Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vacation Time

JOY SCALE: 10/10
Hi Everyone, I am going on vacation for several days. I will try to post a little something, but don't count on it. I will be busy playing with my Grandkids. I will check back here from time to time to see if anyone has any comments, suggestions, or questions.
Learn from the picture I posted. Slow down.
Take care of yourselves.
Peace and Love to All

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

JOY SCALE: 9/10Hi Everyone, No post today except for the fun picture. It is Father's Day and all you Fathers enjoy.
Peace and Love to All

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What you Eat

Hi Everyone, This humorous picture sets the tone for my next topic when you are living with prostate cancer-Diet. Common sense prevails what you put in your body. There are many people out there say they have the perfect diet for you. A variety of fruits and vegetables along with some protein garnered from beans, rice, nuts, pasta, and breads contribute to the ideal diet if you have cancer. As a matter of fact it is a great diet for anyone because it also prevents cancer. Animal protein is not good because studies have found that the protein feeds the cancer. There is an informative book called The China Study by T. Colin Campbell that investigates why a good diet helps both in the prevention and in the fighting of cancer. I personally have started to switch to this diet thanks to my lovey wife. I have found that I really don't miss many of the bad foods. It is just a matter of substitution. Replace good food for the bad. Once in a while a bad food like a hamburger or steak won't do much harm as long as it is not very often. Currently the food manufacturers have made hugh inroads to creating excellent veggie burgers, Italian veggie sausages, veggie breakfast links, etc. Just about anything out there is made with the veggie ingredient which is usually soy based. Here is a funny story about veggie line. Believe it or not the veggie line of foods tastes very good. My wife tricked me by giving me what I thought was Italian sausage in a bun with sauteed mushrooms and onions. It was delicious. Then my wife informed me that the sausage was a Italian veggie sausage. I was tricked, but in a nice way. Now I like those sausages.
Peace and Love to All

Need I Say Anymore?

Hi Everyone, This funny picture is a reminder to keep up with your personal hygiene. A clean body helps you to relax. It also keeps the flies off of you when you meditate. LOL. Seriously there is much truth in the saying, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." Good hygiene is yet another piece of the puzzle when it comes to dealing with cancer. Think about it.
Good night
Peace and Love to All

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't Hold Your Breath


Hi Everyone, This is fun finding funny picture to put on my posts. They make me laugh and I hope you do too.
Today I would like to talk briefly about proper breathing. Years ago I found an article Learn to Breathe Like a Yogi.........And be as Serene as a Yogi by William Wittmann. One of the fastest ways to regain your composure and/or peace of mind is by breath control. Watch someone when they are sleeping or meditating and you will see a deep even breathing. That is how you should learn to consciously breathe when you want to calm down. Learning to breath consciously this way takes years of practice, but here is a technique that will have you feeling as calm and serene as a yogi in a few minutes. It is used by the Russian Navy Commandos (their equivalent to our Navy Seals). They used it to help them develop breath control so that they could hold their breath for longer periods of time. This technique can be used anywhere. You can use it just before bed to relax you before going to sleep. The author of the article that teaches this technique feels that it could help sleep, insomnia and possibly sleep apnea.
Here is the techniques. Get a normal drinking straw. Now put the straw in your mouth, plug your nose, and breathe through the straw. Simple huh? Most people will feel a touch of panic because it doesn't feel as if you are getting enough air, but you will accommodate to it quickly. Keep breathing this way for as long as you wish. You will find that you will get more and more relaxed. After you have learned to use one straw effectively tape two straws in a chain. That is tape the straws end to end. Later you can add a third. The author doesn't feel the need to go beyond three straws. The extra straws will deepen your experience even more. Give it a try.
Peace and Love to All

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Frustration and Humor

Hi Everyone, Frustation is the emotion for the day. It seems that I can't do anything right today. I weeded out the wrong plants. Boy was I berated for that. There were other mishaps spread out during today. It is all part of the mood swings and life in general. The mood swings seem to amplify my emotions. A lot of laughter is called for. We watched a sitcom called, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." I am not sure of the grammar when the title of a movie is written. I say screw it. The sitcom made me laugh and that is all that counts. I tell you humor heals all. Remember that.
Peace and Love to All

