Morning minutes are magic minutes…

Today has been an odd day. Mainly due to me having lie in. The start of a day really has a major impact on how it will pan out. I now realise why Pete says, ‘morning minutes are magic minutes’. He insists on being out of the house before 7.10am. Any time after that then the traffic is awful and a chain of bad luck events happen. This inevitably puts him under pressure for the rest of the day. In fact that’s why he goes to work so very early. Bless him though he brings me a hot drink, cuddles me till my eyes pop out then wraps me back up, closes the shutters, turns of the TV and locks the front door on the way out. I love him. He only wants the nicest things for me. But that is exactly what happened this morning. He would usually get some sort of garbled conversation out of me whilst I pretend to be listening with my eyes stuck fast. I stayed there until just gone 8am! That’s a lie in for me. I am guessing Saturday night caught up with me plus I did a good hour worth of exercise yesterday. Today my muscles ache. I think it’s from yoga more than cardio exercise. My shoulders are really aching! It just goes to show how yoga really does work the body.

 I’m really enjoying the Tara Styles yoga DVD’s at the moment. I am getting stronger. I can now actually lower myself down without collapsing. This is great as my chest muscles have been weakened since I had the mastectomy. As well as that I find it very hard to raise my right arm fully above my head as my scar goes all the way under my arm almost to my back. The knack with yoga though is working alongside your breathing. This for me is still a challenge as I find me holding my breath as I contort myself into various positions.

 Once upon a time not so long ago getting up late would have had me in a flap. I didn’t feel particularly refreshed either which I find hugely disappointing. But once up my morning flowed quite nicely.  I finished the 21 day meditation challenge with Deepak Chopra, which actually ended up being a 22 day challenge! Well actually it took me about 28 days as I kept having days off whilst away from home, but I got there in the end. I would highly recommend any of his 21 day challenges. His lesson at the beginning really gives you something to think and focus on and makes so much sense. 

 I didn’t have much planned today and have felt a bit lost…It’s crazy that we long to have less to do yet when in that position feel you should be doing more. I know there are plenty of jobs round the house and garden to be getting on with but I am flatly refusing to do garden jobs when it isn’t very pleasant outside. The leaves will still be there in weeks to come and let’s face it no one really notices do they? It’s only for me and Pete to feel better. It’s about pride of where we reside.

  I have been shopping for the list of ingredients for the meals I planned for the week. I never thought I would see the day that my shopping trolley would be filled with mainly veg and fruit and all things healthy. It’s totally refreshing and I feel good about myself as I approach the check out. It’s funny because it is hard not to look at what other people are buying. They have their crisps, dips, chips and other processed foods. Then they give me a side wards glance and check me out once they have seen the conveyor belt full of fresh foods. I hope they think I reflect my healthy choices! Although at the moment I look a right spotty mess. It must be all the sugar and alcohol or maybe it is me touching my face too much. One tip for everyone; avoid touching your face with your hands as they are naturally oily therefore transferring dirt and oil from your hands to your face clogging up the pores. Hey presto a whole loads of spots! Just what you don’t want.

 After doing my household chores… (Honestly it’s never ending and there are only two of us in this house!) I felt like a loose end. Sure enough the rest of the week is busy for me with clients and reflexology and friends coming to visit but today I feel like I should be doing more to help me and my cause out.

 I have been continuing selling the bracelets although this has had a slump in recent weeks and then I wonder what I should do next. Should I be doing more drawing, if so I want to have a plan, ideas of a theme to work on? Should I be working on more self development and things to improve my health and the outcome I want to achieve or should I be going to train as an HD brows trainer?
I want to do all of the above but I am not sure when……My health is good and as long as I am taking chemo, having immunotherapy and focussing on my rituals every day then I think I am doing the right thing. I don’t feel there is any avenue I haven’t explored and I don’t feel that I need to go for any more therapies where I need to research my sole and let go of old stuff that clogs up my mind. I think that right now I am in a good place. I feel balanced in my mind and heart. To be honest I really could do with some bright daylight and start getting out in the open. I feel I am lacking fresh air and vitamin d… Ok I am taking enough vitamin d3 but you can’t beat the really thing and I like pottering in the garden and I honestly think that maybe right now doing more training and taking on too much work could interfere with having a good summer! I know naughty eh? Lazy, cheeky or sensible? I think the latter. I am feeling well therefore I want to make the most of it and as long as the Earth catches up and we get a summer then I think I should really enjoy it!

  Living for the day really makes you forget everything you would usually feel guilty about.  I have already dumped the negative feelings that I had because of drinking too much alcohol and eating too many cakes last weekend. I don’t think about running around like a headless chicken anymore as I know everything will get in due course if it is meant to happen. I want to update my mood board but I don’t think I will do that now until it feels right. And when I do change the mood board I know I will feel really good about it but now is not the right time. Now I come to think of it there is so much I could be doing to enhance my life. I want to learn how to cook more….. That takes some organising for me as it doesn’t come naturally. Ok on my mental list of things to do…

 Here is today’s research:

 Chloroquine anti-malaria drug kills autophagy-addicted breast cancers

  The process of autophagy cleans cells – they wrap up the bad stuff and then dispose of it. And so it stands to reason that inhibiting autophagy would make cancer cells less able to cleanse themselves of chemotherapy and so more susceptible to the drugs. That’s what the traditional anti-malaria drug, chloroquine, does – it inhibits autophagy. Existing clinical trials are testing chloroquine/chemotherapy combinations against breast cancer.

