Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ready to Go!

A lot has happened since my last update, so I thought I would catch you up. First, I spent some time in physical therapy at Shand's PT at University of Florida a few months ago for the slight incontinence when running caused by my surgery last December. It went very well and I had a an awesome PT named Vickie. It helped a lot and after lot's of kagals, cutting out caffeine, I am doing much better, not sure I will ever be 100%, but I refuse to let it be a negative. Also, I recently went to my local family doctor for my annual physical and he gave me a clean bill of health. I was also able to go off blood pressure medicine altogether. I had already cut it in half this past year and now I have eliminated it!! As you probably can tell, I was pumped!

I had a great chance to test all the physical therapy in my training for the half marathon as I ran 200 miles in 12 weeks to prepare. On the evening of October 2nd I surpassed another milestone in my life by completing my first half marathon at the inaugural Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Orlando, FL. It's just another wall that was torn down as I live the life of a cancer survivor. Since it was my first I really tried to enjoy the atmosphere and Disney did a great job providing entertainment all along the course. I finished the race in 2 hours 39 minutes and proudly accepted my finisher's medal.

Now its off to tear down the next wall by conquering a full marathon. My training continues and I am excited about the opportunity to wear my Team Winter jersey representing Athletes for a Cure and raising money and awareness for Prostate Cancer, I am READY TO GO!!!

God Bless You!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's run a MARATHON to STOMP out Prostate Cancer!

As you may have read in my last post I am doing a half-marathon in October and have also committed to doing my first marathon in January at the Disney Marathon in Orlando, FL. Before my cancer I wouldn't have ever even thought about doing a marathon, but cancer has changed my life and I want to continue to give back in some way. It seems a little scary to think about it, but I am committed to raising money for through Team Winter & Athletes for a Cure for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I have helped raise over $6,000 in the past few years but want to raise the bar by raising $5,000 for my training and efforts in running this marathon. With your help we can do this together, so I will train and run the marathon if you will find it in your heart to make a small tax deductable donation to help me STOMP out Prostate Cancer one step at a time!

If you would like to make a donation please visit personal donation page at:

If you would like more information on what the Prostate Cancer Foundation is all about then visit there web site at

You can follow my training progress on by clicking the "follow my training" button in the right column of my blog.

Thanks for all your support!

God Bless You!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2nd Anniversary Update - My Son's Perspective

On May 29th, 2010 it will be the 2nd Anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Its a bitter sweet anniversary becuase its a reminder of the darkest day of my life and on the flip side so much good has come out of my experience. I have met so many great people through my blog and I am in the best shape of my life. I thank God for everyday and have much better clarity on what is important in life.

From a health perspective my BP is normal and pulse has dropped into the high 60's in a relaxed state. My stress level is very low and am really enjoying life. I haven't fully recovered from the incontinence caused by my surgery in December. I am going through physical therapy which has helped and I only have slight leakage when I am running. My PT seams to think I will recover once we are done. The ED has not healed but has not been a problem with the use of medications, etc and a loving wife.

As you know from my previous blog entries that I signed up for a Half Marathon in October, but I have have made the decision to do my first full Marathon in January 2011 at Disney in Orlando. This is a huge committment on my part especially since I have only been a runner for 1.8 years, but I want to do this to create awareness for Prostate Cancer and will be racing for "Team Winter" ( I also want to do this for myself as a tribute to surviving cancer and in the memory of friends and family we have lost to cancer especially for my mother-in-law who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2000 and my father-in-law who lost his battle with cancer in 2003.

My 12 year old son was recently tasked with writing a personal narrative paper for school and he decided to write about his thoughts when I was diagnosed through today. (He was 10 when I was diagnosed). I wanted to share in his words the paper he wrote as it gives you insight of what your family is going through when you are diagnosed with cancer.

Personal Narrative by: Tyler Ritch

Summer 2008. Many would just say, "I remember then! I broke my knee then!" or, "That summer I found $2,000", but that's not how I remember it.

My father went on as a nice man, he carried a little weight, and had a good job. But during 2008's summer he developed prostate cancer. It made him a little less confident and me very anxious.

I didn't know what to expect. I had just lived on, being my normal self. I had some concern, but I knew my father's fate was in the hand's of God. I also knew that my dad was a believer, so if anything went wrong I would once see him again, far away in heaven.

My father, on the other hand, had tiny sparks of confidence. He sort of secretly felt scared, I could see right through him. We as a family prayed for him, especially when he went to surgery.

My very own dad had to go through surgery on June 30th, 2008. His surgeon had experience and could control a robot's arm to carry through the surgery. I always pictured in my head a surgeon reading a manual to robot arm controls and sipping a frosty cold diet coke. That was me trying to be humorous, but I still felt scared. So, we just waited until he came home.

My mom went to Shand's to pick up my father. When he walked in the house (climbed actually) I held all of my emotion back. I said a small hello and just left him. I should have hugged him slower becuase he was in pain.

Later he showed me stitches on his stomach. He expalined that his surgeon took out my father's prostate and luckily the cancer was confined inside of it. He made it through safely, but by a year another problem arose.

After his surgery, he worked an effort to lose weight. He ran, biked and swam a whole triathlon, ran a five kilometer race and one duathlon. But when he went to his doctor's for a checkup, something was wrong with his remains of his prostate area. There was a kind of material from those stitches inside his body. I felt like I was going through the problem all over again.

I actually felt more emotion becuase I was older and more mature. I prayed along with my mom, but I thought that the second time isn't the best time. So I just lived on again with a huge anchor of feelings.

My father survived his second trial when his surgeon blasted his material with a lazer of some sort. He was finally okay.

And so I finally had the ability to feel relief when my father came home okay. I felt glad to see that he lost all his extra weight and ran many more races, adventure races, another triathlon and a 10 kilometer race. He now had so much confidence, he had so much wisdom and many explanations to all my problems. I really think he changed after his two surgeries, becuase he had so much more reason and considerance, it taught me that you shouldn't have to learn to be a good person by almost dying, you should already learn to be nice and considerate to others.

Obviously I was very touched when I read his words. Its so easy to get caught up in the diagnosis/treatment and lose sight of how your family is feeling during the trial. I am so glad he shared this with me, I love him with all my heart and appreciate his support through all this, he has been a trooper!

God Bless You!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

1.8 Months After Surgery - PSA Results

More good news! I received the results of my PSA last week and the cancer was untraceable, >0.1%. Its been 1.8 months since my surgery and I am so pumped! I went to my urologist for a follow-up from my December surgery and PSA results last week as well. Obviously I was glad about my PSA, but I am still having a slight problem with incontinence since my last surgery. Its not too bad as I am okay until I start to run or exercise. My doctor is sending me for physical therapy to see if we can get things back to normal. I will post my progress as I go through PT. As far as my male function, things have really improved since the last surgery and am really encouraged with the success. On a personal note I ran in the Valentines Day 5k off-road race at the Silver River State Park a few weeks ago and finished in 3rd place in my age group and brought home a trophy! It was a lot of fun and am currently training for my first 10k off-road running event in late March. I also have committed to train for my first half-marathon (13.1 miles) in October and will use this as my fundraising event so stay tuned for details on how you can help. I am so thankful for all the blessings I have received and all the great people I have met through this life changing event.

God Bless!