Protect Ourselves from Covid-19?

How can we help protect ourselves from Covid-19 when our bodies are already vulnerable because of cancer?

Almost every disease in older adulthood is made worse by inflammation in our bodies, according to Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Rice University. [1]

Inflammation appears to play a role in Covid-19. This virus turns deadly when the body overreacts to the invasion and creates a “cytokine storm.” According to Randy Cron, M.D., Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Cytokines are inflammatory immunologic proteins that are there to fight off infections and ward off cancers… But when they are out of control, they can make you very ill.” [2]

Therefore, perhaps a good defense against Covid-19, and cancer, is a good offense: reduce inflammation in the body.

In addition to my 26 tips for improving immunity to help prevent contracting the virus (which you can find on my blog, all from my book, Thriver Soup), I will next be offering dozens of tips for reducing inflammation in our bodies to help us all stay a little healthier.

Here is a primer on inflammation, which is one of hundreds of reflections I offer in Thriver Soup:

“When threatened by wounds, irritation, or infections, cells inflame to assist with the transition back to health. A molecule called nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kB), which normally resides in cell cytoplasm, moves into the cell’s nucleus (hence the name ‘nuclear factor’) and generates redness, heat, swelling, and pain. When the body heals, the NF-kB molecules return to the cell cytoplasm.

“NF-kB, however, also provokes the genes involved in creating chronic inflammation, which generally does not help the body heal. Instead, long-term heat and swelling becomes an open invitation to cancer. One-sixth of all cancers are directly linked to chronic inflammation. Most, if not all, cancers have unusually high levels of active NF-kB. This protein is considered their missing link. Researchers, for example, found that NF-kB regulates the inflammatory cascade necessary for breast cancer cells to proliferate and metastasize.

“Fortunately, inflammation can be smothered through diet and supplements. NF-kB can be suppressed by phytochemical-rich spices, vegetables, and fruit. Antioxidants can block the proteins so they don’t move into cell nuclei. Vitamins C, D, and E, curcumin (found in the spice turmeric), the herb ashwagandha, pomegranate extract, garlic extract, ginger root, green tea, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, and isoflavones found primarily in beans can be effective cellular firefighters. I found such a diet helped reduce my discomfort during treatment, decreasing my need for pain medications.

“When brought back under control, NF-kB provides the body with important healing mechanisms…. Keep the chronic flames doused with an anti-inflammatory diet to help preserve your internal landscape.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

“Ask your doctor to measure inflammation markers in your blood (C-reactive protein and albumin). ‘Patients with the lowest level of inflammation were twice as likely as the others to live through the next several years,’ according to long-term studies by oncologists at the Glasgow Hospital in Scotland.

“Talk to your oncologist about what anti-inflammatory foods and supplements work well with your treatment choices.”

Thriver Soup, Pg. 174

Other sources:

[1] [https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2018/10/30/new-research-on-inflammation-shows-how-extreme-emotions-can-undermine-health/#4bc491af56f5]

[2] [https://www.forbes.com/sites/claryestes/2020/04/16/what-is-the-cytokine-storm-and-why-is-it-so-deadly-for-covid-19-patients/#6b77ed6460fc]

Another 6 Ways to Improve Your Immunity

“One study demonstrated that significant changes take place in the brains of those who practice mindfulness meditation, even after only eight weeks of daily practice. Their moods lifted and their immune systems were strengthened.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 314

“According to Donald Yance, herbalist and certified nutritionist, licorice also blocks tumors and enhances the immune system. If you have any high blood pressure issues, I suggest using licorice in which the DGL (glycyrrhetinic acid) has been removed.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 149

“So maybe having a treat every so often is a way to increase the joy in life and give a little boost to the immune system. Denying myself an occasional treat isn’t terribly nurturing for the soul.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 150

“Probiotics in general can facilitate digestion, help the gut maintain regular bowel movements, stabilize the immune system, and assist with detoxification.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 140

