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YANA - YOU ARE NOT ALONE NOW

PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT SITE

 

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WELCOME TO TROOPC

aka

We have all been faced with a serious diagnosis, but we know that life without laughter is not much fun. We also know the value of laughter in our battle for continued good health. This page contains some wry looks at our disease and some scraps which might enlighten.

We hope you enjoy these pieces...
If you would like to add anything to the page, please send it Terry.

You are not alone - so let's share the spirit! Here are some Links:

Why the Walnut?

..and why YANA?

Lion & Soccer DRE

Jelly Bean Theory

What Cancer Can't Do

Helicopter Pilots

Snippets of Wisdom

Without Hope

The DRE

Acts of courage

The Dancing Man

Doctors, doctors, doctors....

Ric Masten

New Therapies

FAQ on HMOs

Prostate Cancer is (not) Funny

 

Why the Walnut?

We have chosen the Walnut as our badge of identity because of its similarity in size and shape to the Prostate Gland - once you start reading anything about the Prostate you will find it almost always says 'this walnut-size gland'! So it seemed an appropriate symbol to represent us and our disease, especially as the Prostate is housed inside a protective sheath of tough fibrous tissue.

The Romans named the tree which bears walnuts, Juglans regia - Regal Nut of Jupiter or Nut of the Gods. According to Roman folklore, the gods feasted on walnuts while their lowly subjects subsisted on lesser nuts such as acorns, beechnuts, and chestnuts. Walnuts were thrown to Roman wedding guests by the groom to bring good health, ward off disease and increase fertility. Young boys eagerly scrambled for the tossed walnuts, as the groom's gesture indicated his passage into manhood. Walnuts are a high protein food, and an excellent addition to vegetarian diets.

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...and why YANA?

When the site was set up YANA was simply an acronym for You Are Not Alone. BUT….Synchronicity Rules and one of our members points out that in the language of a small Native American people indigenous to Northern California in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the western side of the range, the word YANA means MAN. The Yana people lived on wild game and fished salmon and also ate fruit, acorns and roots which is very close to the kind of diet that is recommended for prostate health!! Their territory was approximately 40 miles by 60 miles and contained mountain streams, gorges, boulder-strewn hills, and some lush meadows. A top spot to live.

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Humour is Good For Us

My name is Kim Garretson. I live in Minneapolis.

I had a Radical Prostatectomy at age 51 at Mayo Clinic last April after complaining of symptoms for nearly 3 years, with my GP never giving me a PSA test. When he did I had a PSA of 159.

But, despite very grim indicators going into surgery, I had a surprisingly good outcome. I wanted to thank you (YANA) for the comprehensiveness of your site, which I referred to during my journey.

Recently I wrote a book for family and friends about my journey. I was looking for a way to illustrate the book with some sardonic humor, because I believe you have to laugh in the face of grim news as both a coping and a healing tactic. I came up with the idea of changing old pulp fiction magazine covers about fictional terrors to reflect the real terrors that guys face with this epidemic.

My thought is that there already exists fantastic and comprehensive online resources like your site. So, I needn't add to that, plus I am not the diligent discoverer about all aspects of the disease like you so gratifyingly have done. So, I thought that maybe by showing my altered magazine covers, men -- and their women -- could smile a bit about the absurdity of what they are going through and maybe take away a little uplift from this.

Take a look at Kim Garretson's terrific website by clicking on MansGland

Here are some examples of his work

 

One of the reasons we created "TroopC" for our visitors, was to encourage the lighter side of life when facing dramatic changes. We thank Kim for his insight and contribution to TroopC.

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An Important Statistic

The published statistics on prostate cancer show that single men are diagnosed much less frequently than married men. On the other hand, married men diganosed with prostate cancer live longer than single men with the disease. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that men should stay single, but should get married if diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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Priorities

The Rugby World Cup is held every four years (it was in New Zealand in 2011) and New Zealand is one of the best teams in the world. Tickets to the Tests, as the games are called, are scarce as hens' teeth. Kiwi Ken, living in Australia managed to get tickets for the final Test series, but he wasn't feeling too good - bladder problems mainly - so he went along to his doctor.

The doctor gave him a thorough examination and told him that he had long existing and advanced prostate cancer and the only cure was testicular removal. "No way, doc!" said Ken, "I'm getting a second opinion!" The second Aussie doctor gave him the same diagnosis and also advised him that removing his testicles was the only cure. Not surprisingly, he refused the treatment again, but was devastated and wondered if he'd get to the Tests or if he should make out his will and leave his tickets to his brother.

Then someone told him about an expatriate New Zealand doctor and he decided to get one last opinion from someone he could trust. The Kiwi doctor examined him and said, " Bro, you have definitely got prostate cancer." "What's the cure then, doc?" asked Ken, hoping for a different answer this time. "Well," said the Kiwi doctor, "For starters, we're going to have to cut off your balls."

"Phew, thank god for that!" said Ken, "Those Aussie bastards wanted to take my Test Tickets off me!" .

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I Barf, Therefore I Am

Jerry Perisho has written an amusing book about his experiences with prostate cancer. Here's the opening paragraph:

There was shock on everyone's faces when I told them. A book about cancer that contains humor; what is the world coming to? You'd think I was violating something sacred. People wrinkled their brows when they heard my book idea, like I'd pinched everyone's mom on the ass, hocked up a big green loogie right in the middle of the ail-American apple pie, or tricked the innocent girl next door into posing for naked Internet photos. Come on, folks. Cancer isn't sacred. It's not immune to fair and frank discussion. It's even okay if we make fun of it. Cancer is not something that belongs up on a pedestal. It's a terrorist and we should be doing everything we can to expose it for what it is, and to beat it out of our lives. We should treat cancer with extreme caution, but not with reverence, and we should not cower in fear. We need to rise up and knock the chip off cancer's shoulder. We should not be gently and respectfully handling it with kid gloves like it deserves the key to the city; we should be manhandling it with pick axes and blow torches and we should spit in its eye and defiantly tell it we hate it.

 

 

If you want to read more - and it's a good story, both informative and amusing - you can order a copy from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com or Lulu.com/jerryperisho.

Normal retail is US$22.95: ISBN is 978-0-6152-0884-8

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Prostate Cancer is (not) Funny

Dan Laszlo has also written what he describes as an undiluted, brutally frank expose that compels the reader to laugh at the common and absurd experiences of prostate cancer patients. It is a prostate cancer education and support book disguised as stand-up comedy and his sub-title is True Story of a Smartass and His Prostate. He says this about the book:.

