Staying Positive Before Your Annual Screening for Lynch Syndrome Related Cancers

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Two weeks out from Mayo; I’m in St. Louis with my Sid visiting family and taking a break from my life in Chicago. I left my hubby and son behind in order to spend some quality time with my family; I was in dire need of a break. I have been trying to do different things lately to get me out my head. Took the family to Starved Rock for some hiking last week and had a great time. The pic above is of yours truly on that day.

There are certain things which I do before I go to Mayo for my annual testing which I have found to be rather helpful and would like to share them with you.

1. Meditate. I usually meditate 1-2 times a week, but prior to testing I do so more frequently; 3-4 times a week. It helps me tremendously. I use all 108 of my Buddhist beads and repeatedly tell myself that “I’m strong, healthy, and without cancer; and I will stay that way.” The mind is a powerful weapon — use it.

2. I mostly discuss my Lynch related concerns with my psychologist and psychiatrist and tend to see them more frequently before testing time. Most people just do not understand the gravity of your situation and what you’re feeling/experiencing regarding Lynch syndrome and the anxiety that comes with the annual screenings for Lynch related cancers. They can say some things which truly minimize your feelings which in turn can make one angry, upset, and frustrated. Save it for your therapist, or for those who truly listen to you.

3. Ask your doctor or psychiatrist for an anti-anxiety med. It will decrease your anxiety and allow you to sleep better during this difficult time.

4. Stay away from Lynch syndrome forums on Facebook and so on. I cannot read about the misery of others in regards to Lynch syndrome related cancers during this time. I need to maintain a positive attitude and it is highly difficult to do so when reading about others and their difficult situations.

5. Keep any negativity at bay. I cannot read the news or watch it on television during this time of the year…most news is bad news and I just don’t need to be privy to these issues at this time.

6. Fill your social calendar up; it helps keep your mind off of your screening. Now is the time to catch up with people with whom you have not seen in awhile.

7. This is definitely the time to spoil yourself; get a manicure, massage, go on vacation; do things which make you feel good.

8. Exercise more; I try to walk or run most days and lift weights. It’s hard to be depressed when your brain is bathing in endorphins.

9. Try and spend more time outside, especially when it’s sunny out. It’s difficult to be blue when sunlight is stimulating your optic nerve. Besides, chances are you need the vitamin D; the sun is the most stellar way to get this vital hormone which has been found to be low in most people and may also be partially responsible for the development of colon cancer. Get in the sun for about 20 minutes a day, sans sunscreen — just don’t overdue it.

10. Try not to eat too much a few days before your screening; it will make the process of cleaning your colon out with the prep much, much easier.

Stay positive, be fearless.

xogox

 

10 Foods that Can Reduce Your Risk of Colon Cancer

Ten Foods That Can Reduce Your Risk Of Colon Cancer-2

10 Foods That Can Reduce Your Risk Of Colon Cancer

Cancer is a horrific disease. There is yet to be a specific cure, nor is there any concrete answer as to why and how people contract different kinds of cancer; however, there are preventative measures that research has shown can lessen the risk and keep your body healthy.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women, and the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20. Fortunately, the death rate from colorectal cancer has been steadily declining for more than 20 years thanks to preventative measures provided through health care plans and proper nutrition.

Here are 10 foods that can help reduce your risk:

1. Brown Rice:

According to a study in Nutrition and Cancer, people who ate brown rice at least once a week reduced their risk of colon polyps (growths that may be precancerous) by 40 percent.

The secret? Brown rice is high in fiber content as one cup holds 3.5 grams of roughage to clean out your colon. Fiber also contains a short chain fatty acid that halts the growth of cancer cells.

2. Salmon

A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to colon cancer according to research results. But just three ounces of sockeye salmon, which is only half of a typical portion, contains 112 percent of the daily-recommended value of vitamin D.

3. Corn

Research from the University of Maryland shows that inositol hexaphosphate, a compound in corn fiber, can prevent colon cancer growth. Add a dollop of real butter for cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and bit into corn on the cob.

4. Peanuts

Technically, the peanut is a legume, not a nut. Eating legumes such as peanuts, chickpeas, black beans, and peas, at least three times a week reduces the risk of colon polyps by 33 percent, according to Loma Linda University research. Additionally, half a cup of peanuts contains more than 6 grams of fiber.

5. Ginger

According to Cancer Research Prevention, people taking a ginger root supplement for 28 days had reduced colon inflammation by 28 percent. Colon inflammation has been associated with the development of tumors, so taking a 2-gram ginger root supplement or eating 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger with a meal daily can decrease colon cancer risk.

6. White Tea

One cup of white tea, the least processed of all teas, each day can cut a person’s risk of colon cancer in half. Antioxidants in the tea appear to keep cancer cells from growing.

7. Curry

Curcumin, the yellow pigment that makes up curry, can kill colon-cancer cells. Louisiana State University exposed cancerous cells to the compound and found that 25 percent of the cells were killed within 24 hours.

8. Spinach

The beta-carotene in spinach may help fight colon cancer. In a study done by Nutrition and Cancer, people who ate cooked green vegetables, including spinach, once a day had 24 percent lower risk of colon cancer.

9. Mushrooms

White button mushrooms are rich in ergothioneine, which has cancer-fighting properties. You can add sautéed mushrooms to your spaghetti sauce, or just slice them and put them on top of a salad.

10. Black Raspberries

Black raspberries have 40 percent more cancer-fighting antioxidants than the red variety. Enjoy a handful of these powerful berries along with summer produce in a yummy fruit salad.

With colon cancer being so common, any type of preventative measures that can be taken prove a wise decision for optimal health.

Image Source: www.khou.com

Jessica Socheski is a writer and wellness nut who enjoys researching healthy recipes and quality health care plans. You can find her on Google+.

 

Please let me know if you’re interested in contributing to ihavelynchsyndrome.com; I’m always looking for guest bloggers. Works on nutrition, exercise, other gene mutations, ethical issues regarding genetics, etc. are always appreciated.

Namaste,

G

 

Shameless; ihavelynchsyndrome.com

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I met with my therapist this week; let’s refer to her as “S”. She’s a lovely, feisty woman who has stellar taste in boots, and specializes in walking-time bombs, mostly those with BRCA. I am her only Lynch+ victim … I usually meet with her once a month but with my annual testing coming up I have been seeing her every two weeks for the last couple of months. I’m not quite sure what prompted this question but she asked me if I’ve had any contact with any “non-virtual beings” over the past several days…well…not so much. She knows me all too well.

Less than three weeks before I go for my annual screening; I am trying to keep calm and remain positive. I’ve decided I’m lousy company and really don’t have much to say. I’ve been meditating in the mornings, trying to run, reading A LOT, and watching my new, favorite show, Shameless (the British version) … you must watch this show (Netflix) if you haven’t seen it. It’s about a dysfunctional alcoholic father and his six latchkey kids; his wife has left him and he spends his days in an a drunken stupor whilst his children manage to find various kinds of trouble. It’s full of dark humor but it mirrors my childhood in so many ways that I find it fascinating. I, too, grew up with an alcoholic father. The only difference between me and the characters in the show is that the siblings in the show, regardless of how dysfunctional they are, are supportive and loving of their siblings. Mine? Not so much.

My therapist and I were discussing how this whole Lynch diagnosis and how much it has done everything to my family but brought us closer; she believes one possible reason is because I have violated their privacy by blogging about our familial genetic nemesis. There are cultural issues and social stigmas I initially failed to recognize when I began to blog. Remind me to discuss this in regards to BRCA and the Jewish community sometime. Lynch needed a voice, a face, and a name; and the benefits outweighed the negatives for me. I thought I would lack credibility somehow if I remained anonymous and somehow I felt it would make my story less compelling. I was so focused on myself and how I would reconcile this diagnosis that I didn’t think twice about what the implications would hold for my family. After speaking with S at great length about this, I came to understand why some bloggers remain anonymous. 

