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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