News and Gossip
  PAGE # 1   PAGE # 2   PAGE # 3   PAGE # 4   PAGE # 5   PAGE # 6   PAGE # 7   PAGE # 8
Click on the PAGE you want to read or click on  NEXT >  
                      Move On in Love,     Back to News and Gossip Pages;     
Work and Life with Jane Greer
By Jane Greer, MD
Moderator: Welcome to WebMD Live's Mind and Body Auditorium. Today we are discussing Gridlock: Finding the Courage to Move On in Love, Work and Life with Jane Greer, PhD. Dr. Greer is a nationally renowned marriage therapist who has been in private practice in Manhattan for over twenty years. She lectures across the country on marital, sexual, and family problems as well as on women's and sibling issues.
The opinions provided by Dr. Greer are hers and hers alone. If you have any medical questions about your health, you should consult with your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
Dr. Greer, welcome to WebMD Live.
Dr. Greer: Thank you, it's nice to be here.
Moderator: Would you like to mention your web site?
Dr. Greer: It's
Moderator: What is gridlock?
Dr. Greer: Gridlock is the utter helplessness, feeling trapped, stuck, defeated, and having no control over the direction your life is moving in. Emotional Gridlock
Moderator: What should you do when you sense you're becoming overwhelmed? What is the first step?
Dr. Greer: Well, I think the first step is to try and check -- ask themselves where in their life they're feeling overwhelmed. In a personal relationship? With a boss on the job? A sister they can't get along with?  The first pulse you want to take is "where is the gridlock coming up?"
Moderator: What is the best method to identify the source of gridlock?
Dr. Greer: Well, you really take a look at how unhappy you're feeling, how negative you're experiencing the relationship or experience you're in, how long have you been feeling this way? For instance in a job, have you been feeling bad for two months since you got a new boss? et cetera. Or, have you been really feeling unhappy and dissatisfied for a longer period of time, a year or two, and you've been saying you'll find a new job but keep putting it off? All of which points you back to the culprit.
Moderator: What exactly is the comfort zone?
Dr. Greer: Comfort zone is where you feel most safe, least threatened by change. Even though you're unhappy or even miserable with the guy you're dating, for example, you've been seeing him for three years, he keeps promising marriage but puts it off. You say you'll end it and start over with someone new, but you don't move out of your comfort zone for fear of starting over, or the unknown. Same thing in a job. Your comfort zone is a product of all the people with whom you feel comfortable, around the water cooler, out for lunch. Maybe you can take time off, you're not challenged, but you're comfortable. Even though you feel like you're not living up to your potential, it's easier than facing up to the reality of reaching out and seeking out something new.
Moderator: So challenge is a good thing?
Dr. Greer: Challenge is a great thing! Challenge is the energy that keeps life interesting, keeps us feeling alive and dynamic, keeps us feeling hopeful and encouraged, but also makes us frightened!! (laughs) The key is to meet challenge and embrace the excitement, and not get clobbered by the excitement that goes hand in hand with change. What I said in the book goes back to a phase called "practicing." Margaret Muller observed mothers and their children, how they responded in this early development period, kids going into the world on their own -- this is kids learning to walk, to actually explore without their mother. They eventually return to their mother, their sense of comfort and security. She called it refueling, refueling their batteries before they venture out again. The task is to go with the excitement of discovery, experience the mastery of finally being able to stand as a toddler, and not be helpless and dependent crawling on your knees. If mom was able to support and encourage the child, we learn to feel secure doing new things and being alone, on our own. If mom got anxious herself that you'd trip, and she pulled you back or discouraged you, you learn early on to feel scared and stay anxious. Part of being able to do new things is learning how to turn your anxiety into excitement. It's the difference between learning how to go to a party if you're anxious, or being all excited to talk to new people. Going to a party is often putting yourself in a new situation with new people.
Moderator: So are most people's anxiety problems rooted in their childhood or upbringing?
Dr. Greer: Much of the anxiety. Certainly medically, there's some physiological component to anxiety, but a lot of it comes from not developing and acquiring what's known as "binding" or "containing" our anxiety. We need to learn "self-soothing." When you were a baby and were feeling anxiety, your mom would come over and soothe you. She would come over and pick you up and hold you and you would feel soothed. Whether you were tired or hungry, you experienced relief from your distress. As we get older, there are things that we learn to do to calm and soothe ourselves when we're anxious. A lot of times people don't develop these coping skills effectively. Some people turn to cigarettes or alcohol or drugs or gambling or shopping, all of which are outlets to ease and relieve anxiety. One of the things that triggers anxiety, it's called "separation anxiety" -- is separating from a person or situation that they're attached to, even if it's a negative attachment. If they have negative feelings about a person, and a lot of things they don't like, it doesn't mean that they don't have emotional needs being met by the situation, that is, feeling safe, secure, feeling familiar, and not alone in the world
Mikey40_WebMD: How can one learn "self soothing" as an adult?
