Read about my journey with the Lustgarten annual pancreatic cancer research walk. With photos and videos.
October is a big month for cancer research walks, especially since it is breast cancer awareness month. It’s also a big month for me, as my family and friends participated with me in the Lustgarten Pancreatic Research Foundation Walk on this past Sunday (October 6).
WE CAN EACH MAKE A DIFFERENCE. It is up to us to support more cancer research.
The October walk is Lustgarten’s largest fundraiser of the year. With thousands of walkers and nearly $1 million raised. 100% of funds raised go to research because all of Lustgarten’s administrative costs are paid by a private donor.
Before sharing a few photos and video clips, let me describe my feelings about the walk.
Although my Whipple surgery was in February 2015, this was my first walk. So I was both excited and nervous.
My fundraising efforts were throughTeam Joel. Our team was supported by more than 70 donors. And we raised $5,400.
Team Joel had 14 walkers.
Somehow or other, the cameras found me. I appeared in a News 12 Long Island TV clip. And because I was asked to do the ribbon cutting, I got featured online by Newsday.
I was disappointed that I was only able to walk the 1 mile course rather than the 3 mile course. Once again I am reminded of a Clint Eastwood quote: “A man has to know his limitations.” And I have to always accept my “new normal.” I gave myself a 15 minute pity party; and then I returned to my usual “live life every day” and “live as long as you as well as you can.”
Last, but not least, I want to thank all of the donors to Team Joel and those who walked with me.
“Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”
“One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We’ve created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community. “
As I have noted before, I am a very fortunate pancreatic cancer survivor. With such self-mottoes as: Live Life Every Day. And Live as Long Well as You Can as Long as You can. To me, that means striving to have a positive and upbeat attitude. We can only control our own actions.
Sometimes, life can be more challenging than others. But we still need to fight our way through those challenges. And assume the best about tomorrow and the days thereafter. Read about my difficult adventures last summer.Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy.
Now that I recognize more fully what my travel limitations are, my wife Linda and I plan for quieter time. But we have managed to do THREE great trips this year: Costa Rica, Bermuda, and Antigua. We had a blast on each of these trips. Here is a fun picture from Antigua.
And a couple of weeks ago, we got to see the Rolling Stones in concert. This was a makeup date due to 76-year-old lead singer Mick Jagger having a heart procedure just a few months ago. He and the rest of the band were GREAT. And Mick was energetic and fully engaged in the show.
Re: An article I wrote on my pancreatic cancer journey.
As noted several times on this blog, it has been quite a personal journey for me since learning in January 2015 that I had pancreatic cancer. And undergoing Whipple surgery in February 2015. I count my blessings every single day!!🙂
And, if you are able, please donate toTeam Joel. We are raising money for the October 2019 Lustgarten Foundation Walk. You can donate as little as a few dollars by filling in the amount on the team page. Thanks.
Father’s Day is a special time for many of us. I lost my father Joseph and father-in-law Murray quite a while ago. But this is when I think of them the most. It is also special for me because I always get to celebrate with my wife Linda and daughters Jennifer and Stacey, and their spouses Phil and Adam. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
My wish on this day is for all of us, including you dear readers, to be as well as you can for as long you can.
“National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day. This week is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier. But they don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life.”
“You can support the men in your life by having healthy habits yourself and by making healthy choices. Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage the men in your life to quit smoking. Help the men in your life recognize and reduce stress.Learn ways to manage stressincluding finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.”
“Encourage men to see a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and to learn about their family health history.Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack call 911 immediately.”
“Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwidefor both men and women. Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life.Signs of depressioninclude persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.”
“Could the act of answering open-ended questions about yourself give you new, important insights? It turns out the answer is ‘yes,’ if those questions are selected in just the right way!”
“After running a series of five scientific studies, we’ve discovered a specific set of practical, yet rarely-asked questions that 83% of people reported were valuable for them to answer. And 78% said they would recommend them to others. A remarkably high 88% of people even reported that they enjoyed answering these questions. We’re now making these questions available to you free of charge online so that you can benefit from them too! We think you’ll be surprised at just how valuable answering these open-ended questions about yourself can be!”
Click the image and then scroll down to “Answer the questions.” Thirty-two open-ended questions are provided by Clearer Thinking.
From personal experience, I know how scary the anticipation of the first day of chemo can be. In my case, there was a month interval between my Whipple surgery and chemotherapy. That was to let me be strong enough to endure the rigors of chemo. And rigorous it was. With numerous side effects. BUT, I’d do it all over again because it has improved the overall quality of my life. Thank you Team Vacirca and all the folks at New York Cancer and Blood Specialists.
So, when I came across an infographic on preparing for the first day of chemotherapy, I knew it had to be shared.