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mood Swings

Hi Everyone, Did you laugh today? Today I am just going to quickly talk about mood swings. When you are on hormone treatments one of the side effects is mood swings. I believe I briefly discussed this in an earlier post. Some of the things that can happen when you have mood swings are irritability, depression, crying over nothing, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Irritability affected me all day. Little things got me upset. Big things got me upset. Oh heck everything got me upset today. Guess what I used to calm me down and get right? Humor. Works every time. Laughing does wonders to eliminate irritability.
Peace and Love to All

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Change

Hi Everyone, I have decided to add something new to this blog. I am a firm believer in using humor to help in healing. My blog has lots of room for different kinds of humor, but I am settling on one type for now. It will be a daily picture of animal humor, specifically cat humor. Since we have seven cats and three dogs it is only fitting to use cat humor. Around our house the animals constantly entertain us. Laughs come easy around our house. I think every house should be full of laughter with, or without, animals. Nothing beats a good session of laughing. I often find that I laugh at myself because of something crazy that I did. If at all possible try to get in either a good belly laugh or a tear producing laugh. those are the best healers. So people get out there and find something to laugh about. Start healing.
Peace and Love to All

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Where It All Began

Hi Everyone, Today is an important day for me. Forty years ago (I remember this as if it were happening right now) during the Vietnam War I was a 19 year old soldier in Cambodia doing a Search and Destroy mission. During that mission our point man was shot and a couple of us managed to get to him back to the rear and put him on a medical chopper. Our small unit was taking a break when all of a sudden we were surrounded by North Vietnamese. We all returned fire and the next thing I remember was looking at my right forearm and seeing a big hole in it. At the same time my face felt like someone had hit me with a baseball bat. Blood was pouring from my face and onto my M-16. I was going into shock, but I managed to summon a medic to help me. He patched me up as quick as possible and got me onto a medical chopper. I remember everything right up until I went into surgery back in a MASH unit in Vietnam. Later I found out that I was shot in my back, my right leg, my forearm, and my jaw. My jaw was the worse one. I lost part of my lower gum, teeth, and the front of my jawbone was shattered. At first I was devastated over what had happened especially about my face. It was all swelled up, black and blue, and my jaw was wired up. The rest of my gunshot wounds were bad, but l could handle those much better than having my face disfigured. Then I realized that I was still alive after being shot four times. All of my gunshots managed to hit me at an angle. That is because of the position I was during the shootout. If I had of been in any other position the bullets would have penetrated vital organs. I was one lucky soldier. I was alive for a reason. My vanity slipped away and gratitude took it's place despite the excruciating pain. I spent six months recovering in Chelsea Naval Hospital near Boston Massachusetts. My wounds slowly healed, but the pain was relentless. The doctors told me that I would have pain for the rest of my life. I was retired medically from the Army and given 100% temporary disability for two year which then was reduced to 60% permanent disability. Over the years I tried to ease the pain with drugs and alcohol, but that never seemed to work. I was depressed most of the time. Fourteen car totals and two suicide attempts later I gave up drugs and alcohol. I eventually learned to live with my pain and that seemed to lessen it a little. I now realize that all those years of pain were preparing me for living with the terrible pain created from my bone tumors. The Morphine that is pumped into my intrathecal space 24/7 only works on my mind. My mind tricks me into believing that my pain is less even though it remains at the same level. My advice when it comes to pain management is to accept and learn to live with the pain if at all possible. Embrace the pain. That modality compliments any medication program. I'm not saying that your pain will stop, but you never know. Trust in the process. Take a leap of faith.
Before I go I would like to share a funny story from the time I was in the MASH unit. Well actually at the time it wasn't so funny, but now I can laugh about it. Before my surgery I was laying on a gurney waiting for an Xray. My IV was hanging on the wall next to me. A nurse came up and started to wheel me into Xray, but there was a problem. The nurse had forgotten about my IV and I was frantically trying to get her attention. My mouth was so damaged that speaking was out of the question so all I could do was grunt and move my head in that direction. I was watching the IV tubing get tighter and tighter and just when I thought my IV catheter would be pulled out she finally noticed and stopped. Whew. Wait my story isn't over yet. When she got me into Xray the technician leaned over the end of my gurney to get an Xray plate . When the technician came back up and over my gurney with the plate in his hands he accidentally dropped the Xray plate on my crotch. Ouch! What a time I was having.
I also learned that Agent Orange had been used in Vietnam and Cambodia. I was put on an Agent Orange Registry. AO is known to cause quite a few diseases one of which is prostate cancer. Could this be where it all started?
Thanks for sharing in another one of my emotional yearly celebrations. I expect to honor June 13 for many years to come.
Peace and Love to All

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Gift From My Cancer

Hi Everyone, When my cancer spread to my bones the tumors eat away at the bones. Parts of the affected bones become hollow until they start to grow back. Unfortunately when the tumor eats into the nerve layer of my bones there is no regrowth. The nerves are exposed and that is where the GIFT of PAIN comes from. The pain is excruciating and the doctors try various medications and treatments to try and lessen the pain. Some of the treatments are the application of hot and cold, TENS unit which stimulates the nerves, and nerve blocks. All of the treatments failed. The medications consisted of Fentanyl, Gabapentin, Morphine, Oxycodone, and other pain killing chemicals. Some of the medications worked, but I was a zombie most of the time. I could doze off anywhere and anytime. My beautiful wife, who is also a nurse, did some research and discovered that the medical field used pain pumps that where implanted under your skin layer. I went through the usual test to see if I could handle a pump and I passed with flying colors. Several weeks later my pump was implanted in the lower right abdomen under my skin. The pump has a small diameter tube that is also implanted under my skin and routed around my side and up into the space that surrounds my spinal cord. This space is called the Intrathecal Space. Pain pumps are generally filled with Morphine and are programmed to dispense the medication 24/7. Mine was no different. Pain pumps usually take a few visits to the doctor's office to adjust the rate of flow so that your pain can be relieved as much as possible. I tried the pump at higher doses, but I didn't want to go back to being a zombie. I have my pump adjusted so that I don't doze off like I did before. That means that my pain level isn't reduced as much, but it is worth staying awake. I will say more on the Gift of Pain in the next post, but I would like to share a story about my pain pump. When I first had my pump implanted I had it set to dispense the Morphine at a low dose. That setting didn't work so I went back in to have it increased. That setting didn't work either. I kept going back twice a week for two months and each time the technician would increase the dose 15% to 25%. My pain remained the same. After two months of pump adjustments with no change in pain levels the doctor decided to do some investigating. I went through a few tests, but none of them were conclusive. However the general theory was that the tube that connected the pump and the intrathecal space had become disconnected at the pump. My pump was a new model and had a new snap-on type connector. The old connectors were sutured in place and very rarely became disconnected. It took a month to get my surgery scheduled. While waiting for my surgery my wife called the pump manufacturer and asked them if the new type connector could be sutured in place. They said yes. When they did the surgery their theory turned out to be true. My tube had become disconnected! The doctor sutured the connector to the pump and sewed me up. What a difference it makes when all the parts are working together. End of story.
Peace and Love to All

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Food for Thought

Hi Everyone, I have asked all of you to email me, leave a comment, or use a carrier pigeon to ask any questions that you have. Guess what? No questions so far. I am patient and so I will wait. Sooner or later someone will ask a question(s).
I would like to share a story with you that a close friend sent me. Please read it. Read it every day until it is memorized. Some of you have already seen this because I had sent it out a couple of days ago to a few of you that are also in this mail group. It is worth receiving twice. The story says it all.
Here it is:

While a man was polishing his new car, his 4 yr old son picked up a stone and scratched lines on the side of the car.

In anger, the man took the child's hand and hit it many times; not realizing he was using a wrench.

At the hospital, the child lost all his fingers due to multiple fractures. When the child saw his father.....with painful eyes he asked, 'Dad when will my fingers grow back?'

The man was so hurt and speechless; he went back to his car and kicked it a lot of times.

Devastated by his own actions.......sitting in front of that car he looked at the scratches; the child had written 'LOVE YOU DAD'.

The next day that man committed suicide. . .. Anger and Love have no limits; choose the latter to have a beautiful, lovely life.....

Things are to be used and people are to be loved, But the problem in today's world is that, People are used and things are loved...

During this year, let's be careful to keep this thought in mind: Things are to be used, but People are to be loved ...

Be yourself....This is the only day we HAVE.

Have a nice day Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits they become character; Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Peace and Love to All

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Happenned?