“Reishi mushrooms can increase white blood cell and tumor-fighting cell production, cut off the growth of new blood vessels to tumors, and reduce the migration of cancerous cells. They have been known to decrease the toxicity created by chemotherapy drugs. When looking for a supplement, select one with a higher level of triterpenoids, which provides the most benefit. The more bitter the tea or tincture, the more potent it is. The recommended dose is three to five grams per day, or ten to thirty drops.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 134

“Don’t sprout alfalfa seeds, said Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions. The resulting sprouts promote inflammatory illnesses and suppress the immune system.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 133

10 More Ways to Improve Your Immunity

“Laughter gives your diaphragm, abdomen, lungs, chest, and face an enjoyable little workout. It also increases oxygen levels in the blood and tones the whole cardiovascular system. After laughing, all your muscles relax, including your heart. Your blood pressure and pulse rate temporarily drop. You might be able to tolerate pain a little better, and your digestion will improve. Your immune system also functions more optimally.”
Thriver Soup, pg.  287

“Green tea has been shown to stimulate the immune system, inhibit metastasis, reduce inflammation, provide anti-oxidants, promote the effectiveness of radiotherapy, and detoxify the body.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 149

“Moving our bodies can help balance our hormones, reduce blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, decrease fatigue, protect our immune systems, and reduce the risks of recurrence.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 172

“Sea vegetables provide a great number of necessary minerals and vitamins. They help the body detox and are rich in iodine, which is toxic to breast cancer cells. Both wakame and kombu stimulate the immune system and encourage cells to die in a normal way.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 137

“I also found out that stress depresses the immune system by repressing the white blood cells.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 178

“Aloe vera has an anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor gel that stimulates the immune system and protects against the ill effects of radiation treatment.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 136

“The practice of qi gong assists the energy flow, helps the body stay calm, can improve with cellular regeneration, and slows the aging process. The practice is linked to improved bone density and better immune responses.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 175

“Some studies suggest the sunshine vitamin might provide some protection against colon, prostate, and breast cancer, probably because it helps control cell growth and maintain a strong immune system. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health, enabling the body to absorb calcium, and assists the body with maintaining normal blood levels of phosphorus.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 148

“Repressing threatening emotions depresses the immune system.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 184

“Honey has been used since ancient times as part of traditional medicine. It works as an antibacterial, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral agent, probably because of its flavonoids.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 47

How to Cope with Anger During Lockdown

There are so, so many legitimate things to feel angry about right now. Cancer. Your changed life. Now the coronavirus pandemic. The basic, reliable structures of your life have collapsed, compounding your pain. It feels so overwhelming.

Your rage is multiplied, complicated, and justified. And on top of that, you are locked up, either alone or with loved ones, as if a prisoner in your own home. It’s like you’re sitting in your personal pressure cooker, where grief, resentments, and blame build to the explosive point.

It’s something none of us have really dealt with before. It’s a hard time for all of us.

We want relief from that constant niggling agitation we might feel. Our minds acknowledge that life is way out of whack, but that doesn’t always translate into compassion for ourselves and each other. To cope, it seems easiest to disconnect our awareness from our bodies. We sometimes end up self-destructing with food and alcohol and maybe even lashing out at those whom we love. I find myself eating a lot more chocolate and popcorn these days, and I have been less patient with my son.

Even though our ways of dealing with stress can be quick fixes to ease our discomfort, they are ineffective ways of coping. While we might feel some sense of relief, these knee-jerk reactions usually make us feel worse in the end.

Processing

We can’t control these difficult external events, but we can control our internal attitudes, behaviors, and choices. We get to choose if we are going to be victims of our circumstances, or if we’re going to rise up and take responsibility for ourselves and our own lives.

If we look underneath our anger, grief, and sorrow, we will probably find an incredible sense of powerlessness, as if the floor is giving way underneath us. It may not feel like it at the time, but this sensation is just an emotion—energy in motion within our bodies. While it’s scary to feel these feelings for what they are, our emotions alone do no harm. They are the result of a chemical dump from our brains into our bloodstreams. For the emotions to lift—which is where we can find relief—these sensations need to be deeply felt without our minds running interference.