Dr. Greer: I have a whole chapter on how to soothe anxiety and lose guilt. One of the ways to go about it is to look at the actions that you can take to help yourself calm down when feeling anxious. Depending where you are, you can pick up the phone and call a friend, or take a walk, or write in a journal. Often putting things on paper is an easy way to move past them. Take a nice long walk or a hot bath, listen to some calming music. Learn what calms you down. Develop the self-awareness to know what will relax you. If you know that a hot bath will help you let go of tension. If you are anxious knowing you HAVE to call your mother or sister, know that you can get over it. Really becoming aware and taking responsibility so that you're not leaving yourself in this helpless state like when you were a child and needed your mother to come and soothe you. When you're in gridlock, you're very often at a crossroads.
Al_Pavy_WebMD: What is a serial pleaser?
Dr. Greer: Serial pleaser is somebody so plagued by guilt and in such need of approval by others in order to feel good about themselves, that they always say yes and put everyone else's needs above their own for fear of the other getting angry and withdrawing approval, love, and acceptance. The cause of this very often can stem from growing up in a family with divorce, or perhaps other difficulties, or simply two working parents.  So in order to get noticed and feel either mom or dad is approving of you, all of which are necessary for self-esteem, you learn early on that being cooperative and saying yes to them makes them happy, makes them say and do nice things for you. You carry that out of the family. If a girlfriend says can you help me with homework, and you say yes, she says "you're the best!" It carries over. You start to learn that it's a great way for people to like and think well of you. Over time you sacrifice all of your own needs, and it's a matter of time before there's a resentment and feeling of emptiness that no one's meeting your needs. The message you're giving everyone is "I'm not important, you're more important," and that will catch up to you.
Mikey40_WebMD: If you think you are a serial pleaser, what can you do about it?
Dr. Greer: First thing is to start to take a look at who you're saying yes to the most. Your mother? Your sister? Who's the person you say yes to most often. Ask yourself what you're afraid of if you say no? They'll get angry and tell you you're thoughtless and selfish? Do you feel if you say no that you're being selfish? Then start to look at your needs so that you can begin to prioritize and make them as important as anybody else's. Why shouldn't they be? Why are you the least important in your world? And then develop some comfortable responses to give people so you lead with a positive response. If your mother says, "Can you pick your sister up tomorrow?" You can say, "Gee, I'd love to help you out, I unfortunately can't do it tomorrow, but I can next week." You're letting them know you'd like to help, but you have another commitment. Give them an alternate time. If it's a one time situation, let them know that you'd be happy to help another time. Don't go from always saying yes to always saying no, but give yourself the option to say no but also to sometime say yes.
column_WebMD: If you feel that your girlfriend/boyfriend is a "serial pleaser," what actions should you take?
Dr. Greer: The best way to bring attention to behavior you want to change without them feeling attacked is by asking questions that show your concern. Like, "I noticed that you always say yes when so and so asks for your help. Does that bother you?" If they say, "No, it doesn't bother me," you could ask, "Why not? Don't you miss getting home earlier?" Ask first, "Does it bother you?" and then, "If not, why?" If they say that it does bother them, suggest "Did you ever think you had the option to say 'not this time?'" You want that they'll be open to hearing what you have to say.
column_WebMD: How do you spot a dead-end relationship?
Dr. Greer: A dead-end relationship is one where the minuses outweigh the plusses. You keep coming back to the fact that you're more empty, dissatisfied and depleted than you are happy and fulfilled. Consequently, you're often in an angry or resentful mood when with this person. It's like an emotional rash. When you're with them, you feel like you have a rash rather than peaceful and relaxed. You end up using a lot of denial. The tricky thing is that you don't know you're using it. One of the skills I mention in the book is keeping a denial document. It means that you forget the pain. It's not like you don't register that you had a horrible fight with your boyfriend. Rather a week later when you're well again, you forget the pain, and then you're hooked. You write down "December: this is what he said, and did, and called me" so later, when he turns it around,  you'll see over time that it's a pattern. You start to break through your denial and see things how they really are, and give up staying in a relationship based on what it should be rather than what it is.
column_WebMD: What are the "Fantasy Lover", the "Smothering Lover", the "Neglectful Lover", and the "Yo-yo Lover"?
