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FINAL- Retrospective Assignment December 16, 2011

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Celebration of ending and new beginning- Coast to Coast!

Celebration of ending and new beginning- Coast to Coast!

Creative English with proper grammar and audience capturing are not key areas of focus for my Computer Science major.  As programmers, we are encouraged to be very protective and diligent with our program writings or “code” in the lingo which is private and read by other programmers only if the original developer allows it.  If someone else wants to know my work, they have to read and understand my superficial and technical explanations. I was very worried about taking an English writing class, because of my deficiency on grammar, sentence structure and connection with my audience.  I was reluctant about taking English 414, but now I am happy with the improvements and growth as a writer. My post, “Extreme Shooting Pain” written almost at the end of the semester when compared to “3 Blogs- Education, Fun and Boxing Granny” from the beginning shows great improvement in style, grammar, and connection with the reader.

I had not taken an English class for a very long time, so, for my initial posts grammar was a major problem .  Teacher’s and group’s comments together with the class grammar presentations and exercises helped me to improve my sentence structure.  Early on in the semester, I didn’t introduce my sources and links properly; I merely listed the links with un-explained facts such as, “This type of treatment is to help stop the replication of the HIV virus in a non-HIV person.  This treatment has to start within 72 hours of the exposure, and it is usually one pill per day for 28 days. The site, aids.gov, explain current statistics and treatment of HIV/Aids“.  I had no previous experience on blogging; consequently, the media I included was either irrelevant, over powering or nonexistent. Following the teacher’s suggestions and visiting blogs outside our class gave me a broader understanding on how to make my blog interesting and engaging.

On later posts I let go of my dried out Computer Science writing style and decided to connect with my readers on a more personal level.  I stayed focused to my blog topic, 3D Imaging Technology; however, I decided to introduce personal and family events and experiences to help the reader identify with me.  The enjoyment and fluidity of my posts increased as I started to include myself and others’ ideas and experiences and not just cold hard  facts on the subject of 3D.   Providing a greater range of details, such as “The snow was coming down hard, the streets were very slippery and impossible to drive, trees and branches were breaking and falling on the middle of the streets and on tops of cars breaking windows and windshields” gave my readers an almost live image of my ideas and surroundings.. This prompted students questions and discussions which I think improved our overall communication skills.  Later, posts included less media but with more relevance to my writing making it almost possible for the reader to understand my message based on the media alone.  Providing pictures and videos where people were being examined and were either happy or in distress, helped my audience to understand my exigence and be less confrontational with the points that I wanted to get across.  After learning from in-class exercises and lectures on how to identify the person of interests and their relevance or concern to my ideas and suggestions, I started to provide the “so what” and “who cares” within my texts.  Objectively editing our own posts was hard, but once I accomplished it I was able to edit this passage “it is Precordial Catch Syndrome (PCS) and …  Studies have shown that PCS affect a great number of children ages 8 to 16 and is less frequent on adults.  However, parents and adults in general should not take chest pain lightly because it could very well be a heart attack and die for not seeking medical attention”  which now included the “so what” and “who cares”.  The improvements and satisfaction from this class included much more than just better English writing.

Students were allowed to choose and present the class material which improved skills on analyzing, speech, public speaking, and group interaction.  Not only was I diligent on analyzing and posting my chosen essay, but also careful on my tone of voice, body posture, pronunciation, and my class engagement style when presenting in front of the class.  This is the first time I have enjoyed an English writing class and part of it was due to the incorporation of blogging. Even though publishing online added more pressure to writing properly, knowing that we were reaching a greater audience made it exciting and rewarding.  I feel much more confident now at posting my ideas on blogs and I am more likely to use blog references on future research.  On future blogs, I would try to be more diverse on my topics of interest in the aim to reach a wider audience but also keep true to the blog’s main purpose.  There is still room for improving on my grammar and discrimination of relevant information on my writings, but I feel much more confident after taking this class and practicing rhetorical analysis, sentence structure, commas, semicolons, transitions, etc.  Further, I was exposed to various writing styles and ideas without being forced to commit to one’s ideology or purpose, whether from the teacher or writer. The methods taught in class allowed or further enhanced creativity and objectivity on my own writings.  I am truly amazed and glad for the amount of my personal skills learned and improved durring this English class.  I will apply these enhanced skills while conducting online research for writing and presenting in future course work or perhaps the work place.

