Sunday, July 24, 2016

SAVING MY TEETH AND GUMS from Prolia? (and from my habits)

Even before the second Prolia shot, I knew my dental care was not working.     Desipite years with a periodontist, I had a broken tooth when I left CA.  He did teach me to floss after meals and watch the gums.  But then new problems sprung up here.

A TX dentist introduced me to Xylitol.

Then possible Prolia side effects sent me hunting for better tooth and gum survival.

Almost at once,  I found a gold mine of suggestions that make sense to me;
I landed on this Cleveland Clinic article:

Turns out  brush and floss are only the beginning.  Though the article is called Six Foods,

There are some other urgent actions to go with these important foods.

RINSE is one action:  WATER is nature's food, and so good for rinsing.   See below.

CRUNCH is action to stimulate saliva, and requires healthy CRUNCH FOOD- like carrots, apples, pears and other crunchies that introduce water into our system as we crunch. Even the very crispy leaf lettuce at my market.

 I noticed that my gums are the first line of defense.

Some gum-defense FOODS are:  dairy, fish, and Xylitol, and TEA.  Really.

DAIRY.   CC says dairy food prevents gum disease.   Yogurt has been in my life for decades; I still eat some most days (the one with no processed sugar.)

And I'm back to half and half in coffee (gives me a bit of a runny nose, but oh well.)  "Fat free half and half" is NOT the real deal; scary label.   In fact read labels on everything.

A tiny square of CHEESE (a half ounce) after a meal neutralizes lingering acid in the mouth.  I just have to learn to stop at "tiny."  CC says regular dairy products lower risk of gum disease.In gentler times every special dinner had a fruit and cheese course.  It wasn't just to please Emily Post.  Now we know it made sense before fancy tooth brushes and good floss.

Back to TEA, a surprise for gum protection!  (Another thing I had given up.)  But I had green tea on hand that I bought for an astringent.  Catechins in green tea (try saying it fast six times) may help with dangerous inflammation and avoid gum disease (just don't sit around with it; drink it and then drink a glass of water)

More on WATER,  to drink after caffeine and to rinse our mouths after anything we eat. Every time we eat.  Even after starch.  Just rinse.   I can take a water bottle into restroom after my little bagel brunch, yes, (even at Starbucks)  rinse in private.  Drinking more water now -  Not too much for my GERD) but enough to protect my teeth and gums in so many ways.

FISH for gums:  CC mentions some fish, saying omega-3 can "reduce risk of periodontitis."  Funny that LA perio guy never mentioned it.  I'm cooking some tonight.  Two or three servings of fatty fish per week.  You can get albacore in pouches at the market if you never want your home to smell fishy.

 I put my version of THE PLAN  on the fridge.  The dentist and the hygienist were happy about the ro cheese (yes, I know, calories).  Their only caution was:  don't spend too much time with drinking the  tea.  Drink and rinse to prevent gray teeth.

We can do this.

I wish you health.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Eating for dental health is not just what food and how much!  So says Cleveland Clinic article, and I believe it.

Stay tuned.

I wish you health.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Had the second Prolia shot at noon.  No allergy symptoms.  I haven't forgotten that one Prolia side effect can affect my jaws.  All I can do is do better than I have so far in my new state to save my teeth.

Soon, a new post on my tooth-saver eating.  I'll give you the source and my dentist-approved version.

Hope you'll like it.

I wish you health.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Prolia vs teeth - Shot is a go

The doctor and the dentist decided I'm good to go.

 My oncologist says Prolia is out of my system much, much sooner than I read on line.   Hmm.  He says they want patients to have down time before the next shot, and I'm delighted to hear that.

Dentist looked over my new "save my teeth & gums plan" that's mostly from Cleveland Clinic. Thought it was good; he and hygienist both in favor of cheese for teeth and gums.  Luckily (I think) I love cheese. Now I drink tea and rinse quickly.  And rinse.  And rinse.  More on this coming up.

So tomorrow I march out in this heat and get the next shot.  The infusing dept. was so busy yesterday that I forgot to ask if anyone ever developed Prolia allergy after the second  shot.  I never find answers to such Prolia questions on line. It's too new, I guess, or something...

I wish  you health.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Prolia vs Teeth - Damned if I do, damned if I don't

I have never broken a bone. My spine, however, is bolted together in one place.  Many of my teeth have been filled or pulled or altered.  I came to TX with a broken tooth - since repaired. Then, after I'd been here for awhile, I woke up one morning with a sliver missing all along the side of a front tooth.  The dentist fixed that.

My new doctor sent me for a DXT  (no injection) bone scan.  My spine could not be scanned because of the bolts. Results: Osteoporosis in my right hip.  Not the worst, but definitely osteoporosis.

Six months ago, I reluctantly started Prolia to treat that osteoporosis and some osteopenia (almost osteoporosis) in the other hip. (My oncologist doesn't like the pills, and I can't swallow them for medical reasons.  Besides, don't like the way they act inside us.)

 I liked some of what I read on demosubab (Prolia.)  Like the fact it doesn't hang around in your system - is nearly gone at the end of the six months.

The first six months on Prolia haven't seemed to do me any harm.  But recently, almost  time for a new shot, some gum soreness. It took two dentist visits to discover a broken tooth in my upper jaw. Dentist removed the broken portion.

With my record of dental problems, I can hardly blame Prolia for that break,  And yet.  And yet...

The oncologist was not happy about that broken tooth--said I should check back with the dentist, who already knows that I have doubts about Prolia,

I left a message for the dentist.  He called me at home!  And asked if there was something less strong than Prolia that the onco could give me. No.  Turns out dentist has a patient on Prolia with an infected root canal. He will "carry her along with antibiotics" until the current Prolia cycle is finished.

