Out of the common place.
Into the rare.
How we ascend
in dark despair,
we are placed
in harm’s way,
a Miraculous moment,
a truly Sacred day.
when we Pray,
the Song our Heart sings,
to the Mind of God.
He is listening,
the sound of your
to beat in time
As I survey
all that I see,
I am finally free.
The Presence that surrounds me,
Magnificent and Beautiful to behold,
if the Truth be told,
is the Existence of God.
He enters all that you are,
is all you can be.
Let Him lift you up,
from where you are,
you will see.
“Oh Lord, my God
When I in awesome wonder
Considered all the worlds
Thy Hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy art throughout the Universe displayed.
Then sings my Soul,
my Savior God to Thee
“How great Thou art,
how great Thou art!”
– Carl G. Boberg / Stuart K. Hine
by the Perpetual Light of Love,
in its purest Perfection,
with all the cherished
suffering and sorrow
need be no more.
can be revealed,
not to you –
but to your Heart,
in the warmth
of His Glorious Light,
of His Precious Love.
Let our Father
keep you safe
in the warmth
of His Loving Embrace,
and fill your precious Soul
with His Abundant
Trust in Him.
Let anguish and hate
vanish like shadows at
Do not wait
until you perish,
to rest in Peace
and feel Embraced
Pure and Chaste.
of your Heart
be slain by the blindness
of the night,
from never knowing
what is good,
what is right.
From all that’s dark,
peals out an Everlasting Song.
For in the dark and bitter cold
one can always hear
a song that someone sings.
is a Sacred Thing,
Born of Colors
in Rainbow rings,
like the Robin sings.
to God in Prayer
is Glorious & exciting.
Cast your lonely eyes
to Heaven Above.
I invite you on this Journey.
Let your Prayers
float up to Heaven,
surrounded by Angels
singing in Paradise.
along the Way.
And as you journey
the road of Life,
know the end of that road
is nearer than ever.
in knowing the Song
your Life sings
can put your mind to rest,
make you at ease.
“O what Peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God
– Joseph M. Scriven
In 1855 he wrote a poem called
“Pray Without Ceasing” to comfort his ailing mother.
This poem was later set to music by
Charles Coverse and retitled
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
May the Perpetual Light
of God’s Love
Shine upon you.
Rest In Peace,
you Rest in
A World Without Cancer: Is Prevention the Cure?
In the following interview, Dr. Margaret I. Cuomo, author of the book A World Without Cancer, discusses the importance of cancer prevention with Motley Fool health care analyst Max Macaluso.
Macaluso: Dr. Cuomo is the author of the new book, A World Without Cancer, and she’s also the daughter of our former Governor Cuomo, and the sister of our current Governor Cuomo.
It’s been about 40 years – actually more than 40 years – since 1971, when the war on cancer was declared by President Richard Nixon. In that time, we’ve spent over $90 billion on cancer research, and yet we are still seeing cancer incidence rates rise.
We haven’t come as far as you’d think we should have, for that amount of time and money spent, so I said to myself, with all the horrific effects of cancer on the lives of my patients, friends, and family, it was time to delve into the subject and give it a fresh perspective.
Macaluso: In your book you talk a lot about the misconceptions of cancer prevention. What do you think the top misconception is today?
Cuomo: I think most people, even people who are quite knowledgeable, think that cancer is an inevitability. “No matter what I do, I’m going to get cancer. Either I’ll inherit it, or I’ll grow old enough and I’ll get cancer just because I’ve grown old.”
That’s clearly not the case. We know that over 50% of all cancers are preventable. Attention to diet, exercise, limiting alcohol, ending smoking, protecting our skin from the sun, and taking vitamin D all contribute to a cancer-free life and the environmental toxins that are in our midst can be eliminated, or at least limited so that they don’t raise our risk of cancer.
Macaluso: What are some of the specific things we’re not paying enough attention to when it comes to prevention? Let’s start with diet.
Cuomo: OK, diet. You know the old expression, “You are what you eat.” To a large extent, that’s very true. A plant-based diet is what nearly all the experts say is not only the healthiest in terms of preventing heart disease and diabetes, but also reducing our risk for cancer.