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Atomic bomb to identify cancers! December 9, 2011

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Throughout the semester my blog’s focus has discussed the need and usage of 3D technology to improve our health system and making this technology more affordable worldwide.  At the beginning I intended to present software and techniques to understand and develop our own 3D programs or basic simulations, but my goal changed along the way.  As I learned more about my classmates and my blog group, I realized that I had the responsibility to present my ideas and presenting it in a way that was suitable to their understanding and interest.  Unless they were programmers they wouldn’t be interested on how the technology was developed, instead I decided to present, as honest as possible, the usage, benefits, responsibility, and accessibility of each 3D technology examined.  Because every individual  should have the ability and responsibility to present, accept or reject any new technology, I have decided to incorporate my post, 3D Medical Scanning Machines and the class essay, The Future Is Now chosen by Karen to broader our understanding of radiation.

I present 3D scanning technology as a means of improving people’s lives. Further we’ll explore Katherine Anne Porter’s essay on the use of the atomic bomb against Japan as a means of destruction and general lack of responsibility. Porter, in her essay, The Future is Now questions the implications and consequences of technological advancements and the liabilities and motives of the people involved.  She refers to the “lunatic atomic bomb” as a weapon to subjugate the world and keep its inhabitants in fear and desperation.  She finds guilt and liability on the droppers, makers, and formula writers of the Atomic Bomb.  I agree that scientists should be liable for the developing of technology that purposely endanger life and the eco-health of our Planet.  However, it is not possible to stop technological advancements when curiosity is part of our DNA, we can only enforce proper judgment and safety.  On my findings I clearly report that most of these 3D scanning systems use some level of radiation; however, the small amount of radiation used is for identifying afflictions in our bodies. Now we have a better understanding of our concerns about the dangers of electromagnetic radiations and nuclear radiation medicine involved on body scans as supposed to what doctors and technicians knew back in the late 1800s when they first started to use X-radiation.  We know that radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays can cause great tissue damage that can ultimately turn into cancers and tumors; therefore, scientists and developers use only a small and controlled amount of radiation on body scanning systems.

Katherine is a visionary in that despite the fear of more nuclear weapons, she believes that the then chaotic society would reach the moon and the stars.  She foresaw great advancement on current and future technology; however, she questions the lack of compassion and care when she says, “We take with apparent calmness the news of death of millions”.  I have criticized on many occasions on my blog and other means, that the whole purpose of technological advancement should be the wellbeing of everyone especially when it involves healthcare.  I am not opposed to the idea that some people’s wallets will get fatter with the invention or modification of technology, but the ultimate goal should be the improvement of life for the human race.  Porter being a realistic visionary compromised with her questions, if “the human race should have gone on sitting in caves gnawing raw meat and beating each other over the head with the bones?”  The irony or paradox is on the embracement of technological advancements; even though, it might end up hurting us.  Very often science breakthroughs are a result of ideas from creative minds that present futuristic scenarios on writings, TV, and movies. Some of my blogs ideas about 3D scanning imaging and holographic technology come from Star Trek, a science fiction series on TV.  Some people might say that my approach or ideas are unrealistic or uninteresting, but we are a collection of capable minds of which a great number of possibilities can flourish to accomplish our goal, the well being of the human race.

Is it a Bullet or a Plane? No! It is Superman with healthy Lungs! December 2, 2011

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You’re running like a crazy person on the middle of the sidewalk with your hair blowing up in the air and your backpack or purse is flapping against your body as you chase down the Muni bus. The action scene described here will likely astonish other San Francisco commuters who may be watching you.  Here’s another scenario for you; you’re rushing through airport security dragging your carryon bag and pushing other travelers out of the way trying to make your flight. Now, someone could alert airport security to chase and tackle you down. You take deep breaths and hold the air in your lungs in order to exhale it with a high opera note, this could damage people’s hearing if your voice is not well developed yet.  The mere fact that you can accomplish these exercises is a good indicator that your lungs are working properly.  The problem could be when without any extreme activity, one starts having shortness of breath, prolonged coughing, excess fluids in your lungs, swelling and pain in your chest, and dizziness which can all be attributed to a variety of lung problems.

I know, its scary and gross...but it is reality of Lung Cancer!

