I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone who is reading my blog. Of course that wish extends to all my friends, neighbors, and family. I may not get to speak to everyone in my family, on this first day of January 2012, due to several reasons. However, if I did, I would certainly wish them the best year that they have ever had. So here is hoping that all my children, grandchildren, and great-granddaughter have the best 2012 ever, and may the years that follow, even be better.

To those who are fighting cancer, I want to wish them a very special new year. May this new year bring you hope, and success. For me, I will be seeing whether I will be in chemo this year for my SLL/CLL. I continue to hope that I  will not, and continue to be healthy enough to put it off for yet another year. Being on watch and wait for some is not acceptable, but for me, I prefer it. I believe the longer my body fights this leukemia, the better off I will be in the long run. But honestly, I realize that it may be a losing battle, but until then, I will defer from chemotherapy.

A very good friend of mine sent me this news article, from FoxNews.com, this morning(1/1/2012) –5 Medical Advances Predicted for 2012 –

Prediction 1: Medicine gets closer to treating cancer with vaccines. Radiation and chemotherapy reign as the go-to treatments for cancer, but for  20 years researchers also have been exploring the use of therapeutic vaccines.  In 2012 that work may come to fruition. “It’s an exciting time for cancer  vaccine development,” said Dr. Larry Kwak, professor and chairman of  lymphoma and myeloma at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in  Houston.

“What’s especially impressive is the diversity of cancer vaccine. It bodes well for what you’re going to be seeing in the future,” Kwak said. More than 250 clinical  trials of vaccines, including 34 for breast cancer, are under way, according  to the National Cancer Institute.

Like other vaccines, cancer vaccines use a chemical marker of a disease (in one case, a virus; in another, a malignant tumor) to train a person’s immune  system to fight the disease.

But unlike vaccines for the flu or chicken pox, which are preventive, “we  almost uniformly vaccinate after cancer is there,” Kwak said. Some cancer vaccines in development could be administered to many people,  while others – including Kwak’s vaccine for follicular lymphoma – would have to  be tailored to each patient’s tumors.

Kwak’s vaccine has passed Phase III trials and is moving toward the final  steps of regulatory approval.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration  approved the first cancer vaccine, called Provenge, in the spring of 2010 for  the treatment of prostate cancer. A vaccine for melanoma performed well in the final stages of clinical trials last year. “What ties them together is they are activating the immune system so it’s primed and ready to fight,” Kwak said.

The National Cancer Institute reports there are ongoing clinical trials for  therapeutic vaccines to treat bladder, breast, cervical, kidney, lung,  pancreatic and other forms of cancer.

So this new year has it hope for new treatments, that will not make us feel worse than before we had any treatment. I do want to say though, that chemotherapy has also come a long way. As I have read about my, small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia, I have learned that some of the newest treatments in chemotherapy is very successful. Full remission can last many years, and in some cases, the cancer does not show it ugly face ever again.

In my case, I have been told that I will be given FCR, which is currently considered the best treatment for what I have. So I must be clear, that even though I would prefer not to have to have chemotherapy, I thank God, who has given these wonderful and caring researchers and doctors, the ability to discover these new chemo procedures that have offered extended life to those fighting cancer.

So to all a very happy, successful, joyful, and healthy new year.

Knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law, shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16.
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