 Research presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 shows that some breast cancer subtypes depend on autophagy more than others – and that inhibiting autophagy in breast cancers that depend on it may be enough alone to kill the disease.

 “When you inhibit autophagy either with chloroquine or with genetic switches, you see that some breast cancer cells don’t care. Some are only moderately distressed. And still others just die straight away,” says Andrew Thorburn, PhD, deputy director of the University of Colorado Cancer Centre and senior author on the study with first author Paola Maycotte, PhD.

 “Ultimately what we’d like to do is use this as the basis for a test to identify tumours in which autophagy inhibition is most effective. You find out what a cancer needs and you take it away – this is the model of modern, targeted therapies,” Thorburn says.

 With or without additional chemotherapy, identifying breast cancer and other cancer subtypes that are especially addicted to autophagy and so especially sensitive to its inhibition could allow an old drug to be used in a new, powerful way. For example, this study identified two likely sensitive breast cancer subtypes – basal-like and claudin-low – both of which are highly represented in aggressive, triple-negative breast cancers. The survival of triple-negative cells depends in part on the activation of the STAT3 gene, which is regulated by autophagy. It’s likely that inhibiting autophagy in these cells blocks STAT3 activation, which in turn results in the death of triple-negative breast cancer cells.

 “There’s more lab work to be done,” Thorburn says. “For example, we’re just finishing up work with autophagy inhibition in primary xenografts – taking the work from cells to mouse models. And other work presented at the conference by graduate student Rebecca Barnard is exploring when in the cell cycle is the best time to inhibit autophagy. But this is an especially exciting line of reasoning. What Paola’s data suggest is that for some breast cancers, just inhibiting autophagy may be enough to successfully treat the disease.”

 Source: University of Colorado Denver


Omega-3 fatty acids more effective at inhibiting growth of triple-negative breast cancer

  WASHINGTON, DC (April 9, 2013)—Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Centre have found that omega-3 fatty acids and their metabolite products slow or stop the proliferation, or growth in the number of cells, of triple-negative breast cancer cells more effectively than cells from luminal types of the disease. The omega-3s worked against all types of cancerous cells, but the effect was observed to be stronger in triple-negative cell lines, reducing proliferation by as much as 90 percent. The findings will be presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 on Tuesday, April 9.

  Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like sardines and salmon, and also in oils derived from plants like hemp and flax. Previous studies suggest these compounds can negatively affect critical mechanisms in cancer cells, namely those responsible for proliferation and for apoptosis or programmed cell death. Lead author on the study Thomas J. Pogash, a scientific technician in the Fox Chase Cancer Center lab of Jose Russo, MD, says the new work underscores the important role common compounds found in food may play in keeping cancer at bay.

 “Diet can play a critical role in breast cancer prevention,” says Pogash. “When you compare a western diet to a Mediterranean diet, which has more omega-3s, you see less cancer in the Mediterranean diet. They eat much more fish.”

  Breast cancer is a heterogeneous group of cancers comprising diseases that differ on the molecular level. Patients with different types of breast cancer respond differently to treatments. Four distinct categories of the disease are generally recognized. Two of those, luminal A and luminal B, grow in the luminal cells that line milk ducts in the breast and have receptors for estrogens and progesterone (prognosis is generally better for patients with luminal A than with luminal B). A third category includes tumours that test positive for the HER2 receptor.

 Russo notes that no targeted therapies are currently available for patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. Combination chemotherapies are the standard of care for early-stage disease.

  When a cancer cell digests omega-3s, the fatty acid is broken down into smaller molecules called metabolites. Russo, Pogash, and their colleagues tested the effect of large omega-3 parent molecules, as well as their smaller metabolic derivatives, on three luminal cell lines and seven lines that included basal-type triple-negative cells.

  Omega-3 and its metabolites were observed to inhibit proliferation in all cell lines, but the effect was dramatically more pronounced in the triple-negative cell lines. In addition, the metabolites of omega-3 reduced the motility, or ability to move, by 20-60 percent in the triple-negative basal cell lines.

  This study is part of a consortium between Fox Chase Cancer Centre and Pennsylvania State University under a five-year grant awarded by the Komen Foundation. Russo is the principal investigator of the project at Fox Chase. Andrea Manni, MD, leader of the Pennsylvania State University team, has extended this work to animal models, studying the anticancer effects of omega-3s and its metabolites on mouse models of triple-negative breast cancer.

  Russo and his colleagues are working on two related projects, one on the role of epigenetic events in the mechanism of cell transformation and another on the potential action of peptides of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) on breast cancer prevention.

That’s amazing…All the more reason to eat fish and flaxseed then I guess and if you really do not want to eat it then get a vegetarian supplement!

Tomorrow I have an afternoon of clients again. It hasn’t taken long for the word to spread and I have been getting messages all day from people wanting to book…. Exciting!

Light and Love. X