If you look at your plate, your daily plate, two-thirds of it should be fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, or even a whole grain pasta – and then a very small amount of lean protein like fish or chicken, and a minimal amount of red meat. That is the cancer prevention diet, but it also, as I say, decreases your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Limiting alcohol – that means you really can’t afford to go out once a week and binge. They say no more than one drink a day of alcohol – that includes wine – for a woman and no more than two for a man, and it may be even less than that, but certainly you want to watch your alcohol intake.
Macaluso: I can tell you, after reading your book I definitely modified my diet. I’m drinking more green tea and a lot more vegetables.
Cuomo: Excellent. Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
Macaluso: Let’s shift the discussion from diet to environmental factors.
Cuomo: Yes, environment; very important. In fact, the United Nations just issued a report last week, that the World Health Organization was involved in as well, in which it said that there are so many of the so-called “endocrine disrupting chemicals,” such as BPA, which are in our plastic water bottles, other beverages, also food containers, the lining of the cans of food, soup – a can of soup, a can of beans – etc. Even a cashier receipt can have BPA.
Parabens – are in everything from facial wash to shampoo, toothpaste – these are endocrine-disrupting chemicals. What does that mean?
That means they modify the development of hormones in our body. They affect our endocrine system, which has been linked to cancers of the breast, prostate, thyroid, and others. Also linked to obesity and diabetes, and they even drew a link to autism.
For all those reasons we want to rid our products, our personal care products at the very least, of these harmful chemicals, so there is good news on that note.
Macaluso: In your book, you talk a lot about BPAs and all the things in consumer packaging. I understand that Johnson & Johnson is leading the charge in making a commitment to rid their products of these chemicals. Can you speak a little bit about that?
Cuomo: Yes. I applaud Johnson & Johnson. They are the first major consumer products company in the United States to voluntarily commit to removing all harmful chemicals from their personal care products.
I would like to see other major companies, like Procter & Gamble and Colgate and L’Oreal follow the good example of Johnson & Johnson. Why should consumers be at risk for washing their face or brushing their teeth?
Macaluso: Excellent point. Going along with that, are there any other companies focused on organic products or specific foods, that you might applaud?
Cuomo: Yes. I am happy to share with you, in terms of being BPA-free in all of their food packaging materials, the Hain Celestial Group. First of all, they’re the market leader in organic products, I’ve learned, and they include products such as Arrowhead Mills, Health Valley, Earth’s Best baby food, Walnut Acres juices, DeBoles pasta, Imagine sauces and soups.
They have made a commitment to BPA-free in all of their food packaging, cans, etc., and they also are very conscious in terms of sustainability for their packaging materials, so big applause for Hain Celestial Group.
Also, Whole Foods 365 brands, many of their brands are BPA-free, Trader Joe’s, and Eden Foods are some that come to mind.
Macaluso: Is there anything that consumers can do, or do we just have to wait for these companies to change their practices?
Cuomo: What you can do as an educated consumer is to read the labels. Certainly, if you don’t see “BPA free,” you have to question, “Does this packaging material contain BPA?”
In terms of your personal care products, read the labels. If you see anything with “paraben” in it – that means methylparaben, butylparaben – anything that has that phrase, “paraben,” avoid it completely. Also another word, difficult to pronounce, phthalates, another endocrine disruptor.
Basically, Max, anything you can’t pronounce you would be wise to stay away from it.
Macaluso: Yeah, I think that’s a good rule of thumb. Let’s talk a little bit about obesity. I think a lot of people might not realize that obesity is linked to certain types of cancers.
Cuomo: Yes. Obesity is linked to quite a few cancers. Scientists have pointed to the fact that breast cancer and colon cancer are definitely linked to obesity, but there are many other cancers that are as well.
What do we want to do? How do we avoid this epidemic? Do you realize, in the past 30 years the rate of obesity among children has tripled, and it has doubled for adults? Everyone agrees we have an epidemic. What do we do about it?
It’s all about education, isn’t it? We have to start with our very youngest children, teaching them what is a healthful diet. It’s not a bag of chips at every meal. It’s not a can of soda at every meal. If children don’t have the tools, the strategies, how can we expect them to eat healthfully?
