Today is Day 350 since I have been diagnosed with cancer, and Day 140 living with chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a side-effect of chemo treatment.
The Ways Of Contentment
Who is rich? He who rejoices with his portion.
—Ben Zoma, Mishna: Pirkei Avot 4:1
Wealth and contentment go together; they are natural allies. A better or at least an equal match would be health and contentment. I have some good news to share. My neuropathy has subsided somewhat, or to put it another way, I have adapted to new environmental conditions imposed upon me by my illness and the resulting change in health: I can now do things that I couldn’t do last month, such as buttoning my shirt, tying my shoelaces and wearing leather dress shoes. I can also type with more ease and less pain; for my feet, however, I can report little change, and still retain the sensation of wearing a set of pads on my soles. But I have adapted to the changes.
I have a CT scan of my lungs scheduled for the 19th and an appointment with my medical oncologist on the 30th to discuss the results; good news would be a great start for the year 2014. If all goes well, I will not have to visit either Dr. Chan or the cancer centre for another six months. I see no reason why the news will not meet my expectations. I am very pleased that my taste buds have returned to their former fine form, and I can now enjoy all tastes and sensations while eating. The human body never ceases to amaze me on its ability to heal itself.
In terms of heath and treatment, there is exciting news coming out of Israel regarding an advanced cancer treatment by a company called IceCure, says the Israeli innovation site, NoCamels:
Two weeks ago, we published an article about Israeli company IceCure, known for its treatment that freezes benign and small malignant breast tumors into balls of ice, and which had just announced it would turn its sight on lung cancer. Now we can announce that the clinical trial on IceCure’s effectiveness with lung cancer, by far the world’s most prevalent cancer killer, has been successful.
IceCure has announced that, as part of the trial that was taking place at the Kameda Medical Center in Japan, two lung cancer patients were successfully treated with the company’s IceSense3 cryotherapy system.IceCure president and CEO Hezi Himelfarb said, “We’re pleased at the success in destroying lung cancer tumors because use of our cryoablation platform could open to us a potential market of hundreds of thousands of new cases in the US alone. Treatment with IceCure’s system, which is a minimally invasive procedure, has clear advantages over complicated and expensive surgical solutions for excising tumors, which involve hospital stays, surgery, and prolonged recovery.
“We believe that further success in the breast cancer clinical trial in the US and the lung cancer clinical trial in Japan positions IceCure in a good place and paves the way to participating in these opportunities.”
On another note, a group of Montreal scientists led by Dr. Rima Rozen, a geneticist at the McGill University Health Centre, “have discovered five genetic markers that might cause colorectal cancer,” says an article, by Aaron Derfel, (“Discovery raises hopes of a new test for colorectal cancer”; October 30, 2013), in The Montreal Gazette.
The discovery raises hopes of a new test to screen for colorectal cancer in people who have not developed symptoms of the illness. The test would probably not replace the gold standard for colorectal screening — the colonoscopy — but it would provide doctors with more accurate information and might even limit the extent of scoping in patients.
The colonoscopy — which requires that patients fast in preparation — is costly, time-consuming, and some Montreal patients are on years-long waiting lists for the procedure. What’s more, it has a false-negative rate of at least 10 per cent.
“So anything that would help to diagnose colorectal cancer more efficiently is useful,” said Dr. Rima Rozen, a geneticist at the McGill University Health Centre. “I think this could be a very important tool.
“In the near future,” she added, “while you are in for a colonoscopy, you may not need to do the entire colon, but (doctors) may take a small piece of tissue that could be examined for those particular biomarkers in conjunction with a colonoscopy.”
This is good news, indeed.