Dr. Greer: The fantasy lover is the lover that you wish you had. You hold up everybody to that ideal and they never measure up. It's a way that people in the love rut I call "distancers" keep people at bay from unrealistic expectations. You can keep your distance, stay uninvolved. The smothering lover is the lover that is usually a by-product of the "clinger rut." They can't let go. They're possessive, controlling, can't tolerate separation because they're anxious. The yo-yo lover is also consistent with the distancer rut. The lover that can't live with you, can't live without you. Breaking up with you, then getting back together. After a separation, they get anxious and focus on things that they did love and want, and they return. You never know if you're coming or going. The neglectful lover is very often what women see in the staller rut, and men too. The people who are in marriages or live-in relationships where the other person deals with their own anxiety by being immersed in work or an activity, golf, or bowling, or going out with friends, that becomes primary. They need to do that first and foremost, more than being with you. You're left feeling neglected and even though they tell you they love you, they're not around.
gr_paula_WebMD: How can I recognize when I'm in one of thee ruts?
Dr. Greer: You can keep the denial document. It's a way to gauge how much pain and hurt you're experiencing. The other is the quality of the relationship helps you determine what rut you're in. The clinger rut means you're attached to someone but can't let go for the fear and anxiety of being alone. If you've been in a long relationship, like a marriage with children, and you fantasize about leaving, but put it off, then you're in a staller rut. You feel like it should end, but you haven't tried to do anything about it. A distancer doesn't get into the relationship. You have your finger on the eject button. If you have a hard time getting close to somebody and developing the kind of intimacy, you're in a distancer rut. The bouncer rut is bouncing between two people, for the unfaithful. You're ambivalent. You may find yourself in a "rutten" world. (laughs)
Mikey40_WebMD: How can one "move on" and still be friends with someone after ending a relationship?
Moderator: (If it's possible.)
Dr. Greer: It's possible! if you use your anger about a situation and what ended to take a constructive action by leaving and ending, and by not harboring anger and resentment, but you accept that things didn't work out without looking to lay blame. By appreciating the good that did happen, take that with you. Focus on what you gained, not what you lost. Often, one person is ready to move on and the other is not. Depending how you end things, one person may be terribly wounded, or the other is so guilt-ridden about leaving, it's hard to be friends. It's easier to come by when it was a mutual growing apart.
gr_paula_WebMD: Can you please define codependency? And what are the pros and cons of codependency?
Dr. Greer: There aren't very many pros as such. Codependency comes about when you're dealing with somebody -- it comes out of an addiction problem -- addicted to gambling, or drugs, or shopping, or eating. Generally somebody with an addictive problem like that, it affects you. As a result, you take on their problem and try and get them better, try and get them to change. Once you do that, you're in a co-dependent situation. They never feel the enormity of the problem because you take on a portion of it. You become known as an "enabler." The key is to figure out what YOU need to do differently. It's how you disengage and not only not foster the behavior, but to separate so you take care of the problem as best you can on your own. If you're dealing with someone who's drinking, instead of getting them to stop drinking, you determine a) you'll never get in a car with them, you'll arrange for a cab. You let them know where you draw the line as to where you'll be involved. If you know that they'll get belligerent, you have to talk to them when they're not drinking. Shift it from what you want them not to do to what you won't do.
Moderator: Are the serial pleaser personality and codependent personality linked in any way?
Dr. Greer: Yes, but I wouldn't say that all serial pleasers are codependent, nor all codependents are serial pleasers.
column_WebMD: Given that so much of our lives are dependent on external factors and large institutions, to what extent are we actually IN control of our lives?
Dr. Greer: That's a great question. We're in a lot more control than we realize. There are many choices we're free to make in order to feel in control. Certain situations -- if you need a job and the money, and you don't like your job, you can't make the choice to walk out. But you can make the choice to acquire more skills, education, to plot a job change over time so you don't feel helpless and stuck. Even if it's pouring rain out, you can make a choice to take an umbrella or raincoat to protect yourself and not feel helpless. While there are many things we cannot control, like being stuck in traffic, you can choose to turn on your favorite radio station, or tapes or CD's to soothe yourself. This is so you don't feel out of control. How you plan your time and build in techniques to soothe and calm yourself down are all ways to feel in control.
Moderator: If your past is largely responsible for your present state, what can you do about it?
Dr. Greer: If you could learn to become more self-aware, to develop better skills for keeping anxiety in check, to manage anger more constructively, you can really cover new ground and make strides. You've only been limited thus far, and "thus far" are the operative words.
gr_paula_WebMD: Why do you say "getting angry is not the problem, staying angry is the problem?"
Dr. Greer: Because getting angry is a way of expressing your needs. It cues you into the fact that, emotionally, someone is stepping on your toes, that you need to take action to fix things. If you stay angry, it means you haven't made the change necessary to get relief, and you're carrying too much negative energy that can lead to physical problems or depression.
Al_Pavy_WebMD: What are the worst effects of stress?
Moderator: And are there any benefits to stress?
