May 28, 2009

A calamity of errors

I like to think that I'm a pretty calm, level headed, easy going person and I think those that are close to me would agree. I have come to realize this can create problems, problems that result from people thinking it’s acceptable to provide mediocre service.

Tuesday we went to the cancer center for my four week check up and Lurpon shot. As usual, I went to the lab first to provide a few vials of blood to be sent to the lab. Simply routine I've done this hundreds of times, literally.

Next off was a meeting with the doc, and here is where the frustration began. It was a calamity of laboratory errors to be kind.

First, the two new tests we started last month, in order to track the two markers suggested by Dr. L in Houston, were not completed.

Yes, I wrote that correctly and you read it correctly! Even though I provided specimens in late April the lab completely screwed this up.

The urine test was never run and the lab decided that the blood test to break down alkaline phosphate was not needed. Can you believe this?

Someone in the lab decided that because the total level was within the 'normal' range, breaking it down further was not necessary. I was and remain furious about this one.

After this part of the discussion with the doc there was not much else we could do except provide more sample and move on. Where we moved on to didn’t make me any happier. It seems the blood samples I had provided earlier in the morning failed to include a sample for PSA. Can you believe it? After four and a half years someone forgot to request the blood draw for a PSA, it was simply left off the lab order!

By the way, later on in the day we did get my PSA; it's up to 51.13

Next up, oh yes there is more, was my ankle. This part actually contains good news. I'll just admit it up front; I over did things last weekend. I played disc golf everyday from Friday to Monday, I worked in the yard Saturday and Sunday and over all was on my feet way to long. By Monday night my right ankle, the same one I broke almost three years ago to the day, was pretty swollen. Due to the fear of another blood clot we discussed with the doctor and agreed to run a new ultrasound of my right leg. The good news is nothing was found. After keeping my leg elevated as much as possible over the last few days I can report that it has returned to normal.

Finally, in regards to my PSA, yes we are concerned but we have to stay on track with what we agreed to after leaving Houston. It's a very hard pill to swallow, it creates anxiety, tension, worry, fear and more. That being said we have to remain faithful that the doctors know what they are doing and the Lord is guiding us down the right path.

Many, many thanks to all of you for your continued prayers, they are powerful and help us more than words can express.

May 25, 2009

Short, sweet and to the point

I'm finally resting after four straight days of disc golf and yard work.
It's cool, cloudy and raining off and on, so I'm catching up on paper work
for the foundation and paying bills.

As I sit here I've got iTunes up and just fired up Zac Brown Band, the song Toes. The course contains the line " is good today.."

and it is my friends, it truly is good today.

May 22, 2009

Younger Men with Prostate Cancer

I know it's been a while since I had anything personal to say, but I'm just taking the doctor's advice and getting on with living my life (to some extent).

We are in the midst of six incredibly busy weeks; I had to travel twice on business, we had the FLHW disc golf tournament, a graduation, a very special wedding in June that both Mary and I are a part of, wedding showers, rehearsal dinner, another charity event for FLHW, well you get the picture.

Below is an upcoming article that I received from a friend, Skip's Twitter feed.

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend. God bless all the men and women in uniform, both past and present!

Finally - the the lady who commented on my last post, you can send me an email at: 'info at flhw dot org' (spelled out to avoid spammers).
While young men with prostate cancer have a low risk of dying early, those with advanced forms of cancer do not live as long as older men with similar forms of the disease. That is the conclusion of a new study published in the July 1, 2009 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The paradoxical findings indicate that there may be biological differences between prostate cancers that develop in younger men and those that develop in older men, and that uncovering these differences may help tailor screening and treatment strategies for patients based on age.

In general, a younger cancer patient has a better prognosis than an older patient with the same type of cancer. Few studies have analyzed the health of younger vs. older men after diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer, though.

To investigate the impact of age on prostate cancer prognosis, Daniel Lin, M.D., of the University of Washington and colleagues designed a study to examine the association between age at diagnosis and health outcomes in men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States. Mining the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, the investigators identified 318,774 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1988 and 2003. Men aged 35 to 74 years were stratified by age at the time of diagnosis, and the researchers examined differences in tumor characteristics, treatment, and survival within each age group.

The analysis revealed that, over time, men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer at younger ages, likely due to more extensive screening. Also, younger men are more likely to be treated with prostatectomy, have less aggressive cancers, and have a better chance of survival after 10 years compared with older men. However, among men with advanced prostate cancers, the youngest men (aged 35 to 44 years) have a particularly poor prognosis compared with older men. These young men are more likely to die from cancer or another cause sooner than older men with similar forms of cancer.
While the reasons for this unexpected finding are not clear, the researchers suspect that young men with advanced prostate cancer may have biologically more aggressive forms of the disease than the forms that are diagnosed in older men. Additional studies are needed to determine what, if any, underlying differences exist between advanced prostate cancer found in young men vs. those found in older men. These studies may help clinicians improve screening in young men and could ultimately lead to the development of better treatment strategies for these patients.


