Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bye Bye July

It's Thursday, July 31, and I am doing great.

Surgery is 46 days away. Kickoff of college football season is 31 days away. I'm glad my recovery from surgery will include watching copious amounts of my favorite pastime.

God is so good! Offer Him thanks and praise as you walk your journey today.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hump Day

It's Wednesday, and I'm doing very well.

Wow, what an earthquake! Yes, I felt it. First thought: someone was running and stomping on the floor above me. I thought, "Someone had better make their children behave. They are running wild!" Then I realized, this is an earthquake. Not my first, but they always catch you off guard. We Southern Californians live in a virtual paradise, but earthquakes and wildfires bring us back to reality. No damage around here, and from what I hear on TV, not much damage near the epicenter. \

UPDATE: I hopped onto the scales this morning and as hard as I tried, I could not get above 310 pounds. For a 6'5" guy, I am admittedly overweight. When Dr. Sharazi weighed me about six weeks ago, I weighed 327. Yikes. That is the heaviest I have ever weighed. Today my scales at home (we have the doctor office type scales with the doohikee that slides left and right) I weighed 309. Granted, those are two different scales, and one was fully dressed (shoes, wallet, cell phone, key ring) and the other was in PJs. That's 18 pounds in six weeks. (I'm smiling!) Look out 295, here I come.

Offer praise and thanksgiving to God for being alive in this wonderful world today!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Still doing great.

Today, I am having lunch with a man who had prostate cancer surgery less than a month ago. Fay Von Herzen, former member at Christ UMC, connected the two of us. Clyde is 72 years old, and was attending his granddaughter's softball games two weeks after surgery! WOW. Of course, he had the robotic surgery which is less invasive. Unfortunately, I am not a candidate for robotic surgery. Mine will be the old fashioned kind. But I am impressed that some men can bounce back so quickly.

I will have plenty of questions for Clyde.

Hope you experience the love of God today!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Musings

It was a wonderful weekend here in San Diego. Not too hot. I continue to feel well.

As noted earlier, the next couple weeks are relatively free of doctor visits and tests. Guess I have no excuse for not getting on with losing some more weight!

I am having lunch today with my District Superintendent, Myron Wingfield.

Everyone is so supportive! I am truly blessed!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Let the weekend begin!

It's a great Southern California Saturday. The grandkids are here and we are having some special family time. I feel great.

I met with the urologist yesterday, and things are settling down for a month. I pushed back my stress test, blood donations, and other pre-op procedures until late August. So now I have a month to work on losing some more weight and getting as healthy as possible for surgery.

I am not a candidate for the new robotic prostate surgery, so mine will be the old fashioned type surgery. Robotic surgery has a lot of advantages, not the least of which are no incision, less blood loss, and quicker recovery. But when they need to insure a "clean margin" around the prostate, and take some lymph nodes, as in my case, the old fashioned surgery works best.

The doctor says when I finish this month's supply of Casodex, I can go off that (at least for now). So I will have two months of this hormone therapy completed by surgery. It should shrink the tumors in my prostate and make the surgery go easier.

Well, we have a busy schedule today, so I'll sign off for now. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Hope your worship this weekend is extra special.

Bless ya'll.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Happy Friday everyone!

This has been a very good week. I see my urologist, Dr. Gaylis, today. He will perform my surgery. This visit is to get all the details worked out as we get closer to the big day.

We are enjoying having our family from Simi Valley spend a few days with us.

Enjoy every day as a gift from God!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Diet - Part 3: Ye Olde Supplements

Today is Thursday and I am doing great.

Dee, Scot, Tak and Kat came down from Simi Valley yesterday. Scot, Chris and Kimo are going to attend COMIC-CON, the gigantic comic book annual event that is SOLD OUT at the SD Convention Center. All the rave over the Batman movie is being played out with folks walking our streets in full comic character costume.

We clelebrated Kat's 8th birthday last night. Actually she will be 8 on 08.09.08. (That's a bunch of 8s). But since we will not see her then, we moved the birthday cake thing up to this visit.

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." ~Mark Twain

I am sure there is some quack in a dark alley in Tijuana who has a cure for prostate cancer. Just buy a bottle of his sawdust for $100 (no, make that $500) and you will be cured for sure.

I have been careful to research reputable sources (such as the National Cancer Foundation website) to determine if there are supplements proven in studies to be helpful for guys in my situation. Here is what I found.

DISCLAIMER: The following is for reference only. Don't go out and buy all of these, mix them together, and call me when you go blind or get a chronic belly ache! Use common sense, and consult your physician before taking any supplements.

