Friday, July 31, 2009

My Current health concern

Hello all

I am somewhat concerned about a side effect of my radiation treatment which took place in July -August of 2008 in reference to treating my prostate cancer. Last month I went and saw my oncologist at VA Hospital here in Cleveland. Based on the blood test results my PSA was not bad at all. I think it was below 00.5 which is good but was elevated from my last test in January. I am scheduled to see him every 6 months for an update on my health status. I did have traces of blood in my stool which I mentioned to him.

He told me not to worry about it since it was showing up infrequently and he asked me about my sexual activity and if I had any blood in my urine. No concerns there. Everything is in working order.
Now he did ask about my ejaculate and if there was any blood within the semen. At the time it was not a issue because it was not showing up from any sexual activity that I had. Soon after I saw him, I started observing trace amounts of blood in my semen which freaked me out. It showed up in more than a trace amount and then I got concerned . Although he told me that it may show up from the radiation treatments since their was inflammation to my bladder,rectum and prostate from the process-it still caused me concern. At this moment I am hesitant to continue my sexual activities until it heals. Hopefully it will subside with time.

My reproductive , urinary and lower digestive tract are in close proximity to one another which account for the inflammation that we discussed during our biannual visits. It is sort of inevitable to have that side effect from the treatment. It is logical but nonetheless disconcerting. He explained the dynamics of why and how radiation can affect those areas.
It is like a scar that constantly get aggravated by the constant movement of those organs during normal activity and it may show up in the stool and of course in the ejaculate after sexual activity. So it somewhat normal up to a point. I will be in contact according to his instructions and my gut feeling if it gets any worse.

I will see him again in December or January to recheck my PSA level and discuss if I need any more treatment. I am confident that I will be OK. I have read some very interesting research and some personal struggles involving this silent and potentially deadly disease. It explains why I am so passionate about this and diligent about communicating it to men of my age group.


Until next time
Kirk






Monday, July 27, 2009

My week in review

Good day all

I am little late on reporting on the journey that I am experiencing . I am starting my 3rd week in school and I am enjoying it so far - Hmm let me ponder-should I be feeling this way about school . I have not spoke much about my brother that I have developed a close and intimate relationship with . We as brothers never had much of a relationship as kids but after our mom passed in 2005 when have become closer. I speak to him almost every day-He says he is proud of my accomplishments as I am of his. We have been through a lot-Tragedy as we perceive it provided us with opportunities that are not of a tangible nature-We have had many blessings that we never knew about until after our mom died. She has paved a way for us to appreciate the little things in life. Believe me there is a lot of truth in realizing what is important in life.

On that note it seems that I am in the process of hooking back up with my high school classmates which bring up tremendous anxiety since it has been 30 years since I was in high school. My best friend that I knew in high school contacted me and I was elated to hear from him. He is married in living in California. We have a lot of catching up to do-a lot has happened since then. We will see how that goes.

I just watched an account from 9/11 "survivors" on Hulu.com called "7 days in September" Highly recommended. It is sad and heartbreaking. I was in New York before all this happened and even ate dinner in the Windows of the World restaurant and took a pic on a ferry with the Twin Towers in the background . Just to see and hear the accounts of what took placed during that attack and after from several people that experienced it was breathtaking. Another humbling moment. Another Divine intervention.

I am still struggling with my sense of identity but maybe it is there right in front of my face and I am not seeing it. Sometimes I get so analytical that it clouds my sense of logic. If you have read most of my blogs, I write about those accounts or events that explain my issues with my identity. So I wont bore you with those details.

Still working on getting my health back to optimal levels-watching my salt intake, exercising at home on somewhat a structured routine. Consistency is a challenge, but I am working on that as well since I plan on being back in the 8-5 world soon after school ends. I am preparing for that as we speak.

I think I will stop for the sake of my readers.

Again I apologize for the lengthy post. I will probably write one weekly instead of every three days since I think I will have more to report on.

Until next time
Kirk




Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Day of my natural high

I am glad to say that I worked out today and loved it -I felt the endorphins racing through my body. Boy what a feeling it is like a morphine high. I have not felt that for a long time and I do miss it terribly, Today I did a intense set of 21's and some ab exercises with my ab wheel , push ups and shoulder exercises with my dumbbells -all this in a 1o minute period.

For those that know how much I struggled to regain my structure after several deaths in my family. I was and still am working on that factor that will give me some peace of mind. I did not know that it was going to be this hard. My own naivete showing its face.

