Cimavax and the quest for new meds


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Hello there,

It is 1: 07 am here in Chicago and I can not sleep so I thought I would write;or rather rant. For years people have been discussing the medical benefits of this or that herbal remedy. Some herbs are widely used like golden seal tea and St. John’s wort. While others like tiger lily root are rare and hard to find.

Cimavax is not an herb. It is a pharmaceutical drug designed in Cuba. It is for the treatment of lung cancer. The irony that it is from a small country known the world over for it’s cigars is not lost on me. The fact that we can’t get this 1 cuban dollar a shot drug to our people dying of lung cancer scares, annoys, and frankly pisses me off to no end. We have a 50 plus year trade embargo against the country and yes dear friend that includes drugs. Our bureaucratic red tape loving selves could never streamline a process ever. Lean six sigma is for profitable businesses with angry demanding shareholders, not us soft bellied voters.

For decades, natural remedies and inexpensive remedies have been held back from the general public. The FDA, the government, who ever you care to place blame on – including us voters, allows everything to work really slow. Our’s is a giant self replicating beast. If your job is to do something, it almost beseeches you to do it slowly, make it look difficult, and put blocks up. After all, in America the litigious, – and the beautiful, we get up in arms when ever something goes wrong.

And it can go wrong. It often does. How many deformed and maimed babies from drugs that were once thought to be safe? Now we don’t even lie about it. Have you seen the commercials for medicines these days? The side effects and fine print on one actually made me laugh… If you need to stop smoking take this pill but it may make you suicidal, nauseous, oily stool, irritated, etc etc… Hell just go outside and have a puff and ween yourself off the old fashioned way…  Another commercial was for constipation. One of the side effects was cramping, blood clots, irregular breathing, just to name a few. I can’t name them all, we will be here all day!  I wanted to scream eat some prunes and drink some green tea, try that dieters green tea… you will go my friend, you will go.

However lung cancer and diseases of its caliber are no laughing matter. And although there has yet to be named a full fledged cure for it, this so called vaccine, cimavax, has been tested on 5000 people world wide. It’s efficacy seems sound and now there are agencies in America itching to get approval to test it.

Hmmm, 1 cuban dollar a shot to help resolve lung cancer. I’ll take it. I’d sign the waiver, promise not to sue, and pray that  hopefully it will not make me crazy like accutane, or certain sleep aids, and many others. The problem is, and here is where I rant, the cure is not profitable. The treatment is. Years ago, I was misdiagnosed with cancer and did one round of chemo. That was some harsh stuff. I tend to think if there was some tropical rainforest tea that I could have sipped on for 1.00 a serving, it would not have been offered to me. I love doctors. However they are taught to be doctors. You should see how many of my friends with M.D. behind their names publicly scoff at chiropractors, naturopaths, and the like. They have a sense of elitism and a semi God complex. They are also folks with 200k student loans and 500k homes and kids in private schools. For the most part they want to be the doctor. $225 a visit for 7 minutes and I am still sick.. hmm nice racket. It is necessary, and I appreciate the hard work they put in. Some have a calling as healers and would do it for free. Even the naysayers have cabinets full of herbal medicines, their own chiropractors, and acupuncturists. They know the alternative medicine works. They just have a vested interest in us using them first…

In the our world, especially in a capitalist country like U.S.A., it is hard to promote something cheap and helpful. One of my M.D.’s is also a ND. He prescribed all of this herbal stuff I thought was nonsense. Worse yet, very expensive nonsense. He owned the store I got it from, it was more expensive than my prescriptions because it wasn’t covered by insurance.

I scoffed at him for hustling me. However time proved him right and me wrong. Now I have ditched a lot of my “dope” in exchange for “herbs”. More natural ways of calming this, soothing that, helping everything. Yes weight loss helps, so does exercise, and yoga for fat gals, but not sucking down poison pills all day was amazing.

I still take some of my meds. I am “weening ” myself off of them as I try to lose weight and eat healthier and exercise more. I am not saying eat cinnamon and apple cider vinegar and skip the insulin. Let’s not go crazy. I am also not saying that I do not appreciate the fact that the FDA in all of it’s red taped glory doesn’t work hard to protect us. I am just ranting while I wait for my natural sleep remedy to kick in.

And wondering… If we had national healthcare, would we have better or worse access to more natural medicines?

What’s your take?

Let me know!

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Love and light,



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I am feeling a little “salty”….

