The Curious Autodidact

May 15, 2015

Pancreatic Cancer: the Silent Killer

Filed under: end of life,nonprofit — Honilima @ 12:19 am



Raising Awareness of a Silent Killer: Pancreatic Cancer

What do Margaret Mead, Count Basie, Rex Harrison, Henry Mancini, Irving Wallace, Marvin Beli,  Patrick Swayze, Michael Landon, Donna Reed, Dorothy Dunnett, Joan Crawford, Steve Jobs, Phillip Levine, Jack Benny, Dizzie Gillespie, and Frank Zappa all have in common? They all died of Pancreatic Cancer, as did former President Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy, and their mother “Miss Lillian.”

Pancreatic Cancer is the #4 cancer killed in the United States amongst both men and women. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” as it is rarely diagnosed in time for treatment. It has the #1 fatality rate of all cancers. Only 4% of the patients will survive beyond five years.

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network  approximately 32,180 people will be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer this year. Yet, “despite the especially lethal nature of pancreatic cancer, the research spending per pancreatic cancer patient is only $1145, the lowest of any leading cancer.”

Why is this? Perhaps because most people don’t even know where their pancreas is located or what role it plays on our body’s good health. It works in the production of enzymes for digestion and the production of hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. It is a gland located deep in the abdomen between the stomach and the spine.

Every 17-minutes someone in the country dies of this lesser known disease that has a 99% fatality rate.

Although it is the fourth cancer killer in the country most people do not know the risk factors or the symptoms of this type of cancer. Hence, November has been designated as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer include:

Pain in abdomen or back

Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)

Dark Urine


Fatigue or Weakness

Digestive Problems

Nausea and Vomiting

Significant Weight Loss

Risk factors include:

Smoking: 2-3 times increased risk for smokers vs. nonsmokers

Chronic pancreatitis

Family history: 2-3 times increased risk if first degree relative diagnosed with PC


Only a small percentage of people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are able to have the tumor surgically removed. More often than not, by the time the diagnosis comes, the cancer has spread and there are not at this time many treatment options.

The NW is home to one of the country’s highly-respected Pancreatic Cancer researchers, the UW’s Dr. Teri Brentnall whose work has been nationally recognized.

Thank you for reading this article and for taking a moment to be aware of some of the symptoms of these lesser-known but grave forms of cancer.

If you know someone with pancreatic cancer, or a friend who is caring for someone who has this form of cancer, I urge you to lend a hand —it is a horrible disease. This posting is meant to raise awareness and urge you to support the quest for additional research dollars to help find a cure.



May 14, 2015

Wendy MacNaughton, Brilliant Artist from SFO

Filed under: media related,women heroes — Honilima @ 5:41 pm

Should I Check E-Mail? Flow Chart Print

This clever artist, with many commentaries on our modern times has an Etsy site you can purchase her brilliant line drawings. Support an artist today!


Susan Sontag on Art.

May 13, 2015

Quotes about Death: In Memory of Mary O.

Filed under: end of life,Word Related — Honilima @ 7:25 am


Death is simply a shedding of the physical body, like the butterfly coming out of a cocoon. It is a transition into a higher state of consciousness, where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, to be able to grow, and the only thing you lose is something you don’t need anymore . . . your physical body. It’s like putting away your winter coat when spring comes.

Death is the most beautiful adventure in life.
Charles Frohman

Death teaches us to live; it gives us a boundary to map our living within. Death’s hammer breaks through the mirror separating us from light.
David Meltzer

A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.
Marcus Cicero
c 106-43 BC Great Roman Orator Politician

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.
Charles C. Colton

I think of death as some delightful journey that I shall take when all my tasks are done.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Death? Why this fuss about death? Use your imagination, try to visualize a world without death! . . . Death is the essential condition of life, not an evil.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

When the body sinks into death, the essence of man is revealed. Man is a knot, a web, a mesh into which relationships are tied. Only those relationships matter. The body is an old crock that nobody will miss. I have never known a man to think of himself when dying. Never.
Antoine De Saint-Exupery
1900-1944 French Aviator Writer

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.
George Eliot
1819-1880 British Novelist

Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Swiss-born American Psychiatrist

Every man goes down to his death bearing in his hands only that which he has given away.
Saying of Persian Origin

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.

Kona Sunset, Big Island, Hawaii

May 11, 2015

John Ross on our Treatment of Mother Earth

Filed under: Word Related — Honilima @ 9:56 pm

Image result for planet earth

Underground nuclear testing, defoliation of the rain forests, toxic waste …

Let’s put it this way: if the world were a big apartment, we wouldn’t get our deposit back.

John Ross

May 10, 2015

Tom Ashbrook: Widower with a Microphone

Filed under: book related,end of life,media related — Honilima @ 6:50 pm

(Photo: J. Costa)

(Photo: J. Costa)

Tom Ashbrook took a break from his microphone when his wife died last year. His broadcast on January 2, 2015 was a deeply personal show How We Grieve with guests Rabbi Earl Grollman, former rabbi of Beth El Temple Center in Belmont, MA. Author of “Living When A Loved One Has Died” and many other books and Patricia Rogers, a psychotherapist in private practice in the Greater Boston area.

His grief is new and palpable in this deeply personal segment of his WBUR show out of Boston.


May 9, 2015

How Character is Built

Filed under: women heroes,Word Related — Honilima @ 1:05 am


People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.

This is how character is built.

~Eleanor RooseveltMy Day

May 7, 2015

Progress: Update on Legal Aid in Dying USA as of 2015

Filed under: end of life,environmental ideas,media related,social justice — Honilima @ 12:28 pm

DARK GREEN – states with Death with Dignity laws
LIGHT GREEN – states where Death with Dignity is legal by court decision
ORANGE – states where a bill HAS been proposed
RED – states with no legislative action

DARK GREEN – states with Death with Dignity laws
LIGHT GREEN – states where Death with Dignity is legal by court decision
ORANGE – states where a bill HAS been proposed
RED – states with no legislative action

May 6, 2015

A Few Websites You Want to Know about

Filed under: cool internet stuff,environmental ideas,helpful hints — Honilima @ 11:18 pm



Rid your mailbox of unwanted catalogs

Get off the junk mail lists including getting off the credit card offer lists

How to find a human on a customer service call:

Is that famous person dead or alive?

To believe or not believe that urban legend sent via the internet no doubt


May 5, 2015

Wisdom of Robert Frost

Filed under: origin of phrases,Word Related — Honilima @ 8:53 pm


The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.

Robert Frost

May 4, 2015

Love and Questions

Filed under: book related,helpful hints,media related — Honilima @ 11:39 pm

Put on your seat belt and have a listen to the Reply All podcast segment called Love is Lies a twenty three minute ride through the quest for an older widow to find love.

Then smile and listen to the segment about the 36 Questions called Love in 36 Questions which tells about this list of questions that researchers have found to be more powerful than any speed dating method yet invented. A very interesting look and naturally features in the University of Washington research team of Drs. John and Julie Gottman.  There is even an app featuring the 36 Questions for ease of use.

These two segments are fascinating to hear perhaps even more interesting to listen to with teens or 20-somethings who have not yet paired up.

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