My Latest Adventures — Part One

Just one more step in my multi-year journey. 🙂

You may have noticed that we have not posted in a couple of weeks. Read on to see why.

Life sure takes many interesting twists and turns. Today, we first re-introduce the purpose of this blog. Then, we look at my latest adventures — part one. Thursday, is part two.

Why This Blog?

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if that light is not as bright as before. And sometimes, we have to fight to see that light. I am NOT a medical professional. I am not alone in my battle with cancer. This is one person’s journey, both the ups and downs – with the strong determination to have the best life possible for as long as possible.

I am a pancreatic cancer survivor. I underwent an 8-½ hour Whipple surgery to remove the cancer. I had a lot of problems during chemo. As a diabetic, I passed out from low blood sugar a few days after finishing chemo. As a result, I had to miss my daughter’s bridal shower. And I had to have cement pumped into my back. I have a lot of other stuff going on. But enough of that. I am NOT complaining. I just want you to see where I have been – and where I still am going.

With this blog, I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with any terrible disease and their families. Why? To quote the late NY Yankee star Lou Gehrig when he was honored at Yankee Stadium while dying from ALS: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

My Latest Adventures — Part One

For quite awhile, I  had two arthritic knees, with one much worse than the other. Over the years, I had two arthroscopies on my left knee — along with both steroid and gel shots. After my Whipple surgery in 2015, I told myself that I never again wanted to have surgery that required an extended recovery and rehab process. So, I swore off having knee replacement surgery.

Well, as it is said, the “best-laid plans …” In early 2019, I had to give up walking as an exercise. It was just too painful. Everyone in my family yelled for me to have the surgery. However, I just wasn’t ready psychologically. BUT, by October I was ready. It was just too painful to walk at all. I knew I couldn’t go through life like that.

In November 2019, I sought a second opinion with Dr. Fred Cushner of the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). It is rated number one in orthopedics. Dr. Cushner concurred that I needed the knee replacement. And I decided to have him do it. Before the appointment, I had done my due diligence through online research. He is impressive on paper — and in person.

On Friday January 3, 2020, I had my surgery. They had me using a walker that same day. The next day, they taught me how to use stairs. On Monday, January 6, 2020, I was discharged directly to my home, which has a lot of steps to get to our bedroom.

I decided to use  a revolutionary new technique for the in-home part of the physical therapy. HSS offers a free one-on-one video conferencing app. What is it? On my iPad, I downloaded the software that enabled me to securely interact with a HSS physical therapist who works directly with Dr. Cushner’s team.  To you skeptics out there, I say it really worked for me. Lauren Smith, my PT specialist, could watch me walk, zoom on parts of my leg, and communicate any issues with Dr. C’s team. In my case, this tipped off Dr. C. to my need to have several blisters lanced by him. If I was using an in-home PT specialist, he/she would probably just send me to the emergency room — where the professionals have less experience with this sort of thing.

On Monday January 20 (17 days post-surgery), I started intensive outpatient physical therapy.  By Friday, which was just my third visit, they had me riding a bike and walking a treadmill for six minutes each, using a sitting stepper machine for 5 minutes, and doing various twists on a tilting machine. Wow. Who would have thought this possible? AND, I am only using a cane now!!

Look at the HSS site for knee replacement by clicking the image below. And learn a lot about topics related to knee replacement and the options. A very informative discussion.

 

My Latest Adventures -- Part One
 

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year’s Resolutions

Have you given up yet? LOL

Yes, we have made it to January 9, 2020. 🙂 So, after 9 days (including today), how are we doing with our New Year’s resolutions?

For a humorous look at fulfilling New Year’s resolutions, check out the three images below.

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's Resolutions

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's ResolutionsA Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's Resolutions
 

A New Book of Poetry to Start 2020

Food for thought!

Once again, it is my honor to assist David Fox in publishing a new free book of poetry.  This is yet another example of what we can do regardless of our limitations.

As we said last November:

David is a true inspiration. Despite being born with Cerebral Palsy and having suffered from mental illness in his 20’s, David has written poems for children and adults for over 20 years. His poetry has appeared in Bell’s Letters, Ceremony, Great South Bay Magazine, Humoresque, The Oak, Opossum Holler Tarot, Performance Poet’s Association Literary Review, Poetic Expressions, Poets’ Roundtable, Reflections, SMILE, Tale Spinners (Canada), Visions, Wanton Words, Whispers of Poetry and Write On!! Poetry Magazette. He is still a participant at UCP Long Island.