I called him back for specifics:  If I get an infection in one of my root canals, I will get the same treatment. When that cycle ends, as long six months, he will remove that tooth.  I asked if he is reassured by the fact that none of my root canals has ever been infected. He wasn't enthusiastic. He insisted I get a note into my onco file saying that I have had several root canals.

The Prolia leaflet clearly states

 "Prolia is a medicine that may infect your immune system." 

Today  I may ask for an appointment with the dentist to check on a cold-sensitive tooth I've noticed for awhile, and the gum above my bridge.  I wonder if I'm imagining gum sensitivity there (I've known for years that stress can make my gums hurt.) Yesterday, I drank tea twice (more about that later). Today gum feels better. Will drink more tea.

Tomorrow I have a rush appointment to discus this with the oncologist.  Then, depending what they both tell me, I will decide to take the shot, or not.

If I get it, I suspect this second shot will be my last.  This stress is messing me up.

This seems so minor compared to the oncology waiting room full of very sick cancer patients.  But losing another tooth or part of my jaw (or the other side effects) does NOT feel minor.

Yes, it feels like like Damned if I get it, damned if I don't.

I have very few real statistics on how often denosumab failed on some women's bones.  I found this:

Long-term treatment of osteoporosis: safety and efficacy appraisal of denosumab
Athanasios D Anastasilakis,1 Konstantinos A Toulis,1 Stergios A Polyzos,2 Chrysostomos D Anastasilakis,3 and Polyzois Makras4Author information ► Copyright and License information ►  

Yes, some prolia patients now have more bone density.  Do I?

The most annoying part?  Medicare will almost certainly not pay for my second bone scan for another year.   So:

 We don't even know how well, or if, this stuff works on me.

 I wish  you health.

PS Tune in again later for my new, no-stone-unturned tooth care program.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

CANCER IS CANCER - Do Not Say Baby Cancer to me!

Some friends of mine have or have had life-threatening cancers.  They inspire me in many ways, and I wonder how I would live with what they face and suffer through.

The differences between us are so big, that I catch myself wanting to "admit"

"I only had DCIS."

Even this morning, I want to quote somebody else's writing on how I feel or speak on this.

When I'm caught in that nonsense, sometimes someone else's reality gives me an elbow in the ribs.  For instance, right now I follow a woman on social media who had DCIS decades ago.  Perhaps she thought she was just fine afterward.  Then less than a decade ago, she found herself with metastatic BC.  

We've learned a helluva lot about cancer since I was diagnosed.  A helluva lot about DCIS, and the sense to ask probing questions about it.  And it's still not enough info.  And a lot of the info is not a comfort. And some of the info is still almost guesswork.  At least, now I know DCIS is not an "only." DCIS is not nothing.  Now I know that nobody really knows all that is going on in my body at any time.  

Right about here, I'm expected to say:  You never know what tomorrow brings, or Cherish every day, or some other cheery writing.  But let's be honest.

When I was diagnosed, someone said only "remember it's caught early and easily treated."  I wanted to say:  "Try it some time."  I wanted to say, "Have you every heard the voice on the phone say, 'There's cancer.' "  I want to tell them about the Recurrance decision aids on what I must do to keep it from coming back during the next five years!  Or ten.

If it's gone for good, I don't need a fistful of recent lab orders and mammo orders and research printouts.  Yet here they are in this fat red folder. Right next to the fat bottle of Tamoxifen.

Inside me, Hope says: The results so far show probably today I don't have BC.

What I will stop saying in that apologetic, diminished tone is:  I only had DCIS.

I wish you health.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016


No, it wasn't from speed-eating 2 Lara bars.

When I got on the scales at the doctor's office this morning, I asked to find my height. The nurse opened up her person-measurer, and told me to turn around.  Yikes!  I'm only 5'1".  So what, you ask, since I didn't have a modeling career in mind.

But I had calculated my body mass based on somebody's body an inch taller than I am.

Went home, keyed up the gov't NIH body mass calculator again.  Yikes!  If I'm only 5'1',   My bmi is then officially at 25.1 or overweight on the gov't chart.  After all that work to get the weight down and stay off the pre-diabetic list.  I never intended to lose even this much weight, so I guess one more pound is okay.

A little voice in my head wonders if I was taller before osteoporosis.  Don't know if my pre-osteoporosis height is written down anywhere.

The good news is, if I lose a pound, and don't get shorter in the meantime, I should be normal again.  I'll just be walking to the building library if you need me for anything.

OH, and Have you used this link?
 (Just in case  you're interested)

I wish you health.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

True Confession - Cancer and race-

Not long ago, I tweeted or re-tweeted an item on cancer death being more likely for black women. Several people were glad about my re-tweet.

My guilt is: that I didn't come forth with my objections to the article they saw:  I'm embarrassed to admit I no longer have the specific article that started the comment trail.  Don't even have, at this moment, the title.  But what I haven't said, and need to say is:

    I do NOT believe that the health system is structured for older white women.

  As an older white woman dependent on Medicare (a medicare supplement is just that - it doesn't pay when Medicare doesn't pay.  Medicare takes $ from my social security before I get it no matter what color I am.   And my supplement costs a big chunk of what's left of my SS, without asking about my color.)

 Who is the US health system structured for?  I think you have an idea every time you make a payment on your insurance.

Beyond that, we need to look hard at possible biases in the medical world, and challenge the biased to work on it.

The problem is not unknown.

I wish you health.