Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Temptations-Ain't Too Proud To Beg

If I want something bad enough, I ain't too proud to beg. I'd beg to be held, to be loved. What are you willing to beg for?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quality Of Life

I hear this term bantered around and I wonder how many doctors actually take this into account when prescribing a treatment.  When patients are diagnosed with prostate cancer, they depend on their doctors to help them answer questions. Unfortunately, as patients,we are at our most vulnerable. Hopefully, you have a partner who is more objective, but the news hits all involved. I have recently become aware of patients treated by ADT (Androgen Deprived Therapy) which lowers testosterone to castration levels. This treatment is usually prescribed for patients who have been unsuccessful with surgery and radiation. Others have learned that their cancer has metastasized. According to an article, Beyond the Abstract, by Cushman, Phillips, and Wassersug, The Language of Emasculation: Implications for Cancer Patients, approximately a half a million men in North America are on these drugs. The authors suggest words such as castration, neutered, and impotence are almost always used negatively and faults the patient. To me, this only adds to feelings of shame and guilt. The article goes on to say men suffer various side effects from medical emasculation that affects their quality of life and also those of their partners. ED drugs have usually proved ineffective. The cancer may or may not have been halted but what about quality of life. Dr. Peter Scardino's Prostate Book also deals with this issue. Regardless of your current condition, it is important to live in the now and try to enjoy each and every moment. Luckily, there are support groups and concerned individuals willing to help and share their experiences.  Don't be afraid to use them.  What do you use to help get through the day?  Right now, I have a pug napping next to me snoring away.  

Friday, March 25, 2011


 I have the remote.  Can't decide whether to watch Up with Dug the Dog, or Karate Dog with Chevy Chase. I might just surf.  Either way, life is good. Maybe, Fringe.  Can't wait until we have Netflix.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Bring It...
Controversy stimulates awareness and action. I spoke about my procedure which was very effective in providing me “quality of life.”  I was lucky and given the best of choices and treatment. Others have not fared as well with their choices and care. Corporations often don’t regard individuals and consequences, but they do regard profit and loss.  How many times have we seen that? We can fight back. Any thoughts you’d like to share?  

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Beatles - All You Need is Love (HQ)

The truth is that with love, you can get through anything. Whether it's from your partner, friends, or family. It's such a simple concept.  Love can soothe hurt and dispel dissent. Anger generally is a sign of sadness or betrayal.  Love, on the other hand, speaks of conciliation, union, support. Think about it? Isn't this a time where we need more love?   

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thats amore Dean Martin

In honor of Supermoon Saturday, I thought it was time for a little Dean Martin singing one of my all time favorites, That's Amore.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nothing Lasts...

Oh, my...
Even the best cupcake in the world.  I know when I was going through recovery, I went through many dark moments. But, good as well as bad does not last forever.  You need to get through it in order to feel better.  How many times have you said, "This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me."  Is it really? Is it absolutely the worst thing ever?  Maybe right now it feels like it is.  But, what about in a year, or two, or three?  Think of something else that you thought you would never survive and yet you did. You will get through this too.  Remember that.  Thinking positively has been shown to be healing. While I was depressed, and at times I was in despair, I never thought anything would ever change. Look for some affirmation.  Read blogs of survivors. Talk to a friend. But, right now, that cupcake is looking pretty good and I know the corner store is still open and I'd like to finish this but.....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

In my youth, I aspired to be the greatest accordion player in Detroit.  Unfortunately, I was a thin and lanky kind of guy. (I was short and skinny.)  I could barely lift the accordion. But, being Polish, I pined to play polkas.  Since today is St. Patty's Day, everyone is Irish, and I wish all of you a polka kind of day. What did you aspire to be in your youth?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Control vs. Limitations

Captain Disarray, we must control choas.
But, I am having a short and sad day.

I often wonder how much control we have.  The Japanese people had none over a tsunami that wiped out a whole village and many lives . Charlie Sheen claims to be in control while he has a full blown psychotic break on network television.  I am finally left with sadness.  Sadness that evangelists and talk show hosts, who I refuse to even acknowledge, claim that this is God's way of showing how unhappy he is with us.  What rubbish.  To use a tragedy to further their religious platform is beyond repulsive. Isn't anything sacred anymore?  I wish the media would stop making a circus of every tragedy that occurs.

The feeling of doom and gloom is difficult enough in everyday life but when we are presented with images bigger than life and constant reports of radiation poisoning which is happening, at least do not exaggerate the danger.  It sounds to me like all efforts are being made to control the situation.  The reason I am bringing this word up so often is that I am a therapist.  I see people struggling with control issues everyday.  In fact, people seem to be having a harder time because the less they can control, the more they think they must control. This only causes more frustration and problems because in truth, the only thing we can really control is ourselves.  And what does that mean, finally?  It means we can't control finding the right partner, we can't control our partner's behavior, we can't control our future.

We can control our feelings, our thoughts, our actions.  We can feel love, sadness, and joy and try to share them. Hope it gets returned by someone who feels the same way.  We can't write the script for the other person because that is another form of control.  We need to let go.  Let go and allow ourselves to be, to exist, to be in the moment.  It's not easy.  With more demands being put on us from every level, we want to be able to say we can manage it.  We can take care of it.  But, the truth is, we often can't.  I think it's better to admit, "it's too much.  I just can't do it."  It's much more honest that pretending you can and not delivering or making excuses.  I write this for you but I write it for myself.  Each day I have to decide what and how much I can control.  I try to be available for my patients so that I hear them and hopefully help them.  They are struggling with control as are we all.  I think it's time to realize we can only control so much.  And what we can do is enough.  No more, no less.  People may ask more, but it is up to you to say, "That is all I can do. That is all I am comfortable with.  It is my best.

To go to the next step in prostate cancer, control is a very operative word.  From diagnosis, we worry about how much we can control as far as eliminating the cancer to managing it. After surgery, we try to control leakage. Finally, we hope we can control our sexuality.  The truth is we must try our best, be ready to accept the truth, and learn to live with the final result. None of this is easy. But, we are not superhuman, we may think we are, but we're not. We are humans trying to make the best of the worst.

Congratulations to us all for making the effort.  That's all that is expected.  The rest is in God's hands.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wondering or Wandering

I've been wandering through YouTube figuring out the difference between embedding and sharing.  Hope this works.

Identity Theft

Although currently in remission, I never know if and when my cancer will return. Many of you have also been diagnosed with some form of cancer and no matter how you slice it, it isn't easy. Yet, it is important to try to separate the diagnosis from who you are. That being said, how do you do it? Start by thinking how cancer has changed what you do.  You may have some limitations, but you can still put the stamp of your personality on what you can do. That is key to survival. Make cancer your servant. Don't  let it steal your identity. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stand by me "Orginal"inclusiv with River Phoenix

One of my all time favorite songs. Brings back memories of hanging out with friends, sneaking a cigarette, trying to look "cool." For those of us who remember the '50's, we did "stand with each other" and enjoyed a simpler time. Now that we've experienced our 50's, it's time to be there again. Hang out with a friend, share a home-cooked meal, say a kind word. Isn't that what "Stand By Me" was all about?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dealing With Incontinence

I don't think anyone realizes what incontinence is until they have it.  I know I didn't.  Pre-surgery, I was so obsessed with procedure and surgery, I don't think I even considered it would be an issue.  When it happens, it is traumatic. Suddenly, you don't have control over your bladder.  If you thought a catheter was bad, get ready to wet your pants. The fear of doing this leads to trying to protect that leak from happening. Diapers, pads, liners, combinations of all three. Just when you think you have it right, you have one too many cups of coffee, and everything changes.  Oh, didn't I tell you, "Avoid caffeine and alcohol." Oh yeah. Two of my favorite food groups. Gone, adios, au revoir, mes amis. That leaves water and drugs.  I don't like either. So, when you do get control, and now, after three years, I do have it, I still have to be careful.  I don't drink alcohol, but I do like coffee. One out of two isn't bad. Not the right one, as far as I'm concerned but then, since I'm a recovering alcoholic, it was for the best. My point here is that I do believe you can control a lot more than you think. I did kegels before and after my surgery and still do. I do think they are key to controlling incontinence. To learn more about living with prostate cancer, read Dana Jennings blog.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Paczki (pronounced Ponchkey) Day

Well, if you're Polish, you have already had several of these.  You got up, knew it was Paczki Day, and went to your favorite bakery, and if you didn't order ahead, you waited in line.  You waited with black, Asian, WASPs (I don't know if that's PC anymore), and anyone else who was there.  Everyone's Polish on Paczki Day.  I bought an assortment of poppyseed, jelly, and custard covered with chocolate.  Then I took them to other friends and we sat around eating paczkis.  It was a fine time. Of course, I still have some.  In fact, I think I'll go eat them right now. I'm sure they help cure cancer. If not, they sure make you feel better. Happy Panczki Day everyone.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Doris Day - Sentimental Journey (remastered)

I've been personal on this blog, but today I'm going to be extremely personal. Today is the 4th  anniversary of my mom's death.  This was one of her favorite songs and reminds me of her generation. I miss her like you miss a mom.  A hug, a warm embrace, an encouraging word.  But, most of all, I miss her sense of humor.  She always made me laugh.  No matter what, she made me laugh.  For that, and so many other things, I'll always be grateful that she was my mom.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011


                                Ken:  I've told you to stay off the computer.  

                                Nate: Let me finish this post......

                                          Rules....I don't see the point of them.  I like chewing paper.
                                          It's fiber, right.  I recycle it.  Big deal.  I didn't know it was 
                                          his To Do List. Why do you need one?  Just do it. Finished.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I've been thinking about obsession. In fact, to be honest, I've been obsessing about obsession. I know I obsess.  I never thought of it as being a problem. In fact, I still don't. But, as a writer, when I write, or re-write,which is what writers do, I find I become completely involved.  I don't notice anything around me , I am one with my laptop. Hours go by. I don't want this to be a humble boast, because I'm not sure it's such a good thing.  It's something I do. A friend pointed out that I have attention to detail. I didn't quite buy it, but she persisted."Would you want your doctor to be unfocused?"  Of course not. That's how people become good at what they do. They are productive. They are productive because they become completely enmeshed with their work. They keep going until it is done. I do that.  In fact, I do it a lot. Since it is behavior that has served me well, I won't call it obsession. What does this have to do with cancer? Nothing, as far as I know. But, don't get me started because one thought leads to another and we're off.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sex and Prostate Cancer


The above link is a lecture by the renowned urologist, Dr. John Mulhall, from Sloan-Kettering in New York.

It was one of the best resources I have come across regarding erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer.
For all of those pre and post surgery, it is very informative.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Physical pain:
We all know pain.  It is one of our body's vital signs that signals alarm. We are in crisis.  I find it amazing that each of us, especially those undergoing trials, can endure such high thresholds of it. Pain can also be intensified by fibromyalgia syndrome, which includes fatigue, disturbed sleep, and joint stiffness.

Cancer and emotional pain:
I feel the same is true of our emotions. Often, we can be in extreme emotional pain.  Sadness, depression, obsession, fear, anxiety, to name a few. This pain is not as visible, but it is still there.  Unfortunately, because it is invisible, it is often ignored by both the world and the individual.  Recently, I learned that pain can be increased by lack of serotonin, which is also an indicator of depression. But, which came first? Often knowing and fighting cancer is depressing. Anti-depressants can help some people. Can they also decrease physical pain? What is the link?   We need to identify our emotions before we can change them. Can you ignore them?  I know I've repressed feelings rather than face reality  We've all done it.  Maybe, it's a transition.  A transition to accepting the reality. Maybe not.  It's a thought.  One I'd like to share with you. Try it on.  See what you think.  If you like, let me know.