Thursday, August 29, 2013

Andrew McMahon + BMT

I just found out that one of my favorite musicians, Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, was diagnosed with ALL when he was 22. He has been cancer free for 8 years -- yay! I'm not usually one to follow celebrities' personal lives but the fact that he had a bone marrow transplant and is now doing well is definitely one of those pieces of information that I need to store up and pull out for some of my teenage patients.

I've been really stressed the last few days as it hits me that not only will I be stressed in rearranging how I manage my own life as I adjust to being a working mom, I will also be emotionally stressed by these kids I'm about to work with. When I was a student it was easy to not be fully invested, but I think it's going to be different now that I'm really working and am going to be so immersed in this life. Not to mention the fact that now I'm a mother and can fully comprehend the agony of seeing your child suffer. So positive stories like this can, I think, help both me and my patients. Hopefully I find a few teenagers who are interested in some retro pop punk and the inspiring story of a survivor.

This interview with McMahon was great and discusses briefly some of the aftermath of dealing with a disease like cancer. He also has a foundation, the Dear Jack Foundation, for young adults who want to go to college but whose parents funds are depleted from paying for cancer treatments. It's really nice to know that despite the presence in the world of a sucky thing like cancer, there are also oases of awesome.

Also, go listen to Andrew McMahon's solo EP, Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate because they rock. Seriously, SoCo was my favorite band in high school. Go.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

France Photo Book

Five years after the fact, I have finally made a scrapbook of my trip to France. You can view it below if you want. It was a blast reliving all the memories, and I'm looking forward to having the book to go through. :)

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Inspiring this month.

This is mostly a list for my own reference -- I read so many blog posts and I like to remember the ones that stood out to me. I hope you find something that is inspiring to you, too.


:: Take June: To Be Truly Seen -- Is the face we see in the mirror the complete story?

:: An Equivalent Centre of Self (Musings on Individual Worth) : Segullah -- How our different talents bless others in different ways.

:: The Intellectual LDS Mother | Aspiring Mormon Women -- How to keep love of learning alive, whether you are a professor or a stay at home mom or somewhere in between (also, a pat on the back for those of us who are better at intangible creativity rather than the crafts that fill many women's beautiful homes)

:: A Merrell's Life: Memories of a Miscarriage -- A beautiful tribute to a lost baby and thoughts on how to get through a miscarriage.

:: I am My Own Plan A | Aspiring Mormon Women -- A definition of feminism that empowers all women.

:: An Armchair By The Sea: The Weekly List #3: Mood Boosting Books! -- Books to make you feel happy inside (all books make me feel happy inside. But these ones are supposed to do that especially).

:: A CUP OF JO: The Royal Baby -- I cried when I heard about Prince George, and I think it is kind of exciting that he was born only a few months after my son. And of course Princess Kate's postpartum belly has been talked about ad nauseum, but still -- kudos to her for showing the world that the postpartum body isn't perfect right away but can still be beautiful.

:: The Invisible Mother | -- We may not be recognized for the individual acts of labor, but the end product of motherhood is beautiful.

:: A Time for Faith, Not Fear -- Despite the turmoil of the world, we can proceed forth with perspective and faith that all will be well, even if it isn't immediate. I was talking about this with a friend today and it was a great reminder to me -- we can't control everything, but we can have faith that life will come together, often in ways better than we could ever have predicted.

What inspired you this month?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Health Article Round-up: July 2013

:: Why Brazil is the best place for kids to have chemo -- because they learn it gives them SUPERPOWERS! (Watch this video, it's only two minutes!!)

:: Babies who have a respiratory infection during the first six months of life are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes. (Sorry Cal). All the  more reason to breastfeed as much as you can, especially before six months, in order to protect your baby against infections.

:: Women who did not consume enough omega-3 and omega-6 oils during pregnancy have a higher likelihood of having a child with autism. This condition is largely mysterious to predict, so it is great to have some preventive guidelines.

:: Apparently induction of a woman in labor reduces the risk of a C-section. Whaaa...? This is news to me -- I thought it was the opposite (it was in my case).

:: Diet drinks do not reduce obesity. Researchers don't know why for sure, but think perhaps the body is confused when it tastes an artificial sweetener and responds with inappropriate insulin.

:: Irregular work schedules and night shifts can increase issues with fertility and miscarriages. Good to know.

:: There is constant debate about when to start feeding babies solids. According to a recent study, starting after 4 months and before 6 months is optimal to prevent Type 1 diabetes. (Also, there are lately a billion articles about what does/does not predict type 1 diabetes in children. Hooray for being closer to the cure).

:: Multivitamins do not reduce deaths in cancer patients. (AKA: Eat your veggies peeps, the vitamins are fakes that won't save you. To hear more of this rant, watch an episode of Doctor Oz while sitting next to me).

:: But you know what causes cancer? Air pollution. Especially if you live near a large roadway (*Looks out window to the busiest stretch of the 405, which is the busiest freeway in LA, which might have the worst roads in the world*). (Also, according to Scott, the cadavers in his anatomy lab that lived in LA all their lives and were nonsmokers had lungs that looked like those of smokers. *wince*).

:: Too much of a good thing is still too much. High omega-3 consumption is linked with increased prostate cancer risk in men. Keep that fish oil consumption in moderation -- recent Italian studies don't even show a protective effect against heart disease.

:: I've heard of cord blood banking, but had never thought about the benefits of letting babies receive more umbilical blood before cutting the cord. Apparently, delaying the cord cutting for a minute or longer results in higher iron stores in newborns, which could be very beneficial. It does also increase the risk of jaundice in newborns by 2%.

:: Americans are exercising more! Yay! But... we are also getting fatter. Apparently I'm not the only one who wishes that exercise would allow me to eat whatever I wanted.

:: More United States mothers are breastfeeding. :)

:: Vaccines do not cause mental problems. Repeat... VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.

:: Childhood cancers tend to be unpredictable. BUT... adult cancers are often more preventable. Here are four steps you can take to help your child avoid cancer in adulthood.

:: Also, why my future workplace is the best ever (I just wish I could have been there)... Hello Kitty visits cancer patients at CHLA. :)
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