Monday, December 8, 2008

My night out

My night out last night was special -I went to a Holiday festival  which involves museums and some organizations dealing with arts and music -Although it was bone chilling cold I enjoyed myself and then I went to dinner and had a Hungarian dish (chicken papakrish(Sp) at a Hungarian restaurant with friends 

It was nice to do this since I always get very anxious when it deals with social functions. I lighten the load by taking some prescribed anti-anxiety pills -it helps a lot. 

I think things are getting better for me- I am feeling better overall, I have started back working out at the gym that I am a member of. I have been going on an avg. 4 days a week which is good considering where I was a year ago. Looking to Christmas and the new year. -especially the January 20th inauguration of Barack Obama. 

This is a short but significant post -I will try to keep one going everyday 

Trial and error.

Until next time

Kirk

Friday, December 5, 2008

My life thus far -Dec 5,2008

It has been a month since I last wrote. I am not sure if people are reading my blogs. I guess I should be more vigilant with keeping track and making sure that people are reading it .
Anyway I am going to try to transfer my blog to Facebook and see if I get any feedback.
 
So here is my update I am finally getting back into my old workout routine I joined up for two months at  a local gym on October 28 and it  will expire on the 28th of Dec -I do see some changes and I am feeling them as well. I am taking things day by day  and hope I can keep up the good work I am doing . It does feel good to work out and then additionally  see the fruits of my labor.

I am still a little chunkier than I want to be but it is a work in progress - I had hernia surgery in 2003 and I think it is affecting how I lose the weight around my midsection. I will increase my cardio on an incremental basis since yesterday was a trial and error situation . I did 15 min on the treadmill and 5 brutal min. on the step machine. Boy am I out of shape. 
My eating habits will have to change since I have become very lax in that area. I have been working out since 1984 consistently until 2002 when things started to fall apart for me emotionally and physically .
I know that challenges such as these come and are meant to be a lesson learned if you survive. 
It does make you a more cynical person. You have a different outlook on life when tragedy strikes.
Like I stated in my other blogs I have been blessed and I think destined for something much greater 
I just was contacted by a college buddy who was very generous and helpful when I was getting ready for a show back when I was in college in addition to be a true friend. That in itself is not a coincidence. I dont believe there are any coincidences in life . Everything happens for a reason. 
So this is it for now 
I will continue on this road and see where it may lead. 
Wish me luck
Kirk

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back in the saddle

Hello all 

I am writing this on a good note of course -On the last week of October I rejoined my gym and started back bodybuilding -I felt a new enthusiasm this time around -very much different from my last attempt to go back and back and back LOL -it was not working at all -last consistent workout was in January 

Since  then I have been doing workouts in my apartment with my exercise wheel and my incomplete set of dumbbells -not!

I hope this feeling stays -renewing motivation to get back in shape -A friend of mine is going to take some pictures of my progress when I am ready.

I do plan on getting a digital camera and maybe a new computer -I am in the process of getting my financial aid finalized  so we will see what happens . I am sore from my workouts thus far and that is normal -I like the progress I am seeing. I think it is time 

Until next time 

Kirk 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My journey continues

I know that I have not posted in a while but here I go.
My recent turn of events have been without fanfare. Since July when my treatments for prostate cancer started , I have worked at VA Hospital as a patient escort to refocus on taking care of myself by caring for others and temporarily quit school-I did exercise while working because it involves walking and escorting patients by wheelchair, litter or bed plus walking up and down stairs,along with occasionally working out at home with my exercise wheel. Presently I have quit the job and went back to school to finish my degree in Information Technology-My mind is on working out but the motivation is not there-I am frustrated
Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do?
I am open to any suggestion ,ideas or comments
Until next time
Kirk

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Starting Back

I am in preparation to retake a class that I failed last spring due to receiving news that I had prostate cancer. The class is Quality Assurance and the good thing is that I can use the books that I had bought for the class. Sometime they change editions and you have to buy new books for the same class. So I am blessed in that regard. I am recovering from my treatments and everything seems to be returning to normal
It affected the way my reproductive and urinary systems operated. I got weekly checkups to monitor my side effects. It was painful to go to the bathroom and have sex. 

I am hoping things continue to improve in all areas of my life. I am getting closer to God and my spiritual state of mind . Very subtle things are happening to verify that my spirituality is being developed as we speak. 
I am learning a lot about people in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse . I am surrounded by these very people.
At the Veteran's Administration Hospital where I work here in Cleveland I work with veterans going through recovery and working as patient escorts as I am . I love the job but I am not sure if I will keep it when I am in school -we will see.
I live in a beautiful apartment building on Lake Erie ,well not exactly on but it is our front yard sort of speak along with the beautiful scenery of Edgewater Park viewed from my dining room window. I have met some very nice people some of them going through recovery themselves.
My roommate is a recovering addict also. I also have a brother who is in recovery from alcohol addiction and he has been sober for many years. Total years is unknown to me.

God is in my corner and I have to have faith in him and what he is doing for me . The things that are happening presently in my life humble me and make my situation less stressful. 
We are coming up to the presidential election and changes will have to be made with the new administration. Hopefully it will be Obama since he is democrat and he will be the first black president in the history of this nation. 
There will be a lot of disagreement that will manifest itself through subtle means and not so subtle means. It is the nature of the game . I am prepared to challenge those thoughts and actions. I hope it is kept to a minimum . We will see.