Lung cancer or lung disease is a leading cause of death in the United States and unfortunately we don’t have a very effective treatment or cure yet.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention black males are in the highest risk bracket of suffering from lung cancer followed by white males, then white females. Hispanic females are shown to be on the lowest risk category according to the statistics.  California is among the states with one of the lowest rates of lung cancer conversely central and southern states have the highest rates.  As we get older the chances of suffering from lung cancer increases with causes ranging from smoking, radon gas, asbestos, and genetics as contributing factors for this disease.  Even though we don’t have a highly effective treatment or cure yet, early detection increases the chances of survival.
Lung Screening and testing is still sort of complicated and prone to errors.  The problem lies on the type of technology used in the screening process.  Normally to take a good reading, scan, or image of our organs; it is vital that said organ remains motionless. This is extremely hard to do since we need to breathe which results in the contraction and expansion of the lung tissues. Conventional lung scanning or X-ray is not very efficient in detecting lung cancer or tumors at an early enough stage to treat it effectively.  With the previously mentioned scanning technology, the tumor has to reach the size of an orange before it can be fully detected and diagnosed.  People with lung cancer typically die within 5 years. Those with early detection and treatment have a 70% to 80% chance of not dying within the first 2 years of diagnosis. The three most popular methods of detecting lung cancer are: Chest X-rays , Sputum cytologySpiral CT scan. The Spiral (Helical) Computed Tomography is one of the newest and affordable technologies for lung and chest scanning.  It costs around $300.00. It seems expensive but when we are having trouble breathing, $300.00 can be life saving.  This process again uses X-ray imaging and 3D technology.  This is a more effective cancer scanning test because it takes images of the lung with supper fast speed so the patient doesn’t have to stop breathing while doing this scan.  It is also able to scan the entire chest and lungs in a very short period of time causing the least amount of stress on patients.  Further, it can provide thousands of images for technicians and doctors to analyze and come up with more accurate diagnosis and treatment.  This improved screening and detecting technology may not assure ones surviving lung cancer but it will help to detect the cancer early enough so that proper treatment can be taken thus increasing ones chances of extended life.

Hologaphic – Pocket Doctor November 28, 2011

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Holograms - Doctors & Communication

As we get older it gets harder to remember specific details of our health history with symptoms, medical exams, and previous doctor’s diagnosis and treatments.  I have seen family member’s struggle when trying to explain their medical history to new doctors.  When elderly get relocated they don’t want to go see a new doctor, because they miss the previous doctor or they are worried about details and questions asked by the new doctor.  The best choice would be for a relative to accompany them so that a better medical history could be provided to a new doctor or hospital, but sometimes it is just not possible for relatives to take time off and take their elderly family members to see the doctor.  Last week I accompanied my mother to see a new specialist and even though she is only in her 60s; she was asking me for details from her previous doctors in order to provide a better medical history to the specialist.  Seeing my own mother worried in the waiting room, pulling my left arm, and asking me questions about her previous medical treatments before she went into the specialist office, made me want to provide or create some sort of pocket doctor for her.  It would be a lot easier for seniors to carry a database of their medical history or better yet some sort of 3D holographic doctor or some sort of simple 3D communication between doctors.  I realized that for younger people, my idea might seem a little childish or unnecessary, but the usage of a 3D communication device is worth considering.

Simulated Holographic technology is already being used in news networks, universities and medical field.  During the last presidential election, CNN started to use holographic imaging to interview and interact with reporters in different parts of the country.  Wolf Blitzer from CNN in New York had an interview with a reporter from Chicago and their communication seemed fairly smooth with no distortion or interruption visible to the viewers.  During the interview they specifically explained their surrounding and the technology involved to make that holographic projection possible.  In an article by Lydia Leavitt on engadget.com the author explains that UCLA has already developed a device of around 6 inches that make use of holographic imaging technology and could be used to test, water, blood or food.  The base price for this device is under $100.00 which is affordable for the general population once it is perfected and distributed.  I am sure that with time and better programming more devices like this one can be developed to meet a greater range of needs.  My focus of course is on developing a fairly small device that seniors can carry in their pocket or purses and will help them communicate with their medical providers.  Bringing prominent doctors together in conferences, medical searches, surgical rooms, or classrooms is very expensive and almost impossible in time management.  The use of holographic technology could make these events possible and in the process expanding medical knowledge for doctors, students and patients.  I admit that my ideas behind this post are in part based from the movies Star Wars and the Star Trek series, we can’t deny that if this technology is improved and affordable, it will change communication and hopefully improve our health care system worldwide.
Do you think that this can be accomplished? Do you think that it is unrealistic, keeping in mind that we already have “smart” gadgets that helps us find information faster than we ever thought possible?

Extreme Shooting Pain November 5, 2011

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http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ chest_pain/page3_em.htm

