Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm searchin'

myself, while listening to this oldie from 1965.  Do you remember?

Monday, August 29, 2011


Mayor Rahm Emanuel

I seem to be going through one.....again. But, that is why they are called, transitions. I feel that many times I live my life as if it isn't mine. As if I have disassociated my mind from my body. I think we all do it at times without even realizing it. I'd like to say it is my imagination going into overdrive and therefore I can't focus. Luckily, I don't do it while I'm working. But during my free time, I can find myself trying to do five different things at once. It's like having constant ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and not knowing it at all. So here it is. My transition is realizing I am doing this. Trying to be more aware of it. And staying, "In The Moment," as much as I can. (This also sounds like one of the twelve steps of AA). Now I have to think if I've picked up a new addiction.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On Golden Pond

Sorry for not posting in awhile. I wish I had a better excuse other than it's summer and I love the weather and when I'm not outside, I'm working or watching movies. I think that covers it all. I don't know how many of you remember the movie, On Golden Pond, with Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda and Katherine Hepburn. It was a great movie which took place at a family summer home, which if I remember correctly was on the East coast. Stars, Peter Fonda and Katherine Hepburn, were excellent and Jane held her own. I don't why I'm writing about this. Probably because I got to go away for a few days and found it to be very relaxing and refreshing. I recommend it to all of you. I don't think this is an epiphany for anyone else other than me but I'm enjoying it. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Couples Face Cancer

Cancer is difficult for the person going through it, but very few people think about the partner. The partner is suddenly dealing with the enemy. The disease that will change their relationship forever.....a test beyond imagination. Since prostate cancer generally hits men over fifty, although I'm reading about a lot more cases that involve younger ages, many couples have been together for more than ten years......more like twenty.  Their children are often grown and gone. Who asked cancer to come in and take residence?  No one of course, but it is there. After discovery, after decision as to how to deal with it, the recovery or the fight begins. Often the patient is depressed, using his energy coping with incontinence and possible impotence. The Doctor generally says, "It will take time."  This statement doesn't help anyone. Yet, this is generally what you hear. Unfortunately, it is true. I don't want to blame doctors, but I do wish they were more informed and more supportive. Referring the couple or the cancer-free partner to a counselor should be at the top of the Doctor's list. Each partner has to deal with many issues: alienation, isolation, fear, depression, and uncertainty. Often the relationship suffers.  Often the partner feels guilty about even wanting anything for themselves. After all, their partner is dealing with cancer. Wouldn't that be selfish? Not at all. And this is where many cancer forums and websites, indicate that the relationship is dealing with cancer. Not just one person or the other. Both people. They have dealt with other problems together and are now facing one of the most difficult. As a counselor, who has had prostate cancer, I can only say, try to find help. Reach out to friends, recovery groups, a trained therapist. They will help you realize that you are alone. It is a difficult battle. Use the help available. With help, you can face the monster. A couple is alway stronger together. Don't let cancer divide you. Unite and fight.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cancer Stud .....(4)

Oscar was brought up in a era that introduced Elvis Presley, also The Temptations, and The Kingston Trio.There were groups, such as The Greasers, The Preppies, The Jocks, and The Beatniks. Oscar came from a Greaser neighborhood, went to a Preppie High School, and thought the Beatniks were cool. This became of concern especially when he obsessively tried to style his hair. Now a teenager, he outgrew his golf ball bouncing. He tried the DA, referring to a Duck's Ass, The waterfall, and buzzcut.

 Each cut required different clothes and since his family had little of it, he often found himself shopping with his buddy, Louie, on the East Side, where he could find bargains at Robert Hall, Federal's, Crowley's, and small shoe stores that offered weekly sales. No matter what outfit Oscar found, he did not seem to impress his fellow classmates. Most of them were jocks or intellectuals. He finally discovered, to his surprise, that he loved to dance. Sock hops became his life. He found it was a great way to meet girls because most guys couldn't dance and most girls wanted to dance. He did the: Pony, Monkey, Swim, Twist, Watusi, and whatever else came down the pike. 

He watched American Bandstand to learn some of the smooth moves,which unfortunately, became the name of a popular laxative in his later years. But then again, he was a trend setter. He introduced The Penguin, which had it's run as dances. Later he created a mock social club, SCOA, which meant Scrap Club Of America. It grew and he designed logos for sweatshirts.

                                                             The Club took group trips to Boblo Island, an amusement park near Detroit. Everyone enjoyed both the boat ride and the island. There was a small band and bar on the boat and people drank and danced, usually through the whole trip.

Oscar disliked sports, but he did like going to the gym, especially the locker room. The smell of sweat, dirty uniforms, and jock straps seemed strangely appealing. At that time, Oscar didn't know why. He had been  indoctrinated by the nuns and knew it was a mortal sin to touch himself or others or to have impure thoughts or desires. He found that although these were sins, he couldn't help himself. His member seemed to be in a constant state of arousal. Little did he know, 99% of his classmates went through the same thing. They were male teenagers. 

Choices: Dealing With Prostate Cancer

As I follow the Prostate Cancer forums, I see that there are several men who have recently been diagnosed and are wondering about the best way to deal with the prostate cancer. I know this is a difficult time for you. It was for me. Do your research. Try not to panic. And once you've made your decision, don't look back. So much depends on your situation. You must deal with your Gleason score, biopsy results, and the advice of your doctor. I hate to generalize, but doctors, especially urologists, suggest surgery. I eventually decided on robot assisted prostatectomy. It was not an easy choice but I'm glad that is what I chose. Three years, post op, I am still in remission, and with the help of the forums, other groups, and a good therapist, have accepted the situation and moved on. This worked for me.  It may not necessarily work for you.  It's difficult to give a blanket statement as to what works best. Talk to others, go to prostate cancer survivor groups, read, read, read, and research. Try to get as many consultations as you can and once you feel well informed, make your decision. I was one of those people who didn't want to live with the knowledge that I had cancer and it could metastasize. Realize it is your body and you have the right to deal with the cancer whichever way you choose. Be brave, have courage, and trust your gut feelings. That is generally your best guide.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off, And......

I try to be as honest as I can in my posts. Most of the times, I try to stay upbeat, but there are times when it's not always that easy.  This is one of them.  As some of you know, I am a writer and cancer survivor. I have written a book, entitled, Bagel, Bagel, Crunch That Kegel (a humorous approach to dealing with prostate cancer). What I haven't talked about here is that my book was with a publisher and that I had done a few rewrites, worked on my platform, and contacted people for recommendations. Then I started the waiting and waiting and waiting. For those of you familiar with publishing, this is not unusual, for those of you who aren't, the time can seem endless. What many people don't know is that publishing can take at least two years, if not more. Publishers are overwhelmed with manuscripts and do the best they can and there is no rushing the process. I am familiar with this because I have been an actor and auditioned many times and know that rejections are part of the process. You can't take it personally. It's not about your work, it's about a type, a whim, a mood of the director. Regardless, sometimes you get a part and most of the times you don't. So, what am I saying. My manuscript was accepted, they held on to it for nine months, and last week I received the, "As much as we like your work, we do not think we will be accepting it for the list...."  What I learned is that you have to have a contract or you don't have an agreement. You must be patient and you have to roll with the punches. Was I depressed, did it feel like a rabbit punch, did I stay in bed longer than I should have.....yes, yes, and yes. The publisher is most likely going bankrupt, which is something I didn't and couldn't know.  But, it is time to move on. I have started to look at other small presses and am getting ready for my next attempt. I have also decided to start on another book because you can't sit around and wait for the rejections. You have to stay busy and the best way is to start on another book. I write this for me, but I also write it for you. For those of you deciding on treatment options, researching doctors, dealing with incontinence and impotency. No one can predict the future. You can only do your research, make your best decision and hope for the best. In a lot of ways, it's a "crap shoot." As far as the publishing industry, my book may or not be hitting at the right time and place. That is out of my control.....There is a lot out of our control.  Nothing we can do anything about. That being so, worrying about it is a waste of time. We can only do our best, do our homework, and pray. If you don't pray, hope.  Always keep hope alive. It allows you to get through it and move forward, hopefully. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Freedom Heals

It's Friday and I always think it's nice to start the weekend with something positive. I recently read some excerpts from Bernie Siegel's new book, Book of Miracles which led me to Jeff Guidry's experience with a bald eagle named Freedom. His relationship with the eagle was reciprocal. While he helped the eagle to heal, the eagle helped him to heal while he recovered from Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.It lead to his book, An Eagle Named Freedom.  It's inspiring.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hang On Little Tomato....Pink Martini

I love this song.  It's so nostalgic and plays over and over in your head.