Often times, what children learn in school in terms of vegetables and a plant-based diet, they will take home and they will be the teachers for their parents and caregivers. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?
I really feel education is the key here.
Macaluso: Once again, focused more on prevention than treatments.
Cuomo: Prevention is so important.
Macaluso: Let’s talk about tobacco products a little bit. Not all smokers get lung cancer, but it is a major risk factor.
Cuomo: Tobacco is a scourge and as you say, certainly we’ve proven that it causes lung cancer but it causes many other cancers as well; cancers of the digestive tract, even pancreas and bladder, have been linked to smoking.
What do we do? Well, years ago there was something called the Master Settlement Agreement, where all of the tobacco companies agreed to contribute billions of dollars to a fund that would later be given to the states with the intention that those funds be used for tobacco cessation programs and other tobacco elimination programs.
However, as I understand it the law is that the money goes to the states, but the states are not compelled to use it for that purpose. In these economically trying times, states are using it for infrastructure, they’re using it for a lot of other reasons.
We have to get back to preserving that money for tobacco cessation. Right now we have an increasing trend in smoking among adolescents, and among people of low education and low income.
Again, the burden of their illnesses is going to impact all of us. It doesn’t only impact the person who is going to be unfortunate enough to get lung cancer; it affects our health care costs, and we all absorb that, so it behooves all of us to make sure those funds are used properly.
Macaluso: Let’s shift the conversation from prevention to treatment. Your book does talk about some major successes in medicine, in the treatment of cancer. One in particular is Novartis’ Gleevec. This is a treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia.
What I was wondering, reading your book, was why haven’t we been able to replicate the success of Gleevec and chronic myeloid leukemia with other types of cancer, namely solid tumors?
Cuomo: That’s a very astute question. Chronic myeloid or myelogenous leukemia, CML, is based on a single genetic mutation. This terrible disease is actually a very simple disease, unlike breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer – these more common cancers – which are several orders of magnitude more complicated than that.
Therefore, Gleevec can attack CML and effectively cure it because it’s a very simple disease. Breast, prostate, lung cancer, are all much more complicated and it’s not as easy to treat them with a single chemotherapeutic agent or a monoclonal antibody, and that’s what Gleevec is.
Cuomo: prevention is the most effective strategy we have for ridding ourselves of cancer, and yet we devote so little time and attention to it.
My agenda is not to draw attention away from treatment. Again, there will always be patients who require treatment, and they should have it. What I am saying is that we have the intellectual resources and the financial capability to achieve both.
The National Cancer Prevention Institute would do just that. It would be based on a collaborative focused effort divided into teams, each team addressing a specific cancer type, and it would draw from many disciplines.
It would be a trans-disciplinary approach, including epidemiology, cancer biology, microbiology, immunology, engineering, pharmaceuticals, even urban planning; everything you need to decrease cancer incidence.
I don’t see that happening right now, and a lot of people that have been studying this for a long time feel it is time now to do this kind of approach, the way we did for the moonshot and for the Human Genome Project, both of which took a collaborative effort which had team science at its core. That’s what we should use for the prevention of cancer.
Macaluso: Dr. Cuomo, recently there was an Institute of Medicine report that addressed cancer care. Can you speak a little bit about that?
Cuomo: Yes. I was very pleased to see some experts in the country, such as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr. Peter Bach, contribute to this workshop last October. They just issued a report from the Institute of Medicine addressing the question, “How do we contain cancer costs and what can we be doing better?”
Some of the key points were, what should a cancer therapy do? How do we assess its effectiveness and its value?
Well, it should increase our overall survival. It should increase the patient’s survival. It should increase the patient’s quality of life, while at the same time it should have very few side effects – certainly not life-threatening side effects or side effects that degrade that quality of life – and it should contain costs. It should not be an unsustainable cost.
I thought that was a very good way of focusing attention on the question of how do we end the spiral of cancer care cost in America.
Macaluso: Thank you very much. Once again, Dr. Margaret Cuomo, author of the book A World Without Cancer.
May 12 (Friday) At School all day (preparation for Shakespeare Play)
May 15 & 16 Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 17 Tuesday – NO SCHOOL – a day of rest for a job well done!
May 22 – 26 Adventure Trip
May 26 Last Day of Semester.
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