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Monday, June 5, 2017

Lung Cancer Screening │ Sunlight's Benefits Beyond Vitamin D │ Latest Research on the Benefits of Tree Nuts in the Diet

Before I say anything else, I just want it out there: our Saturday morning Vancouver Sun was never delivered. We subscribe to that one morning paper, plus the Sunday Province.

If that latter paper had also failed to show up, then I was going to cancel the pair.

We used to have a full subscription to The Vancouver Sun, but then a carrier got the delivery route who just would not get the paper here in time for my younger brother Mark to enjoy before he had to leave for work in the mornings.

We put up with this for a few months. I complained once, and the paper was delivered early the next morning. But then not early again until I cancelled the weekday delivery a few weeks later.

I was only getting the daily for Mark's benefit. I am retired and sit here practically all day long at my computer ─ I can find all the news stories I want if I care to bother.

Anyway, speaking of him, he spent some of the early evening yesterday unconscious in his chair in the living room after he got home and had some supper.

How he can pass out within about two minutes of sitting down in front of the T.V. amazes me.

After he headed on upstairs later that evening to ready for bed, the path was clear for me to shut things down. However, a couple of things occupied me here at my computer, including an E-mail that I composed. Thus, it was 11:00 p.m. before I was in bed.

I didn't have a good night of it; and in fact, I had my first block of sleep end so early that I decided to check the time and saw that the midnight hour was not yet done. But since I was awake, I  made use of the bathroom and drank a little water.

I called it a night at 6:11 a.m. this morning, feeling none too well. Since the second half of yesterday afternoon, I felt off ─ like I was experiencing bad eyestrain, or maybe even a migraine halo or aura that had not quite manifested itself. Consequently, it was a letdown to find myself feeling every bit as bad at getting up this morning as I had been last afternoon.

Nevertheless, I got to work putting more content into the Siam-Longings post that I am drafting.

My eldest stepson Tho had gone to work before I had gotten up, but younger Poté was still in bed for awhile after I had come upstairs with my morning's hot beverage, a blend of instant coffee and cocoa powder.

However, at 7:04 a.m. he headed out the front door to his car to drive off to work, too. And I was home alone.

The day has been exclusively sunny.

I intended to do some sunning on the backyard sundeck, but well before that I hoped to be able to have a workout in the backyard tool shed before the shed heated up.

I probably had put in the work I wanted to get done on the Siam-Longings post by 9:30 a.m. at latest, but by then my eyes were very much bothering me and making me feel somewhat unwell. There was nothing for it but to resort to my bed to try and rest my poor orbs, and attempt to resurrect some physical well-being for that exercise.

I relaxed as deeply as I could, and may have lain for 15 - 20 minutes. But it turned out to be sufficient.

I got into a pair of shorts, and out to the shed I went.

The most strenuous of the exercises I engage out there are five sets of pull-ups. Well, I really surprised myself ─ my total number of repetitions was one more than the maximum that I have performed all this year thus far.

So figure that! And I thought I wasn't feeling all that well?

After I was back in the house, I decided to weigh myself while attired just in those shorts and a sleeveless top: I varied between 188 pounds and 190½ pounds, using two different scales.

My normal adult weight for most of my life has been in the lower 180s, but there have been times when I have dipped into the lower 170s or climbed into the mid-190s.

I like to peg myself as being five feet 10¾ inches in height (179.705 centimetres).

Next up after the weigh-in was my first meal of the day ─ quite a light one. And then at 12:07 p.m. I started that sunning session, winding it up at 1:19 p.m.

I have to admit that I have been feeling much better ever since that shed workout. Sometimes a morale boost from an unexpected physical feat or performance can eradicate the notion of not feeling up to par or snuff.

I shall leave this account of my day thus far with this image ─ the description beneath is from the Google album where I have the images filed:

 A scanned photo from my brother Mark's album circa 1975.