Anyway, I was lying down yesterday and paying a great deal of attention to my body and concluded that I am strong and healthy — Mayo will confirm these thoughts very soon.

Have a stellar weekend. I hope the Easter Bunny is good to all of you.

Namaste,

Georgia

 

 

 

The Lynch Labyrinth; ihavelynchsyndrome.com

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Three weeks out from going to Mayo; I feel as though I’m stuck in a Lynch labyrinth, feeling lost and discombobulated with every turn and thinking of the absolute worst. Getting older does not help but I have to have confidence in the fact that I’m doing every thing I possibly can to prevent cancer. Some days are better than others; I have a lot of positive things happening in my life right now and have much to be thankful for, especially when it comes to the blog and my advocacy work (more about that later); but the upcoming screening is darkening my days. It also doesn’t help that the Chicago weather has decided to take a turn for the worst again — it’s supposed to snow tonight. Argh!

My BFF told me last night that now is the time I should be blogging my arse off. Part of me wants to crawl under a rock until the 5th; there is nothing anyone can say or do to help the situation at this time and I would actually prefer that people say nothing and just listen. I cannot help but feel that I’m am “sick” until screening proves me otherwise. I’m sure many others who are Lynch positive feel the same way. What do I fear the most?  Being told I have pancreatic cancer, small bowel cancer, or peritoneal cancer. Things that are pretty much incurable. My problem is I know too much; I have read a lot of various cancer stories and don’t know if I would jump on the chemotherapy/radiation/surgery bandwagon. Of course it all depends on the type of cancer which would manifest; while many of these things extend one’s life, they may also lower the quality of life. I think I’m more interested in quality than quantity. Perhaps had I not had such an adverse reaction to my hyster/ooph I might feel differently …

Last week I wrote a piece on what’s it’s like having an endoscopy and I read some of the responses on Facebook, which in turn gave me tremendous perspective, and was shocked to discover that the U.K. does not suggest annual endoscopy for those with Lynch. Many people there do not even have annual screening; it’s usually done every two – three years and the focus is primarily on colonoscopy. I simply don’t understand the screening discrepancies. I understand part of it has to do with their healthcare system but you’d think they’d make exceptions for those with deleterious gene mutations who have a high susceptibility to various cancers. It’s horrifying and frustrating and I cannot fathom the anxiety they must experience being at the mercy of their national healthcare system. Why aren’t all the “experts” around the world on the same page and what can we do to change this?

More morrow….

Namaste,

Georgia

 

What You Need To Know About Your Upper Endoscopy – ihavelynchsyndrome.com

Endoscopy

Annual screening for Lynch syndrome patients should include an upper endoscopy in order to rule out any cancer in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The doctor will ask you to open your mouth so that she or he may put a mouth piece in between your teeth to keep your mouth from closing before you are sedated through your IV. Immediately after, you will be sedated for this procedure and will not feel a thing. A thin, flexible tube is put into your mouth down into your esophagus. This tube has a camera attached to it which transmits a picture to a screen for your doctor to see and detect any abnormalities. If need be, the endoscope and its instruments may help your doctor dilate a narrow area of your GI tract, to collect biopsy specimens, to remove lesions, or to stop upper intestinal bleeding.

After the procedure you will be taken to the recovery area and observed for about an hour. Since you will still be at the affects of the sedation, it is important to have someone drive you home and be with you for the rest of the day if possible. It is highly recommended that you do not drive, do not return to work, do not assume responsibility for others, do not exercise, do not drink alcohol, and do not make any important decisions, or sign any legal documents the day of your procedure.

You may experience a slight sore throat from the tube but that can be alleviated with some throat lozenges, hot tea, or Tylenol; please ask your doctor what form of pain relief they recommend for you. It is not uncommon to have blood-tinged saliva after the procedure, so don’t be alarmed. You may usually resume normal activities about 24 hours after the procedure. You may begin eating again as long as you’re up for it unless you’ve had your esophagus dilated; then you may want to start off with clear liquids and soft foods.