Until next time

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My spin on the recent Presidental Debate

I watched the debate tonight and was very impressed with both candidates. I am still going to vote for Obama because I have always been a democrat and I think although he is young and inexperienced I believe he has integrity that is needed desparately in this nation. The issues that were discussed were pertinent to what the next president is going to face in the upcoming year.
Our nation is in a financial crisis and it looks like the taxpayer will have pay for the administration's mistakes 
The war in Iraq might be successful but many lifes have been  lost and families devastated by this issue
I am a veteran and understand what is required-orders are given and they have to be followed in spite of whether you agree or not We wer considered "government property" and there is a certain amount of honor , camaderie and patriotism affliated with serving your country. But based on the length of this war and the cost of it, America has suffered and it will take at least two terms to even begin to put a dent in the trillion dollar deficit that has been manufactured by the war combined with bad decisions and strategies.
No matter if Obama is inexperience and young -change needs to be made or we are going to implode as a society and a nation 
John McCain is very experienced in foriegn and military issues and that was implemented strongly in his debate to tear down Obama's rhetoric. 
Overall I think it was a powerful debate and they both were confident in their delivery in answering the facilatators questions 
Any one care to comment on this feel free

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Comtemplating

I am contemplating going back to school on Oct 5 I believe and I have not got the books yet -I will get on it since this is approaching the end of the month
I am contemplating whether I will keep my job at the VA Hospital as a patient escort -it does not pay much but it has kept my mind occupied -We know all about idle minds and what they lead to.
In my case it can be detrimental to my physical , emotional and spiritual state of mind 
I am wondering what to do about my situation with my dad  and his knowledge of what my biological mom was like and why my blood relatives never wanted to meet me or know about any of my brothers . Truly mysterious to say the least . 
I am anxious to get back to exercising like I did when I was working full time with emotionally disturbed kids . I was going to the gym at least 5days a week. now I am working out with a incomplete set of dumbbells with a exercise wheel at home. Quite a change but I know God has a plan for me and I have be patient and wait for the subtle but very vivid signs that will guide me where I need to be. 

Until next time
Kirk

Friday, September 12, 2008

I am done!

As of this writing I am done with my radiation treatements for my prostate cancer-it lasted a total of 45 days 5 days a week- I am so done literally - the radiation caused inside bruising as described by my oncologist within my bladder and the rest of my reproductive organs and it caused tremendous amounts of pain and pressure. Without getting to the R-rated version it was painful when using these organs to do what everyday people do on a daily basis. So it if you know what I mean then I will move on. 

I did get a Certificate of Completion with all my doctors' names of it . Quite a interesting event for me. I am still in the process of returning to my online courses to complete my Master's in Information Technology.

I have to get another loan from the goverment since my former loan company is now defunct.  So I am in the middle of completing another one. I am also working at the VA Hospital here in Cleveland Ohio as a patient escort. It is filling a void right now since I temporarily stopped taking classes. So the question remains if I can do both ,although the job does not pay much it occupies my mind in the best way. I am wondering if I will be able to do both (the job and my online courses) Time will tell.

And of course I still am thinking about the other projects that were put on hold since my diagnosis ( finding my biological mother and finding a specific suicide survivor group in my area to talk about my issues regarding the death of a close friend from sucide in 2003 and also beginning to grieve the death of my mom in 2005. 

I believe God is going to guide in the right direction at the right time. I must remember and review the Serenity Prayer which is posted in my apartment for just that purpose.
My workouts will be included so that now I can work on the outside of my body as well as the inside Time will tell.
I congratulate myself for my recent accomplishment and will have to keep my past ones in mind to enrich my self esteem. 
With that said 
I remain until next time
Kirk

Monday, September 1, 2008

My update of my cancer treatments

Hello all
I am in my, I believe, 5th or 6th week of radiation therapy.
And boy has it been a humdinger- I have had tremendous amount of pain when I go to the bathroom (side effects from the treatments) 
I am anxious for this process to end which I thought was maybe on the 5th of September but due to the machine breaking down and my temporarily ceasing the treatments because of a freaky side effect that landed me in the emergency room for a total of 5 hours. It really scared me since the pain was of a more severe nature. So I told the nurse that I would not be back until I talked to a doctor and got reassured that is was a side effect and nothing more serious. So I didn't see a doctor for two days since my oncologist was on vacation and I saw another doctor instead and it was all good when I talked with him. It was a bad case of gas I was lead to believe. I wont go into much detail about the conversation but it was enough that someone cared to address this issue since I was afraid -they never had a case such as mine with the side effect that I experienced. They seemed nonchalant and even joking about it which angered me -just a matter of principle and not showing the professionalism that was expected out of the nurses that shrugged it off. So it is all good now in spite of the extra week that was added to my finished treatments -the pain has subsided some except when I have sex that is still painful Yikes -In reality I am humbled and blessed by god since I know there are many more serious cases of cancer world wide and I see and hear and talk to veterans who are in life threatening experiences with their health - I now work at a VA Hospital here in Cleveland Ohio and it is a lesson in itself and tremendously saddening to hear their stories of how they ended up in the VA Hospital. 
That is my update 
Until next time and feel free to comment or suggest here or thru my email kftrainer@gmail.com

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Reflection of the last month Part II

I am continuing to tell my story that I was starting earlier about my past month activities 

I am allowing my father to re-enter my life and I am tremendously cautious from past events that warranted my cautiousness. I will not go into details because it is very complex and somewhat convoluted. So I will leave it at that. I did get a call from him today regarding my letter that I wrote to him three weeks ago -He commented on my directness in telling how I felt about him and catching him up on my life as it happened 10 years ago up to the present. It is outlined in my prior posts which I will probably sent to him later. He gave me his new address where he is moving to and when I can contact him. I dont how I should feel about this but I will just let things play out and not worry. I am glad he called to let me know about his feelings concerning my letter. I wanted to hear this from him. But time will tell and I will know how he really feels then. 

On a lighter note I went to an open air market here in Cleveland Ohio  with some friends and spent some time browsing through and buying fruits and snacks and eating bratwurst sandwiches. Then went to a dinner with my significant other with another friend of ours for his birthday. I am truly blessed as I think about all the positive people in my life and how well I am supported on all levels through my journey to get a peace of mind. I am going to make it with their help. 

