Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One year Anniversary - A Message of Hope

Well, on May 29th it will be the 1st anniversary of my diagnosis of prostate cancer. Its been an unbelievable year, high and lows, many tears along with fears, but all in all I have a lot to be thankful for. I have met so many people that have inspired me and lost some people to this disease that I admired. I finally know how fragile and precious life is really is and am thankful for all my blessings. As far as my health after surgery 11 months ago, I only have issue with my male function that is taking longer to recover and went to the doctor this past week and am working with them on a therapy strategy that will help in recovery. I will continue to have patience and prayer in this area. I thank God for a great loving and supportive wife, son & family, without them it would have been really tough. I am also thankful for the many great people I met over the past year, from my Doctors and Surgeons at Shands Urology Center, to my friends Scott and Greta at Athletes for a Cure, and personal trainer Amber Toole (She helped me accomplish athletic things I never thought I could do), Dave and Kara Deschenes (Dave is my new Triathlon Coach and fellow PC survivor), and Brett Troia (My captain of Team Procure Triathlon team, and fellow PC survivor, and The Vinecki family (Team Winter), Michael's courageous battle with a rare form of PC and his daughters inspiring story of raising over $100k for prostate cancer research to honor her dad by participating in triathlons at age 9 were so inspiring. There are too many others to list, but I do appreciate you ALL!

So that brings me to the health positives over the past year. I will bullet this out.

1. I lost 31lbs
2. Was able to lower cholesterol to 178 from 220 and stopped medication
3. Was able to cut blood pressure medication in half, and looks like I will be able to stop altogether
4. Full recovery of incontinence after surgery (side effect of surgery)
5. Trained and ran first 5k race of my life and then ran a second 5k
6. Trained and completed first Triathlon of my life (Swim, Bike, Run)
7. Currently training for Sprint Triathlon and Olympic Triathlon (I must be nuts)
8. A renewed outlook on life

Wow, after listing this out its hard to believe how blessed I was through this trial the past year. I just want to communicate a message of hope for those who are reading this blog for the first time. When you first hear those words "You have Prostate Cancer", its seems like its the end, but in reality its just the beginning of a new life. I don't want to paint a rosy picture of this because its a tough road to go through treatment and some will not win their fight, but you have to stay positive and educated of your situation and make the best of it. Always remember its harder on your family than it is on you because they love you so much and don't have any control over the situation. So spend every ounce of energy and time with the ones you love, because life is precious and short, no matter if you have cancer or not you should give them a hug and kiss EVERYDAY and tell them how much you love them.

I pray for you all each day and wish you the very BEST in your journey, God Bless You!

Life is Good


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Climb

In less than one month it will be the one year anniversary of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. I was the 1 in 6 men who will be diagnosed with PC. As I look back in reflection it was an unbelievable year. I am truly blessed because we caught the cancer early and I am cancer free. I have a 95-99% of non-recurrence in the next 5 years and most folks I have talked to that had surgery have gone many years beyond without recurrence. It was definitely a year of highs and lows but through it all God was with me. It has also been a blessing to have such a GREAT family and friends, always encouraging through it all. I also have so many great new friends as a result, from the survivors I have talked/blogged with, folks from Athletes from a Cure and everyone I met through them as well. We also lost friends and folks to this disease and we have to keep fighting for a cure. I personally got a second chance on life, a wake up call on my health. Its still hard to believe that I ran a 5k race and a triathlon and will continue to race for the cause and awareness for proactive screening. (If you would like to follow my training progress and race schedule please go to my new blog; for the latest updates)

I have been looking for the words to describe this past year and recently I heard a song by Mylie Cyrus called "The Climb" that was as close to what I would say about my life over the past 11 months. I captured the words below because they are so good. I am sure this applies in a lot of peoples lives, but if you are just beginning the journey of being diagnosed with prostate cancer this is a good anthem for you as you begin your journey. May God bless you in your climb!


I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying"You'll never reach it"
Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometime may knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going
And I, got to be strong
Just keep pushing on'Cause there's always going to be another Mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb