April 27, 2006

Timeout for another music reflection…..

I spent some time over the last week fixing my iPod (note to Apple: the upgrade to iTunes 6.0 is a real pain, and that's the clean version!). As long as I was fixing the iTunes 6.0 issue, I decided to consolidate all the digitized music I had to one PC and back it up on a regular basis. (Do you back up?). In the end, I discovered I had accumulated over 2,500 songs, far more than will fit on my iPod (capacity is about 1,200).

To cut the boredom out of this post (too late?) I'll get to my point. During the filtering process (how do you pick which of the 2,500 songs warrant space on your iPod?) I ran across this song that I had forgotten about….

It's by a band named Nickelback and this particular song gained quite a bit of radio play last summer. It's called "Photograph". These are the lyrics from the end of the song.

I miss that town
I miss their faces
You can’t erase
You can’t replace it
I miss it now
I can’t believe it
So hard to stay
Too hard to leave it
If I could relive those days
I know the one thing that would never change
Look at this photograph

Every time I do it makes me laugh
Every time I do it makes me...


So why do I share this now? I'm really not sure? Perhaps because I've been thinking "back" more lately instead of looking forward. Though you can’t change the past, if you allow yourself to, you can enjoy it over and over again. You can’t predict the future, and in my case, there are times that the future is not even worth thinking about.

Look forward and worry but look back and smile…..

April 20, 2006

It's getting better all the time.....I have to admit it's getting better....

I’ve been so busy living my surreal life that I forgot about a few milestones in the past week! They were real turning points, I cannot believe I forgot these.

First, April 14, 2005, I was laid off from my previous job. Looking back, it was a change I really needed. The company was going through many changes and ended up filing bankruptcy. I was fortunate to find a position that has proven to be a better fit with my skills and interests and I am motivated by the many opportunities in the future.

Four days later we visited MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. Prepared to be there for nine full days, we left the afternoon of the initial meeting with the medical staff. We left Houston very disappointed.

Looking back, these two “steps backward” pushed me forward a million steps and counting. Someone (?) once said, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. The truth of this statement has lived in me every single day since we left Houston.

April 19, 2006


Perhaps I've coined a new term? It combines this, my blog with blah, the way I'm feeling.
NOTE: this is not blah as in I feel bad, just blah in neither good nor bad. Overall, I remain positive, healthy*, upbeat and confident, however, at times this whole thing just beats you down a little. It grows tiring. I want to be normal, to live a normal life. I am not naive, or unrealistic, I know that is not going to happen, I just wish it could. Please don’t misinterpret, I'm not down, things are going GREAT…I'm just thinking out loud here.

It's Spring here in KC, but it's almost as if Summer is here as well. It's too warm, too dry.
I've planted spinach and lettuce and am anxious to get the tomatoes I've started from seed into the ground. Today I'm taking a 1/2 day of vacation to play golf. I can't wait, even though I haven't played since last fall. It's supposed to be 70 but blustery…perhaps the winds will blow primarily from right to left and correct my "strong fade"?

Not much else is new. We wait day to day until the first week of May when I have blood drawn again.

Do you need a laugh? Go to "The Adventures of Cancer Girl". Karen, thanks for the frequent laughs!!

April 11, 2006

It's a guy thing…..and details on the golf tournament.

Over the weekend the brother in law and I visited my friends property (mentioned here a few months back). Armed with chainsaws, axes and enough ammo to overtake a small third world country we set out for some "guy fun". We really had no plan in mind other than cut a tree up that was blocking the future, potential driveway, clear some small brush and generally blow things up.

After spending an hour or so clearing the tree and brush we proceeded to the area we designated as the "shooting range". I had not fired a gun in at least 10 years. I'm not a hunter but when I had the chance earlier in my life, have always found pleasure in discharging firearms. Observing the up most in all safety precautions, we started small and worked our way up. Though a .22 caliber rifle is rather small, they discharge one of the more deadly bullets, though small, then tend to bounce around the inside of the intended target. The fun with the samll weapons ran out quickly as we each assumed the role of Clint Eastwood in "Dirty Harry".
This is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world. It will take your head clean
off with one shot"…..or something like that.

