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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Commonplace of Mistaken Medical Diagnoses │ Dozens of New Cancer Drugs, Yet Scant Survival Improvement │ Green Spaces and Longevity

With nothing keeping me up last evening ─ my younger brother Mark was spending the night at the home of his girlfriend Bev ─ I was in bed by 10:20 p.m.

It seems to me that I found myself awake somewhere between 1:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m., so I used the bathroom and drank some water.

My night ended not too very long after 6:00 a.m.

I worked a little on the post I should be able to publish tomorrow at my Amatsu Okiya website ─ a post that must by now be about 10 days in the making. But I had something more pressing to deal with. I wanted to get out and place my ─ early ─ vote in the provincial election that will officially be held on May 9.

Early voting became possible yesterday, but I had let it slip my mind until after midday ─ too late for me to want to go anywhere.

I had thought that I would have to travel afoot about 1¼ miles to the intersection of 88th Avenue & 128th Street here in Surrey ─ to the site of the former David Brankin Elementary School; but that old school name has been transferred over to the closer former William Beagle Secondary School (9160 - 128th Street), knocking off about a quarter-mile of my walk.

I was back home by about 9:45 a.m. Mark was here by then, and reading The Province newspaper while he enjoyed some coffee.

I got back to work upon that Amatsu Okiya post, putting in the work on it that I had hoped to get done today.

The day has been a mix of Sun and cloud. Mark headed away for the afternoon at nearly noon. I decided to try getting some sunshine by sitting out in the backyard in a pair of cut-offs.

It was a good thing that I was wearing a pullover with a tee shirt beneath, for there was an unpleasantly chill breeze; and it only worsened each time a cloud obscured the Sun.

I finally got fed up with suffering after just over 22 minutes ─ I had intended to be there for a minimum of 40 minutes. However, I did not directly come back into the house. First I got myself some exercise in the small tool shed. And then I dug up a half-dozen or so dandelions and other weeds.

After that, I came into the house and prepared my first meal of the day, which I topped off with some fermented cabbage that I have 'percolating' in a large plastic tub for want of anything else large enough.

This is my first attempt at naturally fermenting vegetables, and I was inspired by watching my wife Jack twice successfully ferment vegetables within the past score of days. Her first batch revolved around green cabbage; her second bath was bok choy.  

I guess she learned how to do it from her mother back in Thailand, but Jack had not tried it since first coming here to Canada in May 2006.

I bought a purple cabbage this past Monday to try my own hand at fermentation, but did not exactly follow my wife Jack's method. For one thing, I did not rinse away the cabbage juices after getting it reduced to tiny pieces ─ she had thoroughly rinsed her final product before covering it with water and salting it liberally.

To my thinking, the plant juices should be a valuable component of the fermentation process.

I had my first sampling last evening after my supper; today's brunch was my second sampling.

I  have yet to let Jack know that I have tried this project of fermentation. She is supposed to come home at some point today from Vancouver, so I will reveal all to her when she does. I think some top areas of the fermenting mass will likely require discarding, for they may be getting a wee bit mouldy in places.

However, my vision is poor. I will let Jack assess this.

Since reading yesterday that certain lettuce plants such as Romaine have been found to harbour Listeria bacteria throughout the leaves and stems ─ that is, within the plant itself; and that an infection of Listeria in people can take as long as two months to manifest itself...I find myself feeling some insecurity about what I have created in that plastic tub.

Still, I keep reading rather encouraging information about the safety of doing this ─ an article I rushed through today offering such encouragement was published on March 11, 2014, at FoodSafetyNews.com: Fermenting Veggies at Home: Follow Food Safety ABCs.

The process for my product doesn't sound much like anything described in the article, but the juice ─ and I have so darned much of it ─ is deliciously tart.

Returning now to the topic of my wife Jack, last Fall she charged up the cost of a trip to go back to Thailand to visit her mother for the first time since early March 2013.

The family home is in the large village of Nong Soong, which is maybe a 15-minute drive from the city of Udon Thani.

The following few photos were likely taken on November 14, 2016; and apparently on the property of a family of her relatives.

We lead off with this close-up of a small canal or klong:

And this is my wife Jack:


I have reported at least once within the past week about a small study that uncovered how extensive wrong medical opinions or diagnoses are, but I feel it bears bringing up yet again.

These two reports tell of the study:



Far better to just not get sick or have things go wrong ─ if only!


