The Anonymous Widower

Why A Lucky Few May Help The Rest Of Us Beat Disease

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the sub-title.

A British biotech firm believes patients who defy odds could hold the key in their blood.

These three paragraphs introduce the article.

Patient 82 should be dead. At the age of 63 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In most cases, he would not have lasted a year. But seven years on, patient 82 is alive. Not merely alive — thriving.

He enjoys gardening. He likes seeing his grandchildren. He enjoys life.

How? The answer, a British biotech company believes, could lie in his blood. Now, with the help of dozens of other anonymous patients, all of whom have defied their cancer prognoses, they hope to find it.

Note, that the company is Alchemab Therapeutics.

The article got me thinking about myself.

I belong to a group of people, who are twenty-five percent less likely to suffer from cancer according to peer-reviewed research at Nottingham University.

I am coeliac and adhere to a strict gluten-free diet.

There may be other benefits too!

I have not had a serious dose of the covids, although I may have had a very mild case at the beginning of 2020 after I shared a train with a large number of exuberant Chinese students, who had recently arrived at Manchester Airport and were going to their new University across the Pennines.

I have also since found at least another seventy coeliacs, who have avoided serious doses of the covids.

Research From The University Of Padua

This paper on the US National Library of Medicine, which is from the University of Padua in Italy.

The University followed a group of 138 patients with coeliac disease, who had been on a gluten-free diet for at least six years, through the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Padua.

This sentence, sums up the study.

In this analysis we report a real life “snapshot” of a cohort of CeD patients during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Italy, all followed in one tertiary centre in a red area of Northern Italy. Our data show, in accordance with Emmi et al., the absolute absence of COVID-19 diagnosis in our population, although 18 subjects experienced flu-like symptoms with only one having undergone naso-pharyngeal swab.

It says that no test subject caught Covid-19, in an admittedly smallish number of patients.

But it reinforces my call for more research into whether if you are a diagnosed coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet, you have an immune system, that gives you a degree of protection from the Covids.

The Times article mentions the immune system.

I believe my immune system to be strong after the reaction I had to the Astra Zeneca vaccine. I didn’t feel well to say the least after my Astra Zeneca vaccine and my GP and other doctors felt that it could be due to my immune system, thinking that the chimpanzee virus-based vaccine was a danger and attacking it.

Significantly, I had no reaction to the second dose. So had my immune system recognised the vaccine as a friend not a foe?

My son, who my late wife was sure was an undiagnosed coeliac, died of pancreatic cancer at just 37.

How did my late wife know? Don’t question her intuition and also she felt that my son and myself felt the same to her touch.

It should be noted that my son’s daughter was born with a Congenital hernia of the Diaphragm. Congenital defects can happen to people, who have a coeliac father.

At the age of 20, my granddaughter is fine now, after heroic surgery at the Royal London Hospital, at just a few days old.

December 27, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Don’t I Feel The Cold?

It’s been cold today in London, but I didn’t really feel it.

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

100,000 Newborn Babies Set To Have Their DNA Fully Decoded

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the FT.

This sub-heading gives a few more details.

Genomics England programme aims to extend the number of treatable conditions detected to about 200.

I am coeliac and I do wish, I had been diagnosed at birth.

But more importantly, my youngest son, who would have been fifty this year, might still be here.

He was probably coeliac and worked as a sound engineer in the music business.

He lived the rock-and-roll lifestyle on a diet of ciggies, Subways and high strength cannabis.

He probably had an immune system, with all the strength of a plastic colander.

Consequently, he died at 37 of pancreatic cancer.

 

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Death Of My Son George

In some ways our youngest son; George, was more my baby, than my wife’s!

When you have three children under three, you have to devise a system so they can all be fed, watered and managed.

In the early 1970s, I was working at home, writing software for the likes of companies like Lloyds Bank, Plessey, Ferranti and others, usually by means of a dial-up line to a company called Time Sharing Ltd. in Great Portland Street.

  • So most days George sat on my desk in a plastic baby chair, as I worked.
  • C would look after the two elder children, generally taking them to the park or friends.
  • George was still in nappies, real not disposable. We did use a nappy service!
  • I sometimes wonder, if I can still install a proper nappy on a baby!
  • I would feed him as I worked.
  • George also used to come with me to visit clients, I had to meet at Great Portland Street. Usually, the secretaries would steal him away.

It was a system, that worked well for all of us.

Of our three children, George was the only one, that C thought could be coeliac, as I am. Mothers know their families! We once tried to test him with a self-test kit from the Internet. but the results were inconclusive.

I now believe he was coeliac for one genetic reason. His daughter was born with a severe congenital hernia of the diaphragm and research shows this can be linked to a coeliac father.

At least I was lucky with my three boys in this respect, but it points to George being coeliac.

George worked in the music business and was the sound engineer on some of the work of Diane Charlemagne. I met Diane once, when I stood on The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, which I wrote about in Fun and Games at the Fourth Plinth.

  • Diane was working as the security guard and it was an amazing coincidence, that we realised our connection through George.
  • She spoke highly of his work.

Sadly Diane died of kidney cancer in 2015.

George didn’t drink, but he smoked heavily and not just tobacco. He also lived on a very gluten-rich diet of Subways and the like.

I suspect that his immune system was as good as much protection as a chocolate colander in a tsunami!

I have discussed this with doctors, who specialise in cancer and they feel that it could have contributed to his death from pancreatic cancer.

  • George died at home.
  • He was not in much pain due to the morphine he was controlling through a pump and the cannabis he was smoking.
  • One day, he was in bed and talking to my then aristocratic girlfriend and myself, when he just expired.
  • There was no drama and he just went to sleep.

A few minutes later, my girlfriend and the housekeeper, laid out the body for the undertaker.

I had been at George’s quiet death, just like I had been at the birth of all three sons.

Looking Back

George died ten years ago and his death has left some marks on my mind.

  • Because of our early relationship, some of my grief for George was more like that of a mother.
  • George died a peaceful death, which with modern medicine should be almost a right for many!
  • His death has driven me to fund and take part in medical research, especially for pancreatic cancer.
  • I also feel strongly, we should steer clear of cannabis, eat sensibly and check as many as possible for coeliac disease.

But now above all, I have no fear of Covid-19 or death.

 

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment