Mesothelioma: Information & Resources

Malignant mesothelioma (sometimes referred to as “mesothelioma” or simply “meso”) is an aggressive form of cancer that affects tens of thousands of people worldwide. Generally associated with long-term exposure to materials that contain asbestos, mesothelioma can grow and spread with alarming speed, which is why early diagnosis is so crucial to a good prognosis. However, the time from initial asbestos exposure to the time of becoming symptomatic is often extremely long—sometimes, the latency period lasts for several decades before someone with mesothelioma begins to feel ill. These factors combine to present clinicians and patients alike with a major dilemma.

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Malignant mesothelioma (all sites): Number of deaths, crude and age-adjusted death rates, U.S. residents age 15 and over, 1999–2010

Types of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma typically affects the linings of the heart, lungs, abdominal cavity, and in rarer cases, the reproductive organs.

Pericardial mesothelioma

One of the more rare mesothelioma types, pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart. The most popular treatment option for this form of mesothelioma is surgery to remove the cancer and sometimes, the lining of the heart itself.

Peritoneal mesothelioma

One of the more common mesothelioma types, peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdominal cavity. It is thought to be caused by swallowing of asbestos or asbestos-like fibers, and popular treatment options include surgical tumor excision, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Pleural mesothelioma

The most common form of mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs. This form of mesothelioma is typically associated with inhalation of carcinogenic fibers, often on a daily basis over a long period of time (such as while working with asbestos insulation). Treatment options for pleural mesothelioma are varied and depend upon the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis.

Testicular mesothelioma

Testicular mesothelioma is extremely rare, with fewer than 100 people across the globe reported as having the diagnosis. The most common method of treatment for mesothelioma of the lining of the testes is surgical removal of the testis affected by the tumor.

Treatment options

There are a variety of treatment options available for people who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, depending on the location and stage of their cancer. Treatments may be curative—that is, intended to remove the cancer and send the patient into remission—or they may be palliative—that is, intended to ease the pain or discomfort experienced by the patient in order to restore quality of life.

Curative treatments

Radiation therapy, surgical treatment, and chemotherapy are often used as potentially curative treatments, with the hopes of removing most or all of the cancerous tissue from the body, either by physically removing it as in surgery, or by delivering cancer-killing radiation or chemo treatment to the tumor. Curative treatments have the best prognosis when the cancer is still localized and has not spread to distant organs in the body.

Palliative treatments

For individuals whose mesothelioma is at a later stage by the time of diagnosis, curative options may be extremely limited. These people still have options, though, to help them reclaim quality of life while living with mesothelioma. For example, surgery to drain excess fluid in the lungs due to pleural mesothelioma may be conducted to make a patient’s breathing easier, and pain medications may also be prescribed to reduce the pain caused by the growth and spread of the cancer. More information at http://mesothelioma.net.

Interview with Fireweed author: Terry Montague

Fireweed new coverFireweed by Terry Montague is an intriguing and poignant WWII saga from the German citizen point of view. Terry pulls the reader into Lisel’s heart and then lets you see, smell, hear, feel and touch her world. I wanted to reach out and give Lisel a hug.

Margaret: Why do you write?

Terry: Because I have so many questions about life that, I think, I’m always trying to work those out in my mind.  Plus I’ve got lots of stories bubbling around in there and writing is the most effective way to get them out!

I’ve always been a person of maximum curiosity.  My parents tell me my first word wasn’t “Mama” it was an entire sentence, accompanied by a pointing, pudgy finger, “What’s that?”

I love to turn over rocks and say, “Look what we have here.”

Margaret:  Are the goals different for other projects?

Terry:  Yes.  For instance, when I was writing for Meridian Magazine, the Proctors wanted stories that were uplifting and inspiring stories about facing life’s trials.  Then, a couple of years ago, I wrote a piece of fiction that was intended to let women know they could laugh at the perplexing things in life.  I entered it in a humor competition and won a first place. Fireweed and Mine Angels Round About were “Look what we have here,” projects.

Margaret: What genre are your books and who is your target audience?

Terry:  Historical and Women’s Fiction for teen-agers and older.  I’d like to do something with Mystery but my Mystery skills aren’t advanced enough, yet.

Margaret:  Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to write this story?

Terry:  Yes.  As I was thinking about finding a new and intriguing project when I met Norman Grant Seibold who was then one of our County Commissioners.  His experiences as a missionary in Nazi Germany inspired me to research the West German Mission evacuation of 1939.  Over a five-year period, I tracked down nearly sixty of the almost eighty missionaries involved in that dramatic and historically significant incident.

Often, I traveled to a former missionary’s home to find he had family members, some of them German, sitting in on the interview.  If, during the interview, the missionary had to retrieve a journal or set of letters from another room, his German family members would say to me, “Now let me tell you what happened to me.”