Until next time

Kirk 

Reflections of the past month

I am sorry I have not updated since the 22th of July, boy time does fly and not always when you are having fun. I am kidding somewhat. Every experience teaches you something to reflect on at a later date and help connect the dots. 

I have just had a month anniversary for my radiation treatments for prostate cancer- I am feeling ok but having side effects from the radiation that affects my ability to effectively go to the bathroom. I talked about the side effects with my doctor and he reassured me that it was normal and after the treatments it will subside. Boy Sept 5th hurry up Yikes . It is painful and he has dosed me with pills and fiber to help with those issues. I do get reminded how severe my disease can be if not treated properly. So I am not minimizing my situation but not blowing it out of proportion . I like to keep things in life at a balance-Good luck with that huh! 

I also have started a job at the VA Hospital where I am recieving treatment -it works out great for me since I am work from 8 to 4 and then at 5pm I go to the my treatment for another 15 mins and I am done for the day - I have to tell you that I am excited about working but need to be readjusted to working with people after 4 years of being unemployed. 

The job is not a high paying one and it seems to be a haven for veterans that are going through recovery from alcoholism and drug user. I am in recovery from grieving loved ones that passed on and now struggling with the feelings having this cancer and it impact on my state of mind which is still in healing phase. 

I am going to close temporarily to go on a needed walk to clear my head -My roommate suggested it and I am reluctantly going to go since it will be good for my recovery Right!

Until later on today 

My story will continue -Believe me I have a lot to say since my last entry .

Kirk

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More drama in my life

 I am anxious about several things lately -lets start with the continuing saga with my radiation therapy-I am getting side effects from the treatments consisting of painful and stinging urination -it was expected ,but I did not think it would be a severe issue. I was told by the techs in radiology to drink plenty of water and cranberry juice. I did start that today and I think it is helping. I have until Sept 5 and I cannot wait for the last day. In spite of everything I have a great support system from family and friends. The trip on public transportation helps with my anxiety and fear of the unknown. It is a 40 minute ride on a bus and then a train to the VA Hospital. 

"What ifs" fill my head as well as "I shoulds"-terms I should stay away from. I have added some more food to my overloaded plate. Another self-induced challenge. My dad has connected to me via another brother who lives in a suburb  of Cleveland. He wants to reinitiate a reunion that would be the worst thing I can agree to since the last "reunion" was a disaster. That would be part of another lengthy blog. 

Anyhow I did write him after we talked on the phone for maybe a total of 20 minutes and he gave me his address to write him. For some strange reason it took awhile for that to click in that he wanted me to write him first. I was thinking way ahead to the physical communication we would have and what I would say to him. Instead I wrote basically what i would say in person to him.As I told a friend of mine it was respectful but harsh. So I am anxious to get a reply and unfortunately I will have to reread his letter to try to decipher what he means since he has a knack for mixing words to confuse the reader. I am aware of that and I will analyze. This is idiotic to even think of from a moral standpoint. This is another chapter in my life and I know this is going to release me from so much anxiety it is unfathomable. 
I am truly blessed to not be bitter and angry about how my life was growing up -I could write a small novel -Maybe one day

Until next time
Kirk

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some good news

I just found that I got my financial aid reinstated from the appeal I made earlier this month regarding the pursuit of a Master's in Information Technology @ CapellaUniversity. Needless to say I was happy ,although I will be on probation for the next quarter which will probably be in the fall if I feel up to it.

Based on my prior posts I am getting treatment for prostate cancer and due to the impact of that diagnosis on my state of mind, my college studies were severely affected to the point of falling below my requirements to receive financial aid . Graduate students have to maintain a 3.o to recieve financial aid and it was going well up until March of this year when I got my diagnosis. I badly need to have some something going on  in my life and going back to college was a great idea. I started in Dec 2006 and it was difficult at first and I failed my first class and that started that process.

My grades stayed above that 3.0 until recently . I failed two classes in the winter and spring quarter so I did take off to concentrate on my health full time and then I got that email from financial aid which I know was coming,since I knew the rule and regulations regarding financial aid for graduate students. I was mentally prepared to fight it since I know it could not be helped although I did try to complete them without concentrating on my disease. But it did not work. So I am stepping back and taking care of my mental and physical state of mind and will probably start back on my college journey in either the fall or the winter quarter.

Time will tell right?

Until next time

Kirk

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Health and Fitness update

On the second week of my treatment for cancer I have many things that I have to contemplate -and that is just what I have been aware for five years -the new piece to the puzzle of my life is my dad reappearing in my life. It was of my own choosing but I founf out I am not as ready to face this new challenge as I though I would be. It put me in a great state of anxiety which I would rather not have. But everything happens for a reason and I guess I will find out as soon as I write this letter that he suggests I write to sort of "break the ice" with him. It has been 10 years at the least since I last talked to him. That means I have to fill him in on what has been happening in our family for the time is what not present in it.

Ok enough about that my health and fitness is taking its baby steps I am still working out in my apt. with calisthenics and my db's -I will try to do it more than once a week the issue is where do I get the motivation. I know it has to come from deep down inside -I am all tapped out -Hopefully things will change with the help and support that I am recieving from my friends and family.  

Until next time 

Ciao

Kirk

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day in the Life

On Monday July 7, I start my radiology treatments for my prostate cancer at VA Hospital at 5:30 pm and will be going as an outpatient for ,I believe, 15 min every week day until Sept. 5th -I did not anticipate how lengthy it will be. Granted I did sign up for this type of treatment, although I had many options ,none which satisfied me. My prognosis is great since as stated in earlier posts it was caught early and it is a treatable cancer. That word "cancer" has such a horrendous impact on the individual that it has or will affect, whether it is of a short or long term nature . I am faced with yet another challenge after the death of my partner in 2003 and of my mom from kidney failure due to complications from her dementia. And I am dealing with it as best as I can.Things are constantly put into perspective when I go to the VA and see and hear the tragedy of war from the veterans that are physically and mentally scarred by former  and currents wars. Truly mind boggling. 



