Colon Cancer: A Cruel Health Condition

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We all are aware of the dangerous disease called cancer. This deadly disease can occur to anybody at any time. It is actually a group of more than a hundred different diseases. By affecting the body's main unit cell, it can spread to any area of the body and thus can make people suffer a lot.
When it comes to colon cancer, like other body organs, the colon and rectum are also made up of various types of cells. According to the need of the body, the cells divide to produce more number of cells that helps to maintain a good health. However, when the cells keep dividing even when there is no bodily need, a mass of tissues grows. This group of added tissues is known as a growth or tumor and can be benign or malignant.
Benign tumors are not actually cancer and can be easily get rid of. Mostly, these types of tumors don't come back after treatment. In a way, they are little safe, as benign tumors do not spread to other body parts and can be treated easily.
Now, the question is that if benign tumors are not cancer then what kinds of tumors are called cancer. Malignant tumors are actually cancer. When this tumor occurs, it can invade and damage the tissues and organs around it. The most dangerous part of this tumor is that cancer cells can break away from the tumor and can enter into the blood steam or lymphatic system. Thus, it gets spread from the original tumor to form new tumors in the other body parts. In medical term, this process of spreading of cancer from part to another part of the body is known as metastasis. For instance: when colon cancer spreads to the liver, then the cancer cells in the liver are called as colon cancer cells and the disease is called metastatic colon cancer but not liver cancer.

Excessive Sweating May Be An Inherent Health Condition

Monday, July 30, 2012

Many are victim of excessive sweating in present days. This can create discomfort both physically and more often gets into the mind as well. This can leave the victim with many an embarrassing moment. Many avoid social situations, won't shake hands with others due to this and tend to look over social gatherings. However, there are many different ways to control sweating, and some working better than others. One way to stop excessive sweating is to purchase powerful antiperspirants. However, these antiperspirants might not work, particularly if your sweating is truly excessive. But, there are some antiperspirants which are truly effective and thereby a bit more expensive. Perspiration, the medical term for sweating is a common way or mechanism of the human body to maintain desired optimum temperature, however extremities and continuous prolonged conditions may require medical treatment or diagnosis
For people having excessive sweating in their hands, feet, chest or even back it is better advised by doctors to have oral medications like anticholinergics. But because of their side-effects they are not in much use. Another option is taking to botox injection. Well, it is a complicated process. It is given under the arm to close the sweat pores. But they are not pleasant under any circumstances and in turn are quite painful. Another very old method used to control excessive sweating is called Iontophoresis. It uses water to conduct a light electric current over the patient's skin.

Increase In Florida Health Insurance Pre-Existing Condition Plan Enrollees

According to a report released recently, approximately 4,000 of Florida's sickest uninsured residents have enrolled and started receiving benefits in the new health insurance program of the federal government.
What Is This Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan All About?
Nationwide, approximately 49,000 people are enjoying the benefits of this new health insurance program sponsored by the federal government. This new health insurance program was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to help people who have been without any form of health insurance coverage for at least six months or have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. This federal health insurance program is called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan or PCIP for short.
This is a temporary program created to give assistance to people with health problems. It allows them to get the health coverage they deserve while they wait for the full implementation of the health care reform law in 2014. Beginning in 2014, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to charge higher rates or deny a person health coverage due to a pre-existing condition as mandated by law. People with pre-existing conditions can also join the state-based health insurance exchange for individuals and small businesses to get affordable Florida health insurance premiums.
The health care reform act gave the states the authority to create their own pre-existing condition plans. However, since Florida and 22 other states did not establish their own PCIP, these states are now part of a federal plan. The PCIP program was allotted $5 billion in federal funds. But, this is not enough so individuals will still have to pay hefty premiums.
What Florida Health Insurance PCIP Means For Those Who Joined The Federal Program?
For some people who enrolled in a PCIP plan like Kathleen Watson, 50, who runs a small medical transport business in Lake City, the plan meant that she now got "excellent insurance." After her husband became disabled in 2004, she lost her health care coverage because she could not stay under her husband's employer-provided Florida health plan. She couldn't get any individual Florida healthcare policy because she has a series of health problem that includes non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Watson said she attempted to pay off her medical bills. However, this only resulted in their finances hitting rock-bottom.