There has been a proliferation of events that have been happening lately that further define the journey I am on. I have made contact with my high school alumni group online and have started finding some classmates that I know . One of them being my best friend that I grew up with -that was great to see a pic of him and he is married now. Never saw that coming based on the high school conversations we used have about that. Just kid talk . Based on the profile and pics on the site he seems to be OK.

So that brought up some nostalgic feelings of my childhood. A topic for my therapist since my childhood has been my focus lately. I cannot go into detail -too personal but it is very complex and somewhat mysterious.

Each day that I get older I feel I am becoming a wiser man -although I wish the younger generation could experience the emotions that I am feeling . It will humble the toughest man I think.to realize how blessed we are as human beings living in these times. But of course experience is the best teacher but our younger geerations are not living to experience the wisdom that comes with age. It is sad and scary scenario.

Enough said
I am also getting melancholy in my old age as well

I am in my first week of my class and need to finish my assignments for the week -going great, seems like a great class so far
I thought I should keep my schedule to write my blog every three days as was mentioned to my readers and a commitment to myself as well

Until next time

Kirk

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blogging during Power outage

My blog-07/16/09
Blogging during Power outage

Well, here I am sitting in the dark at my apartment on a Thursday morning. I am writing this blog on my Mac that is working on battery power until the lights come back on. There was a power surge in the building since my apartment building is the only one on the street that is completely without power. It is a weird scenario it seems like someone or something sapped the energy out of the building and it just working on reserves because the lights work but are very dim.-Never seen that before. Which gives me time to do this blog and work on my assignment for this week?
Anyhow that was the excitement for me just hope they come back on before my battery power runs out.

I am back in school starting this week. My class is System Development and Theory-it looks challenging but I know if I do my research and read the book I will understand the context better. There are many professionals in my class that can help me with the terminology since some of them work in the field of software engineering. That is always an advantage. At the moment I dont have the text but luckily I was able to go to Google Books and look a limited preview of the text online. So maybe I will be able to get by without the book.,like I did last term. Keeping my fingers crossed due tot the book being over 90.00 Yikes.

My unstructured training is starting to take shape but I need to focus on different days, different body part, for example chest and back, legs abs, biceps triceps, shoulders and maybe calves. I have been getting research online by scanning my twitter and face book followers and getting a little bit from each one to consolidate workouts
I have started doing very intense whole body routines that dont take more than 10 minutes which is great since I m not able to join a gym due to financial constraints which I am sure everyone is suffering from these days. So I am remembering the ones that worked the most body parts in a shorter time. Thanks for the informative videos,.inks and websites that I viewed and commented on from my followers and the one that I follow on Face book and Twitter.
My diet is now drastically changed since I went to the doctor and found out my blood pressure is on the borderline of being hypertensive. So all the fitness professionals out there know what the culprit is Salt and Fat, They both can be modified to healthy levels, so I am working on that and will be checked again in 4 months to see if it has changed.

My staple breakfast in the morning is green tea, oatmeal and maybe a banana or apple whichever one is available
I always have ground turkey as my main protein source but was eating more processed and convenience foods and based on my decreased level of activity. Unemployed and an online college student. Poses a challenge to my state of well being.
My goal is to go back to the gym and work on my cardiovascular system and continue to modify my diet close to what it was when I was preparing for bodybuilding shows. My last one was in 2002. Since then family and health issues (passing on mother and close family friend 2005 and 2003 respectively) moving in 2007, being diagnosed with prostate cancer on St. Patrick Day in 2008. It seems I hit a bump in the road. During that time I was working on my core identity (finding out who I was as a man)
Counseling and support from my immediate family and friends has helped me with those challenges and I am sure they will be there in my upcoming challenges

I hope this is not to long to read and if you get to this point thanks for reading and comment please I love the comments or suggestions

Until next time 

Kirk

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Focusing on my health and fitness

Here I am again a day before I mentioned I was going to update. I went to my doctor on Friday and got a wake up call concerning my blood pressure. It has doubled over a 2year period and I am certain it is due to my activity level since I quit work in 2004 . Of course since then I have been in school and I am about to graduate . Old news I know.

Let's concentrate on current events - I am going to be more vigilant about my exercise and diet although it is hard and challenging to get moving. I am sure people can relate to the challenging early morning routine. It is never the same everyday. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is hard nonetheless it has to be done and consistently in order for it to be effective. I do know that but at the same time I am human and have the same challenges every morning . Procrastination is something that I still need to work out - although in the last 5 years I have gotten better with getting tasks done on time. My online college courses has sparked that fire because if I dont there are consequences

Just this morning I did a 10 min routine of opposing muscle groups in a home setting using dumbbells, stool and an ab wheel

This my routine as I remember:
3 super sets of elevated push ups/ bench dips
2 super sets of db rows/ 21's for biceps -bodybuilding veterans and readers remember those -very intense
2 sets of ab wheel
All of these done to failure.