1. Pomegranate juice or extract. I mention pomegranate in yesterday's "To eat" section. As I discovered, they are delicious, but not easy to eat. I got more on me than in me. Well, a recent study showed pomegranate juice (or extract - in a gell pill) have positive results for prostate cancer prevention.

2. Sun-dried tomatoes. Another study showed re-hydrated sun-dried tomatoes have a powerful effect in fighting prostate cancer. Why not just eat tomatoes? I don't know, but the active cancer fighting elements in tomatoes are intensified when sun dried and then re-hydrated. Warning, they are not exactly tasty, so I ground the sun-dried tomatoes into a power (using my coffee bean grinder) and sprinkle the power on certain foods and salads. (I don't charge extra for Dr. Jenkins recipe!)

3. Lycopene. This is the active ingredient in tomatoes. It is available in supplement form if you find it inconvenient to eat 40 tomatoes a day. :-)

4. Pectin. As stated yesterday pectin (found mostly in the peel of certain fruits, such as oranges and apples) is another powerful anti-cancer agent. I just got a bottle of 90 tables at my health food store for about $6.00. One to three tablets at mealtime should last me a month.

5. Vitamin E. This vitamin may be found in green leafy vegetables, wheat germ oil, various vegetable & nut oils (almond, cottonseed, safflower and sunflowers) hazelnuts, and sweet potato. It helps build strong cell structure, and since prostate cancer is a cell disease, Vitamin E helps fight prostate cancer.

6. Vitamin D. As with vitamin E, vitamin D helps build strong cells. Moderate sunshine exposure (15 minutes a day - with sun screen) can help elevate vitamin D. Good sources include dairy products -(low fat, please), breakfast cereals with vitamin D, and fatty fish, including salmon and tuna. Helps build bones as well, which helps men on hormone therapy for PCa.

7. Genistein. Found in such diverse foods as soybeans, tofu, soy milk, red clover, curry powder, chili powder, crushed red chili pepper, genistein helps inhibits proliferation of PC cells by transforming some of them into a different, non-proliferative cell type.

8. Fish oil. If you cannot eat the recommended diet of fish with alpha omega-3 oil, then fish oil supplement may be an option.

9. Selenium. Laboratory cell culture studies have shown that selenium can reduce growth of PC cells.

10. Epigallocatechin. Better known as green tea. There are conflicting studies as to how effective green tea may be for PC, but most indicate it is very helpful.

Remember, it is always best to get these elements into your body by eating the proper foods that contain them. But when that is not possible or practical, supplements may be the best alternative.

Now, I'm ready to hang out my shingle: Dr. Jenkins, Herbal medicines. (Just kidding)

Diet - Part 2: Ten things men SHOULD eat.

It's Wednesday, and I am feeling fine. Slight headache, but otherwise doing great. The last "sick day" was Thursday, so this makes a full week of feeling great.

Yesterday, I listed the foods a man should NOT eat. Today, I want to share what I have learned a man SHOULD eat. This is a bunch more fun.

1. Fish. Especially fish with very beneficial alpha omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally eat salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout, at least two to three times a week. Broiled, not fried.

2. Fruit. Instead of grabbing a cookie or potato chips when you get the munchies, grab a handful of red grapes, an orange or apple. I read a report yesterday that said fruit pectin (MCP) is a powerful anti-cancer agent. But don't start eating orange peels (where pectin is most commonly found). There are more digestible versions out there. (More on this tomorrow).

3. Vegetables. Especially broccoli. I keep reading studies that say broccoli has special antioxidants that can help stop tumor growth. Leafy dark-green veggies are best. Cruciferous vegetables are cancer protective. These include cabbage and cauliflower.

4. Tomatoes. OK, I know this is either a fruit or vegetable, depending on which botanist you talk to. But I'm singling tomatoes out because they seem to have a power ingredient that helps prostate health. Lycopene is a powerful anticancer substance. And are you ready for this? A recent study showed sun-dried tomatoes are especially beneficial. I kid you not.

5. Pomegranates. Yes, I know this is fruit. But again I single it out because a recent study showed this fruit has very positive results for men's health.

6. Watermelons. Another fruit, but with special benefits. It contains selenium, a prostate-healthy component. Cantaloupes are good as well. Most studies support a daily selenium supplement of 200 micrograms a day.

7. Olive oil. This is very healthy and rich in vitamin E and antioxidants. Avocado oil is also good. Avoid oils high in polyunsaturated fats such as corn, canola, or soybean.

8. Dark bread and grain. Eat plenty of wholegrain (dark) breads and cereals, but as I said yesterday, WHITE bread is NOT good for you. When I go to Subway, I get a 6" turkey sub on wheat bread. That's what Jared, the Subway guy who lost 2000 pounds, ate. :-)

9. Nuts. Be careful here, because nuts are loaded with fats. But some nuts, in moderation, are very good. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium. Don't OVERDOSE.