Dr. Greer: Stress as a motivating force is extremely positive. When you're stressed and you use it to say "I better do this and this and this," you feel constructive and accomplished. When you have unrealistic expectations, you're going to feel that you're not meeting your own goals, and feel overloaded and overwhelmed, and that will heighten your anxiety, guilt and frustrations. Walking around with that, you'll feel your stress on a physical level, neck tension, ulcers, headaches, et cetera. You'll get irritable, snappy, bored, fatigued. You might start overeating. They're all indicators of too much stress.
Moderator: How can someone rise above inhibitions?
Dr. Greer: There comes a point where you just have to face your fear. Muster up the courage to be more expressive, and take the risk of a chance that what you're going to do may not necessarily please all the people, but if it pleases you, that's what's most important.
Moderator: Dr. Greer, thank you for joining us. WebMD members, please join us every Wednesday at 9 pm EDT here in the Mind and Body Auditorium for our live weekly event.  What was your web site?
Dr. Greer: My website is Thank you so much. Take good care, bye bye
The opinions provided by Dr. Greer are hers and hers alone. If you have any medical questions about your health, you should consult with your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
                      Know your real age        Back to News and Gossip Pages;     
Changing your lifestyle habits could decrease your chronological age more than you think
By Michael F. Roizen, M.D.
Did you know financial stress can make your real age two to 32 years older, and a tablet of aspirin each day can make your real age 1.9 years younger? That’s according to “RealAge” doctor Michael Roizen. In his new book, Roizen claims changing certain lifestyle habits can decrease one’s chronological age by years, possibly decades. Read an excerpt from “RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be?”
        AS A DOCTOR, I have often felt I was fighting an uphill battle. My job is to cure people after they are already sick. But preventing illness in the first place is always the best cure. Practicing my specialty of cardiovascular anesthesiology has meant that I have spent much of my working life with patients who are among the sickest of the sick, people who need bypass surgery or emergency operations to fix potentially fatal aneurysms. After spending so much time in the operating room with patients who were so severely sick, I was frustrated by not being able to do more for them. I was grateful that I really could save lives, but at the same time, I was mad as heck. So many of these patients were sick because they had mistreated their bodies over time. Moreover, every single one of them knew better. They knew that they should exercise more, eat healthier foods, and take care of themselves, but they just weren’t doing it. That seemed to me a true tragedy, not to mention a national health care crisis. Why were so many people — smart, educated, thoughtful people — not paying attention to the reports of studies that correlated good health behaviors with long, healthy lives? It would have been easy to blame it on the patients. But it wasn’t their fault. Clearly, the medical community was failing to communicate its message effectively.   
        In my internal medicine practice and my anesthesia preoperative clinic, I told my patients again and again how they could live healthier. I told them how they could lengthen — and strengthen — their lives and how they could increase the quantity and the quality of their years. But the tide of patients coming into my office and into the operating room with entirely preventable illnesses did not stem. I felt as if all my talk was for nothing. Why did they persist in habits that were harmful to their health, even though they knew better? What could I do — what could all doctors do — to explain health better? Good health is an attainable goal, but my patients weren’t listening.              
Life Expectancy Calculator: How long will you live — really?
RealAge: The beginning of an idea
      One day, a friend said to me, “Health is so confusing. One day the papers are telling you to do one thing, and the next day they’re telling you to do the opposite. There’s just so much information. I don’t know what to do with it all.” I empathized, but I didn’t know exactly how to change things. How could people measure one alternative against another?
      When another friend, Simon Z., developed a severe illness, it all came together. For some reason, stepping out of my role as a doctor and into my role as a friend made the idea flash in my head: Health is like money. It has an exchange value. Health decisions and behavioral choices that you make today are capital toward living younger tomorrow. What we were missing was a common currency for health.
      Simon, who was forty-nine, was afflicted with severe arterial disease. He had a terrible circulatory problem that made it nearly impossible for him to walk more than a quarter of a block without terrible pain, and he needed a major operation. His lifelong smoking habit wasn’t helping any. Even though he was relatively young, his body was in the condition of someone much older. I was afraid that he might not be my friend for much longer.
      Simon was a tough cookie — and an even tougher patient. A self-made man, he had a drive and determination that was hard to match. He had worked hard for everything he had ever gotten in his life, and, with a wonderful family, good friends, and a booming career, his was an American success story. Yet he was a heart attack away from losing it all. As a doctor, I wanted to cure him. As a friend, I didn’t want to lose him. For all Simon’s attention to detail in his job, family, and friendships, he had overlooked the one thing that made it all possible: himself.
      Telling him to quit smoking didn’t work. (Quite literally, I called him every single day for years to ask him if he had quit yet. The answer was always “no.”)
      “Simon,” I said one day when he was in for a checkup, “how old are you?”
      “Mike, please,” he grumbled. “You know I’m forty-nine.”
      “Simon, this isn’t a joke,” I replied. “How old are you really?”
      “What are you getting at?” he said, eyeing me suspiciously.