Click the image to access the new book. Note: A free, simple login is required. 🙂

A New Book of Poetry to Start 2020

 

Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Live life every day!

As we look forward to the future, we need to be thankful for what we have. And not be unhappy for what we don’t have. Now, we offer our annual message. To embrace life and choose happiness in 2020. 

Why We Should Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

As many of you may know, I am a VERY lucky survivor of pancreatic cancer. Thus, I am thankful each and every day to celebrate the blessing of life. On February 12, 2020, it will be five years since I had my successful Whipple surgery. My longevity is related to my embracing life and choosing happiness.

Only 7 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for 5 years. Thus, I am both happy and sad.

Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Today, I want to share some FREE resources I have developed and tell my personal story. Why? To provide hope and serenity for anyone with a serious disease and their loved ones. We must never forget that our caregivers suffer and endure along with us.

Resources to Better Embrace Life and Choose Happiness

Since recovering from my surgery and follow-up chemotherapy, I view my life’s mission as assisting others with a terrible illness. To me, this is a responsibility that I welcome as one of the relatively few long-term pancreatic cancer survivors. In my mind and heart, I MUST give  back.

So, please take a look at these resources.

Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey

With this book, I want to share my personal cancer journey with you. I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with a terrible disease and their families. Why? To quote the late NY Yankee star Lou Gehrig when he was honored at Yankee Stadium while dying from ALS: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

The book is a hopeful, but realistic, view of my journey from diagnosis through treatment through return to work and my being able to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. It has some humor and many quotes to ease the reading.

Click the book cover to download a FREE copy of the book. Then, share it with someone you love.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

LIVING WELL While Surviving Cancer

During the summer of 2018, I started a new blog to share health-related information and inspirational stories. It features infographics, videos, articles, and more. And despite the title, it relates to a wide range of health issues.

Click the image to visit the blog. Then, PLEASE sign up to follow us.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

Other Resources

Finally, check out these resources. and sign up to join me Welcome aboard!

    •  

    • My personal advice:
            1. Do not avoid the doctor because you are afraid of what he/she may find.
            2. Early detection is the best way to mitigate your health problems. Have regular checkups and blood tests.
            3. Listen to the medical professionals!
            4. Surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive.
            5. Be upbeat; getting down is counter productive. [(a) When diagnosed, I set two goals: to dance at my daughter’s October 2015 wedding and to deliver a toast. Mission accomplished. I never thought these things wouldn’t happen. (b) People don’t believe me when I remark that I never said “why me”? Instead I say, “boy was I lucky to be diagnosed so early.”]
            6. Seek out your friends/acquaintances who have also dealt with cancer. They can be a wonderful resource and sounding board (when you don’t want to further burden your family).
            7. Be active. [I went to the gym while undergoing chemotherapy.]
            8. Live for tomorrow and the time thereafter. 
            9. And to give back as much as I can, since July 2019, I am  volunteering twp days a week with United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island. I LOVE it and find it so rewarding. If you decide to volunteer, you’ll see that it’s a win-win!!!!!

We Wish You Happy Holidays

Many thoughtful quotes.

In the United States, we are sometimes our own worst enemies. For example, see a post about our under-use of vacation time. But, it’s the season for happy holidays 2019. Enjoy your time with family and friends. 

Food for Thought: Happy Holidays 2019 

We hope these quotes make you more reflective. And do things to make others happy. Which in turn will make YOU happy.

Fred Rogers — “I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.”

Kate Klise — “During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the best gift of all is simply the gift of time. I can’t think of anything a writer would appreciate more than being given time and space to work.” 

Ainsley Earhardt — “Giving back to those in need is something that everyone on all sides of the political aisle can relate to. And it is beautiful to see people come together, especially during the holiday season.”

Geoff Stults — “The holiday season can be an especially trying time for our service men, women, and families. Military service and deployment create empty seats at holiday tables, religious services, and celebrations.” 

We conclude with these wishes.

Happy Holidays 2019