10. Green tea. The jury is still out on this, but most studies indicate green tea has beneficial results.

One extra, DO NOT eat that charbroil black residue on foods cooked on the grill. It has CANCER-CAUSING ingredinets. Beware!

So you don't have to go on a sawdust and tree bark diet to have a healthy prostate. (And ladies, these food are good for your health as well!)

Tomorrow, I'll share some supplements you may consider.

I hope you experience the love and grace of God today!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Diet - Part 1: Ten things NOT to eat.

It's Tuesday, and I'm feeling very well.

Thought I would share some ideas on a prostate healthy diet. You may think, wait a minute, you have prostate cancer! Who are you to talk about a healthy prostate?

Like most men diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa), we devour every word written about how we may have encouraged the cancer to develop in the first place, and what we can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle from here on.

As of this morning, I have lost about 15 pounds in the two months since I was diagnosed with PCa. Those were the "easy pounds". Now I will be pleased to lose a pound every two or three weeks.

Here are some of the things I have done:

1. No red meat. I now eat chicken and fish, but no red meat. Studies indicate red meats with high fat content contribute to the chances a man will develop PCa. I know, it sounds tough for a manly man to cut out steaks, hamburgers, and all that good stuff. But take my word for it, if it significantly reduces your chances of getting this cancer, it's worth it. Besides, I love fish and chicken.

2. No animal fats, including gloppy salad dressings.

3. No sugar. Or very limited sugar, since you cannot escape it altogether. Water is good, and if I order a soda, it's the diet variety. Bye bye, cake, pie, donuts and all those things I once loved.

4. Go light on dairy products. Lower fat milk is good. There is almost no cheese in my diet now. I use a no fat creamer in my coffee (along with artificial sweetener). Sorry, no ice cream either.

5. About eggs: I order egg-beater food if I eat breakfast at a restaurant. Yes, I eat an occasional boiled egg in a salad.

6. No "whites". White bread, white rice, white potatoes. I heard a nutritionist from UCSD say "The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead." Wheat bread is best!

7. Small portions. One of my doctors said weight control all comes down to portion size. My Mother told us to eat everything on our plate. But that was when we were growing up. As a middle aged (and older) adult, having a "happy plate" may not be the best plan. Calories do count.

8. No trans-fats. For a Southerner, who eats almost everything fried, this one hurts. But I am laying off all fried foods, or as many as possible. No french fries.

9. Avoid excess preserved, pickled, or salted foods.

10. Go easy on the nuts. Certain nuts have cancer healthy substances, such as selenium in Brazil nuts. But most nuts are loaded with fats and oils.

I know it sounds Spartan, but to be honest, I am not missing all that stuff as much as I imagined. And that is because I have replaced these with some surprisingly tasty PCa friendly foods.

I will share those with you tomorrow.

May God bless you today!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Battle Begins

Today is the fourth day in a row I have felt great. Thank you, Jesus!

Last week, I had two days when I felt pretty bad; nausea, fatigue, headache and dizziness. But that is because the hormone treatments are doing their job.

I started taking daily Casodex pills about June 15, and got a three-month shot of Trelstar on July 1. This double whammy of hormone therapy should stop my prostate cancer in its tracks and reduce the tumor size by the time I have surgery on September 15.

My PSA level was 4.4 in mid April, when I went to my general physician with a uninary tact infection. Anything over 4.0 may indicate cancer, but mine was not as high as many men with PC (with levels of 10, 20 or much more).

On May 15, I had a biopsy that revealed I had prostate cancer. On the Gleason Scale, I was a 6. The range runs from 2 to 10, so again, my numbers were in the mildly aggresive range.

However, the biospy indicated the cancer may have spread to the seminal vesicles. So although my PSA and Gleason numbers were not "panic time", the fact that the cancer may have spread is more troubling. Put it another way, I am a-typical.

So I am gateful my physicians are taking an aggressive approach, which will include surgery (radical open prostatectomy), homore therapy, and most likely radiation therapy, depending on what the surgery finds.

The biopsy was much more difficult for me than it should have been. A-typical again! But I am now recovered from the side effects and feeling very well.

I have already had a bone scan and CT scan which do not show any visible signs the cancer has spread.

Last week, I had an Echo-cardiogram that on the surface looks good, and a consulation with my oncologist, Dr. Charles Kossman, the final meeting with him before surgery.

This week, I see my urologist, Dr. Frank Gaylis, who will perform the surgery. It is still almost two months away, but I have tests and Doctor visits amost every day.

It is an undertatement to say I am receiving the best care possible! And I know The Great Physician has everything under control.