Last Saturday evening after having dinner with my sister and mom in New Jersey; I had a short frightening experience.  The snow was coming down hard, the streets were very slippery and impossible to drive, trees and branches were breaking and falling on the middle of the streets and on tops of cars breaking windows and windshields. My sister baked some very aromatic and delicious chicken with rice with a lot of mild herbs and sweet spices.  My mom cooked handmade tortillas; it was automatically assumed that the three of us would be staying indoors and eating together.  It was a very stressful week for the whole family (I will not elaborate), so sitting together at dinner time and watching some of my sister’s favorite soap operas sounded comforting and reassuring.  The three of us prepared our own dish of food and poured hot chocolate into my mom’s favorite clay cups. We then walked into the living room, sat down on the sofas and ate.  My sister usually complains when we eat on her couch, but this time she seemed very comfortable with it.   We were eating, gossiping, and criticizing the soap opera until 10:30pm.  My sister and my mom each went to their respective rooms, the dishes were left on the sink and I stayed on the living room floor watching the Animal Planet network.  Around midnight I got up and went to the kitchen to get something to drink and saw the dirty dishes in the sink.  Knowing how much work these two wonderful ladies had done earlier trying to cook something comfortable and tasty for me; I was compelled to wash the dishes and clean the stove and kitchen table. I turned on the water and sprayed dish liquid soap all over the dirty dishes on the sink.  The sink is a little too high for me so I had to stretch my back up a little and lean forward pressing on the edge of the sink with the upper part of my stomach.  Halfway through the dishes I felt this extreme shooting pain around my chest.  I don’t remember where the pain was exactly, all I knew was that I couldn’t move, breath or scream.  Anyone would be scared and perhaps ask for help, wouldn’t you agree?

This has happened to me in the past, usually when I am under a lot of stress, but my doctor has assured me that I am fine.  The fact that my grandfather and father died from strokes is not very reassuring.  So there I was in the middle of a snowy night, alone in the kitchen and imagining the worst possible scenarios for this overpowering pain that I was experiencing.  I was afraid of doing anything that would worsen the pain and even though I wanted to scream I didn’t want to wake up the others in the house.  Finally I had the courage to start inhaling and exhaling trying to calm down and telling myself of the nice evening I had with my mom and sister. These calming thoughts helped me to relieve of my stress.  I am sure that pain only lasted seconds but it felt like an eternity to me.  I will go check with my doctor again one of these days; I don’t want to neglect my own health, especially since I am paying so much for my Kaiser health insurance.  I was curious to find out more about these unexpected shooting pains and thank God I was able to find so much information on the internet and medical web sites.  I found many terminologies, explanations and warnings by just googling.  One blog with very generous detail for the description of this type of pain is failedsuccess.com.  I know this is not a medical blog, but it gives a very close description of what I was feeling, they suggest it is Precordial Catch Syndrome (PCS) and that it is very common and not life threatening.  Studies have shown that PCS affect a great number of children ages 8 to 16 and is less frequent on adults.  However, parents and adults in general should not take chest pain lightly because it could very well be a heart attack and die for not seeking medical attention.   I am not sure if that is what I was experiencing or was it triggered by body posture, eating and resting on the couch, stress, crappy weather, or warning signs that I should go see my doctor soon.  Whatever the reason I am very happy it only lasted for a short period of time, what lasted longer was my mom’s and my sister’s upset faces when they found the next morning that I had this pain and didn’t call them for help :).

Stay tuned next week we get back on topic with 3D imaging.

3D Body Gestures To Control Equipment From Distance October 31, 2011

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This week, I had to come to New Jersey for an important family situation and I hope to be back in San Francisco by Wednesday.  Family is very important to me and I will do whatever necessary to be present when I am needed.  I am staying at my sister’s house that is located one block away from one of the best Manhattan’s views.  Every time I come around here, I go to Boulevard East Street in North Bergen, NJ and just fix my sight to a beautiful city across the river that never sleeps.  This view is high up on the New Jersey side and it looks out onto Manhattan in New York City by the Hudson River.  I always recommend these views to friends that are coming to the New York/New Jersey area.  On the early mornings you can see people running about doing their business while your eyes are captured by the beautiful colors of the sunrise. The light of the sun creeping through those tall and beautifully odd shaped buildings mesmerize me.  Manhattan is as beautiful in the mornings as it is breathtaking in the evenings. You find families walking around with kids, single people with pets, teenagers trying to steal one last minute before bedtime, and people with beautiful bodies showing them off.  As soon as I pass the distraction of people around me and gaze toward New York City, I am helplessly trapped by its beautiful night lights. As I walk, I pick a comfortable and quiet spot, cross my arms and lean forward resting my upper body on the green golden fence and let my sight and imagination fly.  I know every city has its charms, and even though I love San Francisco, New York City still has a soft spot on my heart.  When I look at the city of Manhattan and see those yellow, gold, green, red, sparkling bright lights, they transport me to my teens and early twenties hanging out with friends and family around Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Radio City.  When I focus my sights to a specific area full of the various colors of the night, I feel as if I am rushed toward the center of Manhattan as it rushes out to meet me. It’s like a big image coming out of the theater screen. No wonder, people spend hours in these areas enjoying the views.  You know, how one experiences a beautiful view can positively impact ones outlook on life but how do we turn that around? Why not have interaction with technology that enhance our lives simply through gesture. Following on the ideas of views, images and body postures, Apple has been working on software to use interpretation of 3D imaging to control devices without physically touching it.

