Mom Is My Guest Poster!

My mom, known on here as Ladyfingers, has a passionate opinion on all things that involve MS. Ladyfingers doesn't keep her thoughts buried when it comes to CCSVI, so I asked her if she would be interested in writing a "bit" for my blog. And what better time to do so then when Canada is diving into it's fourth federal election in seven years.

The first paragraph is a long-length version of what she writes on the political propaganda that litters our mailboxes. You read that correct, she returns the propaganda with her own desires and questions - ignoring the "cause" the politico has highlighted.

A Federal election. Time for me to hone my speech. Am I campaigning
for a Party? No. I am searching for a Party; a Party, a leader,
someone with authority. I want someone to guarantee for me that they
will "take up the cause" of all Canadians who are suffering from
Multiple Sclerosis. I want more Federal money going to the MS Society
(presently 95% of their contributions are from the public.). I want
CCSVI clinics opened up to investigate & treat MS patients . Certainly
the fact that so many sufferers are going to other Countries at a
great personal expense should make them realize how serious the
disease is. If a person is willing to put his or her life in danger
for this procedure does that not speak volumes? Seventy thousand
people in this country are victims of MS.

I am returning any & all mail I get from any Political Party with this
message hand written & signed by me. I have been returning my MP's
mail for a year. I have voted in every election since 1968. I may have
voted in my last.

People keep saying there are no issues, that this election is a waste
of money. Perhaps these same people need to know about the suffering &
disabiliy experienced by MS patients. Canadians die every day of this
disease. Isn't this worthy of being an issue?

I continually receive mail from the MS Society saying  "we are so
close to a cure". Wouldn't the Gov't. in power be thrilled if it could
claim to have contributed to it?

Kitchen Secret From a Wannabe Cook with MS

On the days that I know I will be tackling a new recipe for dinner, I lay low for the day. There was a time (and sometimes still) in the past five years that spending time in my kitchen was next to impossible for me. Stopping, turning and moving did nothing but bring on wobbles for me, which in turn brought on frustration and tears. Also, reading directions and having confidence in my comprehension of the directions is also a problem.

Laying low, is exactly what it sounds like, except that it involves "prepping" on and off throughout the day. If I find myself in the pantry, searching out a snack, I will remove some of the ingredients for dinner: oil, foil, cans etc. and place them on the counter. I may spend some time mid afternoon chopping and cutting the veggies. If I'm feeling really good, I'll cut up some extras, or grate some extra cheese for meals the next day.

As much as I take one day, one hour at a time, some things still require pre-planning.

In the Kitchen #6

As promised, here is our first Rachel Ray meal WITHOUT pasta!

A one-up on the "twice baked potato"'s the Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Potato. You can find the recipe HERE

What we eliminated:
- mushrooms. I don't eat fungus.
- we used ground beef instead of ground sirloin
- we chose Dijon mustard over spicy brown mustard

What we would do differently next time:
- select larger potatoes so that you can stuff more in to the shell. We had leftover potato (and beef) which wasn't so bad: Jason ate it as leftovers the next day
- have a salad on the side

What is new to us...and what we learned:
If you spoke with me shortly after I made this delicious meal, you would have heard me gushing about mixing equal parts of soy sauce, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. I am familiar with these ingredients as stand-alone flavouring (except for maybe combing Dijon and Worcestershire)...we only ever use soy sauce in stir fry.

I also got to try out my recently learned lesson on cutting peppers: note from the picture above there aren't seeds all over the cutting board! Slice off the top and bottom, slice down the pepper to open it up, and then run your knife around the joint between the "guts" and the pepper flesh. So easy!

Our rating:

Up next: FISH

In the Kitchen #5

How about a little Summer Corn tastes like corn chowder! You can grab the recipe HERE

I know, it's not summer. And canned corn isn't the same as local corn, fresh off the cob. However, Jason and I both love corn, and the picture in the Rachael Ray book looked good enough to eat. And, if you haven't noticed, we seem to love any dish that involves pasta.

What we eliminated:
- once again, we substituted veggie broth for chicken broth, because that is what we had access to
- we used can corn instead of corn on the cob (Rachel recommends that when corn is in season, scrape it off the cob and freeze it so that you can enjoy it in the off season. I recommend that if you have corn on the cob - EAT IT!)

What we would do differently next time:
- Jason thought that he made a mistake part way through, when following the instructions...but we can't remember what it was

One of us was the head chef - can you guess by the outfit?

New to us in this recipe:
- using three different fresh herbs: thyme leaves, parsley and basil leaves (instead of tarragon leaves). *
*the version of the recipe that I linked to at the beginning of this post only calls for two fresh herbs, thyme and basil (or tarragon)
- shallots - what is the difference between a shallot and a regular onion?

I found the meal to be sweet - maybe a bit too sweet.  The recipe also yields 4-6 servings - and it sure did!

Our rating:

Next up...something without pasta! Stay tuned!

It's a New Drug!

The clinical trials are over! Following in the path of the FDA and the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, Health Canada has approved Gilenya (also known as Fingolimod) - the first oral treatment (read: disease modifying drug) for Relapsing Remitting MS!

Yup - it's a capsule...taken once a day. Like other DMD's, it will prevent t-cells and b-cells from crossing the blood-brain barrier: it will keep the bad guys away from the central nervous system (keeping them sequestered in the lymph nodes instead).

And like Tysabri (the once-per-month IV infusion), Gilenya will not be a "first" treatment, as the risks are higher* when compared to beta-interferons or glatiramer acetate. High risk, potentially better try the injections first.  Gilenya is approved for people who have tried more than one DMD, and are either unresponsive or intolerant to these treatments.

*during the trials, there were cases of skin cancer and inflammation of the brain
Little bits about my life with MS

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