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Archive for May, 2009

Cancer patient held at airport for missing fingerprint

May 29, 2009 2 comments

From Reuters: This is the same medication (Capecitabine) that I’m on!!!.. and my fingerprints are slowly disappearing as well! Better not fly into the states anytime soon I guess.

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Singapore cancer patient was held for four hours by immigration officials in the United States when they could not detect his fingerprints — which had apparently disappeared because of a drug he was taking.

The incident, highlighted in the Annals of Oncology, was reported by the patient’s doctor, Tan Eng Huat, who advised cancer patients taking this drug to carry a doctor’s letter when traveling to the United States.

The drug, capecitabine, is commonly used to treat cancers in the head and neck, breast, stomach and colorectum.

One side-effect is chronic inflammation of the palms or soles of the feet and the skin can peel, bleed and develop ulcers or blisters — or what is known as hand-foot syndrome.

“This can give rise to eradication of fingerprints with time,” explained Tan, senior consultant in the medical oncology department at Singapore’s National Cancer Center.

The patient, a 62-year-old man, had head and neck cancer that had spread but responded well to chemotherapy. To prevent the cancer from recurring, he was put on capecitabine.

“In December 2008, after more than three years of capecitabine, he went to the United States to visit his relatives,” Tan wrote.

“He was detained at the airport customs for four hours because the immigration officers could not detect his fingerprints. He was allowed to enter after the custom officers were satisfied that he was not a security threat.”

Tan said the loss of fingerprints is not described in the packaging of the drug, although chronic inflammation of the palms and soles of feet is included.

“The topmost layer … is the layer that accounts for the fingerprint, that (losing that top layer) is all it takes (to lose a fingerprint),” Tan told Reuters.

“Theoretically, if you stop the drug, it will grow back but details are scanty. No one knows the frequency of this occurrence among patients taking this drug and nobody knows how long a person must be on this drug before the loss of fingerprints.”

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Chemo 7.0

May 24, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m a little bit late with this post, as I started chemo about 3 days ago. Round 7. The oncologists have decided to drop my dose of oxaliplatin this time round, as I was beginning to get symptoms that are of a more long term nature rather than the acute symptoms I’m used to namely, decreased sensation in the tips of my fingers. I’ve had these symptoms for a while, but unlike the rest of them, it doesn’t go away in a hurry, and can potentially be permanent if not well controlled. This means my oxaliplatin dose has dropped from 270mg to 210mg. It also means my acute symptoms have also improved. So this round so far has not been quite as bad as the previous round.

Hopefully the same logic will apply to my next round as well, since I’m totally sick of feeling lime rubish all the time.

Anyway, once this round is done, only ONE TO GO!! 🙂

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Sand Art

May 21, 2009 1 comment
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Chemo 6.1

May 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Right now I’m just over a week into the 6th round. I’ve just turned around, and am no longer the dreary miserable soul I was about 4 days ago. This round has been tough, both with symptoms as well as the emotional and mental toll it has taken. It would be fair to say that on Monday and Tuesday this week, (days 4 and 5 post infusion) I was pretty miserable. Hannah can back me up on that one. I think this is largely from being utterly sick of feeling sick, as well as just the fact that feeling sick takes its toll mentally over time. I’m really really not looking forward to the next two rounds of chemo, its starting to really drag, and I CAN’T WAIT till its all over.

On a slightly different note, I’m currently down in the (not) sunny south, Hannah and I are in Dunedin for 10 days visiting her parents. Its freezing and rainy and a little snowy on occasion, but my cold symptoms are slowly subsiding, so I’m beginning to handle the temperature down here. There are lots of open fires in my life right now. Anyway, it means I’ll be a little slack at the blog for the next bit.

Jared out.

Time Lapse of Ship Leaving Port

May 7, 2009 1 comment

“A time lapse video made by setting a camera to take photos at six second intervals during a trip outbound on the Houston Ship Channel. I used Quicktime to assemble over 2000 individual photos into a 3 minute movie representing an actual time of over 3 1/2 hours. The ship was only moving at 5-6 knots for the first half of the trip and up to 10 knots in the open areas away from the docks. The journey begins just below the Port of Houston turning basin at the end of the channel and continues down to Morgan’s Point at the head of Galveston Bay. We still had 32 miles to go to get out to the pilot station in the Gulf of Mexico at that point. The ship is a Panamax tanker 600 feet long by 106 feet wide.”

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Chemo Countdown

May 5, 2009 2 comments

Children of some friends of ours decided to put together this calendar for me to count down the days of chemo left before I’m done. I think it was a school holiday activity. :-). Anyway, as you can see, 2 more rounds to go……

Chemo Countdown Calendar

Chemo Countdown Calendar

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The Carbon Footprint of Spam

May 2, 2009 Leave a comment

McAfee recently released a study into the global effects of spam on the internet, and its equivalent carbon footprint. Here are the highlights of what they found:

• An estimated worldwide total of 62 trillion spam emails were sent in 2008
• Globally, annual spam energy use totals 33 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh), or 33 terawatt hours (TWh). That’s equivalent to the electricity used in 2.4 million homes in the United States, with the same GHG emissions as 3.1 million passenger cars using two billion United States gallons of gasoline
• Spam filtering saves 135 TWh of electricity per year. That’s like taking 13 million cars off the road
• If every inbox were protected by a state-of-the-art spam filter, organizations and individuals could reduce today’s spam energy by approximately 75 percent or 25 TWh per year. That’s equivalent to taking 2.3 million cars off the road
• The average GHG emission associated with a single spam message is 0.3 grams of CO2. That’s like driving three feet (one meter) in equivalent emissions, but
when multiplied by the annual volume of spam, it’s like driving around the Earth 1.6 million times
• A year’s email at a typical medium-size business uses 50,000 KWh; more than one fifth of that annual use can be associated with spam
• Filtering spam is beneficial, but fighting spam at the source is even better. When McColo, a major source of online spam, was taken offline in late 2008, the energy saved in the ensuing lull — before spammers rebuilt their sending capacity — equated to taking 2.2 million cars off the road
• Much of the energy consumption associated with spam (80 percent) comes from end-users deleting spam and searching for legitimate email (false positives). Spam filtering accounts for just 16 percent of spam related energy use

The full study can be found HERE.

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