Da Nang Damned!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Book Review: "Da Nang Damned!"

I don't usually do book reviews on this blog and debated about doing this because I wrote the book and doin a review would be self serving so instead I'll just give you a sneak preview.

I'm a Vietnam Veteran, having served with the Seabees & MCB 53 stationed in a small camp outside of Da Nang from January 1968 to October 1968. It took me fifty years to finally get around to writing my book "Da Nang Damned!" but finally last year I did and published it on http://amazon.com/author/peterturner  All the profits go to the CCVIP or Carroll County Veterans Independence Project here in Maryland. The Project is in the process of renovating an old Army reserve bldg into a homeless shelter and training facilities for Veterans.

"Da Nang Damned!" takes the reader from steaming Vietnam in 1972 to 2012 and frozen New Hampshire.

Buried in a Vietnamese river is a dark secret. A secret that if discovered will topple a rich and powerful crime boss.

Rick O’Neil finds himself fighting two wars Vietnam and his own private war. While on deployment to Vietnam, Rick along with two friends, become involved with Tony Marchesi a streetwise punk from Brooklyn.  After witnessing Tony murder a Vietnamese the men promise never tell anyone of the killing.

Forty years later, Tony Marchesi has built a legitimate business using monies gain from a life of crime.  Jimmy Francis who has worked for Marchesi since returning from Vietnam commits suicide. However, before he dies, he sends his sister information detailing Marchesi’s criminal activities telling her to send them to Rick upon his death.
Rick’s carefully constructed life comes crashing down when he receives the information. Now, Rick must to decide if he wants to tear open old war wounds and face his demons or keep silent. With the help of his friends, he wrestles with his conscience all the while trying to stay one-step ahead of Marchesi and his hired gun.

Prelude: "Da Nang Damned!"


A rifle shot shattered the stillness of the frozen New Hampshire woods. The bullet slamming into an ancient pine tree, sent bark flying in all directions; couching behind the tree Rick O’Neil caught the bark squarely in the face.

The shock of the bark hitting him caused Rick to lose his balance and tumble down the side of the snow covered gully. Sliding and twisting he landed in a cloud of snow at the bottom. Dazed he managed to crawl behind a large rock. Taking several deep breaths Rick gingerly touched his face and as near, as he could tell the bark had not caused any real damage.

Pulling his hands away he looked at his bloody fingers exclaiming, “Feels like I got stung by a thousand angry wasps! But, I guess I’ll live, at least for a few minutes longer.”

Rick knew the shooter was still up there and very quickly would be at the top of the gully taking aim on his defenseless body. As if to hammer home the point, a shout reverberated through the trees.

“You were lucky that time old man, but your luck is about to run out. Either I kill you or you will freeze to death. I you promise a quick death, one shot to the head and its over, that’s a lot better than slowly turning into an ice cube.”

Rick could not argue the point. According to the last weather report, it was supposed to drop to twenty degrees below zero in North Conway and up here in the mountains; the temperature would probably hit twenty-five or thirty below. This area of New Hampshire with its granite peaked mountains, countless ravines and deep pinewoods could be as barren as the surface of the Moon to the inexperience hiker. Even in the summer while tourists were sipping cold beer at one of North Conway’s restaurants, others were hiking through a sudden snowstorm on top of Mount Washington. Signs posted at trailheads carried a warning: “Beyond this point many have lost their lives. If you are not in good physical condition and properly equipped turn back!” Dressed as he was in a light parka, driving gloves and running shoes his chances of surviving a subzero night in the White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire was slim and none, and as his old buddy Ted Troutman would say, “And Slim just rode out of town”. Thinking of Ted brought a slight smile to Rick’s battered face. Not just, because the fun loving Ted was always quick with a joke, but because Rick suddenly realized that the tumble down the hill had put him closer to Ted’s cabin and safety.

If you've read this far, Thank You! The book is available as both an eBook and paperback

The 2018 No Denial Meal Plan

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you know I am a big believer in K.I.S.S or Keep It Simple Silly. So, applying K.I.S.S to by No Denial 2018 Lifestyle Plan for meals, I came up with this simple, quick & easy meal plan.

Remember from my last post that No Denial follows the 80/20 rule. Meaning that 80% of the time I follow the plan and the other 20% I can indulge. When you follow the No Denial Plan you avoid binge eating your favorite "bad" foods ie: pizza, bacon cheeseburger, chocolate, because you allow yourself these foods as part of you meal plan. Also because you are following a healthy diet/lifestyle you are probably not going to go crazy pigging out on junk food.

Okay here's the "No Denial Meal Plan". It is 80% veggies, fruits, nuts, sees & whole grains & 20% meat, fish, poultry, dairy.

Breakfast: 1/4 cup dry oatmeal + fruit (frozen/fresh)+ sprinkle of Chia seeds+ small handful of nuts
                   and a tablespoon of real maple syrup.

I have oatmeal 80% of the time or five times a week. I vary the ingredients even adding some cocoa & honey & a tablespoon of nut butter. It really doesn't matter as long as you include some fruit & healthy fats.