      “Did you know that all that smoking has made you older?” I asked him. “Eight years older. Right now, you may be forty-nine. But your body is as old as someone who is fifty-seven, maybe more. For all practical purposes, your age is fifty-seven.”
      “I can’t be fifty-seven,” he said.
      “Why not?” I asked.
      “Because no man in my family has ever lived to the age of fifty-eight.”
      The message hit home. Simon quit smoking. He began exercising and eating right. He reduced his RealAge and began celebrating “year-younger” parties, rather than his usual “one-more-year-over-the-hill” birthday parties. Over time, he became younger.
      Fundamental to economics is the concept of “net present value.” Net present value is used by economists to determine the current value of investments that have future payoffs. The RealAge concept allows us to calculate the value of different types of health behaviors and choices. In biologic terms, the difference between your calendar age and your RealAge is a calculation of the net present value of your health behaviors; it is the estimate of what age you are physiologically when compared with the rest of the population.
                      Save on travel        Back to News and Gossip Pages;     
From Women’s Consumer Network
If going on a vacation always seems like more than your pocketbook can handle, it's probably time to rethink your vacation spending philosophy.  
There are many ways to create an affordable leisure travel experience. The secret is to figure out what you can realistically afford and let your vacation take shape around that amount. That way you won't deny yourself the pleasure of an occasional getaway or overcompensate at the last minute by pulling out the plastic and worrying about how long it will take you to pay later.
"As long as you know what you're willing to spend, you can always tailor a trip's length or your choice of a destination to meet your budget," says Laurie Berger, editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter and the 1999 edition of Consumer Report's Best Travel Deals: Tips & Strategies on Traveling Well for Less (Consumer Union, 1999). "That may mean going away for four great days instead of seven mediocre ones."
The following ideas can help you keep vacation costs in line:
Travel during "shoulder seasons." Shoulder seasons vary depending on when and where you are traveling, but generally they occur just before and just after a destination's peak season, usually early fall and late spring.
As Berger explains: "I always travel in May and October because these months are the bookends of summer. Hotel rates are lower than during the peak season and there's a good chance of good weather. So you get good value for your money without any of the sacrifices you might make by traveling during the off-season."
Be flexible about when you fly. The best fares are usually available when you book more than 21 days in advance, fly midweek, stay over on a Saturday night and/or travel during non-peak times of day, mainly midday and late at night. If you tend to plan vacations around holidays, compare the cost of flying on the holiday itself with the days immediately before and after, since some airlines offer significantly lower fares on the actual holiday.
Be flexible about where you fly from. Another way to keep airfare down is to use an alternate airport. Using a nearby but less popular airport (Providence vs. Boston, Kennedy or Newark vs. LaGuardia, Dulles vs. National, Midway vs. O'Hare) can save you considerable money, reports Janie Graziani, a Public Information Manager for the American Automobile Association (AAA), headquartered in Heathrow, Florida.
Check those last-minute deals. While there are bargains to be had by planning ahead, you can also find deals by playing it loose. Hotel rooms, cruise-ship cabins and airline seats are all perishable commodities. If the supplier doesn't fill them by take-off or by the end of the day, it takes a financial loss.
One of the easiest ways to find last-minute deals is by checking out travel Web sites like Expedia, Travelocity and Hotel Discounts, as well as Web sites operated by airlines and major travel companies.
Join a travel club. "A half-price hotel directory (from a travel club) can be one of the handiest tools in your travel cost-cutting kit," says Berger. "Your savings from just a night or two in a hotel will more than offset the cost of joining a half-price program." WCN's Travel Savings Network gives members access to the Hotel Reservation Network and Quest International for $39.95 a year. These programs offer savings of up to 56 percent off regular hotel rates and 15 percent to 70 percent off published airfares, as well as discounts on cruises, car rentals and out-of-town restaurant.
Hook up with a savvy agent. If you don't have much time to shop around for the best travel deals, find an experienced travel agent who can do it for you. "Choose a travel counselor who wants to build a relationship with you and has expertise in the type of travel you'll be doing, whether it's family travel, adventure travel, cruises, international destinations or single travel," advises Linda Teter, who works in San Francisco as director of American Express Consumer Travel. Look for a certified travel counselor — a title awarded by the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) which indicates five years of professional experience as well as the successful completion of rigorous coursework.
Consider package tours and all-inclusive deals. "All-inclusive deals and package tours mean you know exactly what your vacation will cost prior to departure," points out Teter. "They are a great way to keep costs in line and there are many options available for singles, couples and families." Even Club Med, which originally made a name for itself as an all-inclusive vacation spot for singles, and later couples, now caters to the family market as well.
