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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Most New Cancer Drugs Don't Work │ Ageing Improves Mental Health? │ Daily Aspirin Being Pushed Again

My life is sick.  I'm sick.

And I'm sick of it all.

That's my frame of mind after getting out early this afternoon to do the local grocery shopping I have wanted to do for the past two days, and then returning and ─ instread of maybe exercising or even napping ─ I sat here at my computer burning my eyes out for a few hours doing naught of any merit whatsoever.

Yesterday I mentioned how my wife Jack had paid a surprise visit home in the neighbourhood of 5:00 p.m.  She left no later than 9:00 p.m. to return to Vancouver ─ I had been expecting her to spend the night.

My younger brother Mark actually pulled into the driveway before she had yet backed out.

I think she may have criticized her youngest son Pote for the mess of dishes and pots and pans that he and his girlfriend leave piled up ─ along with the occasional bowl or saucer with uneaten fare that really should just get tossed.

He was to head out in his older brother Tho's car soon after his mother left.

When Mark headed on up to his bedroom for the night just after 10:30 p.m., I didn't plan on taking too long in getting to bed myself ─ I wanted to get the lights off and the front door locked before Pote returned, for I had no doubt that he would have his girlfriend with him for a bed companion.

But just before I could act, I heard him pulling into the driveway.

This elicited such ire within me that I could not contain my cursings, and I struggled to keep their volume down.  All I had wanted was to have the door locked so that the kid would  have to at least go to the bother of using his key to get his girlfriend into the house ─ he should have to undergo at least that small effort, and not just sail freely in with full convenience.

But to my great surprise, he had come home alone.

This realization evaporated my upset as surely as if it were air within a balloon that had been poked with a sharp pencil.

I need far less of her in my life ─ that is starkly clear.  Her appearance and presence are just too unsettling for me.

I was in bed before midnight ─ maybe even before 11:30 p.m.  I just cannot remember.

My first good block of sleep broke around 3:30 a.m., and I made the usual visit to the bathroom, and also drank some water, and attempted to irrigate my nasal passageways with an eye dropper and water.

That latter effort did not prevent subsequent blockage of one passageway, and my breathing and sleep were thereafter very much reduced.

It was something like 8:01 a.m. when I checked the time and rose for the day.  Pote was not yet up.

He must have needed to report for work later in the morning, though, for he rose after mid-morning and drove off in his brother Tho's car not too long after Pote had showered.

I had gotten to work on the edit of an old post at one of my six hosted websites.  Yesterday I had declared that I was going to make a point of knocking off and leaving around mid-morning to do that grocery shopping, but that definitely did not come to pass.

The preparatory work on the post took me late into the morning.

By the time I ate my day's first small meal, and then used a battery-operated shaver to trim the 10-days' (or more) beard growth I have allowed, it was just after 1:00 p.m. by the time I had left to do that shopping at No Frills four blocks or so from my home.  

We may have had some light rain overnight.  The day was overcast, and the air so heavy with moisture that I am not sure that it might have been misty and essentially imperceptible precipitation.

There are still a couple or more inches of snow on the ground; and anywhere that people have trodden paths through the snow ─ as on uncleared walkways ─ the result is tantamount to sopping wet ice.

It is too risky walking on the compacted snow-ice, so I found myself walking instead along the edges where there is still uncompressed snow.

But I did the shopping, as said.

Travel afoot to any distance is ludicrous, so I have dispensed all notion of making a trek tomorrow to the government liquor store two miles away.  Instead, I will return to the Cedar Hills shopping plaza (96th Avenue & 128th Street here in Surrey) where No Frills is located, and visit Shopper's Drug Mart.

My hope is that they will have a collection of lottery variety packs that I can buy as Christmas gifts.  I would hate to have to hike over to Surrey Place (Central City) a mile away...but maybe by tomorrow, the melt of snow and ice will have become enhanced.

I want here to post three photos of my wife Jack with her mother ─ I believe the photos were taken on October 30 while Jack and some of her family were visiting the Ayutthaya area of Thailand. 

Jack had never before seen the ruins.


Just a few days ago, I posted about a review of cancer medication that found that most of the expensive drugs tested just do not work ─ at all.

Yet the stinking FDA allows them to remain on the market and in use to treat trusting cancer patients ─ the pharmaceutical industry must not lose any of its easy cash, after all! 

This was one of that news reports about this cancer medication review:


I bring this up again because I today read an excellent rebuke by Jack Harrison of this FDA shoddiness, and I cannot resist presenting it:


Diana Zuckerman is one of the authors of the cancer medication review, and she has her own short report about it:

...Many of these drugs did not help patients live longer or better.  Only five of the 36 drugs were proven to help patients live longer.  Eighteen drugs (50%) failed to extend life and 13 (36%) have unknown impact on survival because no data on them are available to the public.  Since companies are very good at sharing information when their drugs are proven effective, experts assume that means those 13 drugs are not proven to work.

A study published earlier this year has concluded that as people age, there is a trend of improvement in overall mental health.

It surely must depend upon each person's living conditions.  I'm 67, and I feel no improvement.  I am as vulnerable to thoughts of suicide as ever I was.

