Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Saturday, February 4, 2012
20 Minutes a Day Leads to a Healthier Life
Many instances in life create stress. Stress causes the immune system to weaken, making you more susceptible to illness such as the cold or flu, among others. Stress is inevitable; everyone has it or experiences it at some point in time whether it is caused by planning your wedding, decorating your new home or figuring out whether or not to go back to work after your baby is born. Unfortunately, some individuals have stress that far exceeds how many people to invite to the reception. From chemotherapy for breast cancer to rare and painful mesothelioma treatment, people undergoing treatment for cancer often struggle with stress and emotional issues.
One thing that everyone with stress has in common is the fact that exercise helps to alleviate stress and in turn strengthens the immune system. For a cancer patient undergoing treatment, few things are as important as a strong immune system. In addition to strengthening the immune system, exercise is beneficial to cancer survivors because it improves their quality of life, which is a catalyst to successful cancer treatment.
The National Cancer Institute advocates physical fitness for cancer patients and survivors because of its ability to improve quality of life. Weight control is one thing, but the benefit a healthy lifestyle – that includes both a healthy diet and physical activity – lessens a person’s risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which make overcoming cancer more difficult .
Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – physical activity promotes well-being, which is something that many people have a difficult time achieving when facing cancer treatments. The benefits of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle make it easier for patients to deal with treatment for their cancer. In addition, once a person beats cancer he or she will be much healthier, much happier and able to more fully enjoy life.
The benefits of physical fitness are numerous; however, many people are too tired or too weak to work out regularly, which is why it is important to know that even minor physical activity is better than none. For example, a short walk around the neighborhood is something that takes little time and little effort. Walking to the mailbox is physical activity. Playing a game of catch in the front yard with the kids is physical activity. The key is to get up and move, even when you don’t feel like it.
Physical fitness has both physical benefits and emotional benefits. Whatever your reasons for wanting to exercise; it doesn’t matter. What’s important is becoming active and making your life a healthier one. A 20-minute walk every day is enough to keep you healthier and happier for the rest of your life.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Last we finally got to meet the transplant coordinator (at Oregon Heath & Science University - OHSU) in person and we both feel reassured that the official evaluation process is occurring. Here's where we are now. Each time we come in we are seen by one of the three lead docs on the heart transplant team. This time we saw Dr. Mudd. He's the "cup is half empty doc" but of the three we feel that he is doing the best to manage our expectations carefully. Overall, I am much stronger now due to cardiac rehab and my mental health is greatly improved also. While my heart and kidneys will not recover, I am doing better and getting stronger. Dr. Mudd is considering switching out my pacemaker for a biventricular defibrillator to help better regulate my heartbeat and make my heart stronger.
Unless we can get the pulmonary pressure down and my dry weight closer to 90 kgs, I won't be considered for a transplant. Its just not possible to match a healthy heart of similar weight and size when my pressure is running so high. So I may be starting start dialysis 4x a week in the hopes of getting more fluid off. The side effects are unbearable cramping (the kind where my hands contort in cramps and my legs cramp all night long) and exhaustion. I've had another catheter put in my abdomen in preparation for home peritoneal dialysis (PD) as opposed to the clinic hemodialysis which is what I am doing now. Once I am on PD I will do it 7 days a week at home. It will be less stressful on me physically and I can take the set up with me if we travel. Both my wife and I have to go through intensive training before that can start. We expect the training to be completed and hopefully I can begin the home dialysis in March.