Say no to car rental extras and add-ons. Collision damage waivers and loss damage waivers are often a waste of money because, in most cases, your own insurance company covers you for rentals (although there might be a deductible). In addition, most credit-card companies give you some type of built-in collision protection when you charge the rental on their card. Check your existing coverage before rent. Another way to keep car rental costs down is to fill up the tank before you return the car. Otherwise, the rental agency will fill the car up and charge you much more than the going rate. Also, rent your car from a non-airport location, if possible. The rental fees are usually lower and you'll avoid airport access fees.  
                                                Door of Happiness.                      Back to News and Gossip Pages;     
Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.
When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.
The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.
It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives.
Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back! Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.
It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.
There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real!
Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.
Always put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too.
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.
Please send this message to those people who mean something to you, to those who have touched your life in one way or another, to those who make you smile when you really need it,  to those that make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down, to those who you want to let them know that you appreciate their friendship.
And if you don't, don't worry, nothing bad will happen to you, you will just miss out on the opportunity to brighten someone's day with this message........        
                  Does age matter in love?     Back to News and Gossip Pages;     
Sexploration tackles your relationship issues By Jennifer Kornreich
No matter how mature (or immature) either partner is, vast differences in stage-of-life and cultural references still remain.
        SEXPLORATION is our forum for your most intimate questions about sex and relationships. You send in your sob stories, and Jennifer Kornreich, MSNBC’s sex-and-relationship columnist, attempts to dry the tears. Keep in mind, though: Jennifer is not a doctor. When she feels it’s necessary, she’ll point you in the proper professional direction.      
      Q1: I’m 26. When I met Bethany three months ago, I figured she was in her early 30s, which is an acceptable age difference. But after beginning our relationship, I learned that Bethany is actually 38. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have pursued her. We have a great time, but she’s itching to marry and have children. I’m too unstable to settle down right now. I’m also unsure about Bethany’s motives in seeing me: Am I her “boy-toy” or is she looking for someone to help her with her biological clock or is she really interested in me as a person? I want to do the right thing by Bethany, so I’ve told her I think I’m too young for her, since I’m not ready to get married (and by the time I am, it may be too late for her to have kids). But that makes her sad. What should I do?
      Q2: I’m seeing a 35-year-old man whom I adore. He’s responsible, funny, intelligent and mature. He seems to love me, too. But he wants children, which is out of the question for me since I’m 48 and have had a hysterectomy. I’m willing to enjoy this man for the time being, and I’ve prepared myself for eventual heartache. But are there 35-year-old guys out there who’ve wed women past childbearing age and who are actually happy with that decision?
      Q3: Yikes! I’m 31 and in love with a 73-year-old man. Is it possible for someone to be too old for you? I love Leonard, and I don’t want to move on. But all of my relatives and friends (and even Leonard himself) worry that I’m making a mistake.      
      A: I should begin this discussion by disclosing my own personal policy against pursuing ongoing relationships in which the age discrepancy exceeds a decade. That’s because no matter how mature (or immature) either partner is, vast differences in stage-of-life and cultural references still remain. And frankly, I don’t see how such differences wouldn’t interfere with allowing the couple to be peers in the truest sense of the word — and being peers seems a necessary prerequisite for an emotionally equitable relationship.
      In fact, many (not all) May-December or even May-September relationships seem based on each partner siphoning off power from the other: These are gross overgeneralizations, but it seems that typically the older partner gets someone with more youth, beauty, sexual stamina and energy, and benefits from the younger’s oh-gee-you’re-wise worship. The younger one more often than not gets someone with more financial resources, more sexual savvy and more been-there-done-that wisdom. Some people obviously defy these stereotypes, so look — it’s a free country, do what you want (provided it won’t make you guilty of statutory rape). But if you’re asking me if I personally think it makes for an ideal relationship? Nope, I don’t.   
      But I realize that I have a narrow-minded view on this subject, so I’ve also grilled Victoria Houston, a researcher of age-different relationships and the author of the currently out-of-print “Loving a Younger Man: How Women Are Finding and Enjoying a Better Relationship.” Houston is 55, and has had experience with both older and younger men. Her second husband was a man nine years her junior, and they were married for 15 years (the demise of their marriage, she insists, had to do with factors other than age issues).
      In age-different relationships, Houston acknowledges, “power dynamics are often big issues. These issues are often tied intimately to how much life, sexual and work experience each partner has, as well as how much money each partner brings in.”  
Each partner’s stage of life and time-sensitive goals appear to be the lynchpin of the outcome of age-different relationships.
        Obviously, these differences are considerations with all couples, but they may be especially pronounced in couples with an age gap. The smaller the age discrepancy, the less likely that it will be a source of contention. Also, age gaps are dicier when the younger partner is in his or her 20s, which is essentially protracted adolescence, because very often enormous changes in identity happen during this decade. The difference between a 21-year-old, fresh out of college, and a 27-year-old professional is more formidable, I think, than that between a 30-year-old and a 42-year-old.