Serious complications from this procedure are rare but please seek medical care if you have abdominal pain with or without bleeding, a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and black and/or bloody stools.

I have had this procedure several times; I do not recall any of them but I will admit to having a sore throat for about a day after the procedure. My endoscopy is always done in tandem with my colonoscopy — kill two birds with one stone if you can.

Namaste,

Georgia

ihavelynchsyndrome.com

 

“Today, write down all your fears and then throw them away.” -ihavelynchsyndrome.com

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So I’ve been taking it easy for the past several days; making a huge concerted effort to try and get out of my  head. I’ve been trying hard to partake in an electronic detox for the most part and do things which truly nourish me. I had acupuncture, have been spending time meditating, being with friends, exercising, and reading. It’s finally warming up in Chicago so I’ve been able to clean up my yard and plant some flowers; spring is definitely one of my favorite seasons; it signifies rebirth, growth, and warmth. I couldn’t help but wonder how many more springs life will give me. Simply a testament to how much Lynch syndrome reminds us of our mortality; sooner rather than later.

My anxiety has lessened and I have been sleeping significantly better. I have been a tad overwhelmed with some emails and texts from some of you; I truly appreciate the kind words and sweet thoughts. They mean a great deal to me. Four weeks from today I will know my health status. I cannot help but think that I’m “ill” until my annual check-up proves otherwise. I have to believe that all of the positive, nourishing things I do on a daily basis will pay off in less than four weeks. I am fantasizing about waking up from my scopes and hearing my doctors say, “Clean as a whistle!” I’ll keep you posted.

I finally finished reading Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the future of the Gene by Masha Gessen. Gessen has BRCA and goes into great detail about her family history and how she’s tried to reduce her risk of developing cancer. Many within her family are “wracked with guilt” for passing this on to their children. She also talks about other genetic disorders like Niemann-Pick, Gaucher’s, and Tay-Sachs; horrific genetic mutations where children suffer from a variety of medical issues and usually die from them by the age of ten.

Gessen discusses the appalling lack of progress in regards to ovarian cancer screening and the hellacious issues which may result from prophylactic hysterectomy: increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, cognitive problems, depression, inelastic skin, weight gain, and sexual issues, just to name a few.

Gessen even pays homage to Dr. Henry Lynch and delves further into other heinous genetic syndromes like Huntington’s disease — for which there is no cure. Why do I read about such depressing topics? Because they give me tremendous perspective and help me reconcile the Lynch diagnosis — things could always be way worse. This book is incredibly well-written and informative. I highly recommend it if you’re thinking about having a prophylactic hysterectomy — lots of vital information you should know before jumping into the forced menopause waters — or if you just want to learn more about other intriguing genetic disorders. 

One more thing, Hannah from  http://www.myclaimsource.com contacted me and wanted to share some important information with you regarding insurance. Her site is an open resource for people looking for information about insurance and how to file a claim.  The site tries to answer common questions like – Am I eligible to file a claim? Will my policy cover this? How do I start? What is X company’s contact details? and so on. She is also hoping the site will serve as an open forum to connect those looking to file claims with people who already have, and who may be able to offer tips and advice on claim filing with a given provider. Please check it out, I think it’s a stellar resource for insurance information.

Namaste,

Georgia

ihavelynchsyndrome.com

 

 

 

 

Fiber and Exercise for Colon Health by Dr. Frank Farrell – ihavelynchsyndrome.com

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Fiber and Exercise for Colon Health

Anyone familiar with the ihavelynchsyndrome blog is well aware of good eating habits including consuming fiber and also the benefits of exercise.  As a guest blogger, I thought I would further discuss the world of dietary fiber along with highlighting the benefits of exercise and the detrimental impact of obesity.

