Friday, March 24, 2017

Irish great Máirtín O’Connor plays in Westport April 7

Irish accordion great Máirtín O’Connor "brings his trio to Westport in their only Connecticut date, on a rare US tour for an evening vibrant evening of traditional music. The Irish Echo calls them 'Irish traditional music's own 'power trio'...they mean business and achieve art,'" according to a release.
The Máirtín O’Connor Trio comes to Westport  at 7:30PM, April 7 at The Seabury Center, 45 Church Lane, the release says. Tickets are $20 and $5 for children. Reserve by contacting Tim Quinn at or by phone at 203-257-8737. 

Presented by the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society, the release says. For more information visit"The three masters -- with Cathal Hayden on fiddle and banjo, and Patrick Doocey on guitar -- have a special synergy, exploring styles from bluegrass to swing to French musettes with unique joy and kinship. The trio's last visit to the area was in 2014, captivating the audience at The Egg as part of Martin Hayes' Irish 'Masters of Tradition.'"

. "A member of legendary Irish bands De Dannan, Boys of the Lough, and a musical force in Riverdance, O'Connor has graced projects by such artists as Mark Knopfler, Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart, and The Waterboys' "Fisherman's Blues" album," the release said. "The Galway artist picked up the accordian at age nine as both his grandfathers played. "

Also in the release:
Cathal Hayden is an All-Ireland champion on fiddle and banjo. From County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, Hayden is a veteran of acclaimed Irish bands Arcady and Four Men & A Dog. 

Guitarist Patrick Doocey is an All-Ireland multi-instrumentalist who has toured with such Irish stars as Lúnasa and Sharon Shannon, born in Worcester, MA and raised in County Mayo, Ireland.

The 2017 US tour is made possible in part by the generous support of Culture Ireland.

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Guest post: Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Mesothelioma Survival Rates

By Christopher Visser
Mesothelioma (just like any other cancer type), is basically incurable. The various treatments available are aimed at slowing down the progression of the disease thereby prolonging the lifespan of the patient as well as improving his or her quality of life at the same time. Once the diagnosis of mesothelioma has been made the resulting prognosis may vary considerably depending on the stage and severity of the cancer.
By means of definition, diagnosis is simply the way of medically classifying the kind of disease an individual has, while the mesothelioma prognosis is the likely result or outcome of the disease.



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On a general level, once the diagnosis of mesothelioma is done, the resulting prognosis is usually not good in most cases. The condition that may enhance a favourable prognosis is early diagnosis. If the cancer is a stage-1 cancer (which can be very rare), then corrective surgery may be possible.

When discussing mesothelioma survival rates, it simply means the number or percentage of people who survive for a certain period of time after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Due to the latency period of mesothelioma (20-50 years), the diagnosed patient usually has a short life expectancy based on the prognosis. This is because most of the diagnosed patients are old already and their immune system is generally weaker. So, younger patients generally have a higher life expectancy than older patients.

 Statistics on Survival Rates

The prognosis offered by doctors is based on the results that accompanied those who had the disease (at the diagnosed stage) in the past. However, it is important to note that past records do not necessarily have an effect on your present diagnosis. This is particularly so, because mesothelioma is a very rare type of cancer, so the records upon which these presented statistics are based may actually be decades before and a lot of technological advancements have taken place since then and this can help the patient to have a much higher life expectancy compared to the past records.

Many factors affect the survival rate. Such factors are: general health of the patient, the age, the kind of treatment, and the response of the cancer to treatment. So, generally, survival rates are just rough estimates at best.
5-Year Survival Rate

This is a term often used by doctors when discussing issues related to cancer. This simply refers to the amount of people who live above 5 years after their cancer diagnosis. The relative 5-year survival rate compares the amount of people who survive 5 years after their cancer diagnosis with that of a similar group of people (without cancer) who also survive 5 more years after their diagnosis. This particularly helps to balance the deaths from non-cancer sources.

Normal Survival Rates or Life Expectancy

·        Stage-1 mesothelioma: The general life expectancy for this stage is around 34 months

·        Stage-2 mesothelioma: The average life expectancy for this stage is 22 months.

·        Stage-3 mesothelioma: The average life survival rate for this stage is 19 months

·        Stage-4 mesothelioma: The average survival rate is 13 months


Christopher Visser is Founder of Mesothelioma Treatment Community of


Friday, March 3, 2017

The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band sets dates

The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band has set some upcoming performance dates.
Here are the details:
Friday, March 17, 8 p.m.
The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band
Milford Fine Arts Council
40 Railroad Ave.
Milford, CT

Saturday, March 18 5 p.m.
The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band
St. Ann's Episcopal Church
82 Shore Rd.
Old Lyme, CT 

Sunday, March 19, 11 a.m. , live internet radio program
(rebroadcast at 8 pm and noon Monday)
"The Monthly Scene" with The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Mesothelioma Prognosis & Life Expectancy"

By Christopher Visser

The definition of prognosis is the possible outcome of a disease, which is based on the condition of a patient. It is used to estimate the chance of a patients survival or recovery, and if there is a possibility whether the disease may reoccur. With this particular form of cancer, early detection can have a significant impact on a patients mesothelioma prognosis because most to all of the treatment options are still available.

