Sunday, 28 February 2016

Perspective on life...

Here are 3 beautiful quotes to put things in perspective:
1. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. 
Steve Jobs
2. It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years. 
Abraham Lincoln
3. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. 
Mark Twain

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Please support Mhairi Black and WASPI

In the main, the U.K. is as corrupt as any other society, with corporate criminals running all decision making, by a government who care nothing for the people they are supposed to represent. One light of hope is the young Member of Parliament, Mhairi Black, who stands head and shoulders above her peers. In this speech, she defends the thousands of women, born in the 50's, who had their pensions stolen by the government...
My third speech for the WASPI - Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign."Pensions are not a benefit, they are a right".
Posted by Mhairi Black MP on Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

2,000 miles in aid of Prostate Cancer

Can you help Gena to fund her trip and in turn raise money for Prostate Cancer?

Gena says...

"This is a story about a far away river in a far away place. A journey that was supposed to begin with my Dad and I, but now it begins with just I. Where once upon a time this adventure that we had so often talked about, was to be our brief interlude in life on a big wild river, playing in nature, paddling along, skipping stones, being spirited and adventuresome – to be kids again – to be Pirates of the Yukon.  In June 2016 I commit myself to this 2,000 mile journey on the Yukon River in memory of my Father."

The PHI blood test improves the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer

Doctor’s Orders: A New Prostate Cancer Test Could Save Your Life

NES TSIONA, ISRAEL - JANUARY 22: A laboratory technician picks up a test tube with a human blood sample at the Maccabi Health Services HMO central laboratory January 22, 2006 in Nes Tsiona which is located in central Israel. The laboratory, which operates a fully automated system complete with advanced robotics, can test more than 50,000 blood samples a day. The lab is considered one of the most modern of its kind in the western world.
A laboratory technician picks up a test tube with a human blood sample.(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. The current method for detecting prostate cancer is the prostate-specific antigen blood test. The PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (a protein produced by the prostate gland) in the blood. However, there has been long-standing controversy regarding the PSA test as a way to screen for prostate cancer. It’s true that the PSA test is not specific for prostate cancer, and that an abnormal PSA result may indicate other conditions such as an enlarged prostate. This can lead to over-diagnosis and over-treatment in men with low-grade, less aggressive forms of the disease.
The PHI blood test is a new diagnostic test developed by Beckman Coulter Diagnostics to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Because the PSA test is not specific for prostate cancer, there are several other reasons as to why your PSA may be elevated, including an enlarged prostate, prostatitis (prostate infection), inflammation, or a urinary tract infection. Most clinicians consider a PSA result above 4.0 ng/ml to be “abnormal”. Once other conditions besides prostate cancer have been ruled out, the next step is to have a prostate biopsy. However, there are some cases when the prostate biopsy is negative yet but the PSA remains elevated. In this case, repeat biopsies are often recommended in which the patient must have about every six months or year to monitor for any abnormal changes in the prostate gland.
A new diagnostic test, the PHI blood test, improves the diagnosis of prostate cancer. The test uses three different prostate specific markers, which makes the test three times more specific for prostate cancer compared to the current PSA test. The test provides doctors with a more accurate picture in regards to a man’s PSA result.
According to Innovative Diagnostic Laboratory, the PHI test measures total PSA as well as two special forms of the protein: free PSA (fPSA), and pro2PSA. tPSA includes all types of PSA circulating in the bloodstream, whether free or bound to other proteins; fPSA is PSA that circulates as a free protein, unattached to any other proteins; and pro2PSA is a form of PSA that is highly expressed in prostate cancer tissue and is associated with more aggressive disease. Using these three values, a PHI score is calculated. The PHI score provides a more accurate measurement to assess prostate cancer risk than any known PSA-based marker alone. And by using pro2PSA, the PHI test can detect more aggressive cancers. This reduces the harm many men experience with overtreatment.

Monday, 15 February 2016

CELTA, before, during and after...

Sandy Millin knows CELTA and her blog is outstanding. 
It says everything that I want to say and plenty more...

I was lucky enough to be at International House, Bangkok, where the whole training team exude professionalism.

Gary, Barry and Sze, we all owe you, BIG time. 
The banana cake was the crucial element that got me through :-)

My top 5 tips:

1. Warn your family and friends that you'll turn into something they may not recognise for a month, but assure them you will return, not straight away, but gradually in the weeks after. If you have a partner, a temporary separation would work.

2. Wipe your calendar clean for the month, and I mean totally clean!

3. Don't fall behind, ever, for any reason, it's not worth the pain of catching up.

4. Listen very careful to what your tutor tells you, they don't use any unnecessary words.

5. It's hard, but if you put the work in, the feeling at the end is euphoric! As Gladiator once said, "I don't know what's about to come through those gates, but I do know, we have a better chance if we fight together".

I'm happy to be contacted by anyone who's thinking of doing the CELTA, but believe me, the answer is on Sandy's blog...

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Yes! I passed the CELTA!


Exhaustion, help, friends, stress, support, fun, excitement, drowning, friends, smiles, desperation, early mornings, friends, professionalism, achievement, banana cake, friends, encouragement, sub-way, BTS, Beverley, friends, students, late nights, No. 7, technology, delayed-shock, euphoria....... Oh, and did I say 'friends'?   

Give me a week to recover and I'll tell you all about it.