Article: "Treatment and survival outcomes in young men diagnosed with prostate cancer: a population based cohort study." Daniel W. Lin, Michael Porter, and Bruce Montgomery. CANCER; Published Online: May 22, 2009 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24324); Print Issue Date: July 1, 2009.

May 19, 2009

Words to live by...

It's been a long time since I created a 'wordle'. If you are familiar go to You can link to a blog or just provide a list of words. This was created using all of the tags I have used in my blog over the years. Click for a link to a larger version.

Wordle: Prostate Cancer

May 10, 2009

Caution - flying plastic!

This evening, twenty four hours later, I still find myself exhausted! However, without a doubt, it was worth every minute, every step, every throw!

Yesterday we held the 2nd Annual FLHW Disc Golf Tournament. Though the weather started off a little cool and breezy, by mid-day, the winds subsided, the clouds passed, and the sky was a clear blue with a warm sun shining down on us. The day ended up being absolutely perfect.

We had 78 disc golfers and were privileged to play on a private course, located on an unbelievable piece of property here in southern Johnson County, Kansas. The owner is a wonderful and extremely generous man to whom Mary and I owe much gratitude.

I'll provide more details and many, many more pictures in a few days. We are very pleased that we raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000. All of which will be donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to support the research needed to develop improved treatments and a cure for advanced Prostate Cancer.

Mary and I would personally like to thank each of the Board members who generously dedicated their time to making this event a success, all of the sponsors, volunteers and players that shared in our mission for a cure. God bless all of you!

May 07, 2009

Fwd: There will be tears.

I have been in Orlando all week, away from Mary and Brad.

During this time and as I mentioned in my last entry, we lost a dear friend.

I haven't really had the opportunity to reflect and let the memories flow or to take a minute to be, if nothing else, sad.

I sense that tonight, after Brad is asleep there will be tears.
Tomorrow will be crazy busy as Mary and I prepare for Saturday's second annual FLHW disc golf tournament. At this point I would guess we will end up with close to 100 disc golfers. The weather is supposed to be ideal, the anticipation is unbearable at times. I look forward to the day and once again having the opportunity to promote the need for early detection and support of the research to find a cure for PC.

Pictures and a full update in a few days.

May 06, 2009

Peace be with you my friend

We are saddened by the news that our dear friend Mark B passed away yesterday morning after battling Sarcoma. We are comforted that he is no longer suffering and continue to pray for Beth, Tony, Nick and Erin that they will continue to find strength and comfort in the many wonderful memories they have shared through the years. Mary and I cherish the many good times that we have shared with them and will always have a special place in our hearts for Mark.


Absolve, we beseech Thee,
O Lord, the soul of Thy servant Mark,
from every bond of sin,
that being raised in the glory of the resurrection,
he may be refreshed among the Saints and Elect.
Through Christ our Lord.


May 02, 2009

Aussie and Hawkeyes

I find myself a little somber this morning. Even though a week of rain has finally broken, emails
and news of the health of a dear friend have me wondering.

This first is an email from a great guy in Austrailia. Terry, a PCa survivor. He runs this great website, "You Are Not Alone" or YANA. I found it four years ago when I was first diagnosed. It really helped to read stories of other men, with similar diagnosis.

Terry recently wrote his thoughts on death and dying:

I have only read parts of it, as I can't make myself read it all. The piece has stirred up a lot of
fantastic conversation.

The second bit of news requires a call for prayers. A dear friend of ours is battling Sarcoma.
He is home with his family and hospice has been brought in to assist. His dear wife is seeking
the help of one more hospital and I ask you to join me in praying that they are able to offer help.
He is a wonderful man, with an infectious smile. Though we haven't seen them recently, I can picture his face and see his smile as if he were sitting right here with me this morning.

This is for you Mark, go Hawkeyes!

Prayer to Saint Peregrine ~ Patron Saint to cancer patients
O great St. Peregrine,
you have been called "The Mighty,"
"The Wonder-Worker,"
because of the numerous miracles
which you have obtained from God
for those who have had recourse to you.

For so many years
you bore in your own flesh
this cancerous disease
that destroys the very fiber of our being,
and who had recourse
to the source of all grace
when the power of man could do no more.

You were favored with the vision of Jesus
coming down from His Cross
to heal your affliction.

Ask of God and Our Lady,
the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you.
(Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying)

Aided in this way by your powerful intercession,
we shall sing to God,
now and for all eternity,
a song of gratitude
for His great goodness and mercy.