We proceeded to blow 25 milk jugs and 2 liter plastics bottles to pieces before the fun concluded. It was an adrenaline rush that even my testosterone deprived body enjoyed thoroughly!!

Later we hiked back in to the woods, to what had been designated as the future campground. We displaced a few cold ones and some snacks and generally just laughed and enjoyed the beauty and the silence of nature.

Like I said, for the most part, it's a guy thing.
The second annual Faith-Love-Hope-Win Charity Golf Scramble is planned for Friday, September 29th at Sycamore Ridge Golf Course in Spring Hill, KS. [http://www.sycamoreridgegolf.com/]

As a result of our inaugural tournament in 2005, we were able to make the following donations:
Prostate Cancer Foundation $16,000*

Angel Flight Central $ 1,500

* Due to a special matching program at PCF, our gift resulted in a $32,000 donation to support research for improved treatment against advanced prostate cancer.

Our goal for 2006 is to raise $20,000. The entire amount raised will be donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). The PCF will dedicate this gift to support research for treatments to cure advanced prostate cancer. We are hopeful that our second year for this fundraising event will continue to be a tremendous success!
The forms for sponsors, players and donors will be available here and at FLHW.org in the next few days.

We hope to see all of you there!!!

April 06, 2006

Heavy thoughts, and good news….for mice

Most of you know about the changes in my weight. Today marks one year ago that I dropped below 200 lbs for the first time in what must have been 10 years! I've lost an additional 25lbs (55 total) but the 200lb mark was very significant. I can't help wonder how much carrying that weight around for all those years contributed to my case? There is some evidence that weight is a factor in PC's progression (That coupled with fatty foods, which I was a connoisseur. Not all that often, but enough.)

I try not to preach about this, it's a difficult thing for anyone to change. Mary and I struggled for years until we were forced to change. So here's my two cents, I am certain if you do these few things, you will lose weight, live a healthier lifestyle and feel better!
- eat smaller portions
- count your calories, carbs and fat grams (get a journal, I can recommend a good one for Palm devices).
- eat a lot more fish, fresh vegetable and fruit
- do some form of exercise for 30 minutes, at least 3 times a week
- cut back on fast food (burgers, fries and pizza)
- cut back on red meat, cheese, creams, etc.

Personally, I eliminated the last two for obvious reasons. Just cutting back in those areas will result in an immediate impact. I am convinced that if American's could do these six steps, the change would be remarkable. The problem is it all takes time and planning and we're all too busy these days. It's tough at times for Mary and me, but she heads off to the store every Sunday to stock up of fruit, veggies, etc. [another example of "what would I do without her?"] Yes it's bland and boring at times, but as I said here last year; we now eat to live instead of living to eat.

The message of eating right and exercising is repeated time and time and time again, don’t wait until it's too late - unlike me you have the opportunity to change on your own terms.

I have now stepped off the soapbox.
Here's a news story I missed the other day….oh, to be Willard!!!
Scientists Spot Factor in Cancer's Spread - Study in mice finds a key protein lures malignant cells to bone

April 04, 2006

What's Up?

My PSA number for one. Yesterday's test yielded a 4.25, up from 1.45 in March.

Mary asked if I was O.K.? I told her I am so ambivalent to bad news it's as if nothing effects me right now.

I suspected it was going to go up. It's a trend. Up for three or four months, down for three or four months. So when May rolls around, my number will likely be back up to the 7's. I pray it's not, but that's reality. I'll get bone and CT scans again on May 10th and meet with the Oncologist on the 19th of May and determine next steps. It is likely as a next step we'll start the Casodex again and see if we can get that to bring the number down for a few months, or more.

There is not much else to say but that, it is what it is.

Perhaps that's my slogan from this point forward……"It is what it is".