Anyway I am in a quandary as what to do now since I have temporarily stopped going to school to focus on my new challenge and refocus on other issues that need to be addressed. When it happens I will update my blog with the new details of my journey 

Wish me luck.

Kirk

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another Chapter Starts

On Monday July 7, I start my radiology treatments for my prostate cancer at VA Hospital at 5:30 pm and will be going as an outpatient for ,I believe, 15 min every week day until Sept. 5th -I did not anticipate how lengthy it will be. Granted I did sign up for this type of treatment, although I had many options ,none which satisfied me. My prognosis is great since as stated in earlier posts it was caught early and it is a treatable cancer. That word "cancer" has such a horrendous impact on the individual that it has or will affect, whether it is of a short or long term nauture. I am faced with yet another challenge after the death of my partner in 2003 and of my mom from kidney failure due to complications from her dementia. And I am dealing with it as best as I can.Things are constantly put into perspective when I go to the VA and see and hear the tragedy of war from the veterans that are physically and mentally scarred by formaer and currents wars. Truly mind boggling. 


Anyway I am in a quandary as what to do now since I have temporarily stopped going to school to focus on my new challenge and refocus on other issues that need to be addressed. When it happens I will update my blog with the new details of my journey

Wish me luck.

Kirk

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Making hard Life decisions

Hello all,

I am back with some news. that involves my current train of thought. I have decided to temporarily quit school due to the diagnosis of prostate cancer that I received on March 17. It was just too much to carry. It is best since it was affecting my concentration needed for my studies. I can always start back after I get through with the upcoming treatments-I am looking towards getting this overwith so I can get back to school this fall. I have to contact the school to let them know that I am taking a break.  In the meantime I will concentrate on other priorities in my life such as finding more about my biological mom, through the adoption network here in Cleveland, work on maybe getting employment (part-time) at the VA hospital to help with that void from taking a break from school, continuing to go to therapy at the VA hospital to work on myself physically, emotionally and spirtually. I am working out a little within my apt confines. I am lucky that I have a bench and a set of dumbbells in my possession just by accident they were left by former or current tenants that cannot use them or they moved out and could not take it with them. I just found out someone left a Weider multi-function exercise machine that I will use. Motivation should not be a problem since I have this available but it is easier said then done. Believe you don't want to be in my head. You have to experience what  I am experiencing and what I have experienced to understand -Directed towards those that have not had the same experience,looking from the outside in. Something to ponder on. 

I thank God everyday for my blessings -I am struggling but I have a great support system with family and friends-I am in a good spot to work on my issues that I mentioned in my blogs. I am not taken these things for granted. I am blessed and very appreciative. 

Until next time.

Kirk

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dazed and confused

I know that this title rings of the song by Led Zeppelin but this is how I feel today and for the last week. 

Here is my problem -based on my inner feelings I am in the midst of a mini crisis or challenge -whether I want to look at it as the glass half full or half empty. I am down because of many things happening all at once.

On the 28th of May I went to get prepared for upcoming radiation treatments.  I was running late that day to get there on time and found out instead of being 20 minutes late , I was actually 1 hour and 20 minutes late -so they hurried me in and instructed me step by step of what is going to take place and the role I would play in this harrowing scenario. I was put in a CAT scanner to take measurements to determine where the laser will concentrate in relation to where the tumor is located within my prostate gland. I was confident that they knew what they were doing along with the humorous antics they put on for me to alleviate the anxiety of the situation. 

I did appreciate that they took me in spite of being late. So I went with the flow and tried to make light of my situation. During the procedure they measured and marked the spots with tattoos that let me know that I never want one since it did hurt. I remember I almost got one or two when I was in the Marines -One of those Devil Dog tattoos that signifies the macho and hard edged persona the Marine. 

After that they said that I will be contacted in about 4 weeks to start my treatments -going to the VA Hospital here in Cleveland for an approximate time of 9 weeks ,five days a week to get rid of the small carcinoma on my gland. I am constantly reminded through research , watching the many stories of bravado of cancer survivors and just observing the many disabled veterans at the hospital -it is truly saddening but it puts everything in perspective for me . I am lucky in many ways and I need to be aware of that gift. Where this  is  going to lead me is the mystery. I am just going with the flow of life and trying not to be resistant to my destiny. Sometimes I don't know how I am supposed to feel. 

This I do know , I am falling back in my studies and I am anxious and scared about the path I am being taken . Is it my fault or is this what God wants me to do -I am scared to answer that question but I know that I will have the answer soon. In the meantime I think I will need to take a break from school to deal with those feelings. it hurts me since I am intent on finishing but the proof is in the pudding and the pudding is get stale. LOL.

The other issues in my life comprise of finding my biological mom who is presumed dead.  Dealing with the death of my fiend from suicide in 2003  and the death  of my mom in 2005 from complications of her severe dementia. Alleviating the frustration and sometimes anger of my identity which I am starting to forgive my father for ,since he is a major player in this event. 

I have so much on my mind and I am just need to sort things out with the help of the mental health staff at VA Hospital who I am seeing on a biweekly basis -they said that the diagnosis although not severe in the general sense (the early stages of prostate cancer) has affected and created a shock to my well being and I minimize it as always to concentrate on my priorities which at the time is my education (Pursuing a Master's in Information Technology ).

So a hard decision is in the cards for me and as time is clicking by,  the inevitability of a major change is imminent. 

