If you have cancer.

If you had cancer.

If you know someone with cancer.

If you want to talk about cancer.

We won't pray.  We won't blame gods.  We won't give credit to gods.  

We face the diagnosis and know, it is what it is.  

To the extent that we can, we will define our own course.

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Cancer changes lives.

We have to deal with medical profession.

We have to deal with medications.

We have to deal with new discomfort and pain.

We have to create dignity, where there is indignity.

We have to deal with family members, friends, coworkers, and strangers, in a changed way.

We resolve to go forward with strength, resilience, purpose, pride, and integrity.

We define ourselves. Cancer does not define us.

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Comment by booklover on October 1, 2013 at 1:01pm

Hmmm.  My taking Align for a totally different reason than you guys taking it makes me wonder even more if I should continue.  Thanks for the information Daniel!  My Dr. retired, and I see his replacement in December.  I will talk to him about it.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 1, 2013 at 12:11pm

I will pick up Align probiotic this week. Thank you all for the information.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 1, 2013 at 12:07pm

Sentient, your "Keypad version of 'motormouth'" is full of information and pertinent questions. Thanks. 

Comment by Sentient Biped on October 1, 2013 at 11:35am

Sorry I'm so verbose today  Keypad version of "motormouth".

Comment by Sentient Biped on October 1, 2013 at 11:34am

I did some reading about probiotics.   I don't think the answers are all in. 

The bacterial population of the colon is highly diverse.  More than 5,000 different species or strains.   Many of them can not survive the presence of oxygen, or drying out.  That leads to how they get there in the first place.  It is a gradual process, months and years, and the bacteria come from the people closest to us, for the most part.  But also from foods and maybe aerosolization in toilets.  Rare, and controversial is the idea of a fecal transplant from a known healthy, related donor.  That is still very experimental.

Taking antibiotics, having surgery, having chemotherapy - those would be expected to disrupt an ecosystem like clearcutting a forest.  Then it needs to be repopulated.  For some people, that's easy and fast and doesn't require any effort.  For others, it's a more difficult thing.

One question is, would adding back just one or a few species be beneficial, when there are thousands of species?  Some of those thousands, doubtless, self-repopulate from traces not killed off in the first place, or intimate exposures.   Others, maybe not.

The studies have been limited.  They don't seem to concentrate on the chemotherapy  patient.  They seem to have been helpful for irritable bowel syndrome.    Also CNN article.   From the studies, there is some benefit for some patients, but not all.

The other issue is, if the  probiotic is there to replenish the population of that particular species - what is the benefit of continuing to take it?  That would assume it does not take hold and proliferate in the colon.  Understood if there are antibiotics of chemotherapy ongoing, but after they  stop?  I don't know.

Bottom line is, I think if it helps, it's reasonable to take, and if it doesn't, it's reasonable to stop.  That's just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

I don't have the link, but the species in Align was considered the only really beneficial species, in some studies.

There is also the issue of "Prebiotic" - foods that replenish the colon bacterial ecosystem by specifically nourishing those bacterial.  The lists usually include onions and garlic (which I love), and a number of foods I don't eat.  Whole wheat and honey are on lists of prebiotic foods, also some of the usual"you know they are good for you foods" like legumes, broccoli and cauliflower. 

I think a food diary, either i writing or in the mind, can be helpful.  That way we learn what helps and what exacerbates symptoms.

Comment by booklover on September 30, 2013 at 4:17pm

I quit taking it for a couple of months, and I can't tell the difference.  I hate to not do what the Dr. says, but I also hate wasting money if it's not helping me.

Comment by Patricia on September 30, 2013 at 3:57pm

Align here is average $34 give or take, for a 28 day supply. The other one I took, is about the same price for 30 day supply, but it comes on sale quite often for about $30 or sometimes $32. It's in the dairy section of the grocery store.

Comment by booklover on September 30, 2013 at 3:39pm

Me too Patricia.  Align is so expensive, and I can't tell if it's doing anything.  The box next to it that claims to be the generic-version, or just as good as Align, clearly shows it does not have the same active culture.  Align has a patent on it, and my Dr. swears it is different from the others.  Like I said though, he may just be prejudiced!  Prejudice?  Predjudiced?  Oh well! lol

Comment by Patricia on September 30, 2013 at 1:47pm

I take the probiotics as well, & am trying the Align at the moment. My dr. is adamant that I take these expensive things, but I have no idea if they are doing anything. My innards issues never change so am very careful of my foods & portion sizes. The colitis is either in remission or out of remission from before probiotics or who knows?

Comment by booklover on September 30, 2013 at 7:33am

I have been on Align Probiotic for a couple of years, recommended by my gastroenterologist.  His friend that he worked with at Mayo Clinic developed it.  I think that Dr. now is back in Ireland where he is from, if I understood my Dr. right.  My Dr. swears it is better and different than all other probiotics, but he could just be promoting his friends product!!!   I cannot tell if it makes a difference for me.


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