But I will offer some reports on the study, and you decide for yourself if it makes sense:




If I had no debt and could move away to live somewhere that I truly want to be, it could certainly be different for me.  It could also be different if I had a loving companion who wanted nothing more than to spend time with me.

I sorely lack both of those conditions.


When I was a young man and knew no better, I thought it was therapeutic to pop an aspirin after a lot of drinking ─ the thought was that it would help reduce a hangover.

Then I would take another the next morning.

But I learned in later years that aspirin is quite a risky medication to be taking willy-nilly.

Yet many physicians still push the habit ─ especially for older people.

And I keep getting that old E-mail forward from time-to-time that proclaims aspirin can prevent a heart attack.

Unfortunately, there is a new study extolling the benefits of regular aspirin-taking for people aged 50 and older ─ these two reports tell of it:



Once again, I am with Jack Harrison on this:


But everyone has to think for themselves ─ and do some research, too.  You cannot believe absolutely everything the pharmaceutical industry says, nor what they may convince your own doctor to advise you.


As I have been doing daily for more than a year now, I am closing out with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting it in a house located on Ninth Street, perhaps one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

My big plan for the day was a hike out to Surrey to visit my mother Irene Dorosh who was then living in the Kennedy Heights area.

The house she shared with her husband Alex is now gone, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.  It was my main mailing address.

The trek to get there from my room was 1½ hours or so of fast walking.
MONDAY, December 22, 1975

I slept very well, and it was quite close to 5:30 a.m. when I arose.

It was past 8:30 a.m. when I set off for mom's in a misty rain nearly indistinguishable from fog; I stopped in at O'Farrell's and bought 3 bars of Lifebuoy ($1.18).

My mail consisted of January's Plain Truth and a $5 tithe receipt, my Western Lottery ticket from Canadian Big 4 Amateur Football Conference, a third Olympic Lottery ticket, and a letter each from Ron and Jean.  Both of them are depressed people.

I ate fairly decently, but did get into a fair amount of junk.

My time there went well, as mom said Phyllis had taken Sherry; but about 12:10 p.m., Sherry was dropped off by her mother who immediately took off for work without a word.  This served to annoy me, and I was very relieved when the kid left quite soon after 3:00 p.m. to visit Lisa next door.

I left for home about 3:45 p.m., taking with me a cookie sheet.

My foot is definitely going to be sore some while yet; it feels like a bone within it has dislocated.

As I came home, I mused on dad's Christmas Eve dinner.

I decided to bake a very rich and multi-grained loaf if I was requested by a note from him to come for dinner, and to from that day forth visit no frequenter than every 2 weeks, nor remain within their company if they are altercating and she running him down.

Sure enow, there was a short note taped to my door:  "Will be watching for you Xmas Eve around 5 pm.  Dad."

I'll go, but much earlier.

I confess a weakness at the thought of the bird.  But it will be rather uncomfortable meeting so soon Marie; too, her vegetarian granddaughter & husband may be present for the meal.

Just before 6:30 p.m. Bill dropped by.  He suggested getting some chicken, but I'd planned to bed by 7:00 p.m. since I work at S.A.N.E. tomorrow.

But I could have been persuaded if he'd tried; instead he got a pizza urge and unsuccessfully used his energies to convince me of the merits of Zelda's, I believe it is.

He stayed longer than I expected.

He is still going to Vancouver Island, but only for 1½ days or so to Victoria.  

He said he is laid-off from work perhaps a month.

Bed at 8:00 p.m.
I believe that "O'Farrell's" may have been a supermarket located in the Townline shopping plaza at Scott Road (120th Street) & 96th Avenue in Surrey.

Amongst the mail at my mother's home were a letter each from two of my American pen-pals:  Ron Bain and Jean M. Martin (née Black). 

My older maternal half-sister Phyllis had been leaving her daughter Sherry quite a lot to stay at my mother's home.  I wasn't fussy about the extra presence.

I had hurt my foot a couple days before while doing a fair bit of street jogging.  It was on the same occasion in which I had an enraging exchange with my father Hector's girlfriend Maria Fadden ─ they shared an apartment together.

I was supposed to have a turkey dinner with them on Christmas Eve, but I was so furious with Maria that I claimed I would never come back. 

Apparently my father had gone to the trouble to come and try and see me, but had to leave me a note in my absence.  He still badly wanted me to come.

My old friend William Alan Gill probably didn't live any more than around four blocks from my room.  He was going to be having Christmas dinner with relatives over in the Victoria area ─ but only because his mother Anne Gregory brow-beat him into complying. 

I only worked one day a week back then ─ generally a Friday.  I was a swamper on the pick-up truck of a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society

The previous Friday, I had been requested to come in on the Tuesday ─ perhaps S.A.N.E. was to be closed for the Christmas long week-end.

Bill had been trying for a few weeks to get me to go with him for some kind of pizza smorgasbord at a place called Zelda's that I can no longer recall.

Well, here it is 7:00 p.m., and I am still home alone today!  I am going to proofread this and get it published ─ maybe I will have time for a fast bath ere my evening of T.V. and drinks.
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