The Edible Gardens Learning Tour

Mary Sadeghi under her pear trees.

This past weekend, my husband and I went on a garden tour with a bit of a twist. The first distinction was the timing; unlike most garden tours, which take place in June, this one was at the end of July. 

The second and more perhaps more significant twist was the fact that this was an "Edible Gardens and Learning Tour".

Above: Shirley Jeffers and roses growing on her backyard fence. Shirley's vegetable patch.

Organized by the Richmond Hill Horticultural Society, there were 8 gardens on the tour each featuring a wide range of edible foods and methods for growing them. 

I must say, that you would be hard pressed to find a more enthusiastic bunch of gardeners! Everyone was out front and center in their gardens greeting visitors, volunteering information on the food they grow and the environmentally friendly practices they follow.

In sharp contrast to the high-end garden tour that I took about month ago, these gardens were nothing fancy. In fact, I distinctly remember stepping around a clothesline on my way into one of the backyards. There was no self-concious landscape design here! These were just plain, honest-to-goodness gardens.

Joe Celebre's blackberries

This is not to say that there were not moments of pure beauty.

Even everyday, ordinary of things caught my eye as having a beauty all of there own.

 The tomatoes in Joe Celebre's greenhouse.

There were even curiosities, like this intriguing method for getting water
right to a plant's root system.

The arbor leading into Mary's Sadeghi's garden.

The pathway through Mary's garden.

Mixing fruits, vegetables and flowers is not a new concept, but seeing the idea embraced so fully was an inspiration for me. 

I honestly don't know why it hasn't accrued to me to mix things up a bit more.

Tomatoes, grapes growing steps away from roses, I mean, why not?

Linda Lynott's garden.

At least one gardener had gone so far as to plant her edibles right into the flowerbeds. And again, why not? 

Vegetables often benefit from the society of flowers. 

The tomatoes in the Platt's garden.

Even most novice gardeners know that marigolds are a tomato plant's best friend.

Mary Sadeghi 's seating area under the pear trees.

Mary's garden

A few other things on the tour impressed me as well, one of them being how much these gardeners had packed into relatively small spaces. 

Instead of having just a seating area, Mary Hassan made the space multifunctional by incorporating pear trees as shade cover (see above). 

Plantings were layered, fruit growing up and flowers growing out underneath them.

Joe Celebre's figs

Another thing that surprised me was the wide range of edibles.  Figs are not hardy here in Canada, but Joe Celebre had a number of fig trees in his garden. Every winter he digs a long trench in his greenhouse and buries them underground well out of the reach of killing frosts.

The kiwi vine growing in the Platt's backyard garden.

Barb and Bob Platt were growing kiwi. In Canada! Apparently, this new variety of kiwi vine which they acquired from a grower in the Niagara Region, is hardy here in Southern Ontario(zone 5-6). The kiwi is smaller than the standard fruit and lacks the beige, furry exterior, but has the same strawberry-like taste as ordinary kiwi. You just pop them into your mouth and eat them like a berry.

Hope you had a nice weekend too! I'll put a few more highlights up in a second post.

Health Care Reform Concerning Pre-Existing Conditions

Sunday, July 29, 2012

People who have pre-existing conditions were once deemed uninsurable. This is one of the reasons 30 million Americans live their lives without health insurance. In the past, a family could be faced with a huge sum of debt and financial problems after an unexpected medical emergency. Afterwards, if these people suffered from a recurring condition, they wouldn't be able to get uninsured. The fact is insurance companies want to pay for future events; they don't want to pay for something that has already occurred.
Many people in the United States, including people who had suffered a heart attack, stroke, cancer, and other health problems are considered people with pre-existing conditions. Opponents of the American health insurance system believe that the system is unreliable and needs to be changed. Why does the system make it so difficult for people who need the insurance the most to get it? With President Obama's new health care plan, there will be some change.
Pre-existing conditions excluding women
Cancer- Studies have found that one out of eight women in the US is likely to get breast cancer during their lifetime. Many women also suffer from skin cancer and lung cancer. Diabetes and heart disease are 2 other conditions which cause women to be excluded from health insurance coverage.
Women were not only charged higher premiums than men but they have more difficulty finding a health insurance plan that will cover these needs. Some insurance companies even list domestic violence as a pre-existing condition.