A friend of mine emailed me an article from CNNTech By Christina Bonnington where she speculates future control for the iPhone and iPad will be by hand sings from across the room.  She declares that Apple has already patented this idea/software since mid 2010.  New iPhones and iPads have the front-facing camera that allows the capturing of images facing it.  This ability of rotating the images will enhance the development of this software.  Basic gestures like check marks, circles, rectangles, and letters can be captured by the camera and turned into a 3D image that can further be turned into a command to be executed. All the while, this person can be sitting meters away.  People will be able to open applications and programs and then write, browse, and edit with basic body gestures.  I know we have already seen similar software before or at least played some type of game that uses body gestures, but the difference is on the simplicity and everyday application of this new software.  In looking ahead and specifically in the medical field and quality of life enhancement, this is a great revolution.  I am sure that in a few years we’ll be able to develop and improve the software so that people in wheel chairs will be able to control computers or other medical equipment with just hand gestures much like the great physicist Stephen Hawking uses his eyes today.  This will make today’s disabled less dependent and perhaps bring them a sense of mobility with a bit more dignity.  In the medical field, it would be great if one doctor in the operating room could manipulate different equipment while still having his surgical gloves on and not be concerned with contamination or infection due to handling of surgical instruments and visual displays in the operating room.  All of these wonders, and to have a play on words, are literally at hand. We as individuals and yes, our family and friends, have more wonders to look forward to and it’s exciting to me. Family and friends are a big part of my life; so the prospect of enhancing the quality of our lives is something of extreme importance to me.

Sorry that I can’t provide more links or visual aids, I am traveling!

Midterm Reflection about English414. October 21, 2011

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I smiled when I saw a young teacher in front of the class. As I walked into the classroom trying to add English414, all the students were seated on a circle trying to figure each other out; some were already talking, others were shy and quit, and I was happy to finally see a teacher that was not over fifty.  The professor said that her class roll was filled but I decided to stay, not because I needed the class right away but because I liked the makeup and feel of the class. There are very few classes that bring enjoyment and this is one of them for me.  I was very antagonistic at the idea of taking this class having failed the JEPET; however, I am so glad to be part of this class.  I didn’t even know what a blog was, and now I am enjoying posting and commenting and even friends and family are reading my blog.  In previous classes I read and wrote in such a superficial and uninteresting level and now I can’t wait to read my classmates’ posts and comments and checking my posts constantly smiling at my classmates’ comments on my posts.  Now I pay more attention to the details and references when writing in the hope of making my readers understand and enjoy my ideas.  It is surprising to me how a 50 word comment makes a whole night of writing and creating a post worth the effort.  I am very glad that with our very own contributions, ideas, interactions and freedom, this class has turned from a required course into an exploring, learning, and rewarding experience.

I’m not a fan of writing, but the class dynamics keep me focused and willing to explore and share more about the development, usage and accessibility of 3D Imaging Technology.  When I read my group’s posts and comments and understand how precious their time is; I find myself writing not just for my enrichment but for my readers’ enjoyment as well.  When I chose this topic, I did it because I wanted to learn about 3D technology trying to be objective and fun but now I find myself emotionally tied to my blog and reflecting on personal experiences.  I want readers to understand the amazing range of technology around them for instance, in their kitchens when cooking their loved ones favorite dish.  For a typical guy, I want him to visualize the future and see himself in a 3D exercising environment at home while reading my blog.  If my reader travels abroad I just don’t want her to focus on common sense and safety, but also on ways of improving the lives of less fortunate people with safe and affordable technology.  Pay more attention to imaging and video technology when hanging out with friends at clubs and perhaps enhanced by a couple of cocktails.  These are just a few ideas picked from my group’s posts which show how brilliant it is to incorporate blogging in English414.

I sometimes find myself questioning and or doubting my topic from and I wonder if my readers are getting bored with the topic or my writing style.  Are they as excited about my topic as I am or are they just tolerating me?  I went back and read some of my postings and was shocked with the amount of information I collected and expressed from readings and personal experience.  I shared information about Sexually Transmitted Diseases, cancers, family experiences, treatments and technologies.  I read my group’s blogs and they too have an equal amount of great information obtained from research, personal experience and imagination.  I am sure that we all question are blogs and topics sometimes, especially when we get not so positive comments.  Nice comments make us feel good about our post, but negative comments may help us improve our writings and avoid future mistakes.  If we give up on our blogs or topics, we would deprive the reader from knowing our interests and experiences and our writings will be much less enjoyable.  I am still very enthusiastic about blogging as well as my class makeup and setting.