When my research was as complete as I could make it, we released it as a piece of primary resource historical non-fiction, titled Mine Angels Round About.   Then, because I knew I needed to tell another part of the story, one from the German point of view, I began writing Fireweed. 

Margaret: Intriguing. Tell us about the heroine in your book.

Terry:  I like to use a main character who seems the weakest or has the least power in her situation then I toughen her up by throwing some rocks at her so that, eventually, she not only has the most power but can sling rocks back.

Margaret: Tell us about the villain. Is it a person, thing, or circumstance?

Terry: All three.  I think conflict should come from all different directions.  Plus, the villain in one part of the story might serve another purpose in another part. So the villain can change or the circumstance can change.  That’s the way it is in mortal life.  Everything changes.  I like it that way.

Margaret:  How do you discover the characteristics of your characters?

Terry:  Ha!  I didn’t discover them.  I assigned them.  I know, that sounds a bit backward but I always go at a story from setting and circumstance first.  Then, I work on what kind of character would best suit what I want to say.  I let the character have her say, but I’m not the kind of writer who lets the characters take over the story.

Margaret:  Who was the first person you told when you found out your book was being published?

Terry:  My Husband, Quinn.

Margaret:  Thanks for visiting with me Terry. Reading Fireweed reminds me of my mother’s and grandmother’s stories from Holland in WWII. Some of them are recorded in my mother’s book: Never Againby Martha Petronella van der Wal Larsen.

Fireweed is written for an LDS audience and will be enjoyed by Dean Hughes and Sandra Grey fans, as well as women’s fiction lovers and WWII enthusiasts.

Interview with Connie Flynn – Author of Know When to Run

KnnowWhentoRunCoverKnow When to Run by Connie Flynn begins with excitement and moves forward with exciting twists and turns. The characters are well developed and descriptions are so real you feel the tension and smell the fear. This witty and hot romantic suspense is action packed and erupts with emotion.

Connie Flynn is a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and Thriller International, Connie is active in several local chapters. She also teaches independent workshops and gives presentations on novel writing and creativity.

Know When to Run Teaser: She woke up one morning on a Mississippi riverboat casino with a huge headache and a huge case of amnesia. With the help of new friends she rebuilt her life. Now, nearly two years later, a tall dark man with killer good looks comes after her. A bounty hunter, who claims she killed her father then ran out on her bail. She says he’s got the wrong woman. He says she’s guilty as sin. One of them is right . . .

Suddenly so many people are after her, she can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys. But one thing she can do is KNOW WHEN TO RUN.

Connie was kind enough to give me an interview:

Margaret: What inspired you to write Ky’s character with amnesia?

Connie: The writing of this novel was about three years from conception to publication and I honestly can’t remember why I chose amnesia. But I’m attracted to that kind of plot because it’s almost like a second chance . . . and in this case, for Ky, it truly was a second chance to become a good person. Plus, when memory isn’t reliable, neither is the person, which made trust much more difficult to achieve and the mystery much more difficult to solve.

Margaret: How do you discover the characteristics of your characters? Please elaborate on one or two of those.

Connie: I used to do complicated charts and character traits until I found they got in the way of the writing. Now I always start with what the focal characters want to get or avoid, and why they want it because I’ve discovered these answers provide so much meaty information. The next thing I do is to torment my characters all the way through the book until the ultimate prize is won (or lost).

Margaret: What is your favorite Genre to write and why?

Connie: Most of my books are cross-genre. I adore romance for the emotional edge it gives a story, but suspense and thrillers keep me on my mental toes, especially when the love interest is strong. And fantasy, well, I can throw away the molds when I write fantasy, but I also pull in suspense and a love interest. So I guess I’m just not a purist so I tend to define my story genre by which plot line is dominant.

Margaret: There are multiple sleaze balls in this story, which was the hardest to write and why? Who was the easiest to write and why?

Connie: Hard to say. I just love my sleaze balls. They add so much texture to a story and the biggest challenge in writing them is to avoid making them stick figures and stereotypes. I’d say that Les Broder was hard to keep real, I kept wanting to give him every Snidely Whiplash trait in the book. Gabe’s brother-in-law, Hal, was the easiest because we all know guys like him. No moral center and no driving purpose, he just hopes things will fall his way if only he can catch a break. Like many men of that kind he is his own worst enemy.

Margaret: When can we expect to find book #2 in this series on the shelf?

Connie: KNOW WHEN TO HIDE, also revolving around the riverboat, will star Ivy, Gabe’s girl Friday who would be office manager if not for Hal. It’s currently in the conception stage with a villain and a love interest chosen. It will be another financial thriller so it’s the twists and turns that I’m working on now. My plan is to launch the paperback version by Christmas.