Health and Medical Condition in the Philippines in Crisis

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The sad news that half of the doctors working at a government hospital in Cagayan de Oro City, a city in Mindanao, Philippines, have resigned over disillusionment at how things are being managed at the hospital should cause alarm to every government hospital in other provinces in the country.
The discontents and complaints - low pay, long working hours, lack of medicines and facilities - are not new. In fact the national government has long been aware of such poor conditions, yet little effort has been done to cure the problem.
For the 18 doctors at J.R. Borja City Hospital in Cagayan de Oro that eventually left their jobs after their patience had been exhausted, their decision to resign wasn't a difficult one. They knew so well that they could work anywhere in the Philippines before they may embark a career shift at hospitals abroad. Doctors will never run out of job offers here and abroad.
Working in a governmental hospital can be a painful job. Unless one has an enormous reservoir of patriotic fervor and caring attitude for the community where he/she lives in, it is difficult to imagine working in an environment that gets little support from the decision-makers, the government officials.
If doctors choose to stay in a government hospital, it is probably because they want to harness their medical skills before going abroad. Pay, working hour scheme and facilities could become a source of terrible discouragement such as the fate to doctors of the J.R. Borja City Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City.

H is for Hollyhocks

Friday, July 27, 2012

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know that I have always admired hollyhocks.  Satiny, crepe-paper flowers held aloft on tall, graceful stems; I have wanted to have some of these beauties in my garden for years!

Hollyhocks demand a fair bit of real estate however, and I have never had a spot for them...that is until now. In the last few weeks, I have been busy digging up a bit more of our nondescript lawn and now have a spot in the sun that should be perfect for them. 

Hollyhocks usually act as short-lived perennials, but re-seed themselves each year. The single form are said to be more resistant to hollyhock rust and so that is what I think I will try out in my garden next summer.

For now, I will content myself with admiring them in other gardens.

A stand of hollyhocks at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, ON

A private garden in Waterdown, ON

The Royal Botanical Gardens again.

Larkwhistle Gardens on the Bruce Peninsula.

Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. We finally got some rain. We had a terrible thunderstorm and then it came down in buckets. The garden took a big, thirsty drink. Sadly, a number of area homes caught fire when lightening struck them and now these families are out of house. There always seems to be a little bit of bad to balance any good.

My garden alphabet so far: 'A' is for Astilbe, 'B' is for ButterflyThree 'C's, 'D' is for DelphiniumThe Letters E and F , G is for Geranium and now H is for Hollyhocks

The Dog Days of Summer

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I sometimes think that having dogs is like having children who never grow up!

The hot weather we have had for the last month and a half has been hard on the furry members of our family. Dogs who normally jump at the chance to go out in the garden, now prefer to be flaked-out on the cool ceramic tile of the kitchen floor.

On an evening when it is too hot for the dog park to be an option, I sometimes turn on the sprinkler. The oldest two run and jump around like excited children.

 My hubby took these pictures the other night. Can you believe that Buddy is over 12 years old?

Not everyone is thrilled about getting wet. Note the coward caught in the line of fire.

Of course the best part of the whole experience is being towel-rubbed-dry.

Isn't this the life?

G is for Geranium

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shade can be challenge enough, but dry shade is a double whammy that I must contend with in the back section of my garden. 

Over the years, I have done lots of experiments with different perennials in this part of the garden. I have found that there is a big difference between what will thrive in dry shade and what will merely survive in such conditions. Astilbe, for instance, limps along, but isn't happy at all. If I ever neglected to water it in late summer, it would simply pack it in. 

Some taller varieties of sedum like 'Autumn Joy', which usually come along with a planting recommendation for full sun, have turned out to be a pleasant surprise. They actually don't mind a fair bit of shade.

Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'

One of the plants, with which I have had the greatest success by far, is geraniums. In fact, I have been so pleased with them, I have added new varieties each year.

