September 28, 2009

Today's number is the number 5

Friday was the 5th Annual FLHW Golf Tournament. After a complete day of relaxation on Saturday, yesterday it was time to further relax, reflect and enjoy time with Mary and Brad.

Mary and I spent a few hours at the Plaza Art Fair. We walked out a little lighter in the wallet after finding a photographer that had beautiful shots of Anna Maria Island. The Rod & Reel and The City Pier are two of our favorite places to eat when visiting, I can’t wait to return.

Back to Friday. I knew it was going to be a good day when Mary and I woke up well rested after sleeping through the night. As you can imagine, the night before is usually filled with last minute tasks and stress. This year things were different, easier. It's like we had done this before! When I let Buck out at 6:30 the sky was an absolute remarkable shade of blue. The best way to describe it is the shade of the Prostate Cancer ribbon. The temperature was crisp and in the high 50's. I stood on the back porch looking at this:

The day went off without a hitch. We once again had a full field of 144 golfers. I started the round with comments but this year it was a little different, quite a bit more emotional. I got choked up a few times but made it through my little speech without blubbering. Talking about my case in front of crowds has always been hard and the mere mention of Mary's name almost brought me to tears. After that though we had a fantastic time. We had a number of people come up and tell us that this was by far the best golf tournament that they had ever played in! Quite a compliment that touches me deeply.

I'll follow this post tomorrow with a link to all the pictures I have so far, For now, I thank God for the weather and the blessings of our generous and compassionate family, friends and supporters that continue to give us strength and hope. Without them, it would have been just another golf tournament, with them, it was far, far more!

September 24, 2009

What? Me ... Worry?

In just over 24 hours we will kick off the 5th Annual FLHW Charity Golf Tournament.

You'd think after five years I wouldn’t be worried, but I am. It always comes together, but as the big day approaches, there is always that apprehension and concern to make sure everything goes smoothly, no matter how much we plan and organize. We have such a great team, starting with the FLHW Board, and then the wonderful group of volunteers who make it all happen!

Except for a few singles, we one again have a full field of 36 teams.In this economy, I thought we would have a hard time attracting sponsors, but we are in line with last year's sponsorships. We are blessed in so many ways!

The weather, which is always a reason for worry, was looking rather bleak on Tuesday's forecast, however, by yesterday, it all changed. The forecast is now calling for a high of 74 degrees and partly sunny, the rain is supposed to hold off until late Friday night or early Saturday morning. We'll take it!!!!!!

Pictures will follow over the weekend, maybe even a little video.

Thanks to everyone, especially Mary.

September 17, 2009

From my friend Jenny who ran in this 5k race last weekend. Great video with real stories and great facts on PCa!

September 15, 2009

Unwanted, but hardly unexpected

If the past 55 months have been nothing else, they have been tumultuous. Today was just another example of the uncertainty that is my life.

My PSA number was back up, this time to 99.43

I was pretty bummed out, for about an hour. Seriously, by the time Mary and I got home I was pretty much over it. It's a good time, if there ever was one, because I'm busy...between the preparation for the upcoming golf tournament, the reorganization going on in the office, and a few other irons I have in the fire, I have little time to slow down or dwell on my PSA number.

We did leave the doctor with this plan; on October 6th I will have follow up bone and CT scans. Aside from taking up most of a day, these don't bother me too much. I am slightly concerned however about the total number of these I have had over the years. I should probably know this off the top of my head but I would estimate that this makes a dozen. That much radioactive dye can't be that good for me. On the 6th I will also have a PSA, CTC and alkaline phosphate test. The combined results of these tests are what we are hoping will lead us to a new plan.

The choices for my next treatment are limited; DES (estrogen), another round of chemo (3 weeks on, 1 week off versus last time when I did 1 on 3 off) or a yet to be determined clinical trial.

So that's the update, pretty crummy overall but we'll get through this like we have before. Many, many thanks for all the kind thoughts and prayers!

September 13, 2009

For the cause....and another month in the books.

This morning Mary and I walked in the first annual Great Prostate Challenge 5k/fun walk. It's the third year for the event but the first year in Kansas City. According to Skip Lockwood (pictured above), CEO of ZERO, this year there will be seven events throughout the country. Perhaps this year the event may even break the $1 million mark? That would be phenomenal! Next year we hope to get FLHW more involved to help with volunteers, recruit runners and walkers, and provide support any other way we can. While FLHW is focused on research for advanced PCa, this is such a great cause and a great way to increase awareness we really need to help out.

On another topic, once again, a month has passed by and on Tuesday I have a follow up with Dr. V on Tuesday. Time is flying by lately. I hope and pray that the current regime of pharmaceuticals is working, time will tell.

Finally, the 5th annual FLHW Golf Tournament is less than two weeks away. We have been sold out for about a week now and that makes four our of five years! We really might have to consider having an option for a morning tee off next year. That will require a lot more coordination and volunteers but I think we can do it. Donations and sponsorships are down a little this year but I am certain the amount we donate to the Prostate Cancer Foundation will once again be significant and certainly appreciated.

September 07, 2009

Laboring Day

If there remains any doubt as to how well I have recovered, I have played disc golf each of the last three mornings. On top of that I just mowed the lawn in addition to a number of things around the house yesterday. I would say things have returned to some sense of normalcy.

The week ahead however is bound to be chaotic, at best. Last October the company I work for announced they were selling out to a much smaller competitor. After all the legal and governmental wrangling, the merger was approved on July 1st. Many of the other departments have announced who was leading, staying and going. Many, many very experienced, professional
and sincerely wonderful people have lost their jobs.

Rumor has it that this week my department is going to finally announce our reorganization. My gut tells me I have about a 50/50 chance of being offered a position. I have been through this before, as I'm sure many of you have. It's a horrible experience and in this economy I am sure it's going to be even more stressful.

Regardless of what happens to me, there are a number of people I work with that are sure to be impacted. What this will do to them mentally and their family financially will in some cases be devastating. For others it will become a breath of fresh air, a new start. For the former, I send a silent prayer your way and hope that God grants you the strength required to get through this ordeal.

September 01, 2009

September is officially Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

In the midst of all the health care reform turmoil the President took time out to continue the tradition of proclaiming September Prostate Cancer Awareness Month!