Keeping your Lungs Healthy│National Healthy Lung Month

Saturday, October 24, 2015 Sara Wallflower 11 Comments

Hello everybody!

As you may or may not know, October is National healthy lung month and because of that I was asked by a lovely Heather Von St. James to help raise awareness. At first I was a bit sceptical, as I thought how can a seventeen year old girl help to raise the awareness of such an important thing as keeping your lungs healthy and lung diseases such as cancer? Would people even take my words serious or would my voice just vanish in a crowd of more important voices?  

I know how it is to lose someone you love due to cancer. My grandmother died because of cancer before I was even born, so I didn’t get a chance to meet her. And it sucks that people lose their family, friends, neighbours etc. because of cancer. And that encouraged me in writing about Healthy lung month. Because it doesn’t matter how old are you, if you have survived cancer or if you know someone who has cancer... We all have the power to spread our words about anything we want and if those words can bring something good to other people or can help them in any way possible- then we shouldn’t remain silent.

You may ask yourself, why should we even talk about lung cancer?
Well lung cancer is the number one killer of women (and also men) and the lung death rate in women has more than doubled over the past 35 years. Here in Slovenia, the incidence of lung cancer in women has been continually increasing, and in 1998 (the year when I was born), the lung cancer represented 5% of all cancers.

And anyone can get lung cancer. Some people may think that they don’t need to care about lung cancer, because it hadn’t affected them or people close to them. But we shouldn’t just care about the things that are affecting us and we should do our best to help people that have survived cancer, have cancer and people that have lost someone due to cancer.

So how should we keep our lungs healthy and at least try to prevent lung cancer? Here are some of the causes of lung cancer and some tips on how to prevent it:

Smoke

I’ve just realised that this may turn into a total personal rant, but I hate people that smoke. Smoking is the main contributor to lung cancer and cigarette smoke contain at least 73 known carcinogens. That’s why I hate seeing people smoking, especially seeing young mothers holding baby in one hand and a cigarette in other hand.
And the most disgusting thing I find about smokers- people that surround them can get lung cancer too. Passive smoking causes about 3400 deaths from lung cancer each year in the USA.
So don’t smoke. Especially if you have children, don’t smoke. Don’t increase the chances of getting a lung cancer and don’t make them passive smokers. Smoking doesn’t only harm your lungs, but if affects nearly every organ of your body and also your overall health.

Radon gas and asbestos

Since I think that those two causes are more common in USA, I admit I haven’t known much about the affects of radon gas and asbestos before, so I had to do a little research. Usually, the time from exposure to onset of illness is long, as people fall ill after 20 to 40 years after exposure.
Asbestos can cause variety of lung diseases, including asbestosis and lung cancer- it can cause a rare form of cancer, called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that most commonly attacks the lining of the lungs. Since mesothelioma is quite a rare form of cancer and not many people know about it, you can read about it here.
 Asbestos is used in many consumer and construction products and is not yet banned in the U.S. and Canada, but it is banned in Slovenia since 2003. Cigarette smokers who are also exposed to asbestos are about 50 to 84 times more likely to develop asbestos related diseases.

Air pollution

Outdoor pollution has a small effect on increasing the risk of lung cancer, but we’re breathing dangerously high levels of polluted air every day. I know we can’t do much to prevent air pollution, but we can at least ride a bike or walk to school/ work, work from home...

Genetics

Lung cancer can be genetic, in relatives with lung cancer, the risk is increased 2.4 times. If your family has a history of cancer, you should monitor your symptoms carefully.

It’s true that October is the National healthy lung month, but you should try and keep your lungs healthy throughout the whole year. You can do that by practising deep breathing exercises or any other breathing technique, by staying hydrated, because drinking enough water is important for your lungs and also for the rest of your body and by exercising.

And finally, in my opinion the most important thing to keep your lungs healthy, is laughing. Believe it or not, laughing is a great exercise to work the abdominal muscles and increase lung capacity, so don’t forget to laugh every day!

I’m really grateful to Heather, who really encouraged me in researching and writing about lung cancer with her heartbreaking story. You can read her story about surviving cancer here.

Here are some of Heather's photos:



Love, Sara 

11 comments:

Hello everybody!
Feel free to leave a comment telling me what you think about my blog. I'll read all of them and leave a comment on your blog.
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Love, Sara

Would I Survive The Hunger Games?

Saturday, October 10, 2015 Sara Wallflower 8 Comments

Hello everybody!

I was a bit bored today- actually I was supposed to clean my room, but let’s forget that- and because of that I’ve decided to find and take some funny and interesting quizzes. I found some quizzes I didn’t even realise existed, so I was definitely excited to see all of the questions and of course results.

Would you survive the Hunger Games?

