August 26, 2005

Lurking right below the surface…

It's there, always. Not far away, waiting for the opportune moment to pounce right into my conscious thoughts. It's fear.

While I struggle daily, hourly, sometimes minute by excruciating minute to remain positive there are times (more lately) that I just plain get scared. I know it's normal and I should be, but I don't want to be - I want to always be strong, always be positive and in the end, always be here. I'm not giving up. I never, ever will! it's just every now and again BAM!

I started reading Lance Armstrong's second book. I'm only 40 pages in but it's good to know that he understands what his situation, and experiences and his stature mean to the rest of us. He hasn’t run from it, he's run to it, he embraces it and understands it and it appears he will spend a good portion of his energy from this point forward focused on this cause. He sounds like a pretty cool guy, I'd love to leap off the cliffs into his swimming hole. (you have to read the book to get it)

Now there's a conflict ~ I'm scared on one hand, but want to jump 45+ feet into a lake for the thrill of it!

August 19, 2005

50 Thoughts and Questions

1 Why?
2 Why me?
3 Why now?
4 Why this?
5 Why am I so lucky?
6 Why did we find each other?
7 I love her so much.
8 I could never imagine trying to get through this without her.
9 I amazed at the help total strangers offer.
10 Are we going to make a difference?
11 What will our son grow up to be?
12 Is anyone else scared?
13 6:00 is early
14 Why can't I just sleep in
15 Why do I always put so much on my "plate"
16 A Saturday afternoon nap would be nice
17 How long will grandma hang on (she's 99)
18 I wonder how many pounds of berries I've consumed since February
19 I want to feel sand between my toes
20 I want to watch the sunset over the ocean
21 I want to walk in the surf for miles……
22 I haven't been to a concert in almost 20 years
23 Will the Kenny Chesney concert be good?
24 I think I went to about 50 concerts before I was 20 years old
25 The Mississippi River Festival
26 Will the Cardinals win the World Series?
27 Why are professional athlete such idiots?
28 Just over paid little boys
29 I'm looking forward to the NHL season
30 I want to take my son to a Chiefs game, but worry about the behavior of others
31 Are we to protective?
32 I love a good thunderstorm
33 Lightening is so cool
34 It continues to amaze what people will do to help, if you just ask
35 It continues to amaze what people will do to help, if you just let them
36 I miss my mom, I wish I had known her better
37 Is it too early to start planning a trip to Italy for next June-July?
38 I want to stand in Vatican square in silent prayer
39 I'd love to meet the Pope
40 I'd love to meet Lance Armstrong
41 I'd love to meet the President
42 I'd love to meet Michael Milken
43 I never really had "heroes", though there were people I admired.
44 The list of people I admire is much different now
45 I really hope our golf tournament is successful
46 I want to make a difference, regardless
47 Is this Blog a weird way to share this experience?
48 I hope there is not a limit on entries, I plan to be writing this dribble many years from now
49 I wonder how many people have been tested as a result of this?
50 There is nothing….without hope!

August 17, 2005

I feel like a number.....

...and that number would be: .35

Last Thursday (August 11th) I had blood drawn for my 6 week check up. Late yesterday we received the test results and my PSA number is down to .35!! It goes without saying, we are VERY happy things are still trending down.

As for next steps, I'll have another test at the end of September and after that we'll start discussing updated bone/CAT scans and the possibility of seeking an additional second opinion. Our thoughts are to go to Sloan-Kettering in New York or one of a few other hospitals. The issue right now is there are still very few trials or experimental treatments for advanced stage prostate cancer, so we are still in a wait and see mode for the second opinion part.

Preparations for the golf tournament are coming along great, my focus has been on business sponsors. To date we have one check in hand and about five to six other verbal commitments. With seven weeks left we have a lot of work left ahead of us but we are confident we'll make it. "Money is research, research is the cure!!"
(For more information there is a link on the upper left of the page)

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers, I couldn't do it without you!

