Sunday, December 16, 2007

This is Not Disney on Ice - Peas Read This

I know that this is not going to be one of my more popular posts. Why do I say this? Because I get a lot of my traffic from Google; because this post includes the words "Boobs on Ice"; and because when I tried to search for "Boobs on Ice" on Google, I got "Disney on Ice" instead, with a note that Google Safe Search was blocking the word "boobs." (So how do Google employees refer to the CEOs of their competitors?)

Anyway, the reason that I was searching for "Boobs on Ice" was because of all of the peas that are flying around on Twitter (search results courtesy Tweet Scan) and on Flickr (search results courtesy Flickr).

So what the heck is all this frozen peas stuff? Let's start with the ingestion method:

Green peas are available in fresh, canned and frozen states. The best are the fresh peas, however, less than 90% of peas are consumed fresh, rest are either canned or frozen. Scientists prefer frozen peas are better for consumption than the canned peas.

Frozen peas contain less sodium and are able to retain higher nutritional elements than the canned peas....

Green peas are also rich in folic acid; this acid can help prevent cardiovascular illnesses.

It has been studied that if per person consumption was made 400mg of peas it would greatly reduce the extent of cardiovascular deaths.

But, on the other hand, some suggest other risks (or at least did so in 2004):

Taking folic acid supplements late into pregnancy may increase a mother's risk of breast cancer, research suggests.

However, the finding in no way questions the benefit of taking the supplements before and during the first months of pregnancy.

On the other other hand, some suggest some benefits (or at least did so in 2001):

Dr. Walter C. Willett, a distinguished nutritionist at the Harvard School of Public Health, observes that more than one drink per day appears to raise the risk of breast cancer. However, he points out that 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid -- the amount typically found in a multivitamin -- appears to offset this risk in women who drink moderately.

So while the doctors fight about whether folic acid prevents or causes breast cancer, I guess the safest thing to do with your peas is to wear them. That's what Sara Sabalka did:

[M]y gynecologist told me she had found a lump in my breast....

When the lump started to grow, I immediately scheduled a biopsy. My 45-minute biopsy turned into a three-hour partial-mastectomy. I awoke from the anesthesia to feel like a truck had driven over my chest. Little did I know that I was about to embark on a new chapter in my life.

I went home to a long and very private recovery. As I lay in bed with a bag of frozen peas on my chest, I thought a lot about the significance of why this would happen to a 27-year-old woman.

Belinda Phillips also wore frozen peas, and this 2004 article explains why:

[O]n July 21, Dr. Charles Burkett, chief of mammography and ultrasound at Radiology Associates, performed an ultrasound-guided biopsy of Phillips' right breast. In biopsy, a surgeon removes a small piece of the tumor to evaluate for cancer, and inserts a small, metal clip that marks the spot for follow-up.

That day, Phillips also had a post-biopsy mammogram. And on July 23, Marrese informed Belinda that she had breast cancer....

The technician informs Phillips of the risks of MRI biopsy, which are bleeding and swelling. But the treatment is low-tech.

Phillips is instructed to use a package of frozen peas on her breast to sooth minor swelling and Band-aids for minor bleeding.

OK, now it's time to shift to Susan Reynolds, who has inspired the peas on Twitter and Flickr. Here is some of the beginning of her story:

On Wednesday afternoon I found a large lump in my breast. Don't wonder why it wasn't found earlier; we voluptuous gals don't notice lumps as soon as flatties, so cut me some slack here....

At noon Thursday my friend Dr Z was taking a look at it with me and agreeing with my assessment : This was very very bad & very very sudden.
Within a half hour I was out of her office and in another that was somehow clearing out patients so I could spend some quality time with a radiology specialist who was equipped with scans and waves and a meat-thermometer looking thing followed by what can only be described as a drill....

The aftermath of stabbing, scalpeling, grabbing samples, looking at tissue that was clearly cancer is:

I'm sitting around with packs of frozen peas on my chest...while my husband takes care of all the follow ups with the radiologists, makes appointments for MRIs and plays phone tag with cancer surgeons.

More later.

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