Margaret: Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to reading KNOW WHEN TO HIDE.

 

 

Chosen: Werewolf Academy Book 7 – The Finale

Werewolf-Academy-7-cover-200x300Cheree Alsop’s conclusion to her Werewolf Academy series: Chosen vibrated my soul with strains of the Cannons from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.  Chosen is the 7th book in this powerful series that splays real world prejudice and bigotry open with a blast while entertaining with paranormal fantasy that is not for the faint of heart.

Alex knew choosing the path of the lone wolf wouldn’t be easy, but challenging Jaze Carso for the chance to bring the Werewolf Academy to the public would prove to be much harder. Alex has to decide how far he is willing to go to give werewolves the life he has fought for. Will his trust in humans become the biggest mistake of his life, or will his hope in humanity prove that selflessness can change prejudice? Alex has bled for both sides; now is his time to challenge whether those sides will do the same for him.Everything Alex has fought and bled for comes together in this final book in the Werewolf Academy series. New threats arise, an old enemy resurfaces, and the bond of love is tested to the extreme in this gripping conclusion.

Cheree Alsop has published 30 books, including two series through Stonehouse Ink. She is the mother of a beautiful, talented daughter and amazing twin sons who fill every day with joy and laughter. She is married to her best friend, Michael, the light of her life and her soulmate who shares her dreams and inspires her by reading the first drafts and giving much appreciated critiques. Cheree works as an independent author and mother, which is more play than work! She enjoys reading, traveling to tropical beaches, spending time with her children, and going on family adventures while planning her next book. Cheree and Michael live in Utah where they rock out, enjoy the outdoors, and never stop dreaming.

Follow Cheree:

website: www.chereealsop.com

Southwest Human Development Children’s Book Writing Contest

Toddler readig book
First Edition: A Books for Babies &
 
Toddlers, Too Project

Children’s Book Writing Contest Flyer

Submission Guidelines

Southwest Human Development

We’ll edit, illustrate and promote the book. All you need to do is write it!

Support the 21st Century Cures Act

Source: Support the 21st Century Cures Act

Bridges of the Heart by Joan Sowards

Bridges_FrontBridges of the Heart by Joan Sowards provides the reader an intriguing contemporary romance as well as unique perspective of early the 19th century South. It is the perfect time travel novel for family history buffs.

Twenty-one-year-old Rachel Lisenby finds life hard to cope with after her mother passes away from cancer. To add to Rachel’s confusion, her boyfriend Maxson proposes marriage on the evening of the funeral. She escapes to Utah to think and take time off from the relationship. Over the phone, she tells Maxson she is not ready for marriage, and suggests he start dating other girls.

After returning to Arizona, Rachel finds Maxson in a relationship with Paige—her rival throughout high school. With time, Rachel convinces herself she is over him, but a strange Southern visitor named Jonathan tells her that she is meant to marry Maxson. Jonathan insists it is her responsibility to apologize to Maxson and set things straight, since she broke up with him. But Rachel refuses. Because of her stubbornness, she is whirled back in time to 1820 to learn that family ties reach into the past, as well as the future.

Quote from Joan Sowards published in Acknowledgments found in the front of the Bridges of the Heart:

“This story would not have happened without Lucretia. I found her Revolutionary War widow pension application, and hoping she was the mother of my ancestor Jonathan, I felt prompted to sit down and write what she would say in an interview. To my surprise, she scorned me and harbored hard feelings about her son’s death. From there sprung the story of Bridges of the Heart. Though it is my fourth published novel, it was the first written, and through it I discovered my love for writing. Bridges is dear to my heart. It is a story about the past and future, intertwining two families that are one in eternity—my family. . . As is the custom with historical novels, I took a great deal of literary license and invented most of the incidents and all of the dialogue. ”

Multi-talented Joan Sowards also composes music. Look Away is sung in chapter 25, pg 176. Though not sung by Coker, it symbolizes how he looks forward to leaving South Carolina and making a new life in Alabama. Sung by Ryan Stock.

Lyrics:
My fathers before me worked this land.
By sweat and toil, they made this place grand.
But alas, I know I’ve a roving heart,
It’s time for me and my homeland to part.

Chorus:
Look away, look away to a life that is new,
My season has come, to mine own heart be true.
Look away, look away, I fly like the dove
Leaving my home and the people I love.

Verse two:
The grass is greener o’er yon hill.
Beyond the horizon, my dreams to fulfill.
I will leave my doubts and fears behind.
A bright land of promise I know I’ll find.

Repeat chorus

More about Joan Sowards can be found on her blog: http://joansowards.blogspot.com

Follow Joan Sowards on Facebook and Twitter.

