Living With Mesothelioma–My Diary– Ray is getting stronger and eating better now.

We have had a very quiet day as Ray rests a lot and it is to cold for him to go outside. He is eating better and Im enjoying cooking lovely soups from next to nothing.

I used an onion and cabbage, green and orange peppers, carrots and vegetable stock. Cooked and Liquidized means Ray gets his fair share of vegetables.

Apples sliced up with pineapple and pomegranate seeds in a yogurt and he is getting his fruit.

Tonight his dinner was chicken and ginger strips in a lemon sauce with rice and several veggies again.

He is eating all this light food much to my amazement. Although this afternoon he was tired he now has perked right up and is listening to music on the computer with head phones on so he cant hear me talking about him

I have managed to walk Louis twice today so Im getting lots of exercise. Hence Im always ready for bed by 9.30pm.

Debbie has got an appointment to see

ADAO 2012.Debbies speech. Great memories, great conference x x Looking forward to supporting the 2013 conference. Now I have to follow this I hope I make her proud of me and see me as a worthy Mesowarrior to follow in her shoes and I to become a ADAO Warrior as I receive the Alan Reinstein Award.

This weekend the 2013 ADAO Conference begins and Warriors are travelling from all over the world. People that Im proud to know but in away wish I hadnt made friends as it means we share Mesothelioma together.

Steve McQueens wife spoke in 2012

Meetings like this are great as we share all the knowledge of the latest trials and treatment. Doctors and Oncologists talk to us and patients say how life really is as we survive together and Carers talk about what life is like to care or loose. Its very sad and yet laughter fills the rooms as well.

Much of this research is scientific and being carried out in the laboratory. The medical research described is being carried out in early clinical trials, mainly outside the UK. The results of research are shared internationally through medical publications, conferences and educational meetings.

Further information about Mesothelioma clinical trials can be found by following the link below. Please note this is the National Institutes of Health’s website in the US and includes trial information for trials being undertaken by the National Cancer Institute in the USA and other countries including the UK.

Clinical Trials.Gov – US National Institutes of Health

Proteosome Inhibitors

Proteosome eliminates old proteins in normal cells. Drugs called proteosome inhibitors interfere with how proteosome works, and cause cells to die. Cancer cells are much more sensitive to the effects of the proteosome inhibitors than normal cells, therefore cancer cells will be destroyed more readily than normal cells.

An International Research Trial to investigate this is now open in the Republic of Ireland, Netherlands and Belgium and is due to open in the UK this year. This trial explores the activity of a Proteosome Inhibitor called Velcade (also known as bortezomib), currently used to treat myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow). Velcade holds back the proteosome. A second European Research Trial is now enrolling patients and exploring the combination of Velcade and Cisplatin chemotherapy.

New Blood Vessel Growth

In order to grow, malignant tumours (including Mesothelioma), need to grow new blood vessels. The growth of new blood vessels is called angiogenesis.

A new family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors target the development of new blood vessels to slow down their development and, therefore, the growth of malignant tumours. These drugs have been shown to be effective in treating other cancers, such as lung cancer.

New blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) is promoted by specialised “growth factors”, one of which is called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor or VEGF. Research is underway to investigate the activity of drugs that inhibit the action of VEGF in Mesothelioma including PTK787, AZD2171 and Bevacizumab.

Growth Factors

Drugs to Inhibit Growth Factors

Cancer cells require growth factors for survival. Recently it has been discovered that blocking such factors may slow down the growth of malignant tumours. Research has found that Mesothelioma cells respond to EGF and VEGF. Blocking the response to both EGF and VEGF may halt or reverse Mesothelioma growth and this is being explored in an early clinical trial in the USA.

Drugs to Activate Cell Suicide Proteins

Cancer cells contain a family of proteins on their surface called death receptors that when activated, kill the cancer cell. Very early clinical research will be undertaken to see if Mesothelioma cancer cells will respond to the activation of the death receptors.

Enabling Genes to Work Again

When a person has cancer some genes are prevented from working. When this happens it may result in uncontrolled cell growth and, thus, tumour growth. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition (HDACi) is a new way of enabling these genes to work again. In mesothelioma, research is both ongoing and planned in an effort to identify whether the use of HDACi is effective in preventing tumour growth and whether the use of an HDACi will also increase the effectiveness of other chemotherapy drug treatments on mesothelioma tumours. For example, the drug SAHA (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid) is a Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor (HDACi) and is currently being used in mesothelioma research.

A great article was published today about Decorating your house.  This is the 2nd wave to come and the new figures now come from the Mesothelioma that DIY  is causing.

QUESTION: Our house was built in the early 1970s and has popcorn textured ceilings. The ceilings have been painted. I know the ceilings might contain asbestos, but how do I clean the cobwebs that have collected on them? I am afraid of disturbing the asbestos. — J. Tracy

ANSWER: You are correct that the ceilings might contain asbestos. Popcorn textured ceilings with asbestos were sprayed on the ceilings of countless homes and apartment buildings in the 1960s and 1970s. Asbestos was banned in 1978, but any ceiling installed prior to about 1980 should be suspect.

Your first step should be to test one of the ceilings to make sure you do have an asbestos problem. It is best to have testing done by a certified professional, but you can also buy an asbestos test kit at some home centers or on the Internet; instructions for taking a sample and sending it to the laboratory are included.

If the popcorn tests positive for asbestos, you have a bigger problem than cobwebs, but more about that later.

It must be stressed that there is no way to guarantee absolute safety in tampering in any way with asbestos; you must be the judge of whether your ceilings are firm and stable enough to attempt cleaning. The paint might add some stability.

If these were my ceilings and I felt the popcorn was firm and stable enough, I’d get a stepladder, a spray bottle that produces a fine mist of water, and a paint brush about three inches wide with very soft bristles. I’d mist the area around a cobweb (damp popcorn is less likely to flake) and very gently and carefully try to remove the cobweb with the brush, touching the cobweb only and not the ceiling.

I would also wear a good dust mask, preferably a respirator-type mask, eye protection, a head covering, and immediately wash the clothes I wore after removing the cobwebs. If the popcorn showed any signs of crumbling or flaking, I’d stop at once.

You might get suggestions from some sources to use a brush attachment on a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, but I don’t recommend this; these vacuums suck in dirt, but spew some particles into the air while doing it.

But the bottom line isn’t just removing cobwebs. If you plan to sell the house at some point, the popcorn ceilings will be a major drawback. Removal by accredited experts would be very expensive and is not recommended except as a last resort if the popcorn is damaged (the Environmental Protection Agency says the best way to treat asbestos-containing materials in good condition is to leave them alone).

Some asbestos materials can be encapsulated or covered up, but this is difficult with popcorn ceilings because almost any treatment, such as covering with a layer of drywall, is likely to be a health hazard by causing the popcorn to break up and put particles in the air.

One possibility is suspended ceilings, which consist of large removable tiles in a metal grid below the existing ceiling. But the popcorn would still be there and you would need to disclose its presence at sale, although it should solve your cleaning problems and make the rooms more attractive.

Painting is not considered a good option, but some people paint anyway. If paint is used, it should be oil-based and applied with a low-pressure (HVLP) sprayer. Latex paint applied with a roller can cause popcorn to loosen and fall off.

QUESTION: There are some fairly large cracks in my concrete driveway. I think I know how to repair them, but I’d like to make the patches blend into the rest of the driveway. Is there some way to give the patching cement a darker color so it looks old? — M. Silver

ANSWER: Quikrete, a maker of concrete products sold at many home centers, has a line of liquid dyes that can be used to color concrete.

The dyes are sold in 10-ounce bottles, and one of the colors is charcoal. With some experimenting, you should be able to use this to approximate the appearance of your driveway.

You might be able to buy the dye at a home center near you, or you can search the Internet with the words Quikrete Concrete Colors to find a source. The dye is mixed with the water used to prepare the patching material.

 Rays Blog


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