That will be my next chapter. 

Still indecisive. 

Kirk

Friday, May 23, 2008

In memoriam of life events

Today I went to visit my mom's gravesite and pay my respects on this day of her birth -she will be 81 if she was still alive and although I know she is in a better place I still miss her deeplly -It is additionally hard to deal  with when I am grieving the loss of her along with my best friend who committed suicide in 2003 and also dealing with  my diagnosis of prostate cancer as of March 17th St.Patrick's Day. I have been told that I am dealing with it pretty good and I think I am also , but I do wonder sometime and question if I should be dealing with it differently based the severity and time span that these events which was in a five year period. I am getting the idea that these are wake up calls to be more cognizant of who I am and If I dont know then I should pursue those goals. That means emotionally ,spiritually and physically my objective is to improve upon those areas. 

Unfortunately these issues are now affecting how I am looking at my life presently -it has affected my concentration on my educational goals. I am falling behind in my studies -my motivation has changed in that regard . I wont go into too much more than that. 

No one knows or would volunteer to walk in my shoes , sometimes I wish I didnt either. Everyone has a slew of problems that they have to deal with and I do understand that. But I do get frustrated with how they think you should be further along than you are in your recovery. 

Experience is the best teacher and I would welcome to just experience what I have been through and dont judge until you do. I am getting a little upset and this is therapeutic for me -I do wonder also if many people read my blog -it is me today in raw form since my feelings are posted in this blog. 

So I will end this and wish all my potential and interested readers a happy Memorial Day and God bless our veterans -I am a proud Marine honorably discharged.

Until next time

Monday, May 19, 2008

Working out?

I have been frustrated with the things that are happening in my life thus far. I just had my 47th birhday on the 14th and dont feel any older but I am aware of it due to the many health issues that have come abound. On March 17th I was diagnosed iwth prostate cancer -Prognosis looks good ,the tumor is small and on the 27th of this month I am going to get a cat scan to determine where the laser treatments with be directed at. And then 10-15 days later I will start the treatments. I have thyroid disease and I am on a lifetime medication which I dont like taking. Old hernia surgery is giving me occasional pain and discomfort which I am treating with more medication

Emotionally I am ok .lot better than 5 years ago when some tragic events happened that has changed my life forever. 

My love of the instuition of heatlh and fitness and how it affects the body was always a obsession since i was a child which lead to becoming a bodybuilder. I was never a athlete in high school but became hooked into the Pencil neck vs muscleman era back in the early 70's and then it became part of my daily rountine. Starting in my friends attic with the antiquated plastic weights that you could buy at many of the departments stores during that time. 

Anyhow I know that this is not quite the forum to be writing my life history but health and fitness does make up a large percentage of my history so it should fit. I will not write a book here but just know I could write a book on the many challenges that I have faced thus far to make two books . So there it is 

I am going to be taking steps to get back on that road full time instead of occasionally to embrace and display that love I still have for bodybuiiding ,health and fitness. 

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reflection on my Health and Fitness

I just had my 47th birthday on May 14 and I am not getting the results that I hoped but I did gain some muscle size since I started weight training in my home. It involved working out on my exercise wheel and dumbbells along with doing calisthenics- I have gotten stronger and my endurance has improved. Work still needs to be done so I am going to try to accomplish some of those goals this summer. I plan on rejoining my gym to work on those goals. I need to do more cardiovascular work such as treadmill and riding the bike. I have been walking but not to the extent that it would make a significant difference in my weight . Sedentary seems to be my middle name lately.

That is going to be another challenge for me . I was presented a challenge to workout more on the equipment that has been abandoned in my basement which consists of a bench , barbell curl bar and a bowflex type machine that I did work out on a little last week by a friend of mine and I think he is going to take some current pictures of my physique which I plan on posting on the site soon. . Motivation is the biggest challenge that needs to be prioritized in my routine.

Forgive me for not updating sooner but I have been busy with my education (pursuing my Master's Online in information Technology ) and health( dealing with my new diagnosis of prostate cancer) issues.So my plate is full right now with those issues and related issues that i wont mention at this time because it will fill many pages and bore the reader.

My day of birth has come and gone-I feel no older except on those cold damp days when I feel older that I am chronologically.

On that note I will close to continue to work on those goals

Good luck Kirk

Monday, May 12, 2008

The journey to my health and fitness goals

I have been out of sorts lately waiting for the ball to drop ,whatever that means to the occasional reader. I did on last week ,don't quite remember what day but I did go down and workout on a bow-flex type of exercise machine that was left by someone that did not want it anymore and was again exhilarated by those endorphins that surge throughout  your body after an intense workout . I do miss it but my motivation sucks at this point- it frustrates me to the nth degree.

 Bodybuilding,  health and fitness is my love and I will get back on track but I know it will take time to get where I think I should be. Looking  at my profile picture keeps my motivation at least active but not to the degree to keep me moving towards my goal -I use a diet software program call Diet Power that I think I mentioned in previous posts to chart my exercise and diet daily. It is more the diet than the exercise that I record on a daily basis -I know there is an error factor in what I record in reference to the calories I ingest and record in the program but I know from how I feel that it is close to what I am recording. I drink green tea every day mostly in the morning and eat oatmeal at least 5days every week. My overall diet could be improved but it is very easy to veer off course since I am not competing at this point . I know timing is a factor in what is going to take place as far as those goals I speak of. 

On that note a very good friend of mine that lives in the same apt complex that I stay in  has presented a challenge within to workout and improve my physique with the equipment that remains in the basement of our apt. complex and he is going to help me with taking some digital pictures of my physique to give me additional motivation to achieve those goals. I know I need to slim down my abdominal area to an acceptable level that I set for myself using the pics of my pre-contest and competition photos that I posted on some of my blogs and websites. I thank him in advance for that challenge. I told him and the rest of my unknown readers that I have many challenges that I would not rather deal with but I am always ready to take them on. 