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With my whole new dieting craze, I hit a plateau recently. Ok, it is not a new thing: it is two years old. Plus this is the fifth plateau. I asked my doctor what the heck was going on and she called me in and gave me a thorough physical.
Have you ever had an instance where you knew the truth but required a third party to tell you? I am like that often. I knew I needed to eat healthier and lose weight but it took my doctor driving it home to convince me. Two years and 100 lbs later, I am at a standstill. It is both frustrating and scary.
Ok, a food junkie is like any other addict. We fall off the wagon sometimes. My drug of choice isn’t illegal and it’s cheap. Not to mention visiting my relatives on any holiday, birthday, Sunday, day ending in Y, equals a trip to the crackhouse. Here- taste this, eat this, I made this for you, girl you know you like my “fill in the blank”. Sometimes I give in. More often than not I do not. I was even forced to give a speech on several big holidays that I had health problems and I needed my family’s help in keeping me on the straight and narrow food wise.
I flipped the guilt. Instead of the “how dare you not a have a huge piece of chocolate cake I made just for you”; it became “shame on you for offering me bad food that may kill me”. It works for me. Especially after a few key people noticed I had actually lost a lot. I knocked 100 down but I have 150 to go… ugggggh.
So after getting the speech on how the smaller I get the less I can eat and still lose weight ( yeah I know) and the more I need to exercise ( yeah yeah) speeches from my doctor, I said what is wrong? Well, besides the obvious suspects, she said the new four letter word.
Yes, salt, my friend. You already knew I am sure. Well here I am to tell you again. Salt is the new enemy.
It is in the same group as cholesterol, fat, sugar, or anything that may even remotely give you any food based joy besides spices. I had lowered the fat content of my food, I was eating raw vegetables, lean meats, olive oil instead of corn, all of that really helped.
However, my new evil nemesis is salt. Actually it always was. I was just so focused on lowering fat and sugar; I did not pay attention to salt. I should have.
Here is why. Salt makes you retain water, increases your blood pressure, and it makes you weigh more. It also helps your brain and nerves send electrical impulses throughout the body so it can never be 100 % eliminated . My problem is, it makes my fat free, low cholesterol, no sugar added diet edible. Spices and herbs are awesome, but salt rocks my world. Heck it even makes caramel taste better! ( What evil bastard thought up hunks of salt on sweet caramel? Delicious and unhealthy all wrapped up in a salt crusted shell)
I love salt and you do too…
Salt is everywhere. It’s in the air at the lake and ocean front. It is in most drinking water! It is as ubiquitous as spiders and mold spores. You can try your darnest but it is there somewhere.
The average healthy person needs about 2300mg of salt a day. That’s about a teaspoon. Most of us aren’t that healthy and should only use half of that. You may think over the course of a day you do not consume that much salt. You are probably wrong.
Cold cereal has 120 to 400mg of salt per cup. Canned vegetables, prepared sauces and gravies, and soups: they may have up to 700mg per serving. Note I said serving. A serving of cereal is one cup. When is the last time your teen measured out one cup of cold cereal. I will answer for you – never. Heck until I got serious about my food intake, I thought a serving of cereal was a bowl full. That is actually 2 and one half servings with my big bowls. Throw in prepared meat, frozen meat and fish, and anything precooked and you have salt overload.
Not to mention everything at you favorite Chinese restaurant. One little teriyaki or soy sauce liquid package is your salt for the day. Not to mention how much salt you sucked down eating ramen noodles in college or on those quick and cheap food days.
What to do? Look for the salt. Sodium____ anything is a no no. Fresh vegetables and fruit are all salt free – HOORAY! Low fat dressings are loaded with salt and sugar…. BOOOOOO. Make your own dressing. Use a tiny amount of kosher salt and your favorite fruit squeezed fresh with a splash of flavored vinegar ( like champagne, apple cider, balsamic, etc) . Look over the ingredients of whatever you buy. High salt content? Don’t buy it.
I keep a tally of my salt intake just like I do for food calories or weight watchers points. There are salt substitutes but like all things that seem like a good idea, one must be careful. Potassium chloride ( salt substitute which actually a salt just not sodium chloride) has to be taken in small amounts too. Antacids and stomach medications contain salt so if your eat heartburn medication like candy so you can eat spicy food, it is time to stop.
The ultimate way to avoid excessive salt and the high blood pressure and bloat that comes with it… is to cook your own fresh food. Sorry, I know that make you a little “salty”. We have become so lazy that even our home cooked goodies are more like chef Sandra Dee’s “semi homemade” recipes. Salt is for flavor and preserving food. Even my store bought fresh lettuce salad had SALT on the label. All I could say was “what the heck”. The chicken and ham has liquefied salt injected into it for flavor and to jack up the cost. The ultimate naughty item is what? Well that was the salad to me, but maybe it is your favorite vegetable juice blends to the point of up to 900mg per serving. Yikes! A big glass of vegetable juice may be a day’s worth of salt. Geesh, time to dust off the juicer, it’s farmer’s market season.
In today’s modern world you can’t avoid salt 100%. As a matter of fact, your body actually needs salt. It also needs a little sugar and fat. However, just like your sugar should come from fruits and vegetables and your fat from maybe avocados and nuts and olives; try to get your salt from stuff that can not be avoided. Use more herbs and spices. Make homemade goodies more. My vegetable juice is better than the bottled stuff and I know exactly what is in it. Look for low salt versions of your favorite goodies like prepared soups, sauces, etc. At a café, ask for steamed veggies with no salt or butter and put a little spice on it instead. Sorry ketchup, relish, mustard, and other condiments are loaded with salt.
Let’s try together. My initial goal is 2000mg a day. Yesterday I was at 2600. Yes I know that is bad. However the highest was 7800!!!! So it is a process! More homemade goodies knocks off unwanted salt and sugar and fat, etc.
How do you keep your salt intake low? Tell me about it!
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2014-11-27 14-51-28.847Thank you for supporting my blog for the last few years. Your words of encouragement are greatly appreciated.

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