Lunch: In the summer I usually have a salad with some lean protein, ie: chopped chicken, deli turkey, sardines, tuna, beans. In the winter I'll make a big pot of soup on Monday and have it for lunch. If I'm in a hurry or lazy, I just warm up some leftovers.

Dinner: For dinner, I'll have 80% veggies with some lean protein & a sweet potato. I may also have soup/stew or whole wheat pasta with beans or meatballs. I also try to have at least two vegan dinners.

Snacks: During the day especially in winter I'll have a mug (2 cups) of tea, regular or herbal depending on my mood. Sometimes that is all I need. If I want more I'll have some fruit, handful of nuts, carrot/celery with hummus and after dinner a small piece of chocolate.

Beverages: Two cups of coffee in the morning along with my Morning Cocktail (Large glass of warm water 2 tablespoons of raw organic apple vinegar with a table spoon of raw local honey), tea & water whenever I feel the need and a glass of red wine/beer in the evening. I must confess in the winter I may also have a shot of bourbon! Like I said No Denial!

So they you have it. K.I.S.S No Denial Food Plan. This plan loosely follows the Mediterranean Diet. If you need recipes just google Mediterranean meals, go to Pinterest or pick up any magazine at the supermarket.

Finally have fun! With the No Denial Meal Plan and following the 80/20 rule in everything you do life will be simpler and less stressful in 2018.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

No Denial In 2018!

No denial in 2016! like most people I begin the New Year with a list of resolutions, most of which I break after 2/3 weeks. One of the resolutions I always make and break is to diet, lose weight & get in shape.

I decide in 2018 at the age of 71 and still relatively healthy, not to denial myself anything! What do I mean by no denial. Well it's pretty simple. I have decided that I am going to enjoy food, wine and an occasional cigar, all in moderation and without feeling guilty. How am I going to do this and maintain a healthy lifestyle?

I believe in the rule 80/20. By this I mean if I follow a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time then I should be able to enjoy certain foods, alcoholic drink or (gasp) even a good cigar. If I apply this rule to meals and I eat 3 meals a day which equals 21 meals a week, then 80% equals 16.8 or 17 meals. This meals I can "indulge" 4 meals a week. Following this further I can apply the 80/20 rule to exercise meaning I exercise five days a week with two days off.

Now because I have a healthy mindset from years of exercise and eating a healthy diet, I don't worry about over indulging. I automatically limit myself. For example I like chocolate and allow myself a small dark chocolate treat every evening. If I denied myself a chocolate then I might "pig out" a buy a couple of candy bars and stuff them into my mouth without taking the time to truly enjoy the taste.

The same is true of other things I enjoy, wine, pizza, ice cream, etc. By having a small amount now & then I resist the urge to over do it. So my motto for 2018 is "No Denial"!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Attack Alzhemier By Going on the Offensive!

As we get older we start worrying about Alzheimer. Will we get it? Will there be a cure someday? What can I do to prevent Alzheimer from robbing me of me? Alzheimer, like any disease needs to be approached with an aggressive offensive attack!

If you knew you were a candidate for Type Two Diabetes and your doctor told you that if you lost weight you might prevent it, wouldn't you? The same is true of high cholesterol or lung cancer. Most people facing the prospects of a disease would due anything to prevent the disease.

Fortunately the more we learn about Alzheimer the better we are to fight this dreaded disease. Here's some steps you can take now that may lessen the chance of Alzheimer striking you down.

1. Learn a new skill. Playing a guitar, learning a new language, taking a college class, pickup a new hobby, all these with help increase and improve your cognitive ability. Plus you're have fun!

2. Enjoy a glass of wine. Studies show that moderate drinking improves cognitive ability.

3. Switch to a Mediterranean diet. Eat greens, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and olive oil. Many studies have found eating these foods improve cognitive processes and support healthy brain cells, which by the way are 60% fatty tissues.

By following these three suggestions you will go a long way protecting yourself from this dreaded disease. So drink up, eat a salad and strum a guitar!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Acupuncture vs. Massage: Which is Better?

For the last six months, I have been receiving monthly acupuncture and massage therapy. I started these treatments hoping to find relief from back/sciatic pain. So after six months, what has been the results and which is better massage or acupuncture?

First let's look at two basic types of pain: nerve and muscular. If you ever been asked if your pain is dull and achy or sharp and stabbing, then the doctor was trying to determine if your pain involves your nerves or muscles. A pain that is sharp or stabbing feeling is most likely to have nerves involved.  A dull and achy pain is more likely to be muscular.  

Acupuncture is great for pain that involves nerves.  The needles don't insert into nerves, but rather bring fresh blood flow around the nerves to create healing.  Acupuncture is also effective at treating muscular pain, that dull and achy pain, but massage is too.  Sometimes a combination of the two therapies can be beneficial.

If you're suffering from chronic painful conditions with dull and achy pain, the massage is a great choice for pains from post surgery, pain related to cancer, or patients with a history of other serious conditions may want to choose acupuncture over massage therapy.  