My breakfast was my usual :
Green tea
Oatmeal with 2 percent milk
apple
banana
and a scrambled egg

Now I am posting this not just for my readers but for myself as well to motivate me and know that it is possible to get back to almost contest shape with out the competition weighing on my mind. My health is the priority and being a Health Education major I know what I need to do. I want to thank the bloggers and twitters that I have met and talked to concentrating on health and fitness
Some of your stories are awe inspiring and motivating. Thank you willofiron(Gary) FAtlife(Drew),Mobilelifetoday for giving me the opportunity to write about my experiences.
There are more if I left you out I apologize.

I will close since I have to start to look at my coursework for the summer term that starts on Monday the 13th and it looks challenging so I may not update this blog as much as I like.
Please feel free to leave comments,questions and criticisms since I am a blogger that is a little green but it is very therapeutic for me.

Until next time
Kirk

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back to school and Health Update

Well it is that time again. Vacation over -What vacation right? I am starting my new class called System Development and Theory at my online college Capella University -It is really a great college if anyone is interested in attending a online college. Highly recommended.

I have this class and my major project class which involves a comprehensive approach based on previous classes and what I have learned in those classes. It is similar to a Thesis I suppose but it is called the Capstone Project and then I graduate with a Master's of Science Degree in Information Technology with a specialization in Health Information Systems . Fancy name huh ? Wish me luck .

Now in reference to my health I just returned from seeing my primary physician at the VA Hospital
I just needed to rule any undetected injuries resulting from my accident that took place on May 25. They took x-rays of the my lower jaw since it was injured in the accident. Overall My occupants and I were very lucky to survive with only bumps and bruises, along with some lingering anxiety to be in a car in general.
I am submitting a claim so I will need the documentation from my doctor stating if there are any physical injuries from the accident. This process will finish that chapter after I get the documents from the hospital.

While in the process of checking in which usually involves taking vitals (pulse, temperature and blood pressure) they did notice my BP was slightly elevated aka Stage 1 hypertension.
That concerned me ,so I know in the last five years I have become more sedentary based on the fact of sitting at my desk at home doing my coursework for the online class as well as checking email,surfing the net ,etc. Another Wake up call.

Eating processed foods ! When I am at home it is so easy to stick a frozen pizza in the oven or god forbid eat chips -Yes that is one of my guilty pleasures amongst others.
Nonetheless I know is elevating my blood pressure from 120/70 to 147 /90 within a five year period. Not good so I have choices to make and I know that it involves diet modification and exercise.

My home exercise routine is very minimal lately -I presently have an ab wheel , some dumbbells which I work out with along with doing an intense routine of calisthenics . So I know I need to go back to my former gym and pay the fees for a month. Revisiting that challenge will be good for me since this last visit to the doctor was another life lesson.

I have gained some arm size and my lats / back muscles have become thicker from the exercises I perform at home. but my weight is now concentrated at my midsection where the extra weight lies.

Oh I forgot to mention my weight was 157 in 2007 and now it is 174. The doctor showed me the graph displaying my weight and blood pressure fluctuations . Quite a eye opening experience when you see it on paper.

OK so I will close and please comment or email me with those comments , questions or statements based on your professional opinion and/or experience.

I will try to keep this updated every three days instead of weekly since I need the feedback from my readers as well as supplying me with reminders when i review my previous blogs -So they are a source of motivation when i get in a quandary concerning my well being.

Until next time
Kirk

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Week in Review

I am still reeling from my trip to New York- I have this new and alive feeling from being there and coming back to Cleveland and recognizing things in more detail. It was meant to be for me to go there to break through this barrier that has been in part self- imposed and part experience- based stemming from my prostate cancer diagnosis back to the passing of my mother and best friend and the many transitions that either complicated or resolved the questions I had. Lots of whys and ifs that plagued me and still do to some extent. I feel that I am opening another chapter in my life.

I am about to graduate with a Masters in Information Technology hopefully by the end of the year. And then" what?" I ask myself -I am preparing myself emotionally for the next major step as well as revising my resume and doing some basic networking ,sort of setting the groundwork.