Fiber

Fiber is important for colon health.  To fully understand the role of fiber in optimizing colon health, it is important to define fiber.  Fiber is often referred to as roughage or bulk.  Fiber is essentially the nondigestible carbohydrates of our diet.  Fiber is derived from plants and is found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Dietary fiber is divided into soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in fruits, oats, barley, beans and psyllium.  Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to increase stool bulk.  Insoluble fiber is found in wheat, bran, other grains, seeds and nuts.

Importance of Fiber

Why is fiber important?  Insoluble fiber helps to make your stool softer, more regular, and easier to pass during a bowel movement.  Adequate insoluble fiber intake helps with problems including constipation, diverticulosis, the irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids.  Whether fiber helps to prevent colon polyps and colon cancer is not entirely clear as studies have shown both benefit and no benefit.  I am of the belief that fiber does help to prevent colon polyps.  Interestingly, soluble fiber helps to lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes by helping to lower cholesterol and controlling blood sugar.

Daily Intake of Fiber

The recommended daily intake of fiber is 20 to 35 grams per day.  It is not important how much insoluble vs. soluble fiber you consume; instead focus on the total amount of daily dietary fiber intake.  The best way to help determine the amount of fiber you are consuming is to read the nutrition label on packaged foods.  The nutrition label will tell you how many grams of fiber are contained in a serving.  You can supplement your dietary intake of fiber by taking a fiber supplement.  A good rule of thumb to help meet your daily fiber needs would include 2 cups of fruits and 2-1/2 cups of vegetables every day.

Exercise

Obesity and lack of physical activity are clear risk factors for colon cancer.

Obesity appears to be a source of chronic inflammation in the body and this adversely affects multiple organ systems and contributes to the formation of cancer.

Obese individuals are more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer.  For every 5% increase in BMI (body mass index), the risk for developing colon cancer increases by 18%.  This risk is greater for men than women.

It is important to understand BMI which is used in the medical world to determine ideal body weight and obesity.  It factors in a patient’s weight and body surface area.  The easiest way to understand BMI is to look at a BMI chart that compares weight with height.  There are separate BMI charts for children and adults.  The adult BMI chart applies to both men and women.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Below 18.5 = Underweight

18.5 – 24.9 = Normal

25.0 – 29.9 = Overweight

30.0 and Above = Obese

Obese patients have a worse prognosis when diagnosed with colon cancer.  Exercise can significantly reduce the risk of death in patients who have been diagnosed with colon cancer.

One can lower the risk of colon cancer by increasing physical activity.  Interestingly, this benefit of exercise was shown even among patients who continued to remain obese.  Ideally, one would want to exercise and try achieve a normal body weight (BMI = 25).  Patients with higher levels of physical activity can reduce their risk of colon cancer by 30-40% compared to those who are sedentary, regardless of BMI.

How much physical activity is recommended?  Studies show that by engaging in 150 minutes of physical activity per week, one could lower the risk for cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality including from colon cancer.

How much weight should one lose?  A healthy rate should be to lose no more than 2 pounds per week and this should be achieved through exercise and a proper healthy diet.  A healthy diet should include nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains which contain phytochemicals (for example curcumin) which have a chemoprotective effect on the development of colon polyps and cancer.

It is clear that a diet high in fiber as part of a sensible diet along with exercise will help you to achieve an ideal body weight and optimize your colon health.

Here’s to your colon health!

Frank Farrell, MD

 

A Full Head of Fears Has No Space to Dream – ihavelynchsyndrome.com

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It’s finally warming up in Chicago after one of the most hellacious and longest winters ever. Sid (my canine child) and I took a long walk along the lakefront yesterday; I thought the fresh air and sunlight would do me some good and possibly exhaust me. As an added bonus, I received a free microdermabrasion, courtesy of the wind and sand. Well, the time outside wore me out and I fell asleep around 9pm. Then at 12:30am I woke up. So here I am, 2 am, writing. I’m not going to fight it anymore or complain about it. I’m just going to go with it and embrace my new hours and use the quiet time to read, write, and catch up on work. I’m not going to fret over it anymore because that only increases my anxiety. Besides, it’s so quiet – no phone, no text, no one else is awake … sheer silence.

