Saturday, November 28, 2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
Thursday, October 8, 2015
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a woman named Heather. She's a 10 year survivor of the rare and aggressive Mesothelioma cancer, and she wanted to know if I would help spread the word on this deadly disease.
How could I say no?
I have been personally affected by the impact of cancer before, though I have to admit, I've never heard of this type until Heather contacted me. Both of my in-laws passed away from cancer. My Father-in-Law of Leukaemia, and my Mother-in-Law of Brain cancer. My Nana also passed away from Lymphoma cancer.
I've seen first-hand, what the affects of cancer and its treatment can do to someone, and quite honestly, wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. Everyone knows what type of disease this is - one that is not prejudice. It does not care what colour of skin you have, how old you are, whether your male or female, or where you are from.
Anyone can get it.
So, even if I can inform one person about this specific type of cancer in my tiny corner of the web, I'll be happy.
Mesothlioma is a rare type of cancer that can occur in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as mesothelium. There are essentially three types of mesothelioma, with Pleural mesthelioma being the most common form, accounting for roughly 70% of cases. More information on these type of mesothelioma cancers can be found here.
The cause of this cancer is the exposure of asbestos or the inhalation of asbestos particles, which is still in use in both Canada and the US. Many people often actually refer to this cancer as 'The Invisible Epidemic'. In fact, the number of accepted claims for mesothelioma in Canada rose 216.4 percent between 1997 and 2010, a 2013 paper by Dr. Demers and Dr. Ann Del Bianco reports. Across Canada, seven to 10 accepted occupational cancer deaths claims involve exposure to asbestos.
The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has pegged the average cost of mesothelioma claim at $532,844 (with much of that in survivor benefits, along with health care costs and loss of earnings).
Canada and the US still allow imports and exports of products that contain asbestos. Countries like Australia, Japan, and Sweden (among 60 other countries), have all banned the use of asbestos.
Like all cancers, there is treatment, but no guarantee. Those usually diagnosed with this cancer are only given about 10 months to live. Treatment for mesothelioma can include surgery (specific and unique to each case), radiation, and chemotherapy; all of which causes further discomfort to the patient. More information on these treatments can be found here.
This info graphic provides further stats on asbestos and Mesothelioma.
I would encourage everyone to read Heather's story. You can also read John's story, who is also suffering from this disease. Their tales of heartache, trials, and tribulations will move you in ways you haven't been moved before. Both of their stories shed further light on this disease, including stats, and how it's impact can affect everyone around you.
If you'd like to raise awareness of this disease yourself, please share this article and the links contained within it. I also encourage you to write to you local MP and the Canadian Government about your concern with asbestos use in Canada.
You can also read more about mesothelioma at www.mesothelioma.com.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
- Sm. pot
- Lg. Pot
- Measuring cup
- Potato masher
4 1 lb containers of fresh strawberries
¼ cup of lemon juice
7 cups of sugar
1 package of liquid pectin
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees, and while waiting for the oven to heat, wash and core the strawberries.2. Place the jars (without lids) in the oven for 10 minutes and then turn off, leaving the jars in the oven until needed. This will sterilize them and help keep them warm for the canning process.
3. Place the jar lids into a small pot of boiling water and boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Leave the lids in the pot until needed.
4. Put the strawberries in a large pot, several at a time, and use the potato masher to mash them all up. You want to ensure there are no large chunks and have the consistency and look of strawberry salsa.
6. Turn on high heat and add in the lemon juice and sugar, then stir, sir, stir! You'll want to bring the strawberries to a rolling boil. Once at a rolling boil, continue to boil for one more minute.
7. Remove the pot from the heat and add the liquid pectin, stirring continuously for five minutes. Once you're done stirring, skim off the foamy part of the jam.
8. Pour the jam directly in the warmed jars (be sure to use gloves, the jam is super hot!). You can pour directly in the jar or use a funnel like I do (it's so much easier with one). Be sure to leave ¼ inch room at the top of the jars to allow for sealing.
9. Place the lids on and screw tight!
10. Allow the jam to cool for 20 - 30 minutes on a cooling rack, then poke the top-middle part of the lid. You'll hear a 'pop', which is a sign that the sealing worked.
After a couple of hours, you'll start to notice the thickening of the jam which is when it's good to eat! The jam will store in the pantry for up to a year, but like I said before, they won't last that long.
These also make great gifts for friends and family, and you can even make pretty labels like I did.
I'd love to hear how your jam turned out. Let me know in the comments below.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
On Sunday, my Dad and Brother's work (ArcelorMittal), held a BBQ for employees and their families, where we had the opportunity to tour the plant. This is the first time they've done tours, so after about 30+ years of my Dad working there, I was finally able to see what he truly does.
Me, Mom, and sister Shannon
Eric, Uncle Michael, Logan
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
How was your weekend? I'd love to hear about it!