I hope that the economy will continue to repair itself with the help of our government. I am also looking into certifying myself in Personal Fitness Training. I know it will take some time to get that done but my love is in Personal Training. I have done personal training in health facilities and clubs, competed in local bodybuilding shows (Won Mr. Cleveland in 2002) -Take a look at my twitter account and who I follow. Thus far I have obtained a lot of pertinent info of what I need to do and how to do it. I am meticulous about how I am going to go forward with this chapter in my life. Slow and steady ,thinking in practical terms.

Some people will say it is asinine to approach it in those terms but that is how I make my best decisions. Being risky and impulsive never worked for me so I wont . I think God has given me this respite from the 8 -5 world to heal and revisit my goals in life. So I am taking advantage of this opportunity. And it has helped me make better decisions. Thank you

It bring me to the tragic death of the King of Pop Micheal Jackson , I have heard so many stories about this man who grew up in my era and endured a very dysfunctional childhood. I can relate in many ways if I did not have the help and support that Micheal did not receive or if he did it was little to none- I would probably be going down that same road. Our stories are similar in some respects except his childhood was replaced by being anointed the Boy Wonder of the Jackson 5. That is some tremendous pressure. So when I listen or read about what some people are saying about him I get angry because more than likely they never experienced what he went through -In that respect I did not either -You have to learn to show some empathy which I have enough to pass around. It is very easy to blame him for a lot of thing that has happened in his life. If so , then please question yourself to find out what sparked the events that you blame him for.
OK I will stop the rant. Just a feeling I have since his death. I have even learned how much more precious my life is and I feel blessed to not be under that same pressure.

I have great resolve and strength that have matured from my life experiences thus far.
BTW I just got word that my prostate cancer is in remission according to my oncologist Whew what a relief I will see him in 6 months for another blood test and checkup.

I do pray for those whose prostate cancer is so advanced that it metastasized to the other organs and usually at that stage it gets harder to treat. I have talked to some of the veterans in the VA Hospital where I get treatment and checkups .
More sad stories ,another indication of the blessing I have been given. Thank you

This is a longer blog than usual I do apologize if you get to this point. The last few months have been very eye-opening for me in reference to my mission here on earth.

Until next time
Kirk

Friday, July 3, 2009

In a New York Minute

I had the best experience starting last Friday I rode to New York with some friends just to get a sense of a different air. I am from Cleveland Ohio and based on my history it was needed. I have not been to New York since the 9 /11 tragedy and wanted to see the site where it all took place. I did not get to see the site but it was not necessary. Since I was overwhelmed by the New York Scene -what a culture shock. I realized that I did not have the same emotional reaction that I did years ago before the the 9/11 tragedy. I did eat in the restaurant called the "Windows of the World " in the WTC with a friend whose birthday was on the day we ate there. So there is emotional attachment there.

Coming in to the city from the highway there was this haze lying over the skyline sans the Twin Towers. Another emotional moment for me. I was so excited that I did not sleep the whole 8 hrs I was on the road.

After we arrived and rented a parking garage space for 3 days It houses cars for a long as you want .
We did hook up with our hosts who welcomed us into their house which was in the city of Mahattan -Walking through the city in the early morning hours was electric- I was the typical tourist looking at all the magnificant bulidings that makes New York the international city that it is quoted to be and watching New Yorkers go through there daily grind -it was a different energy that I haven't felt in a while. I have traveled to many sites in the US but I was younger and did not appreciate the experience of being in a different city.

We walked and walked throughout the city. I visited many popular sites including the park that is facing the Hudson River and our guide pointed out where the Plane landed (cant recall the flight number) where all the people survived due to the Pilot's excellent landing on the water.
Toured Times Square and walked through the theater district . Truly fascinating.

As far as exercise is concerned I am sure I got enough of it -losing weight in the process.
Not sure how much since my scale is on the fritz at home.

I was tired but was too hyped to sleep the whole three days- I did rest and was back the following morning to hit the pavement to tour more sites. We did not take in any movies, theater performances etc. Just toured the famous sites that I spoke of earlier and ate at a place called The City Diner and a great Italian restaurant that had fab pizza and pasta -Homemade of course.

I am glad that I experienced this because it gave me a greater appreciation for the city although the cost of living is high it is a great city to live in. It is booming with electricity literally 24 hours a day. -the city that never sleeps

I might go back in August and will probably stay longer because there is so much more I want to experience. For those of your that have never been in New York please go -it is a eye opener
I have a new energy that I needed to face the challenges that I am currently dealing with and those yet to come.

Speaking of that I went yesterday to get a blood test to detect my PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) level to see how my prostate gland is functioning after my radiation therapy for prostate cancer. I will see my oncologist on the 8th to review the results -Update to follow

Until next time
Kirk

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