Sunday, May 24, 2009


As a teen dealing with cancer, I often wondered how my future would turn out. Would I end up being a “cancer” couch potato, or would I be able to accomplish things, graduate college, be a contributing member to society, have superpowers, be able to fly and fight crime. Well except for the last three, I think I’ve found my answer.
Just consider the author J.K Rowling who early on, gave up her dream of writing novels to pursue a more “practical” endeavor. She soon found herself poor and practically homeless. But what she realized, she acknowledges, is that she had an idea, an old typewriter and the support from her daughter. We all know what happened next, Harry Potter was born.
Some say adversity, setbacks and/or traumatic experiences can sometimes be a precursor for success and fulfillment? Do you agree or not? What are your feelings about it?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Human Race: Moving Forward

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A necessary evil? -

People say cancer treatments are sometimes a necessary evil marked by side effects that can last years, if not a lifetime. It was true in my case, but that was only half the story… and half the battle.
Yes, I had the big 3 treatments; surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The tumor had to come out, it had to be eradicated. I survived, but what I was left with, were the consequences of treatment; physical issues, ongoing health concerns, and a lack of self esteem, amongst other things. I was left a shell of the man I once was, a literal couch potato.
But that didn’t stop me from returning to the way I used to be.
Enter IV’s, diet, & vitamins.
I had heard about complementary medicine and how using it in conjunction with traditional treatment was gaining attention and promise. At that time I was taken to a doctor in NY and started a weekly regiment of IV’s (mass doses of C and other vitamins) that go directly into the bloodstream revitalizing cells. This along with closely monitoring my diet (no sugar!), I immediately noticed a huge difference. My lifestyle behaviors changed for the better, my energy level started to come back, along with my motor skills. It was such a reversal, I couldn’t believe it, either could my parents. I came back to school, graduated (with my class), went on to graduate college, and today am an upstanding member of the community.
After more than 20 years of living cancer free, I’ve found that traditional treatment, although still the best single most effective treatment can be enhanced with other modalities.

A scary situation -

So what happens when a patient wakes up after having surgery and is unable to communicate their needs, wants or concerns? Here’s one guys experience:

I woke up after having brain surgery. My head obviously still swollen, I was able to blurt some grunt-like sounds, but clearly nothing that remotely resembled a sentence. Thank god my family was there to communicate for me when I needed. But as night came, and it was time for them to go, I became increasingly worried that if a situation arose, I would be unable to communicate my thoughts.

Well just what I wished wouldn’t happen, happened. The nurse came to give me medication. One of which I thought I was allergic to and would have a violent reaction. Still having trouble with my speech I wanted to say very clearly, “No, I think I’m allergic to that medicine, would you call my mother and just run it by her”, but all I could get out was an emphatic “no”; repeatedly, it was just “no, no, no”. The nurse asked me what was wrong, but that’s all that I could blurt out. (I felt like Lassie ther for a second. lol) It was really very frustrating and scary not being able to say what I wanted to say. So after 15 minutes going back and forth with the nurse and going nowhere, I gave up.
I guess my head was still too swollen at the time to realize the florescent red band on my foot read “allergic to medication” a hint that this stuff is probably written down in my chart somewhere.

Nonetheless, it’s was a very, very scary and downright traumatic experience feeling your life is at stake and not really being able to do anything about it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Help! I can't feel my fingers -

After 2 brain surgeries, I guess the neurons haven't come back yet in my left pinky finger (they will). Feels like it's asleep all the time. lol

Hearing Loss -

I'm a cancer survivor and I have long-term hearing loss from treatment. I now wear hearing aids, and although they help a lot, it's not like they're a fresh set of 100% fully functional ears. :) So I make due as always with what I have. But damn, it can be awfuly frustrating at times.

As long as I'm in a semi-quiet situation, I usually get the gist of conversations, but I'm really at a loss in noisy environments; usually social events. Anybody out there going through the same thing?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The numbness on my right side turned out to be .... (

This past January I was bowling and started experiencing what I thought was a stroke or heart attack. After a couple of games, I simply forgot how to bowl; forgot which foot to start off with, even how to throw it down the lane. So I just thought I needed a break, that maybe I did too much. But when my food came, I definately had trouble holding the burger in my right hand and the french fries slipped through my hands onto the floor. So at this point I knew something was definately up. I knew I couldn't drive home in this state, so I waited a couple minutes for it to subside, and it did. I thought maybe I just did too much that night. About 3 days later, I had a friend over for the game. We started talking and immediately I felt like I was talking with marbles in my mouth. Words and thoughts weren't coming to me, and it was just difficult to express them when they did. I found it hard to think of things to say. I was concerned, but it got better too and I really didn't think much of it at the time.The next day at work it happened again, and this time it was even more obvious something was going on. Not only had I totally forgot how to do my daily work, but my whole right side became numb; my fingers, my leg, the right side of my cheek, even the right side portion of my tongue.Sounds like a stroke right? Turned out to be a large tumor pressing against a very important area that controls the right side of the body.The rest is, as they say, history. It was taken out immidiately. But thank god for warning signs because the doctors told me if if the tumor had gotten much closer, I might have had some permanant damage.