      Each partner’s stage of life and time-sensitive goals appear to be the lynchpin of the outcome of age-different relationships. A 36-year-old man who wants children within a few years and a 20-year-old woman who wants to backpack across Europe with her pals are probably not going to work out, no matter how much love they share.
      Now, for the specifics: Q1, surely you aren’t Bethany’s mere boy-toy — otherwise, rather than seeming sad when you tell her you can’t marry her yet, she would laugh at the absurdity of such a notion and command you to hop back in bed for the third time today. If she’s “itching” to settle down, then she obviously is looking for someone to ease the ticking of her biological clock. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t specifically love you, or that she’d settle for just anyone. Besides, I have news for you: even if she were several years younger, she might have been champing at the bit to wed and have some kids.
      Having expiration dates on your ovaries can try a gal’s patience. Then again, says Houston, after three months nobody should be pressuring anybody: “There’s no way he can know yet if he wants to be with her long-term, so if she’s pressuring him, that’s a red flag.” (I’d like to point out that there’s a difference between putting pressure on someone and seeing the writing on the wall).   
        So what should you do? Continue being upfront and honest, not only with Bethany but with yourself. Are you beginning to fall in love with her? If you can see some potential, ask her if she’s willing to take her chances and stick around. But if you happen to think she’s just a good egg, let her get hers fertilized by someone else while she still has a chance.
      Q2, we see your quandary. There are 35-year-old men who don’t mind marrying women past childbearing age, but they’re probably not hanging around street corners looking to pick up menopausal women. “The issue of having children can be a huge obstacle for age-different couples,” Houston says. But certainly, if kids are not a focus for the guy in question — for instance, if he’s already had children, or if he’s not kid-friendly — it’s less likely to be a big deal. But even your guy may decide a life with you is more important than your inability to bear him children.
‘The issue of having children can be a huge obstacle for age-different couples.’
— VICTORIA HOUSTON author, "Loving a Younger Man"  
     And listen, even if you were 25, there’s no guarantee that you (or he) would be fertile. Would you be averse to adopting a child if he could live with such a compromise?
      It seems to me that even if being a 60-year-old mom to a preteen isn’t what you envisioned for yourself, keeping an open mind about this avenue is preferable to “preparing” yourself for saying goodbye to someone you adore, especially if he would make a great husband and father.
      Finally, Q3: It may be politically incorrect to say, but yes, not only can someone be too old for you, but I think you and Leonard have cleared that margin many times over. You already know the inherent problems, but Houston will reiterate for you: “The overwhelming likelihood is that he’ll have serious health problems before she does, and as an active, healthy woman there will be certain things she can’t do with her husband.”
      Viagra will not permit Leonard to go skiing with you, nor will it prevent you from losing him at a relatively young phase of your relationship. And are you thinking about having children with him? If you are, you must be prepared to raise them as a single mother at some point. Then again, you must be prepared to tend to his sickbed at a much younger age than most of your friends will with their significant others.
      But you know this, and perhaps the downsides are worth it to you. So listen, what do you want, my blessing? Fine, mazel tov, go for it. But you might want to lower your expectations for your family’s and friends’ reactions. If you get them to be quietly tolerant and mind their own business, don’t stew that they’re not throwing you a ticker-tape parade.
      Ignore them, and just be glad that Leonard’s ticker is going strong, and that it beats for you.     
      Jennifer Kornreich is a features writer in New York City.   
      NOTE: Reader questions are edited for length and clarity.   
                      Cancer's Red Flags         Back to News and Gossip Pages;     
by Kristen Philipkoski
Genes are tricksters. They can be turned on or off -- and whether they're on or off decides whether the gene-owner will develop disease.
Gene researchers have embarked on a new field of research, called epigenomics, to determine whether genes are in the on or off position. This type of marker could prove an important diagnostic or therapeutic tool for all types of cancer.
"It's turning out that in cancer this might be one of the most powerful tumor markers that we have," said Stephen Baylin, professor of oncology and associate director of research for the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Research is going on now to verify that hypothesis."
At Johns Hopkins, researchers are performing clinical trials on about 15 patients with leukemia and other cancers to find out if epigenomics might give pharmaceutical companies a lead for developing cancer drugs.
The research, like all epigenomics research, is studying a chemical found in everyone's DNA called cytosine. Cytosine is the only chemical of the four that make up human DNA (the others are adenine, thymine, and guanine) that is prone to a phenomenon called methylation. When cytosine is methylated, it tuns off its gene.
For example, BRCA genes indicate that a woman has a predisposition for breast cancer. But if the BRCA gene is methylated, it's inactive.
In other cases, a gene that's supposed to do a good thing, like prevent tumors from growing, may be methylated and inactivated inappropriately. The Johns Hopkins researchers are studying so-called tumor suppressor genes to find out more about methylation's effects.
