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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Do Researchers Select Younger Women for Breast Cancer Treatment Studies? │ Senior Men with Back Pain 30% More Likely to Have Multiple Falls │ In Praise of Magnesium

My younger brother Mark was no company last evening ─ better he should just come home and go straight to bed.  But at least once he planted himself into his living room chair to watch T.V., he was soon unconscious and all I had to listen to were his snores, choking gurgling, and one extended sneezing fit of maybe five minutes' duration.

My youngest step-son Poté had gone out just after mid-evening in his older brother Tho's car, so I was expecting him to return with his girlfriend.

Around 10:50 p.m. I turned off the inside and outside Christmas lights, and headed on upstairs for bed, leaving Mark still unconscious in his chair with the running T.V. as company.

I think I made it to bed just ahead of 11:00 p.m., and Poté had not yet returned.

My first block of sleep was much too short ─ I think it was around 2:00 a.m. when I checked the time, and then rose to use the bathroom and drink some water.

I next found myself awake ahead of 5:00 a.m., but I knew that Mark was probably downstairs preparing to leave for work.  I opted to lie and wait until he left before making another visit to the bathroom.

As I waited, I almost fell back asleep.  That motivated me to rise and use the bathroom anyway.

Unfortunately, I think fighting off sleep as I did proved foolish.  I did too good a job of it ─ sleep was reluctant to return.

I experienced very little thereafter and could easily have risen long before 7:00 a.m.  However, I resisted doing so, and waited until after that hour had arrived.

The house was in darkness.

I soon realized that Poté was not home.  Did he even come home last night?  If he did not, then his older brother Tho would have had to probably bus to the SkyTrain to get to work out in Burnaby.

Poté usually drives Tho to the SkyTrain (Tho is serving a driving suspension, so Poté has general use of the car).

I got to work on the old post edit I have been involved with since Monday at my Siam-Longings website. However, I knocked off around 10:00 a.m. to ready myself for some local grocery shopping at No Frills over in the Cedar Hills shopping plaza (96th Avenue & 128th Street) roughly four blocks away here in Surrey.

I have not gone anywhere since December 23, so I was feeling exceptionally public shy.  I probably hadn't trimmed down my unshaven beard in that time, either.  But with the day brightly sunny and frozen, I felt the compunction to trim down the growth, as much as I hated to do so.

I am somewhat inclined to grow a beard ─ I haven't had one since the 1980s, I do believe.  Unfortunately, my beard is at the stage where I just look unpleasantly shaggy-faced ─ particularly in the discerning brilliant sunshine.

So I used a battery-operated shaver and trimmed off at least half of what the growth had become.

It was 10:41 a.m. before I finally was on my way to shop.

I had been thinking of making a beer hike to the government liquor store tomorrow ─ that's about a four-mile round-trip hike.  But with the experience I had this morning of negotiating a mere eight-block round-trip hike along the ice and snow, I am filled with doubts about that venture now.

The trip is not an emergency ─ I think I have four dozen cans of beer on hand.  But I hate running that cushion out...and there is no sure rain predicted in the near future to wash away the snow and ice that has built up since the first light blanketing of snow early on December 5.

With today's shopping done, I arrived back home to see Tho's car here ─ Poté was back.  Had he stayed overnight somewhere?  Or did he come home last night, but went somewhere early this morning after taking Tho to the SkyTrain?

I have no idea.  I haven't exchanged a word with him.

In the latter afternoon yesterday, he spent a long while napping ─ he was in bed well into the early evening.  And now today, since maybe 1:00 p.m., he is back in bed napping again.

He mentioned to me yesterday that he was developing a cold or something.  Well, I've heard proof of it a few times since he's been napping ─ some coughing bouts.

I hope it helps to keep his girlfriend away.

Just before commencing today's post, I checked my AdSense account.  Yesterday ended with a total accumulation of 13¢.  And thus far today, I had 4¢ showing ─ all of it from the siamlongings.blogspot.in (i.e., India) location of this blog.

For anyone who does not realize it, Blogger (or Blogspot) has a different domain country code ending that is unique to most countries.  For example, I am in Canada, so I see siamlongings.blogspot.ca; Americans see siamlongings.blogspot.com.

Yet it's the same blog, of course.

If I copied the Indian URL or address (siamlongings.blogspot.in) into a browser, the .in would disappear and .ca would appear in its place.

But let's talk about Thailand ─ I want to post a few more photos that my wife Jack took when she was back in her homeland this past Fall to visit her mother after more than 3½ years.

Jack and some of her family managed to get in a visit to the Ayutthaya ruins on October 30, I believe it was.  It was the first time Jack had ever been to that part of Thailand, so she took quite a few photos, and I have steadily been posting them.

I am fairly confident that I have been posting photos taken in the Wat Mahathat area, so let us continue with it:

This gallery of seated decapitated Buddhas is apparently called Rabieng Khot:


I today read a claim that breast cancer treatment studies typically enlist younger women ─ that is, women under the age of 65 ─ rather than older women, because the younger ones are more likely to survive and thereby give a medication or other treatment a glossier image of efficacy.

It's a rather harrowing read ─ see for yourself:


I tried to locate any such report making that charge, but the best I could come up with was this:


The statistics appeared to jibe, but the article seemed to be speaking of treatments ─ not experimental research.

But I wouldn't be surprised if researchers tended to select younger women ─ it is probably so.