The image is so blurred that I am only certain of the identity of Mark, seated on the floor at the left in front of what may be a T.V.
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I am Canadian, but I have heard or read enough to know that Veterans Affairs in the States is not well regarded as being particularly effective and compassionate where its charges the veterans (and their loved ones) are concerned. As a result, I suppose that the Veterans Health Administration has much to do with this negative image.

The following commentary on the Veterans Health Agency ─ and specifically the VHA's stance against lung cancer screening for veterans ─ is at least interesting:

DrMicozzi.com

It referenced this Medscape.com article: Lung Cancer Screening -- Benefits Few, May Harm Many. But the reference was not to back up Dr. Marc S. Micozzi's contentions. Rather, it was laying out the VHA's argument against embracing low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for at-risk veterans.

And quite contrary to what Dr. Micozzi maintained, this partial statement from that referenced article almost made me laugh:
...The logistics of setting up the project provided inordinate challenges even for a well-oiled machine such as the VHA, the researchers said. 
I wonder if any country has a veterans affairs agency that is adored by the veterans that it oversees?

Still, Dr. Micozzi has a powerful point if he is correct in declaring that one reason the VHA claims not to want LDCT screening is because 50% of the patients undergoing it may get over-diagnosed...yet that is the same percentage of over-diagnoses that occur when women undergo mammography.

Hypocrisy in action?

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My sunbathing session earlier has accrued me some needed facial colouring, but of course I also generated a heck of a lot of vitamin D.

But that isn't the only benefit:

JacksDailyDose.com

I tried to locate other reports about the study Jack Harrison was going on about, but I could find nothing that was recent.

Nevertheless, these two articles from May of last year are superb:
I hate that my pathetic life has me holed up in my house as if I'm under house arrest.

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I wish that I could afford to eat nuts each and every day, but I can't. They are one food that I hardly ever buy because of my limited pension income.

Look what the latest research has found about their health benefits in our diet:

ScienceDaily.com

HSIonline.com

That second report recaps benefits that have been found in earlier studies.

When I was younger and used to roam for miles and miles at a time here in Surrey, I would often find fruit-bearing hazelnut (filbert) trees. I recall on one occasion eating far too many of them ─ if anyone needs to know, they can be a superb laxative!

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My sorry eyes need a break, so I am going to close down now with this journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The place I was renting was quite small, and located in a house on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.
SATURDAY, June 5, 1976

I couldn't get to sleep last night. And then the worst case of indigestion I've ever known set in, afflicting me all night. I got up twice for baking soda, the first time about 1:45 a.m., before I'd yet gotten any sleep. 

And too, I developed a sore throat, and speak most huskily now. It is most phlegmatic, interfering with the heavy breathing of vigorous exercise.

I found it necessary to bed down for further rest.

I went to the high school, though feeling none too good, to see what this Church of God gathering was about. Alas, the sight of so many straight and affluent families was more than I had the courage to bear, so I did not fellow myself, in the most casual attire, with their company and came home again to my solitude.

I felt apart.

Anyway, I finished a letter to Jean I'll mail today.

Just as I was about ready to go to Bill's, he came, with news I was accepted for Haulaway. I planned tonight to spend a quiet time TV watching, but no.

First, tomorrow's roast at $2.50 each; I provided the vegetables his mother will cook. I intend to hence eat here, cooking my own week-end extravaganzas, as it's more certain.

Next we had to go to Mark's, but they were out. And since Bill was going to Bellingham with a group, we had to stop at Allan & Marie's where I got pressed into agreeing to go.

I am going to leave Bill to himself on week-ends hence, so he can bugger just himself up.

I went. With those mentioned, Billy (who said my work days were Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday), Bruce, and Deanna.

I didn't drink, nor did Allan. 

We were supposed to meet Mark & Cathy near Gus & Naps, but never saw them.

After getting back Randy said he'd let me know Monday for certain whether I work when Billy said or no. Actually, I no longer want to, being on the S.A.N.E. truck now.

