Archive | November 2021

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“When we use terms like loss or grief, most people think of death and bereavement, and understandably so. This is because the loss through death of someone who is very important to us can have a devastating effect on our lives. However, what we also need to recognize is that loss and grief are much broader issues than death and dying. In fact, it can be argued that loss and grief are everyday matters to us in the sense that we are regularly experiencing some sort of loss in our lives. Grief is our psychological response to any significant loss. If someone or something is important to us, then it can be said that we make an ’emotional investment’ in that person or thing. Therefore, when we experience a loss, we also lose our investment – we have a psychological equivalent of a Wall Street crash, often with very profound results. Therefore, the loss of anyone or anything that is important to us can lead to a grief reaction/a crash in our lives.”

humansolutions.org

Part II Significant losses in our lives and how to cope with it.

Richie Caroccio Lost this week

Betty Mazzio  Lost this past year

 

Over the years lost babies to me and good friends:

 

  Pumpkin

  T.J.

Jesse (Lower right)

Jesse (top of the recliner)

Losing someone to even an animal, the pet you loved a good part of your life can be very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you’re experiencing will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can renew you and permit you to move on.

For me personally I had in my past have had losses through out  my life and recently again from just yesterday, after loosing my 2 puppy babies, a close dear friend (BFF) instead of me lost her first doggie baby not to long ago and even her dear Mom this past year.  Now we both lost a dear friend due to cancer.

Anyone out there who has had a recent loss I would like to say to you I can relate with providing my deepest condolences to you and know you can move on. It is all how you go about this grief.

Like I told so many the 2 seperate nights on FB my baby Pumpkin who died almost 13 y/o on that was put to sleep and T.J. at 6 and 1/2 y/o both had neurological problems that made them leave this earth. A dear friend now fighting cancer this past year.  They both are all in the next world so much happier being out of misery.  It is us on earth who are in misery when we go through the terrible loss that causes depression, sadness and emotional upsetment but it will heal in time like a wound.  The other thing I stated on FB in the past loosing a dear person in our lives or even your pets are just like the loss of humans to many, whom we shared our life with and loved have never left us, especially if you believe in a God. 

If you don’t believe in God think of the loss this way, especially if the loss is the death of a living creature being human or dog or any creature- know they were probably in pain, failure to thrive, in their ending life process with no possible way to be healed.   With knowing that a death is most likely expected and when the death occurs remember the loss is out of misery and at rest.  It is harder when the loss is completely unexpected and young at age.  Those who believe there is another life remember the lost loved one is not alone, with new including old faces and are living a better life. They are watching over you and has never left you.

God is amazing in sending me messages especially if I ask for a message in someway.  Monday 6/5/17 in the morning I check the area I buried Pumpkin with her brother T.J.(who was cremated and in a locked small coffin) to make sure the ground was not messed with by other animals (etc. digging up the dirt) I checked the area out.  I saw the site was fine and walked to the side of my back yard 70 feet from the burial site, give or take.  Within seconds I heard this noise as I was standing in the backyard saying to myself please Dad take care of my little babies enjoy there company since you never got to meet them and I know you’ll love them.   I walk towards the front of my property all of a sudden ducks started flying over the front of my property in a V formation like Airforce jets just after talking to my Dad.  It was as if it was like a 21 gun salute just letting me know all is ok and this is in the memory of them.  This reinforced to me that lost ones will never leave us with helping us get through life while on Earth.  My Dad was helping me, with possibly others in heaven, telling me we know this is a rough time and will help you get through emotional moments of the loss. 

My father in 1999  died of cancer but never left me.  I know my friend Karen who died a few years back is so much happier, no longer ill and with her sister who she told me months before she pasted that she missed her sister terribly with others she hasn’t seen for a long time and now is with her and those others she didn’t so for awhile.  I know the doggies , my father, Karen my old friend, with now my recent friend loss Richie with many other significant losses in my lifetime (both people and animals) that I loved are happier and no longer ill keeping a close eye on me with others on Earth.

