Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 7th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt June 7 - 2017
Hungry for love
I am in the Fourth Form and right now life is so hard for
me and I feel like nobody really checks for me and I just
feel like I want a baby so that I can finally feel what true
love is like.
My mother is not a good mother to me neither to none
of my seven brothers and sisters. All of us live by different
people and she doesn't care. Right now she lives with she-
man and like she only cares about him. I was living with
my father and his girlfriend and now they break up and I
am staying with the girlfriend. I am glad that she let me
I struggle with all the feelings that I have in my heart and
in my head and sometimes I does just feel to scream! I will
never be a bad mother to my baby. I will never leave my
children behind. I want a baby to prove to my mother that
I can be to my child what she has never been to me.
Life is so unfair. Why do some children have parents who
care and I have to live with my daddy ex? I need somebody
to love me. What should I do?
I want to sincerely thank you for sharing your story with
us. This took a lot of strength and courage and I am certain
that many would be able to benefit as a result.
Unfortunately, nobody gets to choose his or her parents
neither the circumstances into which he or she is born but
what we have total control over is our future. It is expected
that females are born with maternal instincts but that is not
always the case. Your mother may have given birth to you
but it is obvious that she does not feel obligated to care for
you or your siblings the way she should. Be thankful that
you have somewhere to live and try to count your blessings
no matter how few they may appear.
I cannot say what the future holds for you but one thing
I am certain of is that education is the key. Please focus on
completing your education so as to increase your chances
of independence and ultimately a better life. A baby is not
the answer. In time you will have a family of your own but
without the right foundation and stability, you will inevita-
bly repeat the mistakes made by your mother since finan-
cially and emotionally you would be unable to cope.
Please talk to the Social Worker at your school and share
some of your thoughts and concerns with him or her. If you
are unable to do that then find a teacher or adult who you
Reach out to your siblings in person or on social media
and try to strengthen the relationship that you share with
them. Also, "family" comes in many forms so try joining a
group at the school like cadets or athletics, or your church's
You are worthy of love and I want you to start by loving
...should I have a baby?
Quickly reporting cancer
complications may boost survival
CHICAGO - If you're being treated for cancer, speak
up about any side effects. A study that had patients use
home computers to report symptoms like nausea and
fatigue surprisingly improved survival - by almost half a
year, longer than many new cancer drugs do.
The online tool was intended as a quick and easy way
for people to regularly report complications rather than
trying to call their doctors or waiting until the next appoint-
ment. Researchers had hoped to improve quality of life but
got a bonus in longer survival.
"I was floored by the results," said the study leader, Dr.
Ethan Basch. "We are proactively catching things early"
with online reporting.
Patients were able to stick with treatment longer because
their side effects were quickly addressed, he said.
People shouldn't assume that symptoms are an unavoid-
able part of cancer care, said Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief
medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncol-
"You want to be able to reach your provider as early and
easily as possible," because a sign like shortness of breath
may mean treatment isn't working and needs to be changed,
The study was featured at the cancer group's annual
meeting in Chicago on Sunday and published in the Jour-
nal of the American Medical Association.
Earlier studies suggest that doctors miss about half of
"Much of this happens between visits when patients are
out of sight and out of mind," said Basch, a researcher at
the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Memo-
rial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Sometimes patients just put up with a problem until
their next exam.
"The spouse will say, 'My husband was laid up in bed,
exhausted or in pain,' and I'll say 'Why didn't you call
me?'" Basch said.
The study tested whether the online tool could catch
problems sooner. It involved 766 people being treated for
various types of advanced cancers at Sloan Kettering. Some
were given usual care and the rest, the online symptom
Patients were as old as 91, and 22 percent has less than
a high school education, but using a computer proved easy.
"The older patients really grabbed onto it very quickly,"
The online group was asked to report symptoms at least
once a week - sooner if they had a problem - and given
a list of common ones such as appetite loss, constipation,
cough, diarrhea, shortness of breath, fatigue, hot flashes,
nausea or pain.
Doctors saw these reports at office visits, and nurses got
email alerts when patients reported severe or worsening
"Almost 80 percent of the time, the nurses responded
immediately," calling in medicines for nausea, pain or other
problems, Basch said.
Six months later, health-related quality of life had
improved for more of those in the online group and they
made fewer trips to an emergency room. They also were
able to stay on chemotherapy longer - eight months ver-
sus six, on average.
Median survival in the online group was 31 months
versus 26 months for the others.
A larger study will now test the online reporting system
A colon cancer patient, 53-year-old James Sylvester of
New York, is using a version of the one tested in the study
to report any problems to his doctors at Sloan Kettering.
He hasn't had many side effects, but a rash led to referral
to a dermatologist to see if it was related to his cancer
"The main benefit is they go holistically all over your
body" with the list, asking about things that folks may not
realize could be due to cancer, such as a rash or trouble
with balance, he said.
"Some of the things you might not tell your doctor, or
you might forget," Sylvester said. The tool ensures the
doctor has that information ahead of time, "so when you
have that face time, it's more focused." (AP)
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