I am happy with the reading subjects chosen by the students.  It is very helpful to read the essays then hear student interpretations and their questions each unique point of view.  As a reader I am encouraged to read an essay knowing that perhaps the student who chose it has the same knowledge of the subject as I do.  That makes me less nervous when commenting online or in class.  Leneah lead a very smooth and interactive discussion the other day, but I am a little scared of leading the class discussion.  The Teacher’s views and interactions are extremely helpful when students are to lead the discussion. Two of my favorite readings are “Coatesville” by Lineah and “How It Feels To Be Colored Me” by Maria.  Lineah’s essay talked about a white man defending a black man, which lead to a very interesting discussion about racism.  Maria’s essay talks about the achievement and strong personality of a black woman.  These two essays are very inspiring as they encouraged taking action and not be defeated by differences in skin color or ethnic backgrounds.

I shall always have room for improvement in my grammar; having student do the grammar presentation makes it less rigid and more comfortable for me when I make a mistake in class exercises.  Overall, I am very impressed on the amount of skills we are developing in this class.  At the end we will be better at writing, analyzing, researching, blogging, presenting and perhaps all due to our initial failure of the JEPET.

Prostate & Breast Cancer Screenings and Treatments. October 14, 2011

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Breast and Prostate Cancer

With the shock of being diagnosed with some type of cancer come despair, guilt, financial instability, and the loss of hope.  This summer I found out that one of my aunts had her left breast and part of the right breast surgically removed.  I felt very sad about her experience and guilty for not being around when she was going through her ordeal.   Later, I found that it wasn’t just me, but my entire family felt the same guilt toward my aunt’s breast cancer ordeal.

Zohra on her blog post Breast Cancer in 3D Culture explains the effectiveness on doing breast cancer treatment research entirely in a 3D environment before it is synthesized or even tested on humans.  After our family experience and finding out how humbling it is for the patient and the family, I wanted to identify ways to make the screening and the education process more simple and understandable.

People usually believe that cancer is for another person to worry about, preferably older but not for him or her.  Surprisingly, young people are at most risk of dying when diagnosed with some type of cancer.  Young males have 75% more chances of dying when diagnosed with prostate cancer than older males.  All of this is attributed to the fact that because one is young, he/she thinks that the body is healthy enough to withstand any illness, ignoring education on illness and delaying treatment.

The other night, I was watching a CBS network show called Cutting Edge by reporter Julie Nelson that explored breast and prostate cancer.  She talked about the different treatments, reactions, support, help, and technology involved.  Of course what got my attention was the array of 3D technology mentioned on her show, prompting me to write this post.

3D view of Breast Cancer

About 12% or 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the US.  Men are also being diagnosed with breast cancer with a rate of about 2000 cases per year.  Breast cancer starts as a small lesion on the breast and can grow and spread to other parts of the body.  Early detection is very crucial in preventing mortality, representing about 40,000 deaths per year in the US and about 1.5 million cases diagnosed worldwide.

Imaging technology which includes Breast MRI machines also known as 3D mammography or tomosynthesis are used for regular size breasts and molecular breast imaging, which uses Gama rays, is used for women with large breasts.   MRI tends to work best on women with less tissue density in their breasts.  These scans and 3D images allow doctors to do extensive review and analysis of a patient’s breast without the patient being present on every occasion.  Doctors can present and discuss theories and rebuttals regarding a patient’s case based entirely on the images taken.  If they find irregularities or lumps on a part of the breast, the images can be rotated, sliced, reduced, expanded and zoomed in order to have a complete review of the breast. This gives the doctor an opportunity to scrutinize the data before giving a diagnosis to a patient.  Being able to do a study on the breast from 3D images may reduce stress and possibly causing more injury to the patient.  Doctors can also present 3D images of the procedure showing the removal of part of the breast and its reconstruction.  With the initial shock of a cancer diagnosis; having some visual aids to understand their condition and prognosis can be extremely helpful to the patient. 

Prostate Cancer Treatment through the Urethra

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men with about 220,000 cases every year and about 30,000 deaths where the mortality rate is much higher on younger males.  Younger males don’t do regular prostate cancer screenings, therefore reducing chances of survival.  The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut located under the bladder and is responsible for producing the fluids in semen.  The usual screenings involve blood work or physical examination, where the doctor touches the gland with his finger through the rectum.   The screenings are invasive but the treatment may not be.  For treatment, patients may choose from surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy.  In hormone therapy, patients take a veritable cocktail that includes women’s hormones to reduce the level of testosterone.  For surgery, there are new methods using robotic arms and cameras that produce live 3D images to guide with precision the tiny robotic arms to perform the surgery.  With radiation, patients lie on the table with their clothes on, while the radiation delivering machines is guided by a person in another room using 3D images and a live feed camera.  In the quest for making treatment less invasive, there is a newer method that involves going through the urethra to get to the prostate avoiding incisions and scar tissue.