I wrote Prostate Cancer is (not) Funny with complete honesty, no matter how humiliating or self-incriminating. It is rated between R and X. It had to be dirty. Prostate cancer is a dirty disease. You will learn a lot. But you will laugh a lot more. Here are some of his claims:

  • Learn 4 fun facts that tell you why the prostate is the Gland at the Center of the Universe.
  • Laugh your way through common treatments and their ridiculous side effects.
  • Learn about the components that make up an orgasm and why 3 out of 4 isn't bad.
  • Be shocked by the battle for my prostate between my surgical and radiation oncologists and how a sign from God decided my fate.
  • Learn which was more painful-incontinence, impotence, or constipation following surgery.
  • Learn the 3 stages of peeing in life, and the 3 extra stages awarded to those who give up their prostates.
  • Join the movement to have the prostate replace the heart as a symbol of love, and know why it should.

If you want to read more you can order a copy - preferably from Createspace or if you prefer to do so, from Amazon. Normal retail is US$9.95: ISBN-10: 0615695523: ISBN-13: 978-0615695525

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DIY Therapies

There is a deal of criticism from some parts of the prostate world to the concept of men making their treatment decisions using, as part of the process, the anecdotal evidence of men who have experienced the various therapies on offer.

 

In rebuttal of this view, I have always made the point that even if men come to a decision that might be consideredto be inappropriate, they still have to find a doctor who agrees with their choice. They can't go down to the local hardware store and pick up a cryotherapy unit; they can't hire a proton beam generator; even if they buy the scalpels, they would find it difficutl to carry out surgery on themselves. I have had two responses recently to this thought.

One member sent this picture, suggesting that it might do the trick for a prostatectomy. Another told me that a member of a support group in the USA was reportedly trying to deal with his tumour by using a heated curling wand inserted where the DRE goes. Having seen this clip - The Prostate Warmer - maybe he was reverting to an old remedy? And then of course, there is the Oriental solution:

 

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Bollocks To PCa

THE BRITISH TERM "BOLLOCKS" MAY NOT BE WELL KNOWN IN THE USA. THE NEAREST MEANING IS "TO HECK WITH PCa" OR "GIVE PCa THE BIRD". A BRITISH GROUP LED BY GEORGE HARDY HAS AN ANNUAL MEETING TO CELEBRATE ANOTHER YEAR OF SURVIVAL. CHRIS BOOTHBY'S POEM WILL GIVE A GENERAL IDEA OF WHAT THE GROUP THINK OF THE DISEASE.

This poem is irreverent
So please receive as it's intended
As we gently take the piss a bit
Just don't get all offended!

We've had to learn a whole new lexicon
New words and medical babble
With such increased vocabulary
We should be bloody great at Scrabble!

A new website for our ailments
To help that constant toilet dash
It's called bladder trouble dot co UK
Forward slash, slash, slash, sla!

The Prostatectomy boys amongst us
Still cross our legs and flinch
The surgeon cuts away our prostate
…And we lose that vital inch!

And the ladies all remember
Those spontaneous, frantic humps
Now it needs to be pre-ordered
Using injections, pills and pumps!

But it has its compensations
And it is why we're still a catch
After taking you to heaven
There's the bliss of no wet patch!

And the side effects of hormones
Can play havoc with our bits
Girl's you're not the only ones
Who will hear those words, 'nice tits!"
 We still keep hedonistic lifestyles
But our demands have changed in tone
It's no longer, 'pass the e tabs'
It's, 'pass the abiraterone'!

Now ladies we salute you
You stand by us every knock
Your love is so unswerving
You really are our rock!

But let's just restore some balance
Keep our male egos all alive
Why is it as a gender,
You lot still can't bloody drive?!

Now no one chose to join this club
It's just how our lives unfurled
But, to steal the words of Carlsberg
" Probably the best club in the world!'

So let's continue with our battle
Fight this bastard all the way
The tide it is a turning
And we will win through one day!

So bollocks then to PCa
Laugh at your Gleason score
And pledge that everyone of us
Will be back next year for more!

 

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WE ARE ASSAILED WITH ALL MANNER OF ARTICLES, ADVERTISEMENTS AND EXPERTS

TELLING US WHAT FABULOUS ELIXIR WILL CURE US. HERE IS ANOTHER!!

ARIZONA HERPETOLOGICAL PROCESSORS LLC

PRESS RELEASE

Announcing a breakthrough in cures for what ails you.

The Arizona Herpetological Processors LLC has announced a breakthrough in remedies for any ailment known to man.

A new concoction is being tested in our lab that will be available soon. Dr. Good's Western Hognose Snake Elixir will be added to our Rattle Snake Grease Compound making our products a complete line of snake potions for treatment of almost anything.

We were the first to observe the ability of some snakes to reduce the populations of little critters in the wild. Mice, ground squirrels and pack rats all were depleted when a snake moved to their neighborhood. It was found that the snakes were eating them. We hypothesized that if critters of this size were threatened then the microscopic critters that cause many of man's diseases would be terrorized and die when coming in contact with anything distilled from a snake.

We now have potions available for exterior use, Rattle Snake Grease, and interior use, Dr. Goods Elixir. Youse can pay your money and take your choice. We are hoping that by breaking this news to the media individuals will be able to get in on the 'ground floor' of the potential escalation of our stock price.

The efficiacy of our products has been proclaimed by Gerald Smithers of Bowie AZ who writes: "I tried your Rattle Snake Compound and I have lost 20 pounds, lowered my cholesterol level, stopped my Migraines and increased my sexual prowess. (My dauber is 1/2 inch longer.) Send me more."

Our Motto: "When you are feeling lower than a snake's belly, rub on some Rattle Snake Grease!"

 

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30 Signs You've Joined A Cheap HMO


1. Pedal-powered dialysis machines.
2. Use of antibiotics deemed an "unauthorized experimental procedure"
3. Head-wound victim in the waiting room is on the last chapter of "War and Peace"
4. You ask for Viagra. You get a popsicle stick and duct tape.
5. Annual breast exam conducted at Hooters.
6. Exam room has a tip jar.
7. You swear you saw salad tongs and a crab fork on the instrument tray just before the anesthesia kicked in.
8. "Will you be paying in eggs or pelts?"
9. Tight budget prevents acquisition of separate rectal thermometers.
10. "Take two leeches and call me in the morning"
11. The company logo features a hand squeezing a bleeding turnip.
12. Tongue depressors taste faintly of Fudgesicle.
13. Covered postnatal care consists of leaving your baby on Mia Farrow's doorstep.
14. Radiation treatment for cancer patients requires them to walk around with a postcard from Chernobyl in their pocket.
15."Pre-natal vitamin" prescription is a box of Tic-Tacs.
16. Chief Surgeon graduated from University of Benihana.
17. Directions to your doctor's office include, "take a left when you enter the trailer park"
18. Doctor listens to your heart through a paper towel tube.
19. Only item listed under Preventive Care feature of coverage is "an apple a day."
20. Only participating Physicians are Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine.
21. Only proctologist in the plan is "Gus" from Roto-Rooter.
22. Plan covers only "group" gynaecological exams.
23. Preprinted prescription pads that say "Walk it off, you sissy."
24. To avoid a time consuming and expensive throat culture, the doctor just French kisses you.
25. Recycled bandages.
26. You can get your flu shot as soon as "the" hypodermic needle is dry.
27. Your "primary care physician" is wearing the pants you gave to goodwill last month.
28. 24-hour claims line is 1-800-TUF-LUCK
29. Costly MRI equipment efficiently replaced by an oversized 2-sided copier.
30. Enema? The lavatory faucet swivels to face upward.