A Leadership Conversation with Dr. Marty Tenenbaum and Dr. Josh LaBaer

AZBio-DorothyFoundation

March 19th, 2015 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM at Phoenix Country Club

Join AZBio and Members of Arizona’s Healthcare and Life Science Community for

Big Questions – Big Data – Big Science:

A Leadership Conversation with Dr. Marty Tenenbaum,

founder of Cancer Commons and

Dr. Josh LaBaer  of the Biodesign Institute  at ASU

It’s been said time and again that when it comes to science and research, Arizona’s pioneering spirit and youthful energy, makes it a perfect place for collaboration.

With the advance of big data, open science, crowdsourcing and the like, do we have the right people, ideas, tools, resources and motivation to accelerate cures and

bring solutions to people? What’s stopping us now?

Two ‘big idea guys’ will join us on March 19th to share their experiences, their successes – and yes, their failures.

When:  Thursday, March 19, 2015

11:00 AM –  Registrations and Networking

11:30 AM – 1:00  PM – Program and Lunch

Where:  Phoenix Country Club

Tickets:  $75 for Members*, $100 for Non Members, $750 for a table of  10    REGISTER

Elected Leaders and the Media receive complimentary registration to this educational event.

* Member pricing is extended to  Members of AZBio, the Arizona Technology Council, and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

Every year 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer and nearly half of those cases are considered incurable. But many of those “incurable” cases may be beatable by exploiting biological features unique to each individual’s cancer. Join us as we explore the  convergence of recent developments in genomics, big data informatics, social networks, and personalized medicine that is transforming the landscape of cancer research and treatment. In this new paradigm, cancer is managed as a chronic disease using an evolving cocktail of targeted- and immunotherapies individualized for each patient, much like HIV. Every treatment event is considered as a probe that  simultaneously treats the patient and provides an opportunity to validate and refine the models on which the treatment decisions are based.

Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies

Cancer Video Picture

Movie Premiers on PBS on March 30th, 2015

Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS. The book  is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Spurred by a personal tragedy, America’s foremost documentarian is tackling cancer. According to the Associated Press, Burns collaborated with Dr. Mukherjee to bring the historical work to PBS in spring 2015.
Stand Up to Cancer co-founder and legendary film producer Laura Ziskin envision creating a documentary about cancer for years. In 2010 she came across The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. From the first time she laid eyes on the book, Laura knew it should be the basis of the documentary she still wanted to make. She was the driving force behind the film’s production and her spirit is very much part of the completed product.

 

Don’t Ask, Do Tell!

Stand Up 2 Cancer Caregiver tip.  

After a cancer diagnosis family and friends frequently feel powerless to help. It is difficult to know how to provide support to your loved one, especially when you may feel like you don’t know what to do or where to start. Stand Up 2 Cancer shares the suggestion that it may be helpful to make a list of things that you think you can do, based on your own availability and skills. Then you can reach out to your loved one with these suggestions. It can include providing rides, running errands, or bringing a book to read or music to listen to.  More suggestions can be found at http://showthatyoucare.org/index.php/dont-ask-do-tell and the list below:

Don’t Ask, Do Tell | Show That You Care

  • Make appointments
  • Save important doctor and clinic numbers to your loved one’s cellphone / make a notebook with numbers for the patient, caregivers and family members to use.
  • Go to appointments with themDon't Ask, Do Tell
  • Prepare a chemo care kit:
    • Bottled water
    • Sweaters, blankets, socks, layers, things to keep warm
    • A list of current medications
    • A cooler with ice, popsicles—or just bottled water (helps prevent mouth sores)
    • Sugarless candy
    • Chapstick
    • Toothbrush
    • V-neck or button up shirt for access to port (cotton)
    • Mad Libs, crosswords, trivia games, things to pass the time
    • Books, magazines, tablets
    • A selection of items that currently smell good to your loved one such as essential oil
  • Grocery shopping
  • Cook or arrange meal drop offs
    • Set up an online calendar for friends and family to sign up for meal deliveries
    • Adjust meal requests overtime as you better understand when meals are most needed
    • Remember that the sense of taste often changes during treatment. Friends delivering meals are always happy to hear what foods will be most appreciated
    • Request that food is delivered in dishes that do not require washing and returning
  • Write the thank you notes so your loved one does not have to
  • Babysitting
  • Arrange play dates or offer rides for children
  • Pet care (feed, walk, bathe, bring them to the vet)
  • House cleaning and maintenance
    • Consider arranging house cleaning while a loved one is at treatment
    • Create volunteer calendar for household and yard chores, putting out the trash for collection, etc.
    • Gather funds from friends and families to hire a cleaning service
    • Have friends and family wash and return folded laundry
    • Help with seasonal house maintenance like cleaning gutters, raking leaves, cutting grass.
  • Research support groups
  • Attend a support group
  • Pick up prescriptions
  • Take cars to fill up the gas tank or for maintenance