We still don’t have a 100% effective treatment for most cancers yet and these treatments are extremely stressful, but doctors may agree on implementing some of my group’s blogs suggestions in the fight against cancer.  Daniel on his blog suggests doing proper exercise.  Lineah’s blog suggests getting plenty of rest and eating healthy.  From Khanh’s post, we learn the importance of emotional support.  Although their suggestions are not cancer treatment or prevention specific, they are a good morn to follow.  There are organizations that can help with the treatment and screening, such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  Patients, especially ones diagnosed with cancer are under such fright and despair, let’s help them by providing affordable technology that will make their ordeal less stressful and perhaps enhance their quality of life.

The Real Meaning of My Café Late October 9, 2011

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The other day in class we talked about ways of bringing memories back to life by remembering specific details of the environment around the event.  I was immediately captured by the topic of “extremely happy time” as students read each possible scenario. I wrote on my last post, Capture of Emotions, where I unexpectedly presented a friendly contradiction of my post and my blog. I am happy about and want to contribute on ways of making 3D technology improve our lives; however, I must admit that I hit a wall when it comes to digitally capturing of emotions and memories.

Sir/Madam if you believe that everything can be captured in ones and zeros, please allow me to contradict you and at the same time prove you right by detailing my introduction to Café Late at the age of 4.

My parents and me when I was a teenager

When I was a very small child in El Salvador, my father would take me around the land to pick fresh fruits or to go see the workers that helped my father on our farm.  I was very short, slim and had white colored skin that would easily blend in with the rocks and grass and disappear from sight in the middle of the bright sun.  My father would take me from home through a short and narrow trail with huge rocks and lots of trees to where the workers and crops were.  My father would never let me walk alone on our land, no matter how much I complained. Why do parents always do the opposite of what the child wants? Is it possible that a parent wants the child to suffer just as the parent did in the past?

I remember my father carrying me on his shoulders with my little legs hanging forward on his chest with my left calf hitting a small plastic and animal decorated cup on the left side pocket of his shirt.  My hands would be constantly grabbing and sliding off his soft short hair while my whole little skinny body would be pressing against the back of his head.  I would be terrified of falling off my father and hit the rocks or roll down the hill and be lost from my father forever; I would then squeeze my dad’s head tighter.  I would be annoyed that he stopped constantly and asked me to be quiet not to scare the grass hoppers, squirrels, and birds away.  But I was glad of these stops sometimes because that gave me the opportunity to see more of what was around me.  Since my father would dress me up with a light green shirt, light brown shorts, and black soft sandals I would feel that fresh cool morning breeze creeping up my shorts, tickling my ribs and back, then exiting around my neck making my ears cold.  The warmth of my dad’s shoulders and head was enough to stop complaining about the cool breeze and instead look at the little animals around me. If it had rained the night before I would smell the fresh morning dew, see the wet birds sitting on the rocks or top of the trees bathing on the sun while the blue and purple tiny butterflies sat still on the not yet opened flowers. The other times, the sun would be very bright and I would feel warm.  On these dry days, I got to see birds flying and singing, the squirrels chasing each other along the branches and the grass hoppers jumping away from the hunting ants. I would be absolutely fixated with this amazing range of details and unfolding of events before my eyes, all the while I had to stay quiet sitting on my father’s neck with that uncomfortable cup by my left leg.  Finally we would walk past the rocks, birds and trees and come to the other side and be mesmerized by the cows and their calves, flicking their tails left and right looking at me while my father walked between them.

I would be lifted off my father’s shoulder by a very old man that was always smiling and gently scratching my head while the other workers started talking to my dad in words that meant nothing to me.  My dad would pull out the little cup from his pocket.  All of the sudden this tickling joyful feeling rushed through my tiny body and I would grab my dad’s leg as he walked toward the big buckets of fresh warm milk that the workers had milked by hand from the cows that had observed my arrival.  He would dip the cup into one of the buckets and pull it out full of fresh milk and foam then gently bring it toward my lips and I would drink it.  My father and the smiling old man would start laughing hard, but I would just be interested in drinking even though my upper lip and the tip of my nose were completely covered with foam.  Eventually my father would wipe my lips and nose, put me back on his shoulders and bring me back home.  On the way back I would fall asleep and then wake up at home when my mother pulled me off my father’s shoulders.

On a recent trip to El Salvador, my mother and I went walking around our land and she pointed with her left hand toward a dense tree covered area while holding her hat with her right hand and said “that was our secret short cut during the civil war”.  She continued to say, “Your dad used to take you through that trail against my will because your uncles and other workers liked when you came to the farm, but some people lost their lives around these lands during the war”.