So have a seat, or lie down on your bed. Tune in to your body. Where is that irritating feeling of powerlessness sitting? Can you feel the rage putting pressure someplace inside you? If so, take a moment to feel it. Allow it to be what it is without any thoughts or words. Give it your whole, undivided attention without judgment. That’s all it wants, anyway.

Your emotions, if felt fully and deeply, will lift after ninety seconds. If it lasts longer than ninety seconds, you’re probably engaging your mind and thinking about what’s bothering you. That’s not helping you right now. Let the thoughts go, and if you can’t, write them down and shred them. Then try the process again.

Another strategy you can use is to breathe deeply while mindfully observing your anger, grief, and powerlessness. Just look at it. Don’t judge it or act on it. Instead, have compassion for whatever it is you’re feeling. It’s a human response to an inhumane situation; there is no logical reason to feel ashamed or guilty about your feelings.

By loving yourself enough to experience the energy moving inside your body, without thinking about what makes you upset, you can allow it to harmlessly shift around until it evaporates.

Integrating

            Once the emotions lift, you can begin reorganizing your reality, away from the victim mentality and toward opportunities, learning, and desires. There are so many free educational and entertaining options available online. Perhaps focus on gratitude that these choices—vastly more wonderful than at any other time in history—are accessible to you right here, right now. I find these gifts extraordinary.

For example, I finally got my son to watch the movie “The Cold Blue” so he could see what his grandfather lived through during World War II. I watched a documentary about children’s show host Fred Rogers, of “Won’t you be my neighbor?” fame, and was amazed. Fred had the uncanny ability to explain difficult concepts, like “assassination,” to help children cope with national crises. Most recently, I participated in free online meditations.

These would never have happened without the lockdown and the generosity of others. With gratitude, I find my attention shifts and so does my internal awareness. It’s a lovely, empowering gift to myself and relieves the stress of living in lockdown.

 

10 Ways to Improve Your Immunity

“carrots and mushrooms help the body produce more white blood cells. This explains the emphasis on carrot juicing among health practitioners. Beta-carotene, which makes carrots orange, apparently protects the thymus gland. Maitake mushrooms are helpful as well.”
Thriver Soup, p.61

“My chiropractor, M. Jay Panyko, suggested visualizing white blood cells emerging from my thymus gland like popcorn. Or you can try the image of a blizzard emerging from your bones. Play with various images until you find what works for you.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 62

“Acupressure–pressing the energy pathways that course through the body–can be used to improve immunity. Place your right heel in the juncture between the bones that attach to the large and second toes. Rub, then switch sides.”
Thriver Soup, p. 156

A system of hand and finger gestures, called mudras or hand yoga, was developed long ago in India to enhance health.
“To improve immunity: Bend your ring finger and little finger and touch them with the tip of your thumb. Keep the remaining two fingers stretched out and touching each other.
“While doing the gestures, try to keep your hands as relaxed as possible, and maintain gentle pressure. Adding deep breathing is a plus.”
Thriver Soup, p. 173

“EFT also can provide support for … improving immunity…. I used EFT and other processes fairly effectively for raising my white blood cell counts.
“There are many online videos for tapping to achieve a variety of results. Look for one associated with your issue. EFT practitioners recommended to me include Rebecca Marina and Margaret Lynch, both of whom have YouTube videos showing their techniques. I took one of Lynch’s EFT videos and adapted the wording to suit my particular need. Create your own dialogue, using their patterns, for an effective self-treatment.”
Thriver Soup, pp.202-203

“Dean Ornish, MD, explained part of the mechanism in his book, ‘Love and Survival.’ One’s immune system loses some of its effectiveness when a person experiences marital conflict, and women are more prone to negative changes than men.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 97

“Berries … apparently are nutritional powerhouses. They boost the immune system and provide cell-protecting antioxidants.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 117

Curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, “stimulates the immune system.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 119

“Resentment depresses the immune system; joy revs it up.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 150

