Amazing Medical Discoveries

In my last post I mentioned a recent article stating that perhaps the first person to live to 150 years has been born, and that soon scientists may be able to stop aging altogether.  That article is here.

These last couple of days I have also read another couple of amazing articles regarding possible breakthroughs.  For sure it seems that we are on the cusp of solving disease issues that have plagued humans for centuries.  The first is this article that appeared and got a lot of coverage (so you may have seen it), about 3 patients with leukemia treated with a new protocol, who all subsequently had amazing recoveries.  Leukemia is a terrible disease that can strike at any age, the acute form can strike particularly rapidly.  The treatment is often hardcore, and in itself has serious side effects that can affect the person for life if they are cured.  I previously worked in an oncology ward and have first hand experience with people suffering from leukemia.  There were many people I met who profoundly changed the way I look at life, however there were two in particular that stick out in my mind.  The first was a 26 year old young man.  He was only a couple of years older than me at the time, so the fact that I could imagine myself in his shoes only made the experience more poignant.  He told me his story of how he came to be in the oncology ward with leukemia.  Let’s call him Bob.

It was a couple of days before Christmas and Bob was feeling generally under the weather.  Like he had a bad cold or something.  However since it was the holiday season he didn’t let that diminish his joy and enthusiasm, and he continued life as usual.  Well Bob tried.  He continued to feel worse and finally on Christmas Eve he had had enough.  He went to see his family doctor who after a cursory check said that he did indeed have a cold, and that he should just go home and have “a decent meal”.  That phrase sticks in my mind – as Bob was just so stunned that the doctor had given the advice that a hearty meal would fix him.  Bob went home and continued to spiral down in how he felt.  On Christmas day he was still in bed and his friend came over.  Fortunately for him, his friend recognized that Bob was seriously ill, and so went to fetch his father.  The father came by and helped to get Bob to the local emergency clinic (regular clinics were closed since it was Christmas Day).  Fortunately the physician at the emergency clinic was competent, and took some blood tests.  He then sent Bob home to rest and said that he would call with the results.

Bob went home and lay down.  After about 90 minutes he got a call from the emergency clinic nurse who told him he must go immediately to the airport where the doctor would be waiting for him.  Bob was a little shocked.  Why did he need to go to there?  However he had already hung up the phone so he made his way to the airport.  What he saw at the airport shocked him, and after all these years I still remember the look on his face as he relayed the story to me.  At the airport there was a little 4 seater airplane fired up ready to roll, and the doctor and nurse were waiting there with the pilot.  All of them were fully clothed in protective gowns, surgical masks and hats.  The blood results had come back showing that Bob had very little platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells.  Leukemia.  When Bob saw them all in protective gowns he assumed that he had some hideous infectious disease.  What he didn’t realize was that they were all gowned up to protect him from them!  His body had basically no immunity, and they didn’t want to infect him with something.  They flew him to the regional cancer treatment center, which is where I met him.

Bob survived.  He had a couple of rounds of chemotherapy and the leukemia went into remission.  Is he alive today?  I don’t know as I left that hospital a couple of decades ago and didn’t keep in touch.  The other case that sticks out in my mind is that of a young woman, 19 years old.  Let’s call her Lisa.  Lisa was another classic case of leukemia – and just like Bob she had a rapid onset of symptoms and diagnosis.  What makes her case stick in my mind though is that she didn’t survive the disease.  She passed away after a couple of months of treatment.  There is nothing like seeing a vibrant young life taken away at the prime of their youth to shake one’s life principles and really drive home the fact that life is short and that we should get the most out of it while we can.  Take risks, try new things and don’t waste your time with worry.The second article that I recently read that made me say “wow”, is one regarding the possible positive effects of lactoferrin. This article is by the guru Will Brink, and as with all his articles is well researched with links at the end of the article to all the relevant scientific literature.  In short, “The article summarized an extensive body of research showing lactoferrin to have immune boosting, anti cancer, anti microbial, anti inflammatory, and anti oxidant properties”.  With a list that long I wouldn’t be surprised if you are dubious.  I certainly am when I read a statement like that.  However I encourage you to read the article.  Will certainly doesn’t claim outright that lactoferrin will convey all those benefits, but the research certainly indicates that these positive benefits do exist.  While I wait for more research on this issue I’m not waiting to begin to take this supplement, and have already ordered some.  I’m interested to see if it has any effect on my psoriasis.  I intend to start on about 1.2 grams per day (4 pills).

So how has my training and sleeping been going lately I hear you ask?  Ok, maybe you didn’t ask it, however I’ve decided to give an update anyway :).  Sleeping has been ok the last couple of nights.  Yesterday I woke up at around 7.30am – and it felt like I had a long sleep in, so I was pleasantly surprised.  I did a lower workout yesterday, and I have gone back to normal rep range i.e. 6 to 12 reps.  The workout with a high rep range is such a killer that I can only do it for a short period.  At the end my motivation was waning and I really wasn’t looking forward to my workout, since the high reps make it so painful.  Without a doubt even though I was using incredibly light weights, it was the most difficult workout I have ever done.  I think I will save it for a “3 week cycle” to throw in now and then to mix things up.  So yesterday I went back to the 6 to 12 rep range for my exercises, and really enjoyed it.  With enjoyment up my motivation is back, and I’m looking forward to doing an upper workout today.

Today I woke up at 6.20am and really felt like I could get out of bed then.  I was feeling refreshed.  However since it is Sunday I decided to lie in.  I could’ve sworn I barely closed my eyes for a second, however when I next looked at the clock it was 8.20am!

Yesterday I took the kids to Thai Wake Park. I had heard of it over a year ago and something this week spurred me to look it up online.  I used to do a lot of waterskiing when I was younger, and looked forward to introducing it to the boys.  It turned out that it only took about 25 minutes to get to the wake park from our house!  It is a great setup and we all really enjoyed our afternoon there.  The boys both tried out the kneeboarding, and picked it up right off the bat!  The eldest wants to go back again today – although his arms are a little sore.  Here is a picture of him going around:

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