I’ve been obsessed with The Hunger Games ever since I’ve read the first novel of the trilogy, The Hunger Games. At the time I decided to read the trilogy, there wasn’t even a Slovene translation yet, so I read it in English. And even though I was quite young back then and my English was definitely a lot worse than it is now, I still fell in love with the books and later also with the movies. I have to admit I haven’t watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1 just because I want to wait for the 2nd part and then watch both parts together (if that even makes sense).

Before the quiz: I don’t think I would survive the Hunger Games, because a) I’m too lazy to run b) I wouldn’t be able to even find food or start a fire and c) I think the first three reasons are enough to get me killed in first five minutes.

My results: “You have 25% chance of survival. You’re an expert of the arena in theory, but when Hunger Games push comes to Hunger Games shove, you may have a moral problem with hacking away at your competitors- not that we blame you! You’re smart enough to know your odds aren’t great, but your big brain may just save you in the end. (But probably not.)”

After the quiz: Well 25% chance of survival sounds quite high, right...? But still, the last sentence at the results is quite mean...

Who is your YouTube twin?

I guess I don’t have to explain again how obsessed I am with YouTube and I’m not ashamed to admit I did have taken a few YouTube quizzes in the past. Don’t judge me.

Before the quiz: I don’t know which YouTubers can come as a result in this quiz, but if I’d have to guess which YouTuber is my twin, I’d probably say Ally Hills. I don’t know why, but when I watch her videos I just feel like we’re the long lost twins.

My results: Miranda Sings- “You got Miranda (a.k.a Colleen)! You're a joker! You're so funny and you always make people laugh, however you take things seriously quite a lot of the time. You look down on things a lot but you know everything's okay in the end. You tend to shut out other people's opinions and mistreat people as a joke but it's all just fun anyway. You're very lovable and everyone adores you for your humor and sass.”

After the quiz: All I can say is that I’m honoured that Miranda Sings is my YouTube twin, and she was my second option after Ally, so... Haters back off!

What is your spirit animal?

Now I feel like I’m searching for the most dumb quizzes ever, but hey, it will be fun finding out what is my spirit animal, right?

Before the quiz: I wish I’d get a cat as my spirit animal, because cats are cute and fluffy and everyone loves them. But at the same time I feel I could get a sloth considering my laziness. We’ll see.

My results: Brown bear. “Your animal totem is the brown bear! What a wonderful result! You tend to be extremely honest, perhaps a bit too honest at times. But on the other hand, people with bear totems make excellent leaders and aren't afraid to take control! You are highly respected, or so deserve to be, and you are someone that people can easily look up to!”

After the quiz: Since I live in a town full of bears and I of course admire them, I feel like that’s a great result.

How would you die in a horror movie?

I don’t really like horror movies, so I don’t watch them that often. There was a period in my life a few years ago when I loved watching horror movies (I still don’t know why), but then I realised  that I’m literally watching movies that scare the shit out of me and that’s the only thing I get from watching them. So I stopped watching horror movies.

Before the quiz: I think that I would kill myself, because running from a killer isn’t my thing, getting in a fight with a killer isn’t my thing and killing a killer isn’t my thing. So killing myself would be the easiest thing to do.

 My results: “You’re going to die by being bit by a zombie. Everything that made you you is dead and all that’s left is a hunger- driven shell of a human. With time to say goodbye, and to reflect on your coming zombie transformation you decided to not to kill yourself and join the shambling masses.”

After the quiz: By saying I’d kill myself I didn’t mean I’d become a zombie! But if I think about it for a minute, zombies are kind of cool. So maybe becoming a zombie and then turning other people to zombies would be actually a fun thing to do.

Are you girlfriend material?

The only reason why I’ve decided to take this quiz, is because there was a picture of Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling from The Notebook, and I love The Notebook. I guess for my last quiz I’m going to take, I’ll find out if I’m a girlfriend material.

Before the quiz: No. I’m definitely not the girlfriend material.

My results: “No, you’re not girlfriend material...yet. Sometimes the truth hurts, but you’ve got some work to do before jumping into a relationship. You tend to think of yourself foremost which suggest a lack of empathy. Your shyness could be an issue. Negativity is also a tough sell. Try to see the bright side of things! Remember to be yourself and have fun with people. Everyone is a little scared of meeting strangers, you just need to believe more in yourself.”

After the quiz: Ouch, that actually hurts. I mean, I knew I’m not a girlfriend material but those words were too harsh. And also- how can I be myself, if I can’t be negative and shy? Take that, quiz result!

Well I hope you enjoyed reading this post, I certainly did enjoy taking all of these fun quizzes. And if you take any of these quizzes, don’t forget to comment down your results.


Love, Sara Wallflower

8 comments:

Hello everybody!
Feel free to leave a comment telling me what you think about my blog. I'll read all of them and leave a comment on your blog.
If you start to follow me, don't forget to mention that in a comment, so I can follow you back. :)
Love, Sara