“Polysaccharide-K (PSK, also known as PSP and Krestin) is derived from a mushroom commonly called turkey tail. Double-blind studies have demonstrated increased survival rates among those taking PSK because these mushrooms affect the malignant process in several ways. Their two primary benefits are stimulating the immune system and working against tumors.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 134

Managing Coronavirus Anxiety

For a cancer patient, anxiety is almost a given, nearly as insidious as the disease itself.
Our immune systems are already compromised. Now we have a novel new virus to deal with–one humans have never encountered before.
It can be terrifying. The what-if’s can crowd out everything else, even to the point of making you throw up. It can overwhelm at almost any stage of the process, including when treatment is over and someone is considered cured.
My psychotherapist pointed out that anxiety starts with the emotion of fear in the body. For me, the fear usually showed up in my tense face and gut. Then my brain kicked in, producing anxiety. I had “so many bad thinks,” as tai chi Grandmaster Vince Lasorso pointed out.
The key to letting go of the anxiety and the bad thinks was to refocus my attention on the sensations in my body. I realized my thinking about my dread was my way of escaping the actual emotion, which showed up as uncomfortable sensations in my body.
Through practice, I was able to identify the fear in my body, to allow it to be what it was, and to stop my bad thinks. While learning this technique, it helped me to refocus my mind on things that were beautiful, admirable, and true—the reflection of sunlight on pine needles, the sweet scent of cinnamon, the vibration of a dulcimer. Another prescription for anxiety that helped was to pray. Bringing my fears to the Spirit and asking for assistance helped me let go of some bad thinks. A third method was refocusing on anything for which I could feel grateful. Even a small thing, like “Today I opened my eyes again.”
With practice, the need for anxiety pills—if you take them—might lessen. Maybe you can, after discussion with your doctor, ditch them. You can create a new prescription—one that relies on your focused attention and reduces the chemical burden on your body.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:
When you feel anxious, check in with how your body feels. Are you tense in your face? Does your chest tighten? Does your stomach contract? Try to let go of your thoughts and simply focus on the sensation in your body. Allow it to be what it is. Allow it to move around; allow it to get intense; and allow it to dissolve. If you feel it without thinking any thoughts (like gee, this is taking a long time), the sensations will lift after 90 seconds. Repeat as often as necessary. Sometimes I had to repeat for more than an hour before I could get on with my day. And if your brain still insists on thinking, try to redirect your thoughts to the Divine or practice offering gratitude—even if only for a moment.

ABCs of Thriving in Life

Great news! My October annual X-ray shows I continue to be free of any evidence of disease. Eight years now, after being told to get my affairs in order!

To celebrate this year, I’ll be sharing healing options LIVE at 11 am this Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Valdez Main Library in Tucson, AZ. Come with your questions.

If you’ll be anywhere near Tucson on November 9, I’d love for you to join me for this conversation. Hope to see you there!

The ABC’s of Thriving in Life
Saturday, November 9, 11 AM – 12:30 PM
Joel D Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., Tucson AZ 85701

Discover 3 key ingredients you can apply immediately to thrive in every area of your life. Learn simple new ways to update your Attitudes, Behaviors, and major life Choices to assist with conquering dis-ease and feeling better—for anything from anxiety to cancer to what to do during retirement. This uplifting presentation includes a gentle guided visualization so you can discover your own clues for experiencing more vibrant health.
https://pima.bibliocommons.com/events/5db0a83d75016939005ef066

#cancertreatment #sarcoma #inspirationalspeakers #thriveon

NLMSF’s “Tackling Leiomyosarcoma” at The James in Sept.

The NLMSF.org symposium “Tackling Leiomyosarcoma: A Team Approach” was brief and to the point, held in Columbus, Ohio, during September. Here Floor Backes, MD, at The James, talks about ULMS.  Thank you, Annie Achee and Mitch Achee, and all who made this program possible!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joel Mayerson, MD, spoke about a surgical perspective on LMS of the limbs. Here he identifies the differences between benign and malignant tumors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is another informative slide: