I have cancer. Don’t tell me you’re sorry | Elizabeth Wurtzel

Everyone else can hate cancer. I dont. Everyone else can be afraid of cancer. I am not, writes Elizabeth Wurtzel

Elizabeth Wurtzel

Everyone else can hate cancer. I dont. Everyone else can be afraid of cancer. I am not, writes Elizabeth Wurtzel

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Flu widespread throughout the nation, 30 children dead

(CNN)This year’s flu season ranks among the most severe in recent years.

Influenza activity has increased and is now widespread in 49 states — all except Hawaii — for the week ending January 13, according to the weekly flu report released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu is a contagious, viral illness that causes mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.
There were 14,401 new laboratory-confirmed cases during the week ending January 13, bringing the season total to 74,562. These numbers do not include all people who have had the flu, as many do not see a doctor when sick.
There were 10 additional flu-related deaths among children during the week ending January 13, bringing the total for the season to 30 deaths.
For older people, the CDC estimates deaths based on pneumonia and influenza. Based on National Center for Health Statistics data, 8.2% of all deaths that occurred during the week ending January 13 were due to pneumonia and influenza. This is above the rate considered normal for this period, according to Lynnette Brammer, head of the CDC’s Domestic Flu Surveillance team.
Overall, there were 31.5 hospitalizations for every 100,000 people during the week ending January 13, compared with 22.7 per 100,000 for the week ending January 6.
“Hopefully we’re at the peak now, but until we see it go down for a couple of weeks we won’t know that we have reached peak yet,” said Brammer. “Some areas of the country may have, but I think some areas are probably still going up.”
The H3N2 virus strain, which is known to cause more hospitalizations and more deaths, is the dominant strain this season so far, Brammer said.
“We want to continue to emphasize that there’s still a lot of flu activity to come, people that haven’t been vaccinated should still get the vaccine,” said Brammer. She said that while we may be peaking with the current wave of flu, it’s not unusual to have a second wave come through.
“Given that we’re seeing so much flu activity, particularly people who are high risk, the elderly, children under 2, pregnant women, and people with chronic health problems, should talk to their doctors about antiviral medications to treat the Illness,” said Brammer.
To prevent pneumonia, the CDC recommends people over age 65, children under age 2 and individuals with medical conditions or health behaviors get a pneumococcal vaccination.
One doctor who has worked in emergency medicine for the last 20 years says this is the worst flu season he’s seen.

On the front lines

“This is one of those flu seasons they’re gonna be comparing other flu seasons to,” said Dr. Brahim Ardolic, chairman of emergency medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City.
Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC’s Influenza Division, said last week the season is looking worse than the 2012-2013 season, but not as bad as the 2014-2015 season, although that could change before the season ends. The H3N2 virus strain was dominant in those seasons, as well.
Mistakenly, the general public believes a bad flu season simply means a lot of people either die or get seriously ill due only to the flu, said Ardolic.
“And it’s really not like that,” he said. What actually happens — and is happening now — is that people with one or two other medical conditions are “coming in with the flu and it’s really knocking them for a loop.”
“To be honest, in the US today, there’s so many people walking around with at least one comorbidity — diabetes or hypertension or congestive heart failure or COPD — you’re talking about a tremendous number of people,” said Ardolic. He added that these people are requiring “pretty significant therapy.”
“We have multiple 45-year-olds with diabetes who required admission to the hospital,” said Ardolic. “We’ve had multiple 62-year-olds who are in the ICU with pneumonia on antibiotics and even on ventilator therapy.”

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“There’s no question that the people who got their flu shots this year got less sick than the people who didn’t,” said Ardolic. “The sickest people are still clearly the ones who did not get their flu shots.”
“If you get flu and then you get pneumonia on top of your flu, which is what happens to a lot of these people, you’re not gonna do well,” he said.
If you want to know why your doctor asked you to get a flu shot or pneumonia vaccination, this is why, said Ardolic: “This is the year where those chickens came home to roost.”

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Obese Man Loses An Incredible 165 Lbs After Being Rejected By His Crush

When you make the decision to drastically lose weight and become fitter, there are usually a number of things that motivate you to do just that. These factors typically revolve around your need to improve your health and fitness or a desire to feel more comfortable in your own skin.

However, some people will choose to completely transform their bodies purely for the sake of their love lives. Or the lack thereof… Mos Sataporn, from Bangkok in Thailand, is one of these hopeless romantics who strived for a healthier body after he was turned down by his crush. He used to weigh a whopping 342 lbs and was always slated for his weight. In fact, even his own friends would make him the butt of their demeaning jokes. However, it wasn’t until Mos was rejected by a woman that he had feelings for that he realized he couldn’t keep up his destructive lifestyle anymore. This woman rejected him purely because of the way he looked, and so he decided that if this was scaring women off, he had to change. The truth was, it wasn’t just this particular woman who didn’t want to go out with him because he wasn’t taking proper care of his body. He had been rejected many, many times. The women he was attracted to just never felt the same way. And this was mostly due to Mos’ large size. Not only did he weigh 341 lbs, but he is over six feet tall and very physically imposing. To top it all off, his BMI status classified him as “obese”, a fact that was very hard for Mos to take. Mos soon came to the realization that women generally preferred men who were slim and toned. Anyway, after being rejected by yet another woman, he decided to lose weight for the first time. He hoped to attain the body that would attract the girl of his dreams. So how did Mos go about this ambitious weight loss journey? Well, after previously indulging in foods rich in sodium and carbohydrates, he started eating lean meats and other foods rich in protein. He also started eating a lot more vegetables and drinking mostly water. If you’re looking for any additional tips, based entirely on science, take a look at the video below:

Amazingly, Mos also taught himself to cook for the first time and tried to resist using unhealthy ingredients. For the most part, he succeeded. After making drastic changes to his diet, Mos was pretty shocked at how quickly he started shedding the weight. Needless to say, when he started working out, the weight loss only became more rapid. After a month, of healthy eating and intense exercise routines, he managed to lose 11 lbs. Mos is very proud of the progress he has made and often shares his updates on Facebook in order to inspire others. What Mos is most proud of is the fact that he managed to lose the weight entirely on his own. He simply reduced his portion sizes, began to eat healthier foods and exercised regularly. Mos ultimately lost an enviable 165 lbs. Now, at 6 feet tall, he weighs 176 lbs and feels more attractive than ever before. “If you want to diet, the first thing you have to do is to fight with your inner self,” Mos admitted. “If others can do it, why not you?” Of course, we don’t know for certain whether his new look has attracted admirers, but it definitely will sooner or later. And we are totally here for that!

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Doctor delivers baby on international flight

(CNN)This definitely wasn’t what Dr. Sij Hemal was expecting when he booked a flight with Air France from India to the United States.

He needed a nap. The 27-year-old had planned to watch the movie “Side Effects,” enjoy a glass of champagne and fall asleep.
But before he could have that drink, everything changed. A flight attendant was looking for any doctors on board. So Hemal got out of his seat and went to offer what help he could.
It was then he discovered that 41-year-old Toyin Ogundipe had gone into labor as the plane skirted the southern coast of Greenland, 35,000 feet below. “She was complaining of back pain,” Hemal told CNN. “At first, I thought it might be kidney stones, but after she told me she was pregnant, I knew she was going into labor.”
Toyin
Over the course of an hour, Ogundipe’s contractions accelerated.
“Once they got to two minutes apart, that’s when we knew we were going to deliver on the plane,” Hemal said.
An emergency landing would have required a two-hour diversion to a US military base in the Azores Islands. Instead, the crew moved Ogundipe to first class, which had fewer passengers and more space. They continued to head for JFK International Airport, a full four hours away.
While Hemal practices urology, this wasn’t his first delivery. Thanks to his training at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Hemal had delivered seven babies — just not on the floor of a jet.
“I was relaxed because I knew I was in safe hands,” Ogundipe said in a statement. “They did everything a doctor or midwife would have done if I was in the labor room in the hospital. Even better, if you ask me.”
After about half an hour, Ogundipe gave birth to a boy named Jake. And Hemal was relieved.
When they finally landed, Ogundipe and Jake were quickly sent off to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, four miles from the airport, and were released later that day.
“Honestly, it was something from God,” Hemal said of the mid-December delivery. “A lot of things could have gone wrong. But we made the best with what we had.”
Hemal still had one last obstacle in front of him — getting to his connecting flight on time.
With the help of airport officials, he made it through immigration and arrived at his gate in time. It was an uneventful flight back to Cleveland.
“I’m glad I didn’t have anything happen after that,” Hemal said.
Air France even made up for that missed glass of champagne — the airline provided Hemal with a whole bottle — along with a travel voucher as a thank you for his medical services.

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Model Flaunts Incredible Body In Before And After Photos To Promote Body Positivity

Do you remember when it was all the rage to have a thigh gap? It seems like only yesterday that teens around the world were being warned about the dangerous diets they’d committed to in an attempt to have an Instagram ready body.

Then there are the waist trainers which burst on to the scene in 2016 after being endorsed by the Kardashian clan, who, prior to that, were responsible for endlessly promoting diet tea, protein shakes, juice cleanses and teeth whitening kits. The photo-sharing platform has been repeatedly abused by those wishing to profit off of the insecurity of others. So much so that Instagram themselves have had to take action – to little avail. Just when the situation was starting to get out of control (the terrifying blue whale self-harming craze was the latest and scariest viral trend to saturate people’s timelines) a new trend was born, one which is no doubt sending companies who profit from dieting fads into turmoil. The craze? Body positivity. Spearheaded by British model, Iskra Lawrence and supported by plus-size stars such as Ashley Graham, the body positivity movement is gaining massive traction – a quick search will show you that ‘#BodyPositivity’ is tagged in more than 1.4 million Instagram photos already. The trend sees women and men embrace their body, no matter what shape or size in order to promote a healthy approach to self-care. The movement encourages people to celebrate their curves and lust for love handles, rather than obsess over an unattainable standard of beauty. With her inspiring posts which remind people to love themselves, Iskra Lawrence has attracted a healthy four million followers who buy into her lifestyle. However, behind her stunning selfies and abundance of self-confidence is a story that the 27-year-old doesn’t often share. Taking to Instagram the model shared a photograph of her 10 years ago, in comparison to today. In the heartfelt post, she admitted to having battled with eating disorders throughout her youth, but goes on to say how over a decade she had learned to love her body.

“Both of these images are of me. The left is about 10 years ago. And the right just under a month ago. I remember being proud of how skinny I looked during this shoot. And how now people call me fat when I’m just happy to be alive and grateful for this body I call my home.”

“I used to seek approval from the fashion industry and tried to be ‘perfect’. I thought if I looked like ‘her’ (an unrealistic beauty ideal), I’d be happy, successful and loved. All I found was failure (because you can’t change who you are) emptiness (because my time and energy was being used up trying to achieve something completely self-absorbed and shallow sacrificing doing things I loved) and unhappiness (because no restrictive diet or abusive exercise feels good).”

Iskra has been campaigning for body positivity for years now. The following video shows the moment she stripped down on a New York City subway train in order to empower others:

Iskra continues in her inspiring Instagram post:

“I share my experiences with you all because if you are feeling like I did there is another way and those recovering from [eating disorders] you’re not alone. The best thing I ever did was focus on looking after myself and being the best me I could be. Seeing value in who I was.

I started Investing time into self-care, doing things that made me happy. Listening to my body and mind and nourishing them both, without guilt.”

“My dream has always been to get self-care (mental, emotional and physical wellness) education into schools. And I’ve started that, but I also wanted to create something for adults that still needed a safe space that’s judgment-free to go on a positive journey of self-love.” Inspired? I know that I am. Suddenly my New Year’s resolution to lose weight suddenly feels a little unnecessary! Instead, I should be losing the feeling that I need to lose weight in the first place. Who am I trying to please? As Iskra says: “We were all created to be imperfectly perfect,” so enjoy what feels good to you – if that’s stuffing your face with nachos and a couple of sit-ups each night, then so be it!