 In my experience, geraniums are pretty undemanding. Mine are planted in everyday, average soil. I do however, make the effort to mulch the flowerbeds, which helps soil retain whatever moisture there is. 

Even when not in flower, foliage on most geraniums is attractive generally speaking. I do find that some varieties like 'Samobor' (see image below) benefit by having their foliage cutback after flowering. Fresh new leaves emerge within a few weeks. 

Some of the geraniums in my garden readily self-seed. In fact, one of my raised vegetable beds was filled with tiny 'Mourning Widow' seedlings this spring. This is another reason to give varieties of Geranium phaeum like 'Mourning Widow' and 'Samobor' a close haircut after flowering.

Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'
has nodding maroon-purple flowers with green leaves splashed with purple-black. I find cutting back the foliage after flowering promotes fresh growth. Flowers appear in June. 
Height 60 cm, Spread 60-70 cm

Geranium phaeum 'Mourning Widow'
This image is perhaps a bit deceiving. In the bright sunlight the flowers appear purple, but in average light they are actually maroon-purple.  This plant forms mounding foliage and tolerates dry shade better than most. Height 60 cm, Spread 60-70 cm

Bigroot Geranium, 'Geranium macrorrhizum'

I have found that one of the best geraniums for shade is 'Geranium macrorrhizum'. The plant forms low creeping mounds of fragrant leaves. Bigroot geranium has creeping, underground rhizomes that I often break off and replant in early spring to create new plants.

Bigroot Geranium, 'Geranium macrorrhizum'

Midnight Reiter Cranesbill, Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter' 

I have this geranium in full sun and have as yet to try it in shade. From what I have read, Midnight Reiter'  does not mind part shade. It is the deep burgundy leaves that make this cultivar extra special.

Midnight Reiter Cranesbill, Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter' 
This is a slow growing geranium with lavender-blue flowers over maroon leaves. 
Height 25 cm, Spacing 30 cm

Bloody Cranesbill, Geranium sanguieum

This is another geranium that I have in full sun. It blooms alongside peonies and evening primroses in June and makes a nice understory for the other taller flowers.

Geranium sanguieum 'Striatum' 
This mounding geranium has blush-pink flowers with darker stripes and also blooms June to September. Height 30-45 cm, Spacing 45 cm

This is a third geranium that I have in full sun at the front of the house.

Cranesbill Geranium, Geranium 'Rozanne'

This is the last geranium that I am going to show you from my garden. Geranium 'Rozanne' is blooming in the garden right now. 'Rozanne' flowers much later than the other varieties I have in the garden and continues to bloom well into late summer-early fall. My only complaint about 'Rozanne' is the fact that the plant tends to flop, when left unsupported.

Geranium sanguineum 'John Elsley'

Briefly, here are a few other geraniums that I have seen and noted in my travels. Above and below are Geranium sanguineum 'John Elsley' which I saw at the Royal Botanical Gardens in May. The image below shows John Elsley's proper place at the front of a flowerbed (see lower left corner). At the RBG, it enjoys the company of a Siberian Iris and magenta-colored Centaurea hypoleuca 'John Coutts'.

Geranium syvaticum 'Album'
Pure white flowers over green mounding foliage. Flowering May to June.  Often shows good bronzy- red fall color. Height 25-30 cm, Spacing 60-75 cm 

This is a very pretty geranium that I also saw at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, ON.

Geranium syvaticum 'Album'

Geranium maculatum 'Beth Chatto' at Humber Nursery
'Chatto' or 'Beth Chatto' forms an upright clump with lilac colored flowers in May or June.
Height 60 cm, Spacing 45cm

Geranium cinereum 'Ballerina' which I saw at Humber Nursery
This is a ground cover geranium that blooms June to September. Height 15 cm, Spacing 30 cm

Geranium cantabrigiense 'Biocovo' at Humber Nursery
Clusters of white flowers with a tinge of pink and fragrant leaves that form a low spreading mound. Flowers June to September. Height 15-20 cm, Spacing 30-45 cm.

If you haven't tried geraniums, give them a go!

My garden alphabet so far: 'A' is for Astilbe, 'B' is for ButterflyThree 'C's, 'D' is for Delphinium, The Letters E and F and now G is for Geranium