HMOs in Heaven

Two doctors and an HMO manager died and lined up at the Pearly Gates for admission to heaven. St. Peter asked them to identify themselves.

The first doctor stepped forward and said, "I was a pediatric spine surgeon and helped kids overcome their deformities." St. Peter said, "You may enter."

The second doctor said, "I was a psychiatrist. I helped people rehabilitate themselves into functioning, happy people." St. Peter also invited him in.

The third applicant was trembling slightly, but stepped forward and said, "I was an HMO manager and I helped people get cost-effective health care." St. Peter said, "You can come in too," and the HMO manager looked visibly relieved. And as the HMO manager walked through the gate, St. Peter quietly added, "But you can only stay three days. After that you can go to hell."

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The Bard of Avon

A little known fact is that the famous Bard of Avon, William Shakespere, suffered from an enlarged prostate as he got older. On many evenings he would try to sleep, but he was unable to do so. He would have to go to the bathroom. But he also wanted to get a good night's sleep. With his eyes wide open, he would stare at the ceiling and say to himself, "To pee or not to pee, that is the question."

Not too sure that William wrote this poem

The Penis Poem

My nookie days are over

My pilot light is out

What used to be my sex appeal

Is now my water spout

Time was when, on its own

From my trousers it would spring

But now its a full time job

To find the f***ing thing!

It used to be embarrassing

The way it would behave

For every single morning

It would stand and watch me shave

Now as old age approaches

It sure gives me the blues

To see it hang its little head

And watch me tie my shoes

 

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Are Chickens Always Right?

 

We should always consider any vested interests when given advice by anyone, from chickens to doctors!!

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The DRE

There is a universal discomfort amongst most men one the subject of the dreaded DRE or Digital Rectal Examination. Women find this difficult to understand, having to endure far more personal and undignified examinations than this simple one, but the fact remains that men don't like DRE's.

A piece of advice from an old timer was that the only thing that a man should ever be concerned about was if he felt BOTH the doctor's hands on his shoulders when the examination was being conducted.

Another says he always checks the hand size of the gloves in the examining room, hoping to find only size small.

This cartoon probably sums it all up for us men.

There's a clip on You Tube on the subject too - not to mention the Lion below!

 

DRE for the Lion and the Soccer Player

No fuss; no complaints:-)

The Soccer Player on the other hand - not so happy!

Australia has had a very well known "Flying Doctor" service for patients in the Outback.This

painting,auctioned for a charity shows the Flying Doctor coming in for some DREs in a mobile unit.

Frosty's DREs require slightly different equipment.

Thai DRE

After experiencing the discomfort and embarrassment of a prostate test on the UK National Health Service, a friend of mine decided to have his next test carried out while visiting in Thailand where the beautiful nurses are rather more gentle and accommodating.

As usual he was asked to strip off and as he lay naked on his side on the bed and the nurse began the examination.

"At this stage of the procedure it's quite normal to get an erection" said the nurse.

"I haven't got an erection" said the man.

"No, but I have" replied the nurse.

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Accentuate the Positive

 

Prostate Cancer has a language of it's own. Before diagnosis, positive = good and negative = bad, but as this conversation reveals, that ain't so now!!

Doc: So, are you ready to get your biopsy results?

Jim: I'm positive.

Doc: That’s right.

Jim: So, give it to me straight, Doc.

Doc: I just did.

Jim: Are you positive?

Doc: No, you are.

Jim: Well, I always try to (sings) “Accentuate the positive ..”

Doc: Listen, on your tests you don’t want to be positive, you want to be negative.

Jim: Oh, no, Doc, I always keep the sunny-side up.

Doc: Well, where the sun don’t shine – you got problems.

Jim: Are you positive?

Doc: No, you are.

Jim: Come on, Doc, give me the bottom line.

Doc: YOU HAVE PROSTATE CANCER, OK!

Jim: No joke :-(

 

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New Therapies

I have nothing but admiration for the brave men who are prepared to test new therapies although sometimes these can be a little dangerous!

And, as this latest study suggests, even the latest studies might carry some risk!

 

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Upstanding Advertisement

 

This was seen in a doctor's office recently - and excellent way of putting the point over - at least when the light is 'on' in the USA - in other countries, of course, when you turned the light 'on' the switch would point down - and the ad might lose it's effectiveness!!

 

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Handling Stress

 

A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked 'How heavy is this glass of water?'

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, 'The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it seems to become.'

He continued, 'And that's the way it is with stress management. If we continually carry our burdens, sooner or later, the burden becomes increasingly overwhelming , and we are not able to carry on. '

'As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.'

'So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down . Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.'

So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.

 

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Cockroach Analogy


Prostate cancer is similar to finding a cockroach in the middle of your kitchen table. You panic, knowing that where there is one there are probably more and they do multiply. You call several exterminators.

The surgeon recommends removal. He'll use a chain saw and remove the kitchen from the rest of the house and repair the plumbing as best he can with what remains.

The external beam radiation exterminator wants to stand out side the kitchen and blast away with a twelve gauge shot gun hoping he will miss the plumbing.

The seed implant exterminator is really slick. He just wants to drill holes in the wall and toss in grenades.

The cryosurgery exterminator wants to drill holes in the walls and pump in liquid nitrogen, hoping he doesn't freeze the plumbing.

The hormone guys.. well they just want to pump in sleeping gas. Knowing all too well that in a couple of years the cockroaches will wake up pissed off and hungry.

Chemotherapy boys will offer to poison everything in the kitchen and will promise you that if you eat the poison they will give you an antidote which may or may not work.

The alternative medicine people will give you a bit of eye of newt and toe of frog plus a couple of other exotic ingredients and hope to hell that chases the cockroaches away.

And then there are the watchful waiting folks, some of whom are not real sure that there was a cockroach and some of whom think it may have been just an old bachelor 'roach with no kids that they saw.

The active surveillance men are a little different - they set up their equipment color dopplers, infra-red cameras - ready to pounce on those pesky cockroaches if they ever show themselves again.

Now if there is only the one cockroach the odds are good - you can get rid of the infestation. However if the little bugger laid eggs elsewhere or more of his buddies are lurking about in other places... well you get the picture. In any case, life in the kitchen will never be the same. One of these days an exterminator will come along who just swats the cockroach and puts out poison bait for the others!! You'll never know he was there. Until then good luck on your choice of exterminators, and low or non-existent PSA's to you all.

And remember - Don't take life too seriously. You won't get out of it alive anyway!


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CHOOSING A THERAPY

Don't rush into choosing a therapy - take the advice in this cartoon.