Wish me luck on my latest challenge 

Until next time

Kirk 

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dying for lack of insurance

Take a look at this article and wonder how this can happen in the richest nation in the world -Men and women dying from cancer and just because they has no insurance to help them get the more advanced services that will increase their quality of life.
Which brings me to my update on my health status.
I went to see the oncologist on Thursday and gave him my choice of treatment  which is radiation treatments which will consist of lasers that will pinpoint and kill the tumor in my prostate gland
I am going to start on May 27 to get measured for  the procedure and they will perform a cat scan to determine where the lasers will concentrate on.
Then in 8-10 days after I will start the treatments which will span over a 9 week period, 5 days a week at the VA Hospital in my town . I am grateful based on this article that I am a veteran that is receiving  free medical services. -without it I will be up the creek with no paddle.

Mark Windsor looks exhausted. For a week he's been undergoing radiation treatment on a cancerous tumor in his neck. A metal rod fused to his spine keeps his head stable. His muscles there are gone, the result of multiple failed surgeries to rid him of his disease. He can't turn his head sideways or look up or down. So his look stays fixed, despite his fatigue.



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Dying for lack of insurance

Take a look at this article and wonder how this can happen in the richest nation in the world -Men and women dying from cancer and just because they has no insurance to help them get the more advanced services that will increase their quality of life.
Which brings me to my update on my health status.
I went to see the oncologist on Thursday and gave him my choice of treatment  which is radiation treatments which will consist of lasers that will pinpoint and kill the tumor in my prostate gland
I am going to start on May 27 to get measured for  the procedure and they will perform a cat scan to determine where the lasers will concentrate on.
Then in 8-10 days after I will start the treatments which will span over a 9 week period, 5 days a week at the VA Hospital in my town . I am grateful based on this article that I am a veteran that is receiving  free medical services. -without it I will be up the creek with no paddle.

Mark Windsor looks exhausted. For a week he's been undergoing radiation treatment on a cancerous tumor in his neck. A metal rod fused to his spine keeps his head stable. His muscles there are gone, the result of multiple failed surgeries to rid him of his disease. He can't turn his head sideways or look up or down. So his look stays fixed, despite his fatigue.



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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Research: Vitamins may increase mortality

I found this article on vitamins and was perplexed about the validity of this research.
Dont get me wrong I admire and respect their experience  and position -Just when are they going to achieve the "happy " medium regarding whether vitamins are good or bad for you.
I do believe that natural sources of these vitamins are better for you as far as assimilation in to your body - but what about the bodybuilders such as myself that work out intensely on a regular basis and need extra vital nutrients that the supplements will provide. Is that ever considered or did I overlook that in my research?

Taking antioxidants like vitamins A and E to prolong life may actually have the opposite effect, new research has found.



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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Update on Health and Fitness

Hello all
I am feeling great this afternoon ,better than I was this morning. I did eat and workout at my place of residence -worked out on biceps and back along with doing my calisthenics  (push ups, sit ups and ab roller) I am getting more muscular but I know I need to do more intensive cardio and I should do some every day -I will try to get out and walk because I live across the street from a park and the Lake Erie is almost right at my door step -so there is no excuse since it is so close that I can touch it.

My update on my cancer diagnosis
Yesterday I went to see my urologist and we discussed what my decision will be when I see the oncologist on the 24th of April. If I decide to do surgery with will involve removal of my prostate gland m and that has consequences that I don't want to even consider at this point in my life.
My choice is to get the radiation treatments via laser,which is a new but proven method of getting rid of prostate cancer -I am anticipating that it will be starting in May once I talk to the doctors about my choice.

My brother is going through a procedure that involves a valve in his heart to be replaced -it is an out patient procedure - I will pray for him and wish for his quick recovery. Lord knows we are going through some trying times but we are fighters and we will always come out on the positive side of our challenges -We just don't know it at the time -learning experiences to share with others . Part of my mission is to deliver this wisdom and experience to others
I am blessed as I always have to remind myself of.
I will keep you all updated as things change over time.

No news is good news right ?

Until next time
Kirk
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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Wake up call

I just got more bad news concerning a friend of mine who has contracted cancer -quite devastating for me since I just started to deveelop  a relationship with him - I guess I am meant to take this as another opportunity to talk about my sickness which is less severre. He has a tumor on his spine which is going to take surgery and chemotherapy.. My tumor is in its early stages and very slow growing -told it will take years to grow under normal conditions (10-15yeas ) to produce symptoms.

on a ligther note I have started back to school online and I am jsut finishing my firest week
need to get my books soon -told the instructtor wating for a response. I am excited not so much for the class but for the number of people in the class. I was a class of one last quarter where I still have  a paper due which gave me an incomplete grade. I am going to the VA in Brecksville to a weekly group dealing with helping veterans with everday issues. I have a slew of appointments at the Wade Park VA -which include seeing a my primary doctor , a urologist and my psychiatrist. along with my oncologist to discuss what my choice for treatment is  of my canceroust tumor within my prostate gland. which is on the 24th .I am ready to get this process started no matter how miniiscule my tumor is- I cannot just take things for granted anymore. I am watching my diet and exercising more along with going to different functions outside my apt.
As I get more info on my progress I will update this blog -it serves as my journal and therapy at this point.
Until next time
Kirk
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IOC strips Jones' 2000 teammates of relay medals

The IOC has stripped the medals from Marion Jones' U.S. relay teammates at the 2000 Olympics because of her doping history.