The other claim that "nearly EVERY new cancer drug approved in recent years doesn't extend lives, and doesn't improve them" is one I know to be true ─ for example, see here and here.


Research has uncovered that older men with back pain are at risk for falls ─ in fact, they are 30% more likely to have multiple falls than their pain-free peers:


The same report is at FoxNews.com here.

Speculation as to why this is so include an absence of the strength and fitness that pain-free men enjoy, nor is pain medication ignored as a contributory factor for the falls.

From the end of the published study:
In this large, prospective cohort study among community-dwelling  older men, those with a recent history of back pain were at increased risk for falls. Given the high risk of falls, especially recurrent falls, in this populations [sic], clinical assessment of fall risk would be prudent in older men who present with any back pain, especially if they report more than one location of back pain or that their pain limits their usual activities. Whether back pain treatment reduces fall risk in this population should be examined.

I presently take a 150-mg capsule daily of magnesium, but I have read so much about its health benefits today that I am considering increasing that dosage.

Here are two reports on a recent study extolling the benefits of magnesium:



That latter report went into some depth on some of the things we ingest that actually robs us of our dietary magnesium, but I was disappointed that it did not speak of supplementation.

Another article I read today did talk about supplementary amounts:


At least 400 milligrams daily is recommended as a supplement ─ I would need to take three capsules a day of the stuff I try to keep in stock.  I am unsure if I can do that.

I may try taking two daily until I next have a chance to check the cost of the mineral ─ I don't remember how much I pay.


It is 6:02 p.m., and Poté  is still in bed ─ that's five hours!  Does he expect to sleep tonight?

It is now time for me to close with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

That small space was being rented in a house located on Ninth Street, maybe one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

I wrote in the previous entry of being a little annoyed with my old friend William Alan Gill for having this new day all plotted out for us ─ he had been recently laid off, and the guy never seemed able to know how to spend time by himself.

And he only lived maybe four or so blocks from my room.

Regardless, I intended to pay a visit to my mother Irene Dorosh ─ she lived in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey.  The little house that she and her husband Alex shared no longer exists, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.

Her home was my main mailing address.

To hike there from my room would normally take about 1½ hours of fast-paced walking.

Anyway, my bedtime the evening before was around 10:30 p.m., although I wrote that I could have gotten to bed by 8:00 p.m. if Bill had not entangled me into one thing or another.
MONDAY, January 5, 1976

I had some difficulty last night falling asleep, nor did I sleep soundly; I arose 5:10 a.m.

It must have been about 7:45 a.m. when I left for mom's in a downpour that was pure snow at one point.  I got wet right through my coast and thus my teats developed the dread friction soreness.

My foot was a little worse for the wear than I thought it would be when I started out.

My mail at mom's was The Good News, my $8 stamp order which I sold half to mom, and 4 pocketbooks from the F&SF Book Cp. (Transit to Scorpio; Book of Three; Black Legion of Callisto; and Captive of Gor). 

I ate very heavily.

Cathy phoned mom; seems Mark went to apply where Bruce works.

I stayed till about 4:10 p.m., Sherry being home by then.

Apparently the note I left in Bill's car on my out strongly suggesting I wouldn't feel like drinking tonite, would require the exercise of walking home, and would like to retire early served to keep Bill off me, for I never heard from him.

It began to rain on my way back almost where it stopped when I came out:  on the stretch of tracks 'tween upper Bose Road (Scott, I mean) and the old school house.  Again, the breast problem, and my foot felt bad enuf that I considered it may have swollen as badly as last Tuesday; but if there was swelling, it wasn't too obvious.

I've been rather randy today, but resisted my consideration to lay onto some pornography.

I was thinking today of how great it would be to diet; I know of a great one, thanks to Prevention.  But it's relatively expensive, and I don't know what I can cut out of my list of monthly monetary obligations.

Bed at 8:30 p.m.
I often suffered sore nipples from the friction of my tops rubbing across them for extended periods of time.  It usually happened when I was running, but it could also develop in a long walk ─ especially once I got wet, or started perspiring. 

They could become so sore that it was as if fire had burned them ─ it was just about impossible to even wear anything over them once that happened.

A foot had been in pain for over two weeks, following an extended street run in a pair of boots.  It felt as if maybe one of the small bones in it had dislocated or even broken. 

I loved my fantasy literature!

The stamps that I split the cost of with my mother were commemorative postage stamps ─ I preferred to buy commemoratives for postage instead of the boring definitives.

"Cathy" was Catherine Jeanette Gunther ─ she was my younger brother Mark's girlfriend, and she was very close to both my mother and to Alex.  I think Bruce was likely my maternal cousin Bruce Halverson.

Sherry was my older maternal half-sister Phyllis's young daughter.  She seemed to be semi-staying at my mother's home around this time.  

I don't know what Bill would have made of that note.  Maybe it hurt his feelings.  He was an extremely sensitive guy.

I always hiked the railway tracks from near to the Pattullo Bridge to the top of the Scott Road hill at 99th Avenue ─ it was far, far preferable to just walking all that way along busy Scott Road (120th Street).

I always found that South Westminster School to be like something from out of the past ─ which it really was.  It was quite an appealing old structure, and I marveled that it was still in use for elementary students.

Gosh, it is now after 7:00 p.m., and still Poté sleeps!
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