 

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PCA Advertisements

This contribution from the late (great) Robert Young who sadly didn't survive his PCa diagnosis

which included a PSA of over 1,000 ng/ml, but who mantained his sense of humour to the end

We are bombarded (fortunately or unfortunately) on Lists and Forums with one news story, abstract and clinical trial after another, not to mention reports from people who go to the conventions, and all we are hearing is one school trying to sell theirs over the other. That made me realize what all these various cancer treatment schools are like: car sales.

I imagine (and sometimes with a dark sense of humor) what it would be like if cancer treatments were pushed with commercials on television the way we are hit with ads for cars, pickups and SUVs, watching them be pounded and caressed and raced, wondering what the small print at the bottom at the close really says.

"Does surgery make you nervous? Afraid of glowing in the dark? ADT, the non-surgical, non-radiated treatment can have you back in business. [then said quickly] "Side effects include impotency, hot flashes, breast growth, some vision problems and loss of manhood."

..click...

"Hey, guy, you've fought for your manhood so why lose it now? A simple, fast nerve-sparing technique can keep you fit and hearty and keep that gleam in your lover's eyes. [said quickly] "No guarantee given. Patients screened to increase our statistics. Side effects vary from infection to recurring cancer."

..click...

"Harness the power of the universe! Stay away from knives and drugs and let the power that created the stars attack that cancer. Simple, efficient and you stay a man! [said quickly] "No guarantee. Sometimes we miss. Side effects can be anything since we're shoving radioactive stuff up inside."

..click...

"Modern science just doesn't get it. You can't burn or cut and destroy and not expect some harm. That's why we created these natural pills containing the very ingredients that keep earthworms from having cancer.[said quickly] No guarantee. Not to be taken if you have any health problem. Not responsible for side effects which include...."

What's that about caveat emptor - let the buyer beware?

Hey, don't get me wrong if I gored your sacred cow or you don't think this is funny. I don't either. (Well, with some good videos...)

But it IS the state of cancer today and it is why PCa men and their companions have to learn to be educated so they can wend their way through this jungle.

Robert
(who likes the ad with the cute girl in it)

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Kitty Cat or Tiger

The difference between an indolent form of prostate cancer and an aggressive one is distinguised by labelling the former as a 'kitty cat' and the latter as a 'tiger'. This is somewhat simplistic because there are many feline variants between these two extremes - feral house cat, wild cat, caracal, cerval, jaguar, puma, cougar, cheetah, leopard, lion - the main aim of a good diagnosis is to try and identify and discriminate between them. No doubt about this one:

 

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Hobbies

At a PCa Support Group meeting, the men were each asked to list the negative and positives that followed their diagnosis. This one, which DON GREGGS offered got the biggest laugh:

A man diagnosed with prostate cancer does not have

to concern himself with having a hobby

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Essential Tests

Sometimes we wonder if all the tests ordered are essential - for example- this clearly is one!

DOCTOR COMMENT
EXPLANATION
"It appears that your PCa is early- stage, but I'll give you a CT scan case, and a bone scan just to make sure."
I know these are useless in your but I need a little more income this month, and I happen to know your HMO will pay for these.

Never forget that the goal of the doctor and the patient are not always identical

You must take charge of your treatment as the doctor has a different agenda than you do.

Dr Charles 'Snuffy' Myers

 

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THE DANCING MAN



“Laughter is good medicine.” In keeping with that thought, here is a little story poem that my brother and I wrote that speaks to the importance of laughter in our lives, especially in the face of misfortune. There is a lot of deep and hidden meaning in this poem, with an undertone of sadness and loss, but the message is clear. This poem, which was actually written in two separate parts, is a testament to the power of laughter in our lives, and also to the increasing awareness of protons for cancer treatment. My brother, David M. “Davy” Jones wrote the first part of this poem in 2006.

During a Wednesday night cancer education/support meeting at Loma Linda right after Christmas, Dr. Lynn Martell of Loma Linda University stressed the power of laughter in the treatment and recovery from disease, and I suddenly remembered the poem my brother Davy had written. Then, on New Years Eve, 2006, we spoke on the phone, and Davy excitedly recounted the fact that he had told a friend there in Florida that his brother was in California for cancer treatment, and the friend replied “Oh! Is he at Loma Linda for Protons?” It turned out that the friend knew someone who had Proton treatment at Loma Linda, and was cancer free! This remarkable coincidence resonated with me (Sonny), and I asked Davy if it would be all right to continue the story of “The Dancing Man.” It seemed to me that more was needed to tell what happened to the “Weary, Troubled Man,” whose life might be transformed by the gift of laughter. So I wrote the second part of the poem during my Proton Therapy at Loma Linda in 2007.

Here is the story of “THE DANCING MAN:”

The Dancing Man

~Part One~

By Davy Jones



Early, early in the morning
With the sun just a-peek,
A Weary, Troubled Man
Came trudging up the street.

His burdens were so heavy
And it seemed to this man,
That life was such a struggle
And all joy had been banned.

Just as he reached and started up
The last hill of his climb,
From behind he heard whoops of laughter,
And saw a man dressed so fine!

He was dancing as he came
And was reaching out to the morn,
Like he was longing to touch the flowers …
That had been just born.

He laughed as he passed,
And gave a big smile,
“Say, if you dropped some of those burdens,
We could both dance a mile!”

“How silly and how frivolous,”
Said the man who despaired,
“A grown man should moan and groan
And stoop under his cares.”

The joyous one smiled
And reached out his hand,
“Then let me ask some questions,
If you don’t mind, my good man.”

If life is all bad,
Would birds have wings?
Would fish swim with ease?
Or young children sing?

Would breezes blow from the sea?
And pine trees have cones?
Would dogs wag their tails
When the master comes home?

Would babies smile at mommies?
Or young lovers hold hands?
Or stars shine in our hearts?”
Asked The Dancing Man.

Then he bowed and smiled,
And lovingly said,
“You should lighten your load
On this path that you tread.”

“And so, dear friend,
Here’s my advice:
Drop some of those burdens ~
Try dancing with life.”

 


 

 

The Dancing Man

~ Part Two ~

By Sonny Jones



The Dancing Man then smiled and turned,
And went along his way,
As the sun arose, and the morning changed
Into a glorious new day.

Well, the Weary, Troubled Man stood there,
Remembering the laughter and the touch
Of the Dancing Man’s warm fingers.
And strangely, his burdens were not so much!

“How could this be?” he wondered.
“There’s no such thing as magic!”
“There will always be misery and troubles,
So surely this is just a trick!”

He turned and stooped again,
Bent with his burdens and all the weight,
When he heard the Dancing Man cry out:
“Laugh, and you can stand up straight!”

And then he heard the laughter,
Ringing through the morning bright,
As The Laughing, Dancing Man went over the hill,
And disappeared from sight.