I got to bed nigh 4:00 a.m.
The Worldwide Church of God was holding some kind of special service at the New Westminster Secondary School auditorium. I had never attended the church, but I had tithed to them for many years, and watched many World Tomorrow programmes on T.V., as well as listened to them on radio back to possibly 1962. I also read all of the free literature that I was ever able to get hold of.

So here was my chance to actually fellowship with others who believed in the message, but I discovered that I was too poor to dare present myself. And so I returned to my room.

The letter I finished composing was to an American pen-pal, Jean M. Martin (née Black).

My old friend William Alan Gill was renting a bachelor suite that mightn't have been much more than four block from my room. He had learned that ─ through my maternal cousin Randy Halverson, who served as a truck mechanic ─ I had been accepted for a few weeks of work as a trash collector for a company called Haulaway or Haul-Away. 

The work involved helping to collect all of the extra trash being left out at curbsides during a special Spring clean-up when residents were going to be allowed to cast away just about anything at all.    

I was already employed full-time for the past few weeks on a three- or four-month contract for a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends). I had been hired to be trained at furniture reupholstery, but that training had not yet commenced, and my time at S.A.N.E. was dreadfully boring, trying to pass the dreary hours doing practically nothing.

And then just the previous day, I had been told that I would be from that time forth serving as a truck swamper on S.A.N.E.'s blue pick-up truck ─ a role I had undertaken previously as a part-time worker at S.A.N.E. The truck duty job was different just about every day, and the people I worked with were a good mix.

I had only agreed to putting my name in for the garbage collection because of how dreadfully dreary doing nothing at S.A.N.E. had been.

Judging by what I was writing, I was getting fed up with Bill's unreliability. He was always dragging me into social functions I could not afford to be getting involved in. Also, I wanted to be in control of my own time so I could maintain an exercise schedule ─ not be helplessly locked in at someone's home or other venue miles away from where I lived.  

Bill and I were supposed to buy a pot roast apiece at a market I had learned was selling them for 69¢ a pound. I didn't mind that his mother Anne Gregory was involved, and would be cooking. But it was becoming too regular that involving myself with Bill like this ─ just because he had a car ─ was fouling up my control of my own time on the weekends.

So I was considering just not making such plans with him any longer, and keeping more or less to myself. I had a stove, after all.

Anyway, he had me go out to the rented home of my younger brother Mark and Mark's girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther, but they were not there. They were renting a home together that was located on the very short Bentley Road in Whalley.

Apparently Bill had committed himself to going to Bellingham with Al & Marie Varga, who had an apartment in New Westminster. There would also be others ─ Al & Marie were friends of my maternal relatives the Halversons who lived out in Surrey.

Well, I don't know just why Bill had to stop in at their apartment ─ maybe it was his devious way of insinuating me into the outing, for he knew that Al Varga was extremely persuasive. And lovely Marie was something of a siren at persuasion, too.

I was broke, but got shanghaied into the trip to the States anyway. Since I was broke, I was unable to afford to keep myself in any beer. Al probably wasn't drinking because he was a driver.

It was young William (Billy) Little who told me what my Haulaway days were to be ─ he was involved as a trash collector on one of the trucks. But my cousin Randy preferred to get me surer confirmation than just Billy's information.

Randy didn't go to the States, but his younger brother Bruce did, as well as someone named Deanna whom I no longer recall.   

I have no doubt that I was bored absolutely stiff since I could not even buy myself any beer to get into the party spirit. Supposedly we were all to hook up with my brother Mark and his girlfriend Jeanette at a tavern called Gus & Naps, but there was no trace of the couple.

I expect that we stayed down there in the States until the taverns closed.

And so I never got back to my room and to bed until nearly 4:00 a.m. Reading that almost makes me wince in commiseration. All that time lost, and none of it enjoyed ─ and all because I had such a damned hard time ever saying, "No!" to these unwanted, pressured invitations.
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