I say to myself as long as any losses I have had are better off deceased without being here with terminal disease in misery. I accept that sadness.  I know that it overrides my sorrow, any hardship emotions I may feel will heal in time just like in my previous losses. During this time of closure to accept the loss pain its like a wound in that in time it lessens to heals.

Being a RN over 35 years in the career I have seen so many types of patients in varieties of units.  The patients I have dealt with have either cured, died, gone home a long time or a short time with the diagnosis they were given and treated.  My career has allowed me to so far to be an oncology nurse, hospice nurse, cardiac nurse, visiting nurse, step down nurse, ICU, a floating nurse for 20 yrs. roughly on simple med surg, to orthopedic, telemetry, burn, recovery room units which has helped me except death with being a practicing Roman Catholic easier than others.  This has allowed me to use more of a positive approach in accepting a loved one passing on (especially older vs younger).   Trust me, I still have feelings like everyone else in this world; and it does hurt. 

What kills me mostly right now is not having the dogs in my arms at night in bed or on the sofa keeping each other comfortably, just talking to them and playing with them.  Yes I have saved further animals in rescuing them and love them just as much but like all babies in your families you love them.  They each have special qualities and moments they had in your life.  God has his reasons for losses whether I understand why or not, in my eyes.   Regarding people who have to leave this world I sometimes wish we could of done more time together. I am very thankful I got to meet the deceased loved ones that are gone in my life animals to humans and now including another dear friend.  I have mentioned in this article from human to numerous pets that I have had from cats to dogs which were always part of my family and have never left my heart.  Being a nurse also allows me to take on the role being there for family or strangers by taking care of them. My heart wants to help people get going through their time of dealing with disease and at times a loss/grief.  In my experiences it has had more positive than negative ending results.  In many cases living a longer therapeutic life with others and in the end keeping comfortable till passing is the optimal level to take for the individual dying and the best result I feel in being a RN should follow.

When death comes in my lifetime of significant others including significant pets who where part of my family (nuclear or distant) I remember only God knows when you walk on or walk off this Earth so cherish everyday the loved ones in your life.   The ones I have lost I am thanking God for giving me the great memories I was allowed to be given but that significant life has moved on into the next lifetime whether I understand it or not.  I also know the significant losses I have had and will further have in my lifetime will never leave me in spirit and your significant others who pass have not left you either in spirit.

This article was done in memory of my friend Richie Caroccio, Betty Mazzio who past this year and a dear friend, Renata Mazzio, who lost one of her doggies Jesse in the past couple of years including me in loosing my babies both Pumpkin and  T.J. who past several years ago which were such a part of my immediate family and so significant.  I will miss all these people and animals terribly loosing from both family and friends.  All who I have lost recently and in distant years I feel we will meet again at sometime.   If you think that is not the case that’s ok and let’s say if that is even true it allows me to deal with the loss so more therapeutically while alive on earth but in my heart I feel we will meet again.

Know it is up to you to replace the emptiness in your heart and life that was caused by the a loss; which does not need to be a death but can be.  You will not forget the great impact the significant person or animal or whatever loss gave you in your life when on earth but the great memories you still have to fall back on with even pictures and videos.  This way of thinking is  productively getting through the grief process, moving on but never forgetting the loss but in a positive way.  It of course will be hurtful at first which is walking through this experience of loss in your life but that is why we say you go through a loss and grieving process.

 

 

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Death, regardless of the details, is capable of devastating those it leaves behind.  Spouse, significant other, friend, son, daughter, mother, or father to even pets – all losses are significant.  Although commonalities exist amongst people who have experienced a certain type of loss, individual grief is as unique as the person experiencing it and their relationship with the person who died.