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Why are the rest of the teammates being penalized for what she did for heer body -she and she alone should be punished not her teammates


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Sunday, April 6, 2008

My weekend

Hello all
I am in a state of disbelief concerning my weekend ,specifically on friday and Saturday,
Friday I graduated from the program that I was a part of for the last 5 weeks which helped me with a lot of my issues with death and dying and the tragic events I went through. I got to talk to my brother who I have not heard from for at least 3 years since my mom died. I am still working on getting the gears churning again regarding finding out about my biological mom . I am dealing ok with my new diagnosis from St. Patrick's Day of Prostrate Cancer -As i mentioned it is in the early stages.
My other brother is going through a crisis of his own concerning his health and the loss of control of his immediate family. I can sympathize with him since I feel that same loss of control but I know have tools learned from therapy that I can use. I am in another frame of mind since graduating from this 4 week program. which was geared toward veterans who suffer from mental health issues. It gave me a new outlook of how I look at myself in reference to my existence and mission on this earth.
I am thankful and honored to be in this time and space to accomplish this mission that is yet to be defined.

Until next chapter
Kirk

Monday, March 31, 2008

I am in a quandary

Hello all
I am in a quandary on what to do about the direction my life is taking since I got this diagnosis of prostate cancer. It is not in an aggressive stage nor is it an aggressive cancer. Based on my research of this disease it is usually caught early if the man gets the complete test including a rectal exam. My tumor as stated by the oncologist is very small and almost undetectable and it the midst of this I am still in college and had to get an extension on my final paper -I have not yet finished it based on the many emotions I am going through since St Patty Day when I was told by the urologist. Since my mind is concentrated on my mortality and how my life is changing since I got this diagnosis.my schoolwork is suffering. To date the paper is still unfinished. the instructor said I can obtain a Incomplete based on my situation. So I will need to finish the paper and turn it in if it is not too late. I need to really decide if I am going to register for another class. This diagnosis gives me a reality check on how I am living my life and how I will continue to live my life.
It is funny I feel I am now in another select group of sufferers that I would rather not be in.
but that is life and it constant changes so suck up right ? Not!
I am seeing some changes with my body image since I have been exercising in my home and walking at the Day Hospital and to and from the bus stop. The last 4 weeks have been exhilarating and exciting based on the structure of this program I did sign up for another week based on recent events and dealing with past ones -death and dying is the theme here and the repercussions  from it.

I will not get so philosophical but that Is how I look at life and philosophy has always been a interest to me since college. I am so blessed that I have a solid support system from my family and friends esp recently. I need to reiterate to myself on how precious and fragile my life is and I need to take care of myself mentally and physically and try to obtain that peace of mind that we all reach for
Until next time

Kirk
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Friday, March 21, 2008

Bad news

I just got devastating news on St Patrick Day -I have that dreaded "C" word of the prostate gland.

I was very shocked but they caught it early and the prognosis looks great -I am trying to get my appt. to consult with the oncologist (Cancer specialist) moved up -the original date is April 23 but I want to get this started as soon as possible. I have heard from friends and family that it is great that I did get diagnosed early since most men that get this disease are cured of it and it goes into remission.

I am lucky that I went and got the blood test and exam since I am in a quandary in reference to who my biological mom is, therefore I am in the dark about my medical history. So I decided to get a biopsy done since the doctor detected a abnormality on my prostate and said it was of no major concern since my blood test or PSA was in the good range. This determines how severe the cancer could be if it was a cancer I believe. I could be wrong. Anyhow I went and got the biopsy and within two weeks I would know the results but it got rescheduled twice and the final date was on St Patty's Day -go figure on a ethnic holiday so that I can remember and mark that in my memory bank - I am not too afraid of the disease since I tend to minimize things even tragic events. But the waiting is hell so I am probably going for the radiation treatment vs major surgery which involves removing the prostate gland all together. the tumor is small and slow growing according to my doctor who was the messenger of bad news that day. He told me that I was the 4th one that he consulted with and told them that they have prostate cancer also.

I have gotten severely depressed but it is good that I am in this program that I spoke of earlier that  is in a self help and group therapy setting located at Cleveland VA Hospital -it is a out patient program for veterans who deal with mental health issues. I was recommended for the program at the beginning of the month and this is my 3rd week and I am having a blast- so much to do and learn and the group sessions are exciting but intense. -It ends officially in 4 weeks but they are connected to you for life -you graduate ,get a certificate and become an alumni of the program and are welcome to come back on designated days for alumni to join groups and get additional services if need be.
I have learned a lot in that 3 week period and going into my fourth week  but my current issues of grieving my loved ones that passed on were still lingering when I got the bad news on Monday -it has been a week as of this writing and I know I am getting a wake up call to live my life as fully as I can

 I am telling all men especially African Amercian Men over 40 -GET YOURSELF TESTED for prostate cancer Don't wait until you get symptoms because by then the cancer could have metastasized to other body parts. I am not a professional so don't quote me-do your own research and find out -
The macho image and behavior manifests itself into not getting the help you need and it will eventually kill you. Do your research.
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Review for the course-

In your final discussion, discuss your experience in this course. Include both qualitative and quantitative feedback as part of your review. What aspects of the course did you find most beneficial and what, if anything, would you change to improve the course?

    * Did this course meet your expectations?
    * What assignment or assignments did you find furthered your understanding of the subject matter, more then the others?
    * How would you change the course for future learners?
    * On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most difficult, how difficult did you find this course and the subject matter covered?

Grading for this discussion is as follows: You will earn full participation points for simply participating and providing honest and thorough feedback. All posts with depth will earn participation points for this discussion.

An example of a post lacking depth would be:

    "I liked the course, but it was difficult." or "I had a great time and learned a lot."

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. It will be used to improve this course and create and improve other courses in the future.

