Category Archives: Health

Articles about health in general and Kurt’s health in specific.

An Important FDA Safety Announcement for my Donor Stem Cell Transplant Brothers and Sisters

FDA warns about increased risk of cancer relapse with long-term use of azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) antibiotic after donor stem cell transplant

The French study which the FDA based a recent safety announcement on had to be discontinued after two years because the rate of the return of cancer and even death was too high in those patients with cancers of the blood or lymph nodes who undergo a donor stem cell transplant and were taking the antibiotic azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) long term to prevent a certain inflammatory lung condition [LUNG GVHD/BOS].

While this FDA Safety Announcement focuses on those taking azithromycin long term as a measure to prevent Lung GVHD/BOS, if you’re like me and you have been taking it long term to treat Lung GVHD/BOS, you also might want to discuss this announcement with your oncologist and consider whether or not the risks exceed the benefits.

After discussion with my oncologist I have decided to discontinue taking the antibiotic after having taken it now for over eight years. I will undergo a PFT in a couple of months to see if there has been any further degradation to my lungs as a result of discontinuing the drug.

You can read the full FDA announcement here and you can read the announcement from the drug manufacturer here.

Best of luck to you all.

#vote

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Drugs, Death, and Rock & Roll

Wayne Static in 2005 [WIKIPEDIA]


 

Did not know Wayne Static had died in 2014.

What a frikkin’ bummer.

I’m a fan of Industrial Music — Rock, Metal, Electronic — with Nine Inch Nails being my typical band of choice whenever I’m jonesing for a deep, dark, dystopic fix.

But whenever I was in need for an adrenaline fix, Wayne Static — his stage name obviously — with his band Static-X would always get me to where I was fixin’ to go.

It’s been a while since I needed a high-tempo rush like that so I hadn’t heard nor thought of Static-X in many o’ moons; however, now that I’m to the point where I’m working out regularly, a Static-X classic popped up on my Apple Music Industrial Rock Workout Playlist that Apple nerds had kindly and conveniently curated for me.

Warning: If you’re not familiar with this genre of music, you may want to check, first, with your doctor to ensure your heart can handle it, and then, second, with your Priest/Spiritual Advisor to ensure your spirit can handle it, as well…
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Any Wim Hof fans out there?

If you’ve never heard of Hof before… prepare to have your mind blown.

This dude, known as The Iceman, can withstand the coldest colds and endure the hottest hots for practically as long as he wants all because he can control his mind and, through that, his core temperature, all through a radical breathing technique of his.

I’ve lost nearly half of my lung capacity due to a side effect called graft versus host disease after from my bone marrow transplant so, apart from the fact my survival rate chances were in the cellar, I never expected to be able to do much in the way of cardiovascular work ever again.

My son turned me onto Hof last year and, while I’m still in my initial stages of learning from this guy, you should see me going for it on the exercise bike and with the weights. I cannot imagine how much more I will be able to progress the more I progress with Hof’s techniques.

Reminder, as per clearly stated in my Terms & Disclaimers I am not a doctor so don’t go doing this stuff without consulting the experts first.

But if you want to experience a new reality of living… watch the fascinating Vice documentary about him below and then go check out this wild man’s youtube site.
 

 

Get Mellow


 
If I had been given a 14% chance of living to five years after my Lung GVHD diagnosis instead of a 13% chance, I would have then had to call my little self-help book HOW NOT TO DIE: In 14 Easy Steps instead of 13.

And as the additional step to keep one alive, I would have added “Get Mellow,” because I have learned throughout my years that life is stressful — it is even more so when your health fails you. One has to take action to keep it cool or the stress just compounds the damage.

In addition to prayer and meditation, I listened to many different varieties of relaxing music to get and stay mellow. However, once I found this Tibetan Bells video it became The One and Only.

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to it.

But, seeing how the stress levels seem to be rising…

It’s time for me to once again… Get Mellow.

OMMMMM

 

Kurt receiving acupuncture treatment for his many ailments

The Purpose of Pain

When it comes to physical pain, it’s purpose is hardly in question: It focuses us to where our immediate attention and action is required.

We accidentally rest our hand on a hot stove top burner and, without our sense of pain, our hand, if it weren’t for our sense of smell, would become cooked well enough to serve up at the next meal.

We could laugh at this, but sadly and horrifically there are some who do not experience the sense of physical pain due to a rare condition known as congenital analgesia.

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COPING with #CANCER?

coping-quote

Hey! How about that?!

Our good friends over at COPING With Cancer magazine featured an excerpt from my little book HOW NOT TO DIE: In 13 Easy Steps in their recent edition.

Pretty cool, no?

Yes, indeed.

You can learn more about the magazine and all the good folks there doing God’s work here.

You can learn more about my book here.

You can check out the post the book was inspired by here.

And you can learn how I feel about pink as the color of cancer here.

#cancerisjustastateofmind
#peace

 
 

More Brain Drain Stuff

Meningitis Brain

Image courtesy of National Institute on Aging


 
So… based on your very kind, honest, and funny feedback to my last post, it appears that Cards Against Humanity, while being fun and completely aligned with my temperament, may not be the game best suited for building up my brain muscle.

I know there are several companies out there now that say they have games and apps that will improve one’s cognitive function and may hold diseases like Alzheimer’s at bay. However, those companies were pretty much debunked by a group of neuroscientists with this.

The good news is that there may actually be one game out there that does improve brain function.

From the LA Times:

If you’re intent on keeping dementia at bay, new research suggests you’ll need more than crossword puzzles, aerobic exercise and an active social life. In a study released Sunday, researchers found that older adults who did exercises to shore up the speed at which they processed visual information could cut by nearly half their likelihood of cognitive decline or dementia over a 10-year period…

The data that the LA Times is reporting from was presented at the Alzheimer’s Assn.’s International Conference.

The study the data was drawn from was conducted by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging.

The game used in the study found to be effective is called Double Decision.

Of course you have to become a paid subscriber to play the game. If you pay monthly, it costs $14.00. If you pay annually, it costs $8.00.

A monthly membership to Golds Gym costs around $25.00 a month.

I am not yet sure if I am going to subscribe to play the game but I am sure, based upon your feedback and my research, that muscles, brains or otherwise, are expensive to build and maintain.