August 11, 2005

Sometimes hindsight is 20-20

Many of you have asked how I've managed to lose so much weight. I usually answer this question by describing the dietary changes we have undergone. The next question is tpically why we chose a low fat diet versus other methods (low carb etc.)? Early on in this "journey" we researched many articles, books etc. that linked Prostate Cancer to diet. Some of the arguments were stronger or perhaps more reliable than others, nonetheless, we came away convinced that we had to change our diet. Dr. Davis confirmed the theory that a low fat diet would be benfitial. One irrefutable statistic that stood out was the rate of prostate cancer in Asia is a mere fraction of the rate in the U.S. So what accounts for the difference? Some believe that it is the typical American high fat, red meat diet. It is these facts that convinced us to stop eating red meat and switch to a low/no fat diet. Along with red meat this pretty much eliminated dairy, bad news for us as cheese lovers!!! Boring? Yes at times, but the flavor of food has changed dramatically as well as the amount or portion size it takes to be satisfied.

My sermon has ended, but please read the article below! After reading the article, it makes me think perhaps the choice we made may not have been all that bad…...

Study: Diet May Inhibit Prostate Cancer
By LAURAN NEERGAARDThe Associated Press
Thursday, August 11, 2005; 2:57 AM
WASHINGTON -- A radical ultra low-fat diet and other lifestyle changes may help keep early-stage prostate cancer from worsening, says the first attempt to test the theory.

It's a small study that tracked men whose tumors weren't aggressive. Still, the research, published in the September issue of The Journal of Urology, promises to increase interest in whether diet might really help battle cancer.
The study was led by heart-health guru Dr. Dean Ornish, and used his famously strict regimen, where people become vegetarians, limit dietary fat to 10 percent of total calories, exercise regularly and learn stress-management techniques such as yoga.

Ornish's studies show that regimen can help heart disease, but why try it on prostate cancer? There is some evidence that diets high in fat increase the risk of prostate cancer, and that certain foods _ such as broccoli, or the nutrient lycopene from cooked tomato products _ are protective.

So Ornish and fellow researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, recruited 93 men who had decided against treatment for early-stage prostate cancer, a route known as "watchful waiting."

Half were randomly assigned to the Ornish diet and lifestyle regimen; the others weren't asked to vary their usual routines. The researchers sent participants' blood samples to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to measure PSA, or prostate specific antigen, a marker used to track prostate cancer growth.
After one year, PSA levels had decreased 4 percent in the diet group _ unusual for untreated patients _ while PSA levels rose by 6 percent in the control group. That difference wasn't big but it's statistically significant, and the researchers plan to continue tracking the men to see if it really signals better health.
Also, six of the non-dieters had undergone cancer treatment in that year after all, because their disease was progressing. None of the dieters were treated.
Other cellular tests suggested the diet wasn't just affecting PSA production, Ornish said.

"It's hard to get too excited about these results because you took a population of men who, frankly, are likely to do well no matter what," cautioned Dr. Durado Brooks of the American Cancer Society. But, "this definitely should open the door to more research."

"This report undoubtedly will excite the aficionados and devotees of lifestyle changes for cancer but it should also give pause to the skeptics," wrote Dr. Paul Lange of the University of Washington in an accompanying editorial.
Indeed, it comes just months after another study suggested low-fat diets might help women avoid a recurrence of breast cancer.

Ornish stressed that his study, partly government-funded, doesn't mean men should opt for diet over conventional therapy. But these men weren't getting conventional treatment anyway, allowing a clearer test of dietary effects, he explained. The diet may help men undergoing therapy, too, he added. "I always find it amusing" that people call the diet hard, Ornish said. "Compared to having your prostate removed? ... The only side effects are you feel better and it helps prevent heart disease."

More than 230,000 U.S. men are expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and 29,500 will die, the cancer society estimates.

August 07, 2005

Like little pizzas......