The Weary, Troubled Man was tired,
And sat down on a stump to rest.
He somehow remembered some joyous times
That were among the best!

When laughter came so quickly,
And he stood straight and tall,
When birds flew and breezes blew,
And all troubles seemed so small.

When his little ones smiled, and his hand was held,
By the one whose love he had,
When he laughed, and loved, and danced through life,
And seemed never to be sad.

How was it that his life had changed,
And his burdens grew and grew?
And then he heard a distant laugh!
And suddenly he knew!

There was no magic; it was not a trick;
The laughter was the key!
If I can laugh, then I can dance,
And my troubles will fall away, thought he!

He jumped and ran after the Dancing Man,
Dropping burdens as he went,
His heart was light with stars so bright,
And he was no longer bent!

“Wait up”, he cried, “Wait for me, my friend!
You’ve made me understand!”
And o’er the hill, and laughing still,
Awaited The Dancing Man!

“Come!” said he, “and let us see,
If together we can go!”
“With laughter on this path of life,
We can dance a mile, you know!”

 

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The Manogram

 

If women controlled medicine, one of the tests the men might have to undergo could look like this:

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Jelly Bean Theory on Life

This theory on life was originally told to Mac by a Marine flight instructor when he was but a Marine student aviator. It was then the theory on flying but somehow it seems just as applicable to life in general:

On the day you are born you are given a large bowl. In this bowl is placed several bags of white jelly beans, a handful of grey jelly beans and one black jelly bean.

The white jelly beans represent good days, the grey jelly beans represent close calls, an accident, a serious illness etc. but you live.

The black jelly bean represents the day you buy the farm. Now every day you have to blindly take out a jelly bean. If you take stupid risks such as smoking or drinking and driving and so on you grab a handful of jelly beans instead of just one.

Some people grab the black jelly bean early on and die at a young age. Some folks use up every bean in the bowl, but eventually, we all have to get to the black jelly bean. All of us diagnosed with prostate cancer have grabbed a few grey jelly beans - let's hope there are a lot more white ones left, and the black one is buried at the bottom.


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What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited . . .
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot steal eternal life,
It cannot conquer the spirit.
(Source unknown)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FAQ on Health and Dieting

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended dailly allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have body fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program? A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!!. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO ..... Cocoa beans ... another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me..

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

AND.....

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health.

It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies:

1. The Japanese eat very little fat

And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat

And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine

And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine

And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats

And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you !

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CONVENIENCE

Given one of the principle problems faced by ageing men, and more so those who have had some treatment on their prostate, this innovation seems to have been a long time coming!

Of course, for old dogs, it is a bit more difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE ART OF DIAGNOSIS

It is often said that diagnosis is more of an art than a science - rather like this:

TOP PRESCRIPTION?

 

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There is many an argument about which foods or supplements are good or bad for prostate cancer. Much of the material quoted in support of either of these views is based on studies that correlate statistics without demonstrating cause and effect. This piece sums up the dangers of that kind of approach!!

THE DANGERS OF BREAD

In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations. Every piece of bread you eat brings you nearer to death. Bread is associated with all the major diseases of the body. For example, nearly all sick people have eaten bread. The effects are obviously cumulative:

99.9 percent of all people who die from cancer have eaten bread

99.7 percent of the people involved in air and auto accidents ate bread within 6 months preceding the accident

93.1 percent of juvenile delinquents came from homes where bread is served frequently

Evidence points to the long-term effects of bread eating: Of all the people born since 1839 who later dined on bread, there has been a 100% mortality rate.

Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.

More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.

Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

Newborn babies can choke on bread.

Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.


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From time to time the media is filled with the latest 'miracle cure' - a natural source of some incredible vitamin or substance that will stop prostate cancer dead in its tracks. There is feverish activity on the Internet as men exchange information about the best dosage, the cheapest source, what to avoid…….and then along comes another study that warns of the dangers of this substance, often mentioning something that might take its place. When this piece was written by Sandy Goldman, a long term survivor and some time sceptic, pomegranate juice was 'the one'……and soy was out. Since then there have been some talk of mangos being simply the best - maybe the 'global warming' will result in a glut of them? Oh! and there is now an e-mail circulating praising asparagus, so maybe that would be a good investment!

THE CURE DU JOURE

Oh well. Now soy is out.

When I started on non-radical treatment of PCa seven years ago, soy was big! They don't get prostate cancer in Japan and China very much, so soy must be part of it. Oops!

The next biggee was vitamin C. It cures colds, seems to boost the immune system, and Linus Pauling lived a long time. Take lots of vit. C. Well, now we hear that above 500/day, it can destroy DNA. Some multi-vitamins have that much. Oops again.

For a while curcumin was the hot remedy. People in India don't get PCa very often. Besides turning your pee yellow, it doesn't appear to do anything for the genito-urinary tract, prostate included. Double oops.

Grapefruit juice had a good run for a while until it was discovered that some of the life saving heart drugs stopped saving and stopped the heart instead when mixed with grapefruit juice - especially for those men who drank a gallon a day. If some is good - more must be better. Ooop again!

Of course, there was selenium. I recall some doctor who gulped tens of thousands of units of the stuff before dying of PCa. Now, we hear, anything above 200 is useless, maybe harmful. Oops, oops, and more oops.

And what about those green cruciferous vegetables - your folks were right when they told you to eat your Brussel sprouts and broccoli - real life savers! Why, Johns Hopkins Memorial Hospital even tried to claim copyright for the seeds. Hope they didn't sink too much in the project as these veggies were relegated to where they'd been before - uneaten. Ooopsy!

Chocolate and red wine keep swinging in and out of favour - amazing how things we like can be SO good for us - and the manufacturers and growers. Mind you chocolate has been around as a cure- all for many centuries. And what about cranberries? How the growers must have rejoiced when that cure took off!

Let's not even discuss vitamin E which nobody can rigorously attribute anything to, not even helping the heart. And whether its gamma, or alpha, or whatever, is even up for debate.

For a while there was Celebrex; the anti-inflammatories were big. Yikes...associated with heart troubles. How many oop-ses is that?

And in between all of these men started turning a light shade of pink as they swigged and gobbled down tomatoes, rich in lycopene, the latest of the naturals to fight the disease until…whatever happened to lycopene?

Well, now, all of a sudden vitamin D is the Cure du Jour. How long will that last? Probably until someone finds out that in high doses it has some terrible secondary effect. After all, we've been told for years how BAD it was for you due to the effect of sun's rays on your skin. Ah, all those poor oldsters in Miami Beach: If they only knew how bad vitamin D was for them... as they bake in the sun, well into their 90s. Or is it good for them as they bake into their 90s?

Take yer pick - but don't forget your pomegranate juice futures - it could be the next big thing. [and it was!]

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Trading Places on ADT

There'a nothing like a course of Hormone Therapy (ADT - Androgen Deprivation Therapy) to help you understand your womenfolk - so says Neutrond-Electrond Bob (aka BOB PARSONS). Here are some of the things you'll share:

  • Weight gain - watch it happening
  • Hot flashes - how many today, dear?
  • I've got a headache - guys never liked hearing that one, now we say it
  • You become concerned about your breast size - enlargement for men
  • You have doctors probing some pretty strange places
  • You enjoy watching non-violent t.v. movies and gal flicks more
  • You start talking to strangers about your medical conditions or looks
  • You start hanging out with larger numbers of the same sex to talk (support groups)
  • Not tonight dear - not any night now, dear!
  • You enjoy going to see your doctor and talking on the phone more
  • You know why women have to work out even when they are in shape
  • You don't ask for beer, but ask where your supplements are.
  • You start eating some weird foods and avoiding your favorites
  • You start listening closely to your wife
  • You know more about your doctor than your brother-in-law
  • You learn how to spell medical words and their meanings
  • Your friends and family wonder if you have been abducted by aliens

This cartoon may also resonate with men on ADT:

    Donna Pogliano's

    Doctors, doctors, doctors....

    Who to choose-
    Oh who to choose?
    Roll the dice,
    Win or lose.

    To treat quick and dirty,
    It's seeding with Critz.
    To image the prostate,
    See Kurhaniewicz.

    If color's your thing,
    See Fred Lee or Duke Bahn,
    But see Catalona?
    Your prostate is gone!

    Brachytherapy options
    Also come in high dose,
    So go off to Tulsa
    Although it's not close.

    Or see Grimm and Blasko,
    The best in the West.
    In God's Waiting Room,
    It's Dattoli who's best.

    If ice balls sound good,
    Gary Onik is nifty.
    Freeze out that tumor,
    Be you eighty or fifty.

    For proton beam
    Choose Loma Linda,
    They'll make sure your prostate
    Is fried to a cinder.

    Regardless of choice
    Don't ignore Watchful Waiting,
    It's diet and lifestyle
    And anticipating.

    Before doing anything,
    Learn all you can,
    And cancer will be
    Just a flash in the pan.

    Donna explained how this work came about:

    It was midnight in Milwaukee
    On a crisp cold Christmas eve.
    While waiting up for Santa,
    Thought I'd see what I'd conceive,

    To make my worldwide family,
    Laugh, smile, giggle or guffaw.
    So Merry Christmas loved ones,
    Happy New Year to you all!

    Be it Haiku, dirty limerick,
    Narrative or blank verse,
    I sometimes sit and wonder,
    If writing is a curse!

    Donna Pogliano co-authored with Dr Strum A Primer on Prostate Cancer. The Empowered Patients Guide. The ISBN number is 0-9658777-6-0 and it has been available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as at the Life Extension Foundation site, whose support saw the book published. This book is a wonderful source of very detailed information. It is not an 'easy read' to glance through while lounging by the pool, but it allows laypeople to get a good understanding of complex medical issues associated with prostate cancer.

    And, in passing and talking of doctors, which of these kids is likely to land up as a urologist?

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    INTERPRETATION

    As has been said before, being diagnosed with prostate cancer involves learning a new language and the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff (or to use a more pungent Australian expression, the shit from the clay.) There is, of course no way of knowing that a doctor is being honest but evasive answers can often be detected and this section of the site may help.

    The man who authored most of it said that his first urologist claimed success rates as good as Dr. Walsh. When he expressed surprise, the urologist even went to the extent of suggesting that perhaps Dr. Walsh was slipping, describing him as a "senile old man". But our man had seen a recent videotape of Dr. Walsh giving a presentation and knew he was far from senile, so he pressed this urologist for details. Under pressure he admitted that he did not actively follow-up on his patients and didn't really know how many of his patients had undetectable PSAs at five years.

    Here are some phrases to watch out for:

     
    DOCTOR COMMENT
    INTERPRETATION
    "none of my patients are unhappy with the results of their treatment"
    The unhappy ones have just found another doctor.
    "generally, speaking....(plug in anything: cure,morbidities, etc.)"
    The doctor has not a clue about HIS/HER results.
    "the important thing is to get rid of the cancer"
    A diversionary tactic to move focus from side effects.
    "surgery is easily tolerated bya man of your age and condition"
    Incontinence and impotence is not as tolerable.
    "first we'll give you a shot of Lupron/Zoladex to buy some time" and buy him a set of nice new golf clubs.
    "some hormone therapy will make your surgery easier"
    He doesn't care to see what organs it is touching NOW!
    "hot flashes are the most common side effect"

    Osteoporosis, depression and all the others are rare. (Or maybe not so rare!)

    "I do about one each month"
    Come back in 15 years.


    "The industry standard is..."

    I read this number in Walsh's book, and I'm sure I'm almost as good a surgeon as Walsh.
    "One possible side effect is depression, but we can treat that."
    If you get so depressed you commit suicide, however, I can't treat that.
    "I'll cover possible side effects of radiation at the end of this lecture to your support group." (Said by a radiation oncologist.)
    I'll make sure I use up all the time before we get to that subject.
    (And he did!)
    "Cryotherapy has been proved not to be a viable treatment."
    I don't stand to make a nickel if you choose cryo, so I'll gamble that you'll never learn the facts.
    "It appears that your PCa is early- stage, but I'll give you a CT scan case, and a bone scan just to make sure."
    I know these are useless in your but I need a little more income this month, and I happen to know your HMO will pay for these.
    "If I ever get PCa, I'll choose surgery and I'll have it done by mypartner, Bob. He is one of the very best."
    Just kidding! If I want surgery, I'll be on the phone to Walsh, Partin, Carter, or one of the other artists, just as you should be.

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    PROSTATE CANCER: A GROSSARY OF TERMS

    by Capstone Carter*

    Dedicated to Prostate Cancer Patients and Survivors Everywhere


    A newly diagnosed prostate cancer (PC) patient is immediately confronted by the need to learn a new language: a slew of technical terms, jargon, acronyms and abbreviations ('PC' is probably the first), that he desperately needs to understand in order to make critical life and death decisions. A task that clearly daunts. Many of us handle health problems better if we understand them. Knowledge promotes healing. And since Humor is generally accepted to be powerful medicine, Humorous Knowledge could even be curative!

    And so we turn to the funny side of Prostate Cancer .……. which reminds me, somewhat, of that old joke:

    A near naked, emaciated old man, in obvious need of food and water, and covered in dirt, grime, and dried blood, is chained to the damp wall of a rat infested cell. He groans in pain from his bleeding wounds. A rescuer bursts in, sees the pathetic creature, and cries out: "Good God, man! Does it hurt?" In a barely audible croak the old man replies: "Only when I laugh, sir, only when I laugh."

    So let's laugh, and croak before we croak. And let's begin where we must begin - with the language of Prostate Cancer, the ubiquitous 'Glossary of Terms' …… or, in light of the interpretations that follow, a 'Grossary of Terms.'

    In the beginning was the word. And the word was prostate. Origin: pro-state, a word created by urologists, oncologists, and radiologists, who are in favor of (pro) the condition (state), for obvious professional reasons. This is the essence of what has frequently been referred to as 'The Prostate Conspiracy.'

    We, the patients, the victims, are against (con) the condition i.e. we're con-state (constate). Etymologically, constate is derived from the French verb constater, to establish or ascertain the facts.

    Thus Pro-State (P) definitions are those preferred by the medical community. Con-State (C) definitions reflect the realities of Prostate Cancer - as perceived by the patient.

    For example:

    Prostate
    P: A gland surrounding the urethra and immediately below the bladder, or
    C: We've been deceived and confused for too long. The correct word, that many of us say anyway, is clearly Prostrate. Originally from the British: being in a humble/submissive position ..…... surely the more apt definition, when we yield to examination, diagnosis, and treatment.


    And so to the rest of the Grossary List:

    Ablate
    P: To remove, reduce, or destroy tissue or a system. For example, Hormone Ablation : blocking the effects of hormones, or
    C: Not going to bed until the wee small hours - where 'small wees' often characterize the PC patient

    DRE
    P: Digital Rectal Examination; insertion of a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate, or
    C: "You want to put what up where?!" DRE: Diabolically Revolting Experience

    Dysplasia
    P: Dysplasia; also known as PIN: prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia - a pathologically identifiable condition believed to be a possible precursor of prostate cancer, or
    C: State of discontent declared by Southern Urologists when their patients abandon them in favor of radiologists

    Epstein, Jonathan
    P: Renowned pathologist at Johns Hopkins Medical School, specializing in Prostate Cancer, or
    C: Son of Albert Einstein and developer of a universally accepted theory of relativity: 'If you have a relative with PC, check your PSA, and have Epstein review your biopsy slides'

    Impotent
    P: The state of being unable to have or maintain an erection, or
    C: Clearly a typographical variant of 'I'm potent;' often claimed by the impotent - in denial

    Incontinent
    P: Loss of urinary control, or
    C: As most PC patients know, the word is actually incompetent (inadequate; unable to function properly). Once believed to be the inability of the patient to control urination; now known to be the inability of the attending physician to deliver on his/her excessive promises of continence (competence)

    Kegel Exercises
    P: A set of exercises designed to improve the strength of the muscles used in urinating, or
    C: The lifting and subsequent consumption of a keg of beer in order to stimulate urinary flow and control

    LH
    P: Luteinizing Hormone; a pituitary hormone that stimulates the production of testosterone, or
    C: The cry of a fallen woman - accompanied by a lute concerto.

    Orchiectomy or Orchidectomy
    P: Removal of the testes by surgical castration, or
    C: The removal of an orchid from its natural habitat (Now honestly, of the two explanations, which one do you want to hear?)

    P53
    P: A tumor-inhibitory protein, or
    C: The 'long standing' record of 53 nighttime pees. It was during his extraordinary record-shattering achievement, that Paul J. Hickinbottom, Advertising Director at the AllState Insurance Co., was said to have coined the phrase: "Urine Good Hands With AllState"

    P27
    P: A tumor-inhibitory protein, or
    C: The previous record

    Palpable
    P: Capable of being felt during a physical examination; in the case of prostate cancer, this normally refers to some form of abnormality of the prostate which can be felt during a DRE (see above), or
    C: Despite frequent patient statements to the contrary, an abnormal prostate is not palatable (tasty; appetizing) …. although marinated in a good dry sherry for a few days, sautéed in butter, and served with wild rice, who knows?

    PC
    P: Prostate Cancer; Prostatic Cancer, or
    C: Clearly a filched abbreviation. Various acceptable definitions of PC include: (a) Personal Computer; (b) Police Constable (British origin); (c) 'Pee-sy,' a Mexican term used to describe incontinence; (d) Post-Coital (Note: after treatment, there's usually only Pre-Coital!)

    This may be the place for a little wordplay as light relief. The challenge is to create 'apt anagrams' from the following fun phrases: 'prostate cancer,' 'prostate carcinoma,' and 'cancer of the prostate.' (For some possibilities, see below).

    Pd-103
    P: Palladium isotope 103 used as a radiation source in brachytherapy, or
    C: The number of John Kennedy's patrol boat that sank in the South Pacific during World War II. The Captain of that boat was none other than the fearless Patrick "No-Nerve" Walsh, who went on to pioneer and oversell the development of Nerve-Sparing Radical Prostatectomy

    Private Parts
    P: The external genital and excretory organs, or
    C: During the course of the diagnosis and treatment of PC, the need to drop one's pants occurs with increasing frequency and duration. The term 'Private Parts' is then changed to the more appropriate 'Public Parts' - an unusual case of the definition remaining constant while the term itself is modified.

    PSA
    P: Prostate-Specific Antigen, or
    C: The 'Panic-Stress-Anxiety' syndrome

    PSAD
    P: Prostate Specific Antigen Density - determined by dividing the PSA value by the prostate volume, or
    C: P-SAD, pronounced pee sad: a pathetically feeble urine stream often associated with both Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy and PC treatment

    PSADT
    P: Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Doubling Time: the time it takes the PSA to double in value, or
    C: Actually 'PSA - Dublin Time:' PSA values recorded outside Dublin pubs at closing time, where elevated levels parallel the amount of Guinness consumed. Response of the typical Dubliner: 'Oidontgivafook!' (believed to be of ancient Gaelic origin)

    Urethra
    P: The canal that drains urine from the bladder through the prostate and out through the penis, or
    C: Greek for "I have found it!" - an exclamation attributed to Archimedes on digitally discovering his own prostate while taking a bath

    Urologist
    P: Physician specializing in the urogenital tract, or
    C: American counterpart of the European, Eurologist: a collector of euros.[The medi-caring Urologist collects dollars, of course ……… many dollars.]

    Some Apt Anagrams:

     
    prostate cancer: can rear cop test?prostate carcinoma: compare castration cancer of the prostate: center of catastrophe


    * I obviously need an alias for an article like this. 'Capstone Carter' - ProstaMan! - could be a superhero of the rectodigitalized downtrodden. The name presents a number of special features: CaP is an abbreviation for cancer of the prostate. A prostate may well contain a stone; 'Capstone,' the high point, the crowning achievement; and 'Carter,' a prominent name in the 'anals' of prostate disease. 'Capstone Carter' is, of course, an anagram of 'prostate cancer.'
    back

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    Helicopter Pilots

    All I want to tell you why I think those of us with prostate CA are like helicopter pilots. Since I trained and flew in both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft and I also am a member of TROOPC I feel I qualified to make that statement. I present the following:

    The thing is, helicopters are different from planes. An airplane by its nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by a deliberately incompetent pilot, it will fly.

    A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other; and if there is any disturbance in the delicate balance, the helicopter stops flying immediately and disastrously.

    There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter. This is why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why, in general, airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts, and helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if anything bad has not happened, it is about to.

    We members of TROOPC are like helicopter pilots because like them, we know that if something bad has not happened, it is about to. (Mac)

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    FAQ on HMOs



    Q. What does HMO stand for?

    A. This is actually a variation of the phrase, "HEY MOE." Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eyes.

    Q. I just joined an HMO. How difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?

    A. Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents. Your insurer will provide you with a book listing all the doctors in the plan. These doctors basically fall into two categories-those who are no longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no longer participating in the plan. But don't worry; the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients has an office just a half-day's drive away, and a diploma from a Third World country.

    Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?

    A. No. Only those you need.

    Q. Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?

    A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.

    Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?

    A. You'll need to find alternative forms of payment.

    Q. My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand. I tried the Generic Medication, but it gave me a stomach ache. What should I do?

    A. Poke yourself in the eye.

    Q. What if I'm away from home and I get sick?

    A. You really shouldn't do that.

    Q. I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor insists he can handle my problem. Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant right in his office?

    A. Hard to say, but considering that all you're risking is the $20 co-payment, there's no harm in giving him a shot at it.

    Q. Will health care be different in the next century?

    A. No. But if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.

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    SNIPPETS OF WISDOM - SOME HUMOUROUS, BUT ALL WISE


    Extract from "Flowers In Winter" by Sir William Keys.

    His specialist is talking about his spontaneous remission - which he refers to as a 'cure':

    " … my personal observation, common to all 'cures' has been the unshakeable determination of the patient to show just how wrong (and usually how insensitive and apparently uncaring) those bloody doctors could be. The patients make up their minds to beat cancer and also to beat the doctor who implied that they couldn't."

    Three Things
    Never trust a fart.
    Never pass by a urinal.
    Never waste an erection
    (Even if you are on your own!)
    (Mac)

    A prostate biopsy is like having a 21 gun salute shot up your ass.

    Dave Machado

    You can shake and dance
    Like you've got ants!!
    But the last few drops,
    Go in your pants!!
    (Mac)

     

    Dr Willet Whitmore:

    Many more men die with prostate cancer that of it. Growing old is invariably fatal. Prostate cancer is only sometimes so.

     

    Unfortunately, we appear to be living in a time when physician income is more important than patient outcome.

    Dr Stephen Strum

    Dr Willet Whitmore:

    Is cure necessary in those in whom it may be possible, and is cure possible in those in whom it is necessary?

     

    It is OK to keep an open mind as long as you do not let your brain to fall out

    (Free translation from Hebrew)

    Dr Israel Barken

    For the vast majority of men with a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer the most important question is not what treatment is needed, but whether any treatment at all is required.

    Dr Jonathan Oppenheimer

    The deep-rooted fear about cancer may drive the decision-making process, rather than scientific evidence.

    Dr Lu-Yao

    An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does the truth become error because nobody will see it.

    Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

    When I went to see the first urologist, I had to admit to wilful ignorance. I asked him, "What does the prostate do?" His honest answer was, "Makes me a lot of money!"

    Post on an Internet Forum

    You must take charge of your treatment as the doctor has a different agenda than you do.

    Dr Charles 'Snuffy' Myers

    Robert F Kennedy, South Africa.

    In another time.. from his speech at Soweto.

     

    "It is from numberless acts of courage and belief
    that human history is shaped.
    Each time a man stands up for an ideal
    or acts to improve the lot of others
    or strikes out against injustice,
    he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.
    And crossing each other from a million different
    centres of energy and daring,
    those ripples build a mighty current
    that can sweep down the mightiest walls
    of oppression and resistance."

     

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    I wrote this piece about three years after my diagnosis and my choice of what was then termed Watchful Waiting. I think it sums up some of the issues all men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer face as they await their PSA tests.

    WITHOUT HOPE

    The dawn is coloring the sky as I write this. Soon it will be light enough to see the whales in the bay beneath my window. They are calving and mating.

    At sunrise, my dogs and I will take our daily walk up the mountains behind the house. The spring flowers - what we call fynbos - are beginning to blossom and there is color everywhere. Later in the day, or perhaps tomorrow, my wife and I will drive up the coast to see the wild flowers which are all in full bloom and creating a kaleidoscope of the bush land.

    Everything is wonderful and it is great to be alive.

    But … there is a cloud no bigger than a man's hand on the horizon. This week I must get my PSA count checked again. The thought is not a happy one. If it has stayed down, we cannot celebrate our good fortune. We will merely know that the beast still appears to be caged. But we do not know for sure. Many people are only too pleased to tell us about others who have metastases with low PSA counts. Bad news has many companions. Perhaps too the doctors are right who have said that the regimen I am following is merely masking the spread. But we'll maybe only know the answer to that in twenty years time, with a bit of luck.

    And if the count is up? What to do then? Is it a blip in the chart? Is it the genuine thing? The wait for the next test will be awful if this one is up. But that is what we have to live with, all of us who have been diagnosed with this disease, no matter what action we have taken. Always looking over our shoulders to see if the beast is out and after us.

    It's hard on all of us, and even more so on the lonely road of holistic medicine I have chosen. Without hope, it would be impossible, I think.

    Some years later Andy Ripley put it even better, writing this three years before his death:


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    Harley's Poem - "Winter Trees"

    This poem is dedicated to Harley Orr of Webster, New York
    Courtesy of Dave Grundy November 1999

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    Ric Masten - Poet/Philospher/PCa Fighter

     

    WORDS & ONE-LINERS
    March 11, 2001

    BILATERAL ORCHIDECTOMY

    never could
    look up words in the dictionary
    in a high school assignment
    writing an autobiography
    I described my self as a unique person
    scribbled in the margin
    the teacher's correction fairly chortled "unique" not "eunuch"
    how could he have known
    that one day I would actually become
    a misspelling

    backed against the wall
    by advanced prostate cancer
    I chose the operation
    over the enormous ongoing
    expense of chemical castration
    "No big deal." I thought at the time
    what’s the difference
    they both add up to the same thing

    but in the movies these days
    during the hot gratuitous sex scene
    I yawn…bored...
    wishing they’d quit dicking around
    and get on with the plot
    and on TV the buxom cuties
    that titillate around the products
    certainly aren't selling me anything

    I realize now that
    although it would probably kill them
    the guys who went chemical
    still have an option
    I don’t

    philosophically I’m the same person
    but biologically
    I ‘m like the picture puzzle
    our family traditionally puts together
    over the holidays
    the French impressionist rendition
    of a flower shop interior
    in all it’s bright colorful confusion

    this season I didn’t work the puzzle
    quite as enthusiastically...
    and for good reason
    this year I know pieces are missing
    where the orchids used to be

    "So?" says I to myself
    "You’re still here to smell the roses!"


    ©Ric Masten

    Sadly Ric finally lost his battle in May 2008

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