Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thinking about......

I have been writing about my own experiences to give people facing prostate cancer an idea of  what they may face.  I see that people from all over the world have tuned in and taken a look at some of my posts and I am grateful. But today, I have been wondering about the incidence of pc in other parts of the world. As illustrated by this graph most reported cases exist in Australia/New Zealand, Western Europe, Northern Europe, Northern America, and the Caribbean. Although it also exists in other parts of the world, there seems to be a diminished incidence, which may be due to a number of variables, depending on testing, education, and awareness, to name a few. But my point is that I have received very little feedback from people in both the United States and abroad.  In an attempt to share knowledge and eventually diminish this disease, I am extending an invitation for anyone who has/had pc to share their experiences and let us all know about positives, negatives, recovery, challenges, and needs.There are a number of world wide agencies and one that seems to be succinct and promising can be found at the following. Some of the graphs seem complicated but near the end there are some key questions as to the future of screening vs. non-screening and treatments. I found these results helpful.But today, I reach out to all of you and ask you to get involved and share, as part of One Human Family. Please respond to this post. Empower yourselves to help save lives.  Thank you.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

One Human Family.....

We've all been there and think, "Why now, why me, what else?" I personally think it's not what's thrown at us as much as our ability to handle it. That ability has become completely worn down. Whether it's health, business, a relationship, family, career, or death, it's hard. Any one of those is very difficult and some of us have had to deal with two, three, or more at a time. I bring this up because I think personally, I have been very lucky. Yes, I've had prostate cancer, and yes, I've been depressed, and I have experienced all the others as well. Somehow, by the grace of God, I've gotten through them and believe me, there have been times when I didn't think I would. And, I can't say it was one particular thing that got me through. I think it's inherent in each of us, that regardless of what we've been thrown, we want to survive. It may not be in the same body or the same realm of functioning as we had before, but that doesn't mean we are useless. It's a shift. It's an adjustment. 

One that can and will be made. It will be made on your own terms and on your own time schedule. You will decide what you can do, what you can handle and how you will handle it. Listen to others, weigh their words, and if you can't use them, discard them. You are the one in charge of your own life. You can and will be able to still contribute to the world in your own way. It is your responsibility to do it. Each of us is here to fulfill some destiny. Our life has meaning, regardless of what we do, because we touch each other's lives in so many ways. How wonderful, if we gave it some conscious choice and tried to help another person in need. 
In Key West, we live by the maxim, "ONE HUMAN FAMILY." And when you think about it, isn't that we are all about? 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hey Bubba......

In Key West, which is part of the South, the word "bubba" can be taken a number of ways, sometimes as a term of endearment and sometimes not.  Since I have been addressed as "bubba" a few times in the last couple of weeks, I have decided to accept it as a friendly term. The word , bubba, has been used in other countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, and means "baby." Before I came here from Illinois, I often associated bubba as negative, a white trash connotation. But, there have been some very good bubbas, President Bill Clinton, for one, and Bubba in Forrest Gump.

President Clinton

Bubba Gump

Bubba Watson

What else do we know about bubbas?  Bubba Watson is known for winning a Master cup in 2012 and is originally from Bagdad, Florida. President Clinton has won world acclaim for being one of our best presidents. Bubba The Love Sponge sounds like a complete jerk, but with a name like "Love Sponge" what would you expect?
Bubba The Love Spong

The unknown bubba is someone I would associate as "good ol' boy bubba" from my frame of reference.

Generic Bubba

So what do I have in common with these bubbas and what does it have to with prostate cancer?  A very good question. Bubbas seem to span the scale of taste and achievements. I do know President Clinton had very serious heart problems which I believe was from eating such bubba foods as cheeseburgers and fries, probably grits and gravy, and spareribs. 

My conclusion is that: being called bubba in Florida is a good thing. It means I have acclimated to some degree to a new environment, one must (not really) learn to blend in. I think I am more relaxed and a bit tanner, which means I am less stressed. Stress inflames body tissue and decreases the ability of the immune system to fight disease. Therefore, being called bubba is healthy and endearing (if you live in the South).  So, c'mon down and join the Bubba Revolution. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happiness is Dance or Closing the Condo

This last weekend, I closed on my condo. For any of you that have gone through the process, it is a long and stressful period, especially these days.  Or maybe, just maybe, I doubt it very much, but then again, you never know, it could, but it's unlikely, so I'll just throw it out there, it could be ME.

So, I am happy, and what do I do when I'm happy, that's right, I dance.  I've been dancing in my apartment, down the streets, up the stairs, down the stairs, in the rain, on the beach, in the clubs, at the gas station, in the bathroom ((not true, on that one)), while writing, while walking my dog.  You get the idea. To indicate how others have danced in the past, take a look at this link of dances through time.
(Thanks Cindy). 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Adventures Of A Cancer Stud (Oscar & Simon) 2013

For those of you unaware of Oscar and The Adventures as a Cancer Stud, here are the Cliff Notes.

Oscar grew up as a loner and troubled  child. After discovering he was able to get good grades and dance (he gyrated to The Twist, The Chicken, The Pony, and Watusi, he decided not all was lost. In those moments, he threw himself into wild abandon and forgot about his acne, his flaws, his Catholicism.

He finished college after majoring in sexuality.Eventually he met a woman who claimed to adore him, so he married her. Soon, he discovered she was unable to give him love and only married him to have an audience (she claimed she was a movie star). After a divorce, he began taking art classes and found himself attracted to another man.

He did not want to admit he was gay, but it could be true. Just when he was about to explore this, he discovered he had prostate cancer. After surgery and recovery, Oscar felt even more miserable then he did before. He decided to have a penile implant and decided to get the "super-size" version. Suddenly, he got noticed. He was followed, chased, stalked by both sexes. At first, it was daunting, but he began to be asked to be a guest on the talk show circuit, Oprah, Barbara, David, Jay, even Jimmy asked him to appear.

But eventually, this wore thin, and Oscar knew he had to expand his horizons. After trying every therapy that existed, he was left with two choices, either consulting with the Dalai Lama or auditioning for the X factor and impressing Simon Cowell, which brings us to Oscar's latest adventure.

Although he knew he needed spiritual guidance, Oscar had been intrigued by the shallowness of
"show business."  He knew it was because he had always felt unpopular, but he was sick of having these "insights" and decided to go for the glitz and glamor.

He auditioned in Atlanta, where he was able to combine it with a speech he was giving to his brothers of penile implants. BOPI, which was starting to gain momentum in the US.

Since he needed to develop an image, he auditioned with, "Big Hunk O' Love."  Simon commented, "Interesting song choice. I couldn't help but notice you are taking advantage of your You are going on to the next round."

Oscar was overwhelmed but knew he had to "act cool" or he could get booted. In the following weeks, Oscar got to the top 20, then the top 10, and now he was in the top 5, and finally the top 2. His song choices had been edgy, Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You...", Tim McGraw's, "Felt Good On My Lips," Snoop Dog's, "Drop It Like It's Hot." But his rendition of Aretha's, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T," snagged him the title of the star with the X Factor. 

                       Life was good.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Men asking for help

Yesterday I wrote about Prostate Cancer Depression and how difficult it is for men to ask for help. Today a friend shared an e-mail entitled, Went Fishing, Caught 4 deer.  I thought of the drowning deer as depressed men and the only time they will ask for help is when they're drowning, you'll see my point here. (I know it's another one of my stretches)  If you don't see it, it's still a nice story....

Went Fishing, Caught 4 Deer

A once in the history of mankind kind of thing. The Best Day Of Fishing Ever!
Some fishing stories are a little hard to believe, but this guy has pictures to prove his story...

I've heard of salmon jumping into boats, but never anything quite like this...
Tom Satre told the Sitka Gazette that he was out with a charter group on his 62-foot fishing vessel. When four juvenile black-tailed deer swam directly toward his boat.
"Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at us. We could tell right away that the young bucks were distressed.

I opened up my back gate and we helped the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals onto the boat. In all my years fishing, I've never seen anything quite like it!
Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.
This is a picture I took of the rescued bucks on the back of my boat, the Alaska Quest.
We headed for Taku Harbour . Once we reached the dock, the first buck that we had been pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back as if to say 'thank you' and disappeared into the forest.

After a bit of prodding and assistance, two more followed, but the smallest deer needed a little more help.
This is me carrying the little guy.
My daughter, Anna, and son, Tim, helped the last buck to its feet. We didn't know how long they had been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not survive. My daughter later told me that the experience was something that she would never forget, and I suspect the deer felt the same way as well!"   I told you! Awesome... huh?

"Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear." - Mark Twain

My point is when your man is drowning, invite him into your boat. If he won't come, let him kidding.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

PCD......Prostate Cancer Depression

I know I've talked about this in the past but I'm starting to see the subject come up again in the forums. After diagnosis, research, and surgery, men often become depressed. Much of this is due to the side effects of prostate such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction.  I know after my surgery, I became depressed, and unfortunately it is a "sliding slope." 

Not doing anything about it often causes a deeper depression. In reality, there are symptoms which seem insurmountable and no man wants to admit to impotence. Often function will return.  It is very important to seek support or counseling during this, and if possible both.  I went to a therapist and also joined a support group. Both helped me. Unfortunately, most of us don't want to admit something is wrong.  Denial is a great defense but it doesn't work. Our friends, family, and partners know what's going on. It helps so much if you can open up to someone and start talking.  Support groups such as USTOO, which meets in a number of different locations, can be very helpful. There is a period of adjustment and this takes time and patience. Your life may not be the same, but it can still be fulfilling. Choices such as VED (vacuum pump), injections, alternative methods can be discussed. It is important to realize there is hope. It is not the end. Please don't give up. With time and help, you can conquer this.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Peacock Vow.....or Resolutions for the New Year...

New Year's was 3 days ago and if that is any indication, I'm off to a slow or too busy to write start. Resolutions never work for me so I don't make them.  If they don't work for you either, I strongly encourage you to forget about them. Who started resolutions, anyway?

Nine Worthies
In my research, I was able to uncover that. for one: resolutions can be associated to the Nine Worthies (3 Christians, 3 Jews, and 3 pagans; literary, scriptural, and historical personages who represented honor, valor and chivalry) In the Middle Ages, knights took the Peacock Vow renewing their commitment to chivalry. BTW, I have no idea why I am writing about peacocks, knights, and chivalry.

Most resolutions are concerned with weight, exercise, compatibility, brotherhood, or relaxation. 

Said, done, and forgotten. Shake up your year and take the chivalrous Peacock Vow.