I’m going to stop being honest with those around me for the time being, specifically when it comes to how I’m doing regarding my lack of sleep due to my upcoming screening because I really don’t love listening to everyone’s unsolicited advice about my sleep challenges. “You should do this, do that,” they say. It’s just a testament to the fact that they have the vaguest clue as to what I’m thinking about and experiencing. It’s not their fault, I can barely wrap my head around this crap so I will let it slide and save those conversations for my therapist. Most people don’t really listen when we talk to them anyway; they’re thinking about how they’re going to respond or fix your problem. I feel as though I may as well talk to the cat; and I don’t have a cat.

I was asked to write a blog post for a highly esteemed organization on what it’s like living with Lynch and ironically I’m actually have difficulty writing it. I can usually come up with things to write pretty quickly and effortlessly, but this post is different. I have a 650 word limit and I suppose I am concerned that I will not do those of us affected with it any justice in just 650 words. It has to be  tight and concise, a task far more challenging for writers than those who blather on endlessly. My words thus far are mindful and carefully selected and I have 300 more to go. Not a lot of room to maneuver for such a complicated and emotionally taxing syndrome.

One more thing … I know some of you are really trying to make significantly healthy improvements to your lives; especially when it comes to food. I came across this stellar website and wanted to share it with all of you. It’s in French and English; I love it! It’s very progressive and informative and is a font of knowledge for those trying to live a more mindful life. It’s a free online vegan magazine, please click here to explore it: http://www.cherrypepper.fr.

Mutant Chic (http://www.mutantchic.com) is having her hysterectomy today; let’s keep her in our thoughts, send her lots of love and positive vibes, and hope her convalescence goes well.

Namaste,

Georgia

Nyctophilia – ihavelynchsyndrome.com

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Well, I’ve decided I’m not an insomniac; I’m a nyctophiliac. Insomniac has such a negative connotation, besides, I do all my best work in the dark. “Nyctophiliac” is a stellar Greek word which translates to “friend of the night.” I went to bed at 9pm last night and fell asleep with the help of a couple of Klonopin pills and a book. I woke up at midnight feeling as though as I had slept 8 hours. Wide awake. Could not return to sleep. Rather than lie there and struggle with my demons I decided to get up and make them some tea, and sit down to write with them. The uncertainty surrounding my annual screening is beginning to annihilate my spirit.

I haven’t slept through the night in days. Yes, I know, it’s not good for me not to sleep; tell that to my brain and anxiety. When I do sleep I have the most bizarre dreams; or nightmares. I’m finding myself in highly challenging situations in most of them and yet seem to find a way to overcome my obstacles; must be my inner optimist taking over. So instead, I take naps whenever they hit me and just go with them.

Yes, my anxiety is high. And I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking as to why … while this screening stuff is great and I know I’m a ahead of the game in many ways, I still want don’t to get cancer. Duh, who does? I don’t want any other surgeries, perhaps I’ve read too much on the various FB Lynch platforms about all of the possible things that could go wrong  – issues which doctors fail to mention prior to surgery or treatment. I refuse to have anymore body parts removed, I certainly don’t want to go through chemo and all of the other charming treatments/issues/challenges that go along with having cancer. I love my hair, I’m a tad vain. Besides, it is one of the last vestiges of my femininity; don’t want to lose that … and then of course, there’s my son and husband. They’ve already dealt with so much with the hyst/oop I just cannot fathom emotionally challenging them any further. Of course, I keep telling myself that I take excellent care of myself. I only eat nourishing food, surround myself with positivity and life, I exercise and meditate, and have a handful of the most amazing people in my life — and then there’s My Sid, the most wonderful dog in the world.

I went to see my acupuncturist a couple of days ago in an effort to alleviate some of my anxiety and it did work for a bit. She referred to me as her “Buddha” — one could not pay me a higher compliment, especially now when inside I feel like a twisted piece of metal. I try hard to maintain my peace and look deeply at most things, without judgement or criticism. Ach, there’s enough misery in the world, I say, no need to contribute to it.

So in the meantime, I have writing to do for some other sites and have a lot of positive things going on – I must and will focus on them.

… and I shall leave you with this:

“The strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother’s milk. Darkness will make you strong.”

― George R.R. MartinA Dance with Dragons

Namaste,

Georgia

ihavelynchsyndrome.com

 

 

Everyone Has Flawed Genes – ihavelynchsyndrome.com

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Why the baby mountain gorilla pic, you ask? Because I can and they are the most adorable creatures (and one of the most endangered) on this planet. Love the hair.

Last Saturday was Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day and it was nice to see everyone coming together on Twitter to support one another. I want to thank Chris4Life, West Middlesex Hospital, MyHealthShare, Alyssa Zygler, and the many others who supported my advocacy for Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day on their websites. Infinite gratitude to all of you! On top of that, yours truly was ranked #29 for Top Patient Advocates on Twitter in the Universe (my handle is ShewithLynch if you cannot get enough of me and must follow); if you don’t believe me, go here: http://list.ly/list/4V0-top-patient-advocates-on-twitter#item_564442?. I have no idea how they conclude these things but I’ll take it and run with it!  Also, Cancer Radio (http://w4cs.com) asked me to be a guest on March 2, 2014 to discuss Lynch syndrome — I’ll keep you posted on the details. I’m so humbled and honored by all of this. I never imagined all of this “stuff” would evolve from my blog, it’s pretty overwhelming and very humbling.

It’s no secret I’m 6 weeks out from going to Mayo; my anxiety is at an all time high and I’m trying hard to focus on the positive aspects of my life. The anxiety is affecting my sleep at night so I’ve decided to embrace it and to work at night and pray that the Sandman comes to me during the day so that I may catch some ZZZZZ’s. I’ve been talking to other prominent figures in the Lynch community and they, too, told me they share my anxiety during screening time. I know my anxiety is warranted; but it’s nice to know that others feel the same way. I went to my temple for a bit today and ended up leaving feeling stronger and better. I think I need to go almost everyday until I go to Mayo. There is something so soothing and comforting about my temple; I feel very protected there. I wish I could sleep there. 

I came across this piece in my reading the other day and wanted to share it with all of you. I’m trying to soothe you, as well as myself, with this article.  The piece is from NPR, 2012 but it’s still relevant.

Perfection Is Skin Deep: Everyone Has Flawed Genes from NPR

We all know that nobody’s perfect. But now scientists have documented that fact on a genetic level. Researchers discovered that normal, healthy people are walking around with a surprisingly large number of mutations in their genes. It’s been well known that everyone has flaws in their DNA, though, for the most part, the defects are harmless. It’s been less clear, however, just how many mistakes are lurking in someone’s genes … “We found quite amazingly large numbers of deleterious and known disease-causing mutations,” Tyler-Smith says. According to their analysis, the average person has around 400 defects in his or her genes, including at least a couple that are associated with disease.  The weird thing is, none of the people whose DNA was studied were sick. They all seemed perfectly happy and healthy. “It could be that in some cases there’s another copy of that gene or a similar gene that takes over,” Tyler-Smith says. About 1 in 10 people studied had genetic mutations that should cause a disease but hadn’t. Tyler-Smith has a theory … 

To read continue reading this article, please click here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/12/06/166648187/perfection-is-skin-deep-everyone-has-flawed-genes

Another important site I’d like to draw your attention: Dr. Frank’s site about The Colon Vitamin. He has a terrific blog on the site and provides us with a lot of great advice on the prevention of colon cancer. Please go click here to check it out: http://blog.thecolonvitamin.comI’m hoping to have him as a frequent contributor as a guest blogger on this site; if you have any questions you’d like to ask him, please send them to me: ihavelynchsyndrome@gmail.com.

One more thing – I have a new favorite website I want to share. Check it out – it never fails to make me laugh: dogshaming.com. 

Hope you’re having a stellar week.

Namaste,

Georgia

ihavelynchsyndrome.com

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