The following are a couple of reports on the extremely sad state cancer patients find themselves in when it comes to the drugs used to treat their conditions:



I have to admit that understanding the distinction between progression-free survival (PFS) and actual survival just is not clear to me. Why would a patient not be actually surviving if his or her cancer was not progressing?

If it's the amount of time that a patient will live while the cancer is under control, is that not actual survival? And if not, then why am I so bloody dense not to fathom a distinction?

I think I am just going to leave that conundrum alone for now.


I regularly lament here in my blog that I feel caged within this house that is my debtor's prison, never walking anywhere just for the enjoyment because there is no enjoyment ─ I am a country boy, yet I have nothing but untold miles of busy roadways, buildings, barking dogs, and people around me.

I do not drive. I am stuck here.

There is no peace ─ no serenity ─ no privacy.

Helpful and constructive (meditative) reflection is nigh impossible. I need the natural world ─ not the breakneck 'progress' of Man doing his best to eradicate what is natural.

The following article should not be revelatory, but it is presented as such, even though its substance has been known to me since I was not yet a teen. Is it truly so that most people are unaware of how healing Nature and the natural world are?


This is the Health.Harvard.edu reference that was given at the conclusion of that article: Time spent in “green” places linked with longer life in women.

It ought to be readily apparent that this does not just apply to women ─ the study just happened to involve female nurses.


It is 4:27 p.m., and still my wife Jack has not made her appearance. I have no idea if she plans to show up this afternoon, or if she will arrive late in the evening.

But just in case she plans on showing up this afternoon, I had best close off now with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The house I was renting that tiny living space in was located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.

I had been invited to supper for this day by my younger brother Mark's girlfriend, Catherine Jeanette Gunther. The couple were making a home together ─ along with Jeanette's two little girls ─ in a rented house located on Bentley Road in Whalley.
FRIDAY, April 30, 1976

A prayer wound me up pretty badly last night, for it took at least 2 hours for me to approach slumber. I roused this morn soon after 6:00 a.m.

Wendy's school held its meat draw last night, and the preliminary is ─ for the Western, that is ─ tonight. I surely hope I get it.

I'm waiting for Cathy to pick me up on her way to get her father.

Since my welfare cheque should come today, I'll have to show up to cash it, else I'll not have rent money till Monday.

Well, I got him for my cheque; I was dropped off at 9th St. & 6th Ave. by Mark on his way to work. I have only to cash my cheque and get back to Cathy's supper on my own. I'll likely walk; but it's nigh 80º F. today!

Mom & Alex are supposed to show up tonight too. Maybe Bill will come this evening and save me walking home.

Second thinking the situation, I believe I'll bus to Whalley; it's too hot and far. I ate 15 ozs of mackerel here.

Well, I walked. And it's a good thing I ate here, for my next meal wasn't till after 7:00 p.m., as mom & Alex were late due to mom's bus. Alex said I have some Muscle Mag literature.

I really ate my fill at chow time; during it, Bill phoned, but I guess Cathy convinced him not to come by or phone again. In other words, I later walked home.

I had been wanting for about 10 days to see Stella Sevens in tonight's Police Story, but the party lasted too long.

I considered going with Alex & mom for my mail and walking home from there, but I was extremely beat.

I left for home just about 11:00 p.m., and retired 12:20 a.m.
Jeanette's father was arriving at the airport that day from the family home in Saskatchewan, but I have absolutely no memory of going with Jeanette to the airport to pick him up, nor of even ever meeting the man.

Evidently after she and I got to her home in Whalley with her father, my younger brother Mark then drove me back in to New Westminster so that I could deal with my social assistance cheque.  

That talk of a meat draw ─ I was referring to my young maternal cousin Wendy Halverson. The Western Lottery was quite another thing ─ I just lumped the two gambles together in one confusing statement, since I was likely financially involved in both. 

My mother Irene Dorosh had been away on a bus charter to Reno, and was arriving back this day. She and her husband Alex were living in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey ─ their home was my main mailing address. And although that little house no longer exists, its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue. I suppose that it was about 4¼ miles from where Mark and Jeanette were living.  

If I had gone to their home that night with my mother and Alex, the walk back to my room for me would have taken about 1½ hours.

My old friend William Alan Gill was also living in New Westminster, and not much more than four blocks from my room. If Jeanette hadn't shot him down about coming over to visit that evening, I would have had an easy time of it getting back to my room rather than the walk from Whalley. 

As for actress Stella Stevens, she was spectacularly beautiful ─ of course I had been wanting to see her on that T.V. show!

Anyway, it still strikes me as most peculiar that I can remember nothing of ever meeting Jeanette's father.
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