Hi Everyone, This post will be another short one. The subject for today is height. Before I had cancer I was a robust five foot and seven inches. Two years later I am five feet and six inches. What happened? I have three theories. The first being Osteopenia which is a precursor to Osteoporosis. Osteopenia can, but not always, cause loss of bone density. The second theory has to do with my metastatic bone tumors and their interaction with my bones. Metastatic tumors are cancers that started in another location and spread to the bones. In my case my prostate cancer caused the spread of the cancer to my bones. The tumors destroy bone density. The third theory is radiation. I had radiation directed at bone tumors in a couple of areas. The end result so far is reduced heights. I am shrinking! You can bet that I will be keeping track of my height much more closely than before.
Peace and Love to All

Monday, June 8, 2009

Forget About it

JOY SCALE: 10/10

Hi Everyone, Today's post will be short and sweet. I find that if I keep busy doing the things I love I actually forget that I have prostate cancer. So get going, find out what you love doing, and do it. Forgetting that you have prostate cancer reduces stress levels. Low stress levels frees up the body so that it can fight the cancer more effectively. Easier said than done? Nope. It really works. Try it.
Peace and Love to All

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Don't Quit When the Hormone Quits


Hi Everyone, A few posts back I discussed my hormone treatment and all the crazy things it did to me. Don't worry folks it is still doing crazy things to me. LOL. What I do want to talk about is when the hormone treatment can't do its job any more. Prostate cancer feeds on testosterone and the hormone treatment stops the testosterone production. Eventually the prostate cancer somehow finds a way to carve it's destructive path through the body without the fuel of testosterone. The time frame for the cancer to bypass the testosterone varies widely. Statistics say it can happen between six months and five years with two and one half years being the average. Of course that is only if you belive in statistics. I have heard of some men lasting ten tears before the hormone is bypassed. I personally believe that your mind can overcome anything including a testosterone bypassing cancer. So keep those positive thoughts coming no matter what.
Peace and Love to All

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Slice of Advice


Hi Everyone, This will be a short post that deals with hobbies. I have discovered that since the discovery of my cancer my stress level has increased enormously. Why wouldn't it? There are many ways to reduce stress, but one very effective one is to find a hobby. A hobby allows you to live in the moment. For example one of my hobbies is computer gaming. When I am playing a game I am in the moment. Time has no meaning. My stress level is as close to zero as possible. There are many hobbies out there and I am sure one of them will help your stress level.
Until next time I wish you all good health and low stress.
Peace and Love to All

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Your Body is Speaking to You


Hi Everyone, An important area that we all sometimes neglect is listening to the body when it speaks and it is even more important when you have cancer. Your body is smart and inherently knows what you need. Remember your body takes quite a beating just between the medication and the cancer let alone anything else you put into it or do to it. So when your body says sleep try to get some as soon as possible. Another example is when your body craves orange juice or some kind of citrus fruit. Your body is telling you it needs Vitamin C so find some OJ or eat an orange. I know that between work and other obligations not everyone has the same amount of time to respond to their body's request right at that moment, but they should try as soon as possible. Listen, listen, listen.

Peace and Love to All

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Little Introspection, Absorption, and Advice


Hi Everyone, Today has been a day of looking inside of myself and absorbing all that I learned this weekend. I look forward to this two year program with excitement and commitment.
My healing from the operation is coming along great. I still can't do heavy lifting or bending over, but I have other allowable things I can do. My doctors say that I am already hooked into pain management, oncology, and primary care so there is nothing else to do. So I am enjoying each and every day.
My prostate cancer is very quiet and in some cases improving. Some of my bone tumors have shrunk down to nothing. Yeah! I know that all the prayer, medication, supplements, healing drumming, my wife's wonderful care, good thoughts, and my positive thinking that have contributed to my improvement. I would like to thank those of you for your prayers and healing thoughts. There are many days that I forget I have cancer. Of course my pain manages to push me back to reality, but that is ok. I am getting better and as I said before I am enjoying every day to its fullest.
I am open to questions from anyone out there. Treatments for prostate cancer, mainstream or holistic, still have lots of room for improvement. The most important thing you can do is be proactive in all stages of your cancer. Be proactive.
That's it for tonight.
Peace and Love to All