Dec 22, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

It is that time of the year when there are celebrations all around and no shortage of New Year’s Eve resolutions. The top ten list this year is mostly the same as the year before and have to do with quitting cigarettes, getting into the habit of being fit – a good one – losing weight, enjoying life more, promises to quit drinking and smoking, better organizing yourself, the promise to learn something new, as well as the very firm resolve of getting out of debt. The last two resolutions are to spend more time with the family, meaning more fun and activities for the children, and the last resolution, to make a concerted effort to help people. These resolutions make up quite a healthy list.


Do you have a resolution? Something you are serious about? Have you already stopped smoking and want to maintain your smoke-free lifestyle? Are you finally going to dump that IT specialist who has been stringing you along for months and still does not know whether she wants to marry you or not? Are you making a New Year’s resolution, or are you just plain tired of your own promises to change and just continuing the same as before?  A New Year’s resolution is a vow before the year ends to make some change in your life, to opt for healthy living, to be good to others. The thought should take root in your mind. It is the one thing you have promised to do. My New Year’s resolution is to accept the hard reality that I have Parkinson’s, that there is nothing I can do and that I make friends with it. The future for me is not unclear. 

Coming to terms

My New Year’s Resolution and my resolution for life is that I be thankful and happy every day for the life that I have. I can walk, I can talk, I can do everything that a healthy person can. I just live with the knowledge that I have a degenerative brain disease from which there is no escape.

Cancer facts

Is cancer a modern day disease? According to Cancer Research UK cancer certainly is not a modern disease. It claims that plants can get cancer and that dinosaurs probably suffered from the disease – and that cancer has been around for thousands of years. An Egyptian papyrus written between 3000 and 1500 BC refers to tumours of the breast. Apparently, the name cancer comes from the ancient Greek word for crab as scientists at the time thought that clusters of cancer cells looked like the legs of a crab. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine’ is credited with being the first to recognize the difference between benign and malignant tumours.

In 1775 Dr Percivall Pott, one of the first people to suggest a cause for one type of cancer noticed that many young boys employed as chimney sweeps developed cancer of the scrotum later in life; he suggested that something in the soot was causing cancer. The noys were spoken to and  were encouraged to wash themselves properly. A century later Dr Pott’s observations were proven to be correct. 

18th century – the first cancer hospital was founded in Reims, France – this was in the mistaken belief that cancer was an infectious disease.

1839 – the French gynaecologist, Recamier coined the word metastasis, meaning spread of cancer – for invasion of the bloodstream by cancer.

1895 – the x-ray was discovered by Röntgen – radiation still used for both cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment.

1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson unravelled the structure of DNA. Studies started on trying to understand the causes of cancer at a molecular level; since then new treatments were based on this knowledge.

According to Cancer Research UK the last fifty years have seen an explosion of knowledge in trying to understand this ‘most fundamental disease’ and that discoveries are occurring on an almost weekly basis. Go online to learn more on the latest advances in cancer research from Science Update blog.

Spying not cool

In some homes it is not cool to use the word ‘spy’ or ‘spying’, yet it is something parents often indulge in when they suspect that a child is running around with the wrong crowd or may have brought something into the house which may be dangerous, illegal or incriminating and which may affect the whole family. As a parent you don’t want to be seen as spying on a child by going through his pockets while he is at school. That means you do not trust your child and he won’t be happy about it. Having said that, there are boundaries which should be discussed.

Your three-year old might close the bathroom door on you for the first time. Does it mean he is being rude? No, he simply wants privacy, and as a parent you have to respect this. There comes a time for all children when they grow from toddlers into preteens and then young adults and boundaries have to be established along the way. Just like you, a child has rights and needs privacy. At the same time, you are the parent and the owner of the house and have every right to know what goes on in your house. A parent might go into a child’s room to clean up and not read through his diary. A child might feel violated if you read his personal notes and scratched through his things. Sit down and establish boundaries. Your kids are growing all the time. They should know what is allowed and what is off limits.

Responsibility and accountability
If your child is neat, cleans his room, does his chores and meets all his obligations, there should be no reason to look through his things. Privacy is important for a child. He needs a place to go to where it is off limits for parents. You don’t want to be seen as prying or rifling through his drawers. He will not trust you, and you don’t want that. You want to raise an independent child.  Some moms are famous for looking through their children's things. If you suspect that one of your children trolls the internet to talk to girls, do not go into the site without first telling him that you are going to do so. Let him have his own space; he is growing up.