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7 Matte Lipsticks That Won’t Dry Out Your Lips

Name something worse than a matte lipstick that makes your lips feel cracked out. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Lipsticks are like, the very cornerstone of our tequila shot-taking, Hinge-messaging, blackout Snapchat-posting existence. We no longer use the sticks that we have to apply every other hour, so we use beauty’s best invention: matte lipsticks. A lipstick that applies just as creamy, but dries smoothly and stays all fucking night, regardless of the ratchet shit we’re doing. The downside? Finding a matte lipstick that doesn’t make our lips look like the Sahara desert. That shit ain’t cute. Just when you thought the impossible couldn’t be done, here are 7 matte *and* moisturizing lipsticks that won’t dry your lips out, for once and for all.

 

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks

These are ideal if you’re a busy betch who’s always running late to get somewhere. So like, all of us. These apply like liquid, but dry a creamy matte that won’t make your lips feel dry af. The formula actually stays on your lips, versus on your coffee cup or wine glass. The collection comes in a shit ton of colors, including this gorg pale nude.

2. Stila Star-Studded Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

These liquid matte lipsticks offer full coverage so you won’t have to apply more than one coat, and they last long enough to get you through a night of binge drinking. They’re full of oils and vitamins so you have all the hydration you need to keep your lips from looking and feeling chapped. This limited-edition set comes in flirty reds, pinks, and purples (some with a bit of shimmer), to carry your look from daytime to 3am pizza.

3. Buxom Matte Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick

This shit is so soft, you’ll forget you’re even wearing any lipstick at all. This big lipstick lasts you forever, and comes with a gel-like formula that feels both luscious and moisturizing without needing a Chapstick layer. You’ll only need a small swipe for an intense color you’ll get a ton of likes with.

4. Lancôme Matte Shaker High Pigment Liquid Lipstick

Honestly, this is def in my top 3 of best lipsticks of all time. This shit is the real deal when it comes to a decent matte that doesn’t make my lips feel like a fucking mummy’s mouth—a feeling I can confidently say I know, thanks to Kylie’s drying-ass lipsticks. Their “thin film technology” is water- and oil-based, making the formula feel v lightweight and long-lasting. It’s both streak- and smudge-free, definitely non-drying, and totally buildable if dramatic lips are your thing.

5. Butter London Plush Rush Satin Matte Lipstick

If there’s one thing I need in life, it’s a good lipstick that doesn’t give me more stress than I need. Butter London’s award-winning formula is praised for being lightweight, nourishing, and matte drying, but WAIT, THERE’S MORE. It ~also~ comes with an addictive champagne scent and some mood-boosting complex that quite literally gives you a rush of happiness after application. Fucking bless, I officially can die happy.

6. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour

I honestly try to stay from anything over $30 (for most things in life, if we’re being honest) because I’m a cheap bitch on the DL. However, I’m willing to make an exception on worthwhile things I definitely need, such as pricey gin and moisturizing matte lipsticks. While rationalizing my own purchase, Chanel’s lipstick is def worth the splurge because the wide range of colors complement basically everyone’s skin tone and keep your lips feeling moist and on-point for an entire day.

7. Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint

Whether your go-to is a plain Jane pink or sultry, vampy winter berry, these creamy matte lip paints def have it all. Although they’re basically the same as your average matte lipstick, the lip paints are way more pigmented and liquefied to feel 10 times more velvety and intense, all while providing full coverage with an easy swipe of the wand. You won’t even believe they’re matte drying after seeing how long and how amazingly well they stay on for.

 

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Michigan hit hard by deadly hepatitis A outbreak

(CNN)A hepatitis A outbreak has hit several states across the country, killing dozens of people and potentially sickening thousands. Michigan has been hardest-hit in terms of deaths, with 22.