I think this course was very challenging from the aspect of the content and how the instructor used it to teach me different ways to collect and document my research.
As far as from the qualitative perspective it is a very informative but the complexity is is high and it is hard to interpret since I am a newbie when it comes to understand health informations systems and how they operate in health care organizations.

I think the textbook was hard to read due to colored tables  and figures -the content was interesting but hard to interpret also without futher researching. which I think it should be more easier to understand for college students in general. I had the impression that the author was wrting the text for seasoned veterans in teh health information systems field and not to novice college students.

From a quantitative perspective the amount of work  for discussion and assignment purposes was great. I was able to understand most of the questions after reading the text and tying the text content with the questions that were asked.  I did learn to use the databases with the Capella Library which I never used in other classes. There are challenging also to navigate and I wish the search methods were easier to understand. I am sure I will learn more as I use them for future classes.

Learning how APA citation is used more accurately is one the benefical things in this course for me due to how I found out how to cite references correctly. I did not necessarily enjoy being the sole person in the class it has its beneftis for example more direct interaction and feedback  from teh instructor -although I would like to be able to get similiar and different ideas from my peers in the class which  in this class was not present.

I did expect it to be a challenging course but I would have liked to be able to converse with other classmates and get feedback from them on different isssue regarding their experiences in the health information field.

On a scale of 1-10 I would rate this class a 7 in difficulaty due to the complexity of the course. and think it should be more geared to novice students to the fiedl of health information systems. I did learn  a lot more from my instructor where otherwise in a class of 10 students that would not necessarily be the case.

I did enjoy learning about the coding technology  and how it is deffined and used in reimbursment of health services rendered. I also enjoyed learning about how important HIM's job is in reference to  operating an organization or department in the organization  according to the governing organization's rules and regulations and how information technology impacts those processes
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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Getting better

I am presently in a self help program in VA Hospital here in Cleveland - It is helping me resolve some of my issues with grieving and accepting death and dying and how it impacts my mental state . I am  learning more about myself everyday I am there. I will be there until the end of the month and I will graduate and become a part of the program alumni .

So far it is going great . I am have met some nice people in the program who have similar problems with some of my issues. I am not sure if I am going to meet someone who has lost a loved one to suicide. and I am hoping I will. It is vital that I do since that is one of my major issues next to losing my mom . The programs consists of dealing with mental ilneses on a generalized basis, HIV seminars, anger management  and stress reduction classes, -the last session of the day consists of a movie or  a motivating exercise to end the day. Quite interesting to say the least . I cannot reveal a lot due to confidentiality  issues with the veterans and staff.- If I have not mentioned in my earlier blogs I am a honorably discharged Marine

This will be my second week starting Monday and already that anxiety is always present and wating it seems -I am now thinking  if I want to go tomorrow or not . That is my subconscious  thought  pattern at work. My defender from the past. I am learning to tone and alleviate the anxiety that I feel before each day ends and another one begins. It is the most difficult thing that I have to do  The staff and my immediate friends are helping me get pass this.

Well I will end her until the next time since I am having problems with the editor for my blog UGH
and I can feel my frustration increasing .
Ciao
Kirk
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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

On a cold day

I am at home on this cold day in Cleveland Ohio -I had started a program to help get myself back on track emotionally -since the death of my friend in 2003 and my mom in 2005.I am satisfied with it so far and It lasts for four weeks and you graduate and receive a certificate for completion -I am getting used to it -although it is just the third day I will go tomorrow if the weather improves for the better. Schools and businesses were closed due to icy conditions.
My mode of transportation was down which was the public buses that travel around Cleveland . So I did not want to risk freezing to death waiting on shuttles that may never come - In the meantime I am surfing the net and catching up with my work for school. I am very much behind but I am carrying a B average right now but if this paper is not done soon I will get credit off -
I wanted to workout today but instead I chose to surf the net and look at my email.
HO Hum
Until next time
Kirk

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tired

I just came back from the hospital for a session with a psych doc regarding a self help group to work on my issues dealing my life and where it is  going at this point in my life. I am going to give it  a shot based on my gut feelings and my intent to go on with my life after tragedy.

I did work out today before I went to the hosptial and I am lttle tired as I yawn wow
I am making some progress with school, progress with my body and weight training but I should workout more times a week instead of once or twice in 7 day period - just think I used to work out at least 5-6 days out of the week -quite a change in 5 years.

School is going alright but I am a little anxious about being the only one in the class it will be tough since it is a new specailization to me and the college . I started taking classes under a general I T degree and then this new specialization Health Information Systems was created and I jumped right on it. I am a Health Education Major and Personal Trainer whcih was my Bachelor Degree and I thought this would be right up my alley and boy was I wrong. YIkes!

I am still adamant about finding my biological mom through the Adoption Network and hope that things start to fall into place. I even contacted Dr.Phil.to see if he can help me - I am just hitting the surface here based on this public setting so as I get more comfortable writing this blog then I can reveal more. It is for me more so that for the people who read it.

I will close for now
I remain.
Kirk


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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who I am

Who am I ? I am a 46 year old black male living in Cleveland pursueing a Master's Degree in Information Technology with a specialization in Health Information Systems. I am a honorably discharrged Marine -onec a Marine,always a Marine. I am a amatuer bodybuilder on hiatus. Competed from 1989 on and off to 2002 where I had a slew of tragic events happen all at once . In 2003 a good friend of mine committed suicide and then in 2005 my mother passed. I am on that road to where my destiny lies -right now I am enrolled at a online college called Capella University pursuing the degree stated above. I am just taking things step by step until maybe I breathe my last breath. I am going through counseling to deal with the issues surrounding the events that I mentioned . This has allowed me to delve deep into my mind and uncover some repressed issue and events -it is my way to heal old and new wounds. I will keep this blog updated as much as I can with school and working on my search for my biological mom .
I will end there
until next time
Kirk

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