While we are hesitant to categorize and careful not to compare, we do acknowledge that there’s merit in recognizing commonalities.  Shared experiences tell us, if nothing else, that we are not the only ones. And if other people have had struggles similar to our own, then maybe our grief isn’t as crazy as it sometimes seems.”

whatsyourgrief.com

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“Usually stomach (gastric) cancer starts in the lining of the stomach, growing slowly over the course of several years and causing few if any symptoms.  The gastric cancer experts at Memorial Sloan Kettering offer comprehensive care for people with all types of stomach cancer, and see more people with this illness than any other cancer center in the United States. Thanks to improvements in the accuracy of staging the illness and advances in surgical techniques, significant progress has been made in the diagnosis and treatment of this illness.”

Sloan Memorial Kettering Cancer Center

Part II National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month – Rx & How to prevent it!

 

Many treatments can fight stomach cancer. The one you and your doctor choose will depend on how long you’ve had the disease or how much it has spread in your body, called the stage of your cancer.

Surgery. Your doctor might remove part of your stomach or other tissues nearby that have cancer cells. Surgery gets rid of the tumor and stops cancer from spreading to other parts of your body. If your disease is in a more advanced stage, your doctor might need to remove all of your stomach=Gastrectomy or in some other cases the Surgeon may only have to remove part of the stomach=Partial Gastrectomy.

Some tumors can keep food from moving in and out of your stomach. In that case, you might have surgery to put in a stent, a device that keeps the pathways open.

Chemotherapy. Drugs kill your cancer cells or keep them from growing. You can take them as pills or through an IV at a clinic. Chemo usually takes several weeks. The drugs can cause side effects, but your doctor can help you find ways to feel better during treatment.

Radiation. High-energy waves or particles can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Your doctor may use an X-ray or other machine to beam radiation at the spot where your tumor is.

Chemoradiation. Your doctor might use this mix of chemotherapy and radiation to shrink your tumor before surgery.

Targeted drugs. These newer drugs are different because they fight only cancer cells. Other treatments, like chemo and radiation, can kill healthy cells along with diseased ones. As a result, targeted therapies have fewer side effects than these other treatments.

How Can I Prevent Stomach Cancer?

Treat stomach infections. If you have ulcers from an H. pylori infection, get treatment. Antibiotics can kill the bacteria, and other drugs will heal the sores in the lining of your stomach to cut your risk of cancer.

Eat healthy. Get more fresh fruits and vegetables on your plate every day. They’re high in fiber and in some vitamins that can lower your cancer risk. Avoid very salty, pickled, cured, or smoked foods like hot dogs, processed lunch meats, or smoked cheeses. Keep your weight at a healthy level, too. Being overweight or obese can also raise your risk of the disease.

 

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“November is a month known for the pleasure of eating and is the ideal month to raise awareness about gastric cancer. There is a great deal of focus on food, nourishment, and family during the holidays. It can be challenging for people dealing with stomach cancer, especially for those unfortunately living without a stomach.”

NO STOMACH FOR CANCER (https://nostomachforcancer.org/)

 

Part I National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month – types and risk factors!

 

 

Stomach cancer (also called gastric cancer) can develop in any part of the stomach, and may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs. It may grow along the stomach wall into the esophagus or small intestine.

The cancer may also extend through the stomach wall and spread to nearby lymph nodes and organs, such as the liver, pancreas and colon. It may spread to distant organs, such as the lungs, the lymph nodes above the collarbone and to a woman’s ovaries.

Different types of stomach cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinomas develop within the cells of the innermost lining of the stomach. The majority of stomach cancers are classified as adenocarcinomas.
  • Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system tissue that may start anywhere there are lymph tissues, including the stomach. Lymphomas in the stomach are rather rare and only account for about 4 percent of all stomach cancers.
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GISTs, are a rare type of stomach cancer that starts in a special cell found in the lining of the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). Under a microscope, GIST cells look similar to muscle or nerve cells. These tumors may develop throughout the digestive tract, but about 60 to 70 percent occur in the stomach.
  • Carcinoid tumors typically start in the hormone producing cells of the stomach. These tumors usually do not spread to different organs and account for only about 3 percent of stomach cancer incidence.

RISK FACTORS FOR STOMACH CANCER:

GENERAL

  • Age: Stomach cancer is found most often in people over age 55.
  • Gender: The disease affects men twice as often as women.
  • Race: Stomach cancer is more common in African Americans than in Caucasians.
  • Region: This type of cancer is more common in some parts of the world, such as Japan, Korea, parts of Eastern Europe and Latin America. People in these areas eat many foods that are preserved by drying, smoking, salting or pickling.

BODY

  • Obesity: Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer

GENETICS

Certain gene mutations and some inherited conditions are considered stomach cancer risk factors. They include:

  • BRCA1 & BRCA2: Inherited mutations on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are often associated with higher risks for breast cancer. Individuals who have inherited these genetic mutations are also at an increased risk for stomach cancer
  • E-cadherin/CDH1: Though rare, people who inherit this genetic mutation have a 70 to 80 percent chance of developing stomach cancer in their lifetime. Also, women with this genetic defect have an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Lynch syndrome: This condition may also be referred to as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), a genetic condition that runs in families. More commonly, this condition is associated with an increased risk for colon cancer. HNPCC also predisposes people to stomach cancers.
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): This syndrome causes polyps in the colon, stomach and intestines. Often caused by mutations of the gene APC, this syndrome greatly increases a person’s risk of colorectal cancer and may play a small role in increasing a person’s stomach cancer risk.

LIFESTYLE

  • Smoking: There is evidence linking cigarette smoking to many types of cancer, including stomach cancer. Smokers have been found to be at greater risk of developing cancer than non-smokers.
  • Diet: Scientists believe that eating foods preserved in these ways may play a role in the development of stomach cancer. On the other hand, fresh foods (especially fresh fruits and vegetables and properly frozen or refrigerated fresh foods) may protect against this disease.
  • Working in the coal, metal or rubber industries: Chemicals that are released in these environments have been linked to the development of stomach cancer.

OTHER CONDITIONS

  • H. pylori infection: Doctors have found that a long-term H. pylori infection may lead to inflammation and pre-cancerous changes to the stomach lining. In fact, stomach cancer patients typically have a higher incidence of H. pylori infections than people who do not have stomach cancer.
  • Pernicious anemia: Some people with pernicious anemia may have gastric polyps, which can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection: According to the American Cancer Society, Epstein-Barr virus is found in the cancer cells of about 5% to 10% of people with stomach cancer.

Stay tune for more Stomach Cancer tomorrow in Part II!

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs; especially when touching the food turkey day.  Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive; if you do you put everyone else on the road in danger.”

Cetners for Disease Control and Prevention

Part II How to brighten the holiday by making your health and safety the priority!

1. Proper eating, sleeping, exercising, and enjoying hobbies can often take a back seat to other priorities during the holidays. This again is setting the stage for disappointment as lack of self-care erodes the ability to cope with the increased stressors of the holidays. A growing body of evidence stresses the importance of this practice, and the number of effective interventions continues to expand (Jaarsma et al., 2020). Davis (2018) and other experts are widely available online for those who would like to learn more.

2.Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children or other relatives can’t come to your home, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos. Or meet virtually on a video call. Even though your holiday plans may look different this year, you can find ways to celebrate and be grateful for.

3.Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events or communities. Many may have websites, online support groups, social media sites or virtual events. They can offer support and companionship.

If you’re feeling stress during the holidays, it also may help to talk to a friend or family member about your concerns. Try reaching out with a text, a call or a video chat.

Volunteering your time or doing something to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry.  Like our parents taught us at a gathering don’t talk about religion or politics, especially if you don’t know what they favor.  This is more of a chance to make your day less stressful.

5. Say no if you have to and family and friends should would understand this especially after this covid-19 year.  Some families would like less crowds at the party for health, which should come first.  Less chance of the host or hostess becoming resentful they said yes and you could always zoom online with the family or friends you would normally see.  Less stress as well.

6.  Very important as well budget out what you plan to spend. Before you do your gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of food and gifts.

7. Lastly remember your health!  Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence with foods and gifts only adds to your stress and guilt.