Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Laying in wait

One of the biggest differences between ER+ and ER- BC is the issue of dormancy of the cancer cells. In ER. negative BC, rarely are there recurrences after five years. Indeed the median time of recurrence is 18 months. The risk for recurrence in ER+ BC remains constant for ten years. These nasty cells are hiding out just waiting for the right opportunity to grow.

Cancer cells are not the only bad actors that have a dormant period. Herpes zoster virus is another. People have chicken pox as children caused by this virus and recover but the virus never goes away. It lives in the nerves just waiting for a good time to strike, usually 50-60 years later. Instead of infecting the skin, it infects the nerves, painfully usually on ones trunk.

A good friend of mine a few weeks ago was going about her business and suddenly had double vision and went to the emergency room. Possible cause of double vision? Brain tumor (this was the first sign of a brain tumor in my relative). This was ruled out in various scans as was a stroke. She reported some painful itching on her face. Turns out the shingles (herpes zoster) had infected her 6th nerve which controls the fine movement of her eyes. It will take a while for the shingles to clear and in the meantime, she needs to wear an eye patch so she will see only one set of images at a time.

It remains hot and dry here. I have to water things constantly. I went for a long walk with my son and his dog today. His business always shuts down this week. I hadn't been alone with him for a while. We have our best talks when there is just the two of us.

Steve got me a new computer. The CD drive was non-functional on the old one so we couldn't load antivirus software. The computer was old and riddled with viruses but I am used to all my favorites, how the keyboard feels, where all my stuff can be found. I was all sulky about it even though he did me a favor. I hate typing on this and didn't blog yesterday because I didn't even want to look at the new one. But it was a nice thing and I will adapt.

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