In the laboratory, researchers have found that drugs already on the market can block methylation.
"In the test tube, (the drugs) will turn genes back on," Baylin said. Now they're testing the drugs out on humans, and although he's hopeful for positive result, Baylin emphasized that it's still early in the research process.
"It's a rational thing to try, and an important thing to try, but we don't know how it's going to come out," he said. He expects the study will produce results in about six months.
A company in Berlin called Epigenomics has developed a proprietary biochip technology to look at cytosine methylation, which has given the field a boost.
"Methylation is lagging behind molecular biology by about 20 years because nobody had a technology to study it," said Alex Olek, president and CEO of Epigenomics.
Researchers at Epigenomics created a special chemistry that allows scientists to look at hundreds of thousands of cytosine bases on a chip at one time, which can amount to as many as 10 to 15 whole genes.
"It gives a snapshot of the activity of a cell," Olek said.
Olek said the company, which was launched 18 months ago and has about 50 employees, is running up to 100 of these DNA chips per day.
"That's comparable to any other commercial institution in the world," Olek said.
The Epigenomics biochip for the first time can provide hard evidence of how a cell is behaving under treatment, Olek said. For this reason, he believes the technology will be coveted by pharmaceutical companies.
Not only can the biochip show how a cell responds to a drug, but eventually, Olek believes it can tell oncologists exactly what type of tumor a patient has and what specific drugs will be effective for the patients.
"We're developing oncology diagnostic assays that can tell a doctor before he starts treatment what type of tumor a patient has," Olek said. He calls this a "digital phenotype."
Other biochips, like the famous Affymetrix technology, also look at the expression of a gene, but they use what's called messenger RNA, while the Epigenome chips uses the DNA itself. DNA is much more stable than RNA, and therefore has a longer life and is more versatile, Olek said.
Researchers can take hundreds of samples if DNA and are free to examine them however they like, whereas when using RNA, scientists must immediately place the sample in a special solution.
Epigenomics has also spearheaded the Human Epigenome Consortium, which Olek said he hopes will operate in a similar spirit as the Human Genome Project. The European Union has granted the project $1.2 million.
By the end of this year, Olek said the consortium plans to launch a publicly available Internet site where researchers can search a database of epigenomic information.
Consortium members include the Sanger Center, the Max Planck Institute, and the National Center of Genotyping.
Olek said he sees the consortium as a way to get academic institutions involved while creating a market for epigenomics.
"My own philosophy is I don't see large markets growing without academic basic research," he said. "The easiest way is to join forces with academic researchers who have the same philosophy. It's our effort to create this new market and let it mature by enabling research."
                                                                 "I LOVE HER, BUT..."           Back to News and Gossip Pages;    
(A collection of men's thoughts on their women.)
... she has an uncanny way of standing between me and the television screen. Bases loaded, two strikes, three balls. The crowd goes wild, the pitch flies, and all I can see is her back side. --Howard, Dodge City, Kan.
... she was furious when I got up early once and made her breakfast.  Called me controlling. How dare I decide that she would eat breakfast, let alone what she'd have? --Ted, Wexford, Pa.
... what's mine is hers. I buy her negligees; she sleeps in my T-shirts. When she's cold she wears my wool socks to bed, never her own. She steals my half-used razors; new ones are too sharp. She even wears my boxers. I'm tempted to switch to briefs just to see what she'd do. --Dave, Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
... she makes lists. Things to buy. Things to do. People to call. If it's not on the list, it doesn't get done.  Once, to be funny, I put "sex" on the list. Mistake. Now it has to be on the list, or it doesn't get done. --Nick, Wheeling, W.Va.
... you can hear her eat soup from the next room. --Bruce, Bridgewater, N.J.
... when she gets an idea in her head, there's no stopping her. And no rest for anyone until it's done. It's not so bad when the idea is to bake cookies, or even to go on vacation. But when it's to build a new house, or to get pregnant, things get pretty intense. --Jim, Minneapolis
... my wife thinks everyone should be a vegetarian. During meals, she asks people how they can eat dead cows, or if they know that their pork chops used to be smarter than their dogs. --Miles, Shreveport, La.
... every so often boom! she's a brunette. Or I come home to a redhead.  Actually, I have no idea what her natural color is. --Cary, Seattle
... she'll brush her teeth but she won't go to the dentist. She says she's not afraid of the pain, she just doesn't want to put herself in the hands of any fellow who'd choose to be a dentist. --Terence, Gary, Ind.
... she's stopped shaving her legs. She says that now people will know she's a natural blonde. --Ned, Tucson, Ariz.

   Return to top of page  

PAGE # 1   PAGE # 2   PAGE # 3   PAGE # 4   PAGE # 5    PAGE # 6    PAGE # 7   PAGE # 8
Click on the PAGE you want to read