Blood tests. Last night I decided that a silly little fever wasn’t going to stop me from taking these tests. So this morning I got up at the crack of dawn, made sure I had no fever (the little coward vanished overnight, hah!), and set off for the hospital, where I met up with Sherlock. We were tested together and were out by 8 a.m. She had work to do so she headed home, while I went to another part of the hospital to have a breath test…ah, no, not what YOU are thinking, no siree! This test will determine if I am infected with Helicobacter pylori. In case you don’t know what I am babbling about, check out my page on Helicobacter pylori and MGUS. In a nutshell: it’s a bacterium that infects the stomach and can cause us a lot of grief, A LOT!, ranging from peptic ulcers to cancer.
A slight aside. Wikipedia provides a fascinating account about how H. pylori was discovered, or rather, rediscovered in the early 1980s more or less, by two Australian scientists, Warren and Marshall, who were the first to successfully culture it. They believed that most stomach ulcers and gastritis were the result of an infection caused by this bacterium and not by stress or spicy foods as had been previously assumed. To prove their point, Marshall drank a Petri dish of H. pylori and developed gastritis. A man after my own heart! Gutsy! You can read the full story on Wikipedia.
Anyway, this was an interesting test. First, using a plastic straw, I had to blow some air into two vials, enough to steam them up. Then I had to drink something that tasted like very bitter lemonade (urea) and wait for a half hour. I then blew into two different vials. That was it. For details on how the H. pylori breath test works, see http://tinyurl.com/33nvay
I will have all my test results back in about three weeks. Probably a few of my values will be altered due to the cold I have been fighting (successfully, so far!!!), but I am hoping they won’t be TOO off. No worries.
A few words on cyclopamine. Yesterday I wrote to CT, asking the question posed by one of my blog readers (see my recent cyclopamine post) concerning water solubility. CT replied: I took cyclopamine tartarate which Logan labs claims is somewhat water soluble. Mice at UTMS took the regular cyclopamine orally for basal cell CA and it worked, so it must be getting absorbed. I note that is does mix well in water. In any event, my M-marker did go down. I will know more when I retest.
Cancer Vixen. While I was waiting to have my breath re-tested this morning, I began reading a book that Sherlock gave to me (grazie!), titled "Cancer Vixen," by Marisa Acocella Marchetto, a cartoonist for the New Yorker (etc.). At one point I almost laughed out loud. I wonder what the other patients sitting in the waiting room thought of me: a grown woman reading and chuckling over what looks like a…comic book! (Not that I cared one whit, mind you!). Hehe.
Anyway, since you already know (if you have been reading my blog for a while) that I have a wacky sense of humour, you won’t be surprised to read that the part that thus far has amused me the most, and I am only on page 20!, is when she is told that she has an "abnormality" (referring to a breast tumour). Oh yeah, that’s a bit of really hilarious news, ujú ja ja ja ja ja jaaaaaa…ñaca-ñaca (that’s an "evil laugh" in Spanish, no kidding; you can find the most peculiar items in Wikipedia…), but I assure you that the cartoons are quite amusing, IF you have a warped sense of humour, that is!
Well, I haven’t read any cartoons since I was in my teens, so this is fun, even though the subject itself (cancer!) isn’t that much…fun, admittedly! Oh, wait, another funny cartoon is the one depicting "possible cancer cells" in a petri dish, "magnified 3 gazillion times." Marisa makes them look like evil little green buggers sticking out their tongues and giving us the…finger. Good job, Marisa, so far. I will keep reading.