One of the things I have gained from this experience is a taste for fresh vegetables, tomatoes in particular. I always loved tomato sauce, salsa etc. but I would not touch a fresh tomato with a ten foot pole!! Now, I can't get enough!!! To top it off they are apparently extremely beneficial for better prostate health.

So last night we added a little twist to a recipe we have grown quite found of. I have listed it below. Enjoy!

Originally, we made this recipe with red onions. It was fantastic. Last night we cut thick tomato slices as well as sliced eggplant and yellow squash with the same breading and WOW!! I had to stop after a dozen tomato slices, not to mention the eggplant and yellow squash - try it, you won't believe it!!! We served the veggies with grilled chicken breasts and french baguette bread. It was a delicious, healthy meal.

Crispy Onion Rings
(You can substitute about any fresh vegetable - with thick tomatoes slices IT WAS AWESOME, LIKE LITTLE PIZZAS!!!)

2 Onions, peeled
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup non-fat egg substitute
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 T Oregano
1 T Dried Basil
1 1/2 t granulated garlic
1 1/2 t granulated onion
1/2 t sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet once with cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Slice onions widthwise, break apart into individual rings.
3) Line up three mixing bowls. Into the first, put the flour. Into the second, put the egg substitute. Into the third, mix together the bread crumbs, herbs, spices and salt.
4) Dip each ring into the flour, then into the egg and finally into the brad crumbs. Place each onto the baking sheet.
5) When you have assembled all the onion rings on the sheet, bake in the preheated oven until the rings are crispy and light brown (about 20 minute, time will vary).

- Pre-baked rings can be frozen and used as needed.

Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 196 Calories, 0.4g Fat, 0.1 Saturated Fat, 0 Cholesterol, 8.4 Protein, 39 Carbohydrates, 2.5 Fiber, 509mg Sodium.

(From: "A Taste For Living", Beth Ginsberg, Michael Milken - the cookbook can be purchased through the prostate cancer foundation website. We have made several wonderful meals from this cookbook.)

Compliments to the Chef!

August 02, 2005


"August 2nd"
Today marks the six month anniversary of my blog, tomorrow the six month anniversary of my biopsy. I have told some of you that I can’t go back and re-read the early writings, it's to hard and somewhat uncomfortable to cry at work. I just reviewed the first one, 2-2-05. It was written the day before my biopsy and my intuition at the time was right on, things were much worse. It's a dichotomy however, since that time many good things have happened and continue to happen. I, we, are trying to make the most of each day, the help, thoughts and prayers of others goes a long way to make that easier. A few thoughts on this milestone:
> 1 hole in one
> 1 job lost, 1 job found
> 58 posts in the blog
> 50 lbs lost, never to be found
> 130 smoothies
> 180 days is longer than you can imagine
> 1,000 bracelets is awesome
> 14 years ago, seems like yesterday, seems like forever

"August 3rd"
Tomorrow marks our fourteenth wedding anniversary. Like usual, I am ill prepared! Lunchtime today will mean dealing with my favorite species, the Retail Worker! No offense to anyone, I've been there, in fact that is where we met! I stalked her for several months before moving in for the kill, she never saw it coming!

In all seriousness, as I have mentioned before, she is why I am everything I am today! A toast, a bobble, a gift of any kind all pale in comparison to her love, kindness, her beauty. I love her beyond words!

August 01, 2005

Run Through the Rain

The following was sent by a dear friend of mine. I'm not sure of the source or validity, and honestly, who cares - it's pretty cool!!
A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world.

Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day. The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said.

"What?" Mom asked.

"Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No,honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain,"

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.

"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"

"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!"

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.

Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured, so that it will bloom into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said. Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked.

But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories. So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

I hope you take the time to run through the rain.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Send this to the people you'll never forget. It's a short message to let them know that you'll never forget them.

If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in a hurry.

Take the time to live!!!

Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other -- and don't forget to run in the rain!