Various Veins

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Last week a supplement came to me with the Weekend National Post. It reports on advances made in treatment of cancers.

It describes several types of blood cancer in tongue-twisting language. It advises cancer patients to seek out doctors who specialize in the particular type of disease they have. The differences are so great specialists won't know what you are talking about if it's not in their field of study.

Treatments are designed to attack the cancer cells in various ways, to kill them or to stop their reproducing themselves. There is much to be learned still, but lives are being restored to comfortable existence with known methods. A wonderful advance over wide mixes of chemicals leaves healthy cells free from damage.

The case of Eugene Petrruk is detailed. When he was diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia, his doctor advised waiting until the disease became active. Treatment at the time would damage organs, possibly cause a heart attack, and stroke.

When Eugene's disease began to weaken him, 19 years after the diagnosis, his wife, Cheryl began learning all she could about the disease. There is no cure so far, but Cheryl formed the Canadian MPN Network. The group of about 100 members held its first meeting in Montreal last October.

The lowering of anxiety that comes with knowledge takes stress out of the condition.

The network is working to find treatments as well as give comfort. MPN stands for myeloproliferative neoplasms (told you it's tongue twisting). The disease produces too many red blood cells in bone marrow.

Transplanting stem cells is able to treat certain cancers. Again the research is in early stages.

Last Friday I watched and listened to the ceremonies in Ottawa that passed command of the Canadian Armed Forces from General Tom Lawson to General Jonathon Vance. I didn't keep a tally, but it seemed the most used word by all speakers was "thanks."

Generals thanked their families, the Governor General thanked the officers and all who serve under them. The Prime Minister did the same, and so did the Minister of Defence.

Much was said about the military being ready to go wherever in the world their services may be needed.

Cuts to budgets were touched on lightly.

News a week or so ago showed a teenage girl who needs stem cell transplants for cancer. She is being held in a queue for treatment that is so long she will have to take chemotherapy while she waits.

Here are questions that plague me. We know the treatment can help this girl. We know there are operating rooms with equipment sitting unused because surgeons are held to a number of operations they can perform. Why does this girl or any patient have to wait in a queue?

Canada can't afford it? Seems we can afford to send military forces anywhere at a moment's notice!

The Federal Government is charged with providing a money supply sufficient for daily commerce. Paying for doctors and all the supporting people for goods and services that are available will not cause inflation. Why is medical care, the most powerful generator of jobs, being rationed?

Why are free trade agreements being pursued so avidly, which if they come to action can put Canadians out of jobs, while this cold-blooded rationing is letting Canadians die in the queue?

General Tom Lawson said, "Family comes first."

Are ailing Canadians not family?



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