The outbreak there began in August 2016 and, after a dropoff during the winter, continued to climb last year, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“We currently have 677 cases in Michigan and continue to see approximately 15-20 cases matching into the cluster every week,” Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, wrote in an email. “The Michigan outbreak now includes 15 different county jurisdictions. We believe that person-to-person transmission is the primary route of infection.”
Fighting the outbreak was challenging in some jurisdictions due to a national shortage of the vaccine for hepatitis A.
“Vaccine supply is still ‘constrained,’ ” Sutfin wrote. “We continue to prioritize vaccine to the highest risk individuals that have been identified and focus our vaccination efforts in the parts of the state who are experiencing the largest number of cases.”
Vaccine supplier Merck said the shortage of pre-filled syringes, the easiest to administer, would not ease until the second quarter of 2018. However, vials containing 10 single doses are available.
“The company is taking steps to continue to increase our capacity to meet demand globally in 2018,” Merck spokeswoman Pamela Eisele wrote in an email. “We apologize for any inconvenience this supply availability may be causing.”
The only other vaccine maker, GlaxoSmithKline, said it has adult hepatitis A vaccine in prefilled syringes in stock and is “working diligently to increase our supply.” The company is also working closely with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spokeswoman Robin Gaitens wrote in an email, to ensure that its vaccines “are directed to areas of greatest need.”

California epicenter: San Diego

In California, the outbreak can be traced to transient camps and illicit drug users in San Diego, officials say. Now, the state is in the middle of the biggest person-to-person outbreak of hepatitis A since the vaccine first became available in the mid-’90s, according to the California Department of Public Health. Though the virus has spread across the state, San Diego has seen the most deaths: 21, out of a reported 686 cases.
Officials say movement among the homeless population has also spread the virus to Utah, Arizona and Colorado. Cases of hepatitis A in Colorado doubled in 2017, specifically among “gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with unvaccinated men,” said health officials. However, only one of those cases was linked to San Diego, according to Shannon Barbare of the Colorado Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division, and the outbreak now appears to be over.
Over the weekend, officials in Utah announced a new outbreak at a convenience store in Salt Lake County that can be traced to San Diego.
“We have 97 outbreak-related cases in our county,” Salt Lake County Health Department spokesman Nicholas Rupp said, adding that those cases were tied to a worker at a 7-Eleven who tested positive for the same strain of the virus as that in San Diego. “We are seeing similar hospitalization rates as San Diego, about 60%, but we have fortunately not seen any deaths.”
Just south of Salt Lake, workers at two Utah County restaurants also tested positive for the virus in late December.
“In Utah, we don’t require vaccinations for food workers against hepatitis A, but we are encouraging everyone who handles food to be vaccinated, and this is why,” Rupp said. “And everyone should practice handwashing after being in public places to protect themselves from exposure.”
Consumers who used the restroom at or ate at the two restaurants are at risk, health officials said, and those who visited the 7-Eleven and consumed any self-serve beverage, fresh fruit or items from the hot food case, such as pizza, hot dogs or chicken wings, may have been exposed. Packaged foods are not affected, according to the Health Department.
Rupp said the Salt Lake County Health Department has fielded hundreds of phone calls since it announced the 7-Eleven exposure Sunday and referred about 70% of those callers for vaccination.
“If they receive the vaccine within 14 days of exposure, the vaccine will act as a preventative to the virus,” Rupp said, adding that exposure could only have occurred December 26 through January 3.
The state of Utah has confirmed 152 total cases as part of this outbreak; no deaths have been reported.

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease caused by the HAV virus. The virus is found in the feces of people with the disease and is most frequently transmitted by eating food or drinking water handled by someone who has not properly washed their hands. It also can be transmitted by sex and by illicit drug use.
Some of the most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin or eyes. It can take 15 to 50 days to show symptoms of the infection; however, an infected person is most contagious during the two weeks before their skin turns yellow.
Most people recover from the virus and are immune to further infection, according to the CDC, but some can develop liver failure that leads to death. That is most common in people with compromised immune systems, those older than 50 and those with other liver diseases.
According to the CDC, the hepatitis A virus is very hard to kill and can live for months outside the body. Hand sanitizers are not effective against the virus, so frequent handwashing is critical to controlling any outbreak.

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Outbreaks of hepatitis A are normally small; rates have declined 95% since the vaccine became available in 1995. GlaxoSmithKline and Merck are the only companies approved by the Food and Drug Administration to sell a hepatitis A adult or pediatric vaccine in the US.
The current outbreaks of hepatitis A, virus genotype IB, is normally not found in the US; it’s more common to the Mediterranean, Turkey and South Africa. However, the current vaccine is effective against all strains of the virus.

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