Then I understood the significance of seeing a happy child covered with milk foam in the middle of such precarious times.  As grownups do we tell our parents that we love them and thank them for their protection and support?  Do you think it is necessary to say it or parents know us so well that it is not necessary to tell them how much we appreciate them? I usually don’t share these memories with my siblings for fear of being overshadowed by more exciting memories of their own recollections of events.  I hope I have been able to emotionally present you with a full dimensional image of one of my memories.  My father passed away years ago and this is one of my most cherished memories of him.  On the way to my office every morning I stop by Starbucks coffee and with a joyful smile I ask: “a tall late please… with extra foam”.

Capture Of Emotions. September 30, 2011

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I was abruptly yet unconsciously distracted while immersed in my thoughts on what to write about on this post today.  I am sure that in matter of seconds I thought of so many things from the Big Bang theory to the strawberry bush by my window.  While looking at my computer monitor, I found myself holding and playing with a small souvenir on my desk.  I looked at this small thing in my hands, and immediately my mind was transported a few years back.  All of the sudden I forgot all about my blog, the post and the brainstorming and was overwhelmed with this warm, happy queasy feeling and memories that this small object brought back to me.  The background noise from the TV caught my attention and forced me to turn around and look at the screen.   There, I saw a Borg walking so calmly with no emotions ready to assimilate a human.  The “Borg” is a character and alien species from the Start Trek series.  The Borg travels the galaxy and its inhabited planets to capture humanoids and turn them into part human and part machines.  The whole purpose of this assimilation is to capture the knowledge of the individual and species to share with the rest of the collective.

I was still feeling this soft tender feeling, which happens rarely, and it reminded me of  Khanh Ha’s blog and his post about  relationships.  And with these new ideas in my head about relationships, feelings, and Borg assimilation, I pondered: Is it possible to physically identify and capture feelings?

Emotions or feelings, specifically love is something that we can all talk and disagree about, yet no one is capable of properly describing or proving it.  The rush of emotions that we sense in our body with the contraction and expansion of every nerve ending, when we see or touch that other person is impossible to explain.  “You don’t understand”, we might complain when our parents disapprove of our sweethearts.  It would be tremendously helpful if we could show the sadness or rage that comes with betrayal or heartache.  It would give me such pleasure to stand with one foot forward for better support and strength then roll that emotion into some shape or form. Maybe one could swing that emotion and hurtle it towards another so that they can feel and acknowledge our emotion perhaps the extinction of therapists and passive aggressive behavior could happen if we accomplished this. Do you think our emotions would have more heart shapes or bullet shapes to send towards another?   I am experiencing nervousness about my post. I feel love, tenderness, horror with the Borg, revenge, acknowledgement, and the hardness of my keyboard.   Could we ever physically capture and explain in images or shapes these vast and complex emotions that make us human?  We cannot physically capture emotions yet; we can capture chemical reactions and stress levels as a result of our emotions.

We are capable of processing and storing information especially when it is driven by an emotion.  If we care about something, then we are more interested in capturing and retaining details about it.  Usually we think of the heart as the seed of emotion and the brain as the center of reasoning and intelligence.  The average person thinks of the brain as the organ that takes priority in making the most appropriate decision.  However, the brain freezes when it experiences an intense rush of emotion, such as fear or happiness, leaving the organ that produced the emotion influence the decision.   We freeze in shock or fear of dying when we are caught by surprise in the middle of the street by a speeding car. In the article, Fallow your heart, the author explains that heart’s cells develop faster than brain cells on fetuses allowing the inheritance of fear as a survival instinct before brain cells are able to suppress this inheritance.

Is it wrong then to accuse someone of letting his or her heart make decisions?  After a heart transplant, whose emotions are they, the dead person or the living one?  Would we consider a person incapable of emotions if he or she has a synthetic heart?

The little brain, as the heart is referred to sometimes, communicates with the rest of our body and brain through nerves, hormones, blood pressure, and electricity.   Awesome! These forms of communications can be tapped into and captured on images or graphs using specialized machines.  The heart releases Oxytocin, a love hormone that heightens the love and affection the host feels toward another person.  The electromagnetic field of the heart is the strongest one in our body and it can carry information several feet away from the body. The heart can communicate directly with the Amygdala, a part of the brain that coordinates behavioral responses and is capable of making decisions without waiting for the Cerebral Cortex, the thinking part of the brain.  Machines can measure the level of hormones, strength of magnetic fields, brain and body reactions and then generate a 2D or 3D image.  I presented few of these machines on my previous post: 3D Medical Scanning Machines.  But how can we possible explain the overwhelmed surrender to emotions triggered from high level of hormones, overpowering the thinking brain, and capturing the body and mind of a person standing several feet away?  I must admit, I am powerless before these emotions.  This is the only thing I can provide you with for now  🙂   😦   lol   haha   jiji  zzzzz  muuaaa which leaves me very short in telepathically receiving and understanding your emotions regarding this post!