This is especially true if the cancer is detected in stage 1 or 2.  This allows surgery to still be an option and having the opportunity to successfully remove a developing tumor before it spreads could potentially add 5 - 10+ years to a patient’s life. 
Sadly, in most cases, the detection of the disease is already at an advanced stage because mesothelioma cancer has a long latency period. Discovering cancer at a late stage often leads to a poor prognosis because the patient has a weaker immune system, and the tumors have spread reaching other parts of the body. This makes it especially difficult for the physicians to capture and treat the spreading cancer cells. 

Factors That Affect A Patients Mesothelioma Prognosis

Prognosis of mesothelioma cancer is greatly influenced by certain factors and the life expectancy and the possible treatment options are highly dependent on these.  Before we dive in to each influencing factor, here is a short video on Mesothelioma Prognosis.


The first factor is the stage in which the mesothelioma is initially diagnosed.  Stage 1 and 2 offer longer life expectancies because the tumor can still be located in its local and original developing site. Stage 3 and 4 mesothelioma offers a very slight chance to exceed the median life expectancy, since the tumor has already metastasized to different parts of the body. The stage of cancer plays a vital role in knowing the prognosis of the patient.

Another factor is the size of the tumor.  This is important because it let’s the mesothelioma specialist if it is still operable or not.  

Third factor is the mesothelioma cell type.  There are three types of cells and depending on which one the patient has and is being affected also is a big factor on a patients prognosis.

Fourth factor is the location.  Mesothelioma can develop in the lungs, abdomen, heart and very rarely the testicles.  The prognosis of a patient will be better if the mesothelioma is found in the lining of the lungs as compared to the lining of the heart.

Lastly, a patients overall health and age are absolute critical factors in the prognosis of their cancer. The mesothelioma survival rates are night and day compared to a person diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 45 to a person diagnosed at the age of 65.  

Mesothelioma Treatments Will Directly Impact A Patients Prognosis

 This is a hard fact to swallow but needs to be understood; mesothelioma cancer is incurable. The only thing physicians and mesothelioma specialists can do for a patient is to curate a treatment plan that will yield the best possible results on improving and lengthening the life of the patient.

The choice of treatment and how well a patient responds to treatment also plays a great role in their prognosis. At the end of the day, the choice of undergoing any specific treatment is totally in the hands of the patient. If a patient elects surgery as the basis of their mesothelioma treatment plan and the tumor is successfully decorticated, the recurrence rate of their tumor growing back is 50%.  Those who do not undergo treatment at all have an average life expectancy of roughly 4 to 8 months.

Undergoing a multimodal therapy, which with mesothelioma usually tends to be a trimodality treatment (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy), can help the patient drastically improve their prognosis. This type of treatment has shown great success in the past.  Some patients who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma cancer undergo this kind of treatment and live for an extended 16 to 19 months! Of course, the results of this treatment always depend on how the patient responds to it. Every patient is different and so will their responses be towards the various treatments administered.

The prognosis of mesothelioma cancer will never be identical from patient to patient as this is a multifaceted disease.  


·         Tan, W. W. (2014 April 23). Mesothelioma. Retrieved from

·         Mesothelioma Prognosis (2016 December 27). Retrieved from

·         Understanding Cancer Prognosis. (2014November 24). Retrieved from

·         Prognosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Christopher Visser is founder of Mesothelioma Treatment Community of

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this guest post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Folk Rockers Aztec Two-Step Will be Live at the Kate

OLD SAYBROOK -   Aztec Two-Step will play at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “the Kate”, at 8 p.m. March 25, according to a release.
"Acoustic Live calls Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman 'possibly the best acoustic duo in the world,'" the release said.
"Fowler and Shulman have spent four plus decades making music together as the folk/rock duo, Aztec Two-Step.  Staples of progressive FM radio, major record deals and non-stop touring, the duo has performed worldwide and appeared on numerous radio and TV shows, including The King Biscuit Flour Hour and Late Night with David Letterman.  Aztec Two-Step has appeared in concert with such notable artists as the Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Bette Midler, Jonathan Edwards, Loggins and Messina, Jimmy Buffet and more."

Aztec Two-Step’s new CD “Naked” will be released on March, 2017, the release said. 
 For more information on tickets for any shows at the Kate, visit or call the Kate Box Office at 877-503-1286

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Read the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling

Read the U.S. Supreme Court case: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission . Masterpiece Cakeshop Court Decision by H...