In my experience massage seemed to be the best first choice. I found the treatment soothing, relaxing and after treatment found some relief. Unfortunately, that feeling didn't last long. I suppose if I could afford a weekly massage, maybe the effects of the massage would last longer, but at $100 a treatment that was out of the question.

After a few treatments, I started acupuncture. Again, I did find some relief, but like massage, they were short lived. Then I scheduled one massage treatment and a week later acupuncture. Still the results were short lived. Neither treatment "cured" my aches and pains.

So my suggestion: Acupuncture and massage are proven, effective treatments and have helped thousands of people. However, for me the results were temporary. What has worked and continues to work is specific back exercises, walking, eating a healthy diet and keeping my weight down.

The best advice I can give is to try massage and acupuncture based on the type of pain you have. But, don't ignore the fact that you need to be proactive in regards to your own health. Follow an exercise program and diet. If you can combine this with other therapies, you can find relief.

Good Luck1

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Biggest Health Issue We All Will Face.

The biggest health issue we all will face is not cancer, heart attack or stroke. It is something that is incurable and terminal. Something that has ravaged humans since time began. In fact, every living thing has within its DNA the trigger to this health issue. The health issue is of course ageing. From the moment we are born, we age.  

The older we get, the faster our body's detiorate until in our seventies and beyond walking, bending and even taking care of ourselves become difficult. Some of us will lose our memory. Some will need a cane, walker or wheel chair. However, some a minority will still be able to live active, healthy lives for many years.

Despite the fact that we all will grow old and some day die. We do not all have to face the inevitable signs of ageing. "Wow, that's great news!" You say. "It must be some kind of new drug or treatment that I can take, tell me what it is and I'll go right out and by it!"

But, wait a minute. What if this "Ageing Cure" was free and only required some lifestyle changes? The good news is it is free. A few years ago, Dan Buettner decide that if you wanted to know how some people can age well then why not find and study them. Dan traveled the world looking for the healthiest populations and studying them. From the island of Sardinia to Okinawa to California, Dan study people who lived healthy and active into their nineties and beyond. He wrote a book called the "Blue Zones" where he detailed his findings. Below is a quick summary of his findings five key things that were common among these people.

1. All lived physically active lives, working in their gardens and walking everywhere.

2. They ate a diet of locally sourced foods; heavy on plants based foods and fish, light on meat.

3. They remained active and respected members of their communities.

4. They had a strong network of social connections. No they did not belong Face book; they actually went out and socialized.

5. All had deep religious/spiritual believes.

That is it pretty simple, but effective. What I included is a very brief summary of "Blue Zones". I strongly recommend you read this book. It is in my opinion one of the most important books on ageing ever written.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Hello Pain, My Old Friend!

Every feel like pain is an old friend, a constant companion and sonething you just have to live with??
As I get older pain seems to be always at my side. Waking up in the morning stiff and achy, despite haveing a VERY expensive, top rated memory foam mattress. The matteressis very comy and probably the most comfortable mattress I've ever slept on. But, still I wake up in pain!

Even doing simple chores will cause aches and pains, a sore back, kneses, etc. So what gives? I mean I go to a maasage therapist and an acupunture specialist. I try to eat right & take the right supplements and still no relief.

Well the truth is I've put on a lot of weigth, like 30 extra pounds since January 2018. I've always maintain a weight of 195 lbs. I fact that's how much I weighed when I got out of the service some 50 yrs ago. Now I stand 6'2" so even at 225 I still don't appear heavy. But the weight is taking it's toll. I have less energy and less energy means less motivation to exercise. Whe I do exercise of course in walks my old friend pain! It a vicious circle!

There's no excuse for the weight gain! Over the years I've leactured my clients on weight loss and exercise. I've heard all the excuses. I would accept excuses from my clients and I won't accept them from me. My doctor says at my age, 71, my metabolism is slowing down and I need less calories. Okay so I'll just reduce the amount of calories and exercise more. Sounds simple, but what was once easy now seems hard.

On Tuesday I saw my cardiologist. My BP was elevated as was my cholestrol. He strongly encourage me to diet and exercise. Yeah I know Doc. So that was a wake up call and despite it being the Holiday Season, I'm determined to loss weight.

Stay tune for my progress report.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Oncologist Wants Me To Start Radiation.

As I mentioned in my last post, my PSA has risen to .28 from .23 six months ago. During my annual physical, I asked my family doctor what would he do and he agreed he probably do the same thing and not undergo radiation. For the record what I decide to do was monitor my PSA and take high doses of ginger & turmeric which from my research are very effective cancer fighting herbs.

So yesterday I got a call from my Oncologist. He reminded me it had been six months since he recommended radiation and he pushed me to make an appointment. I told him my decision and said I would have another PSA test and then decide. I could tell he wasn't too happy about my decision, He warned me that waiting too long could result in the cancer spreading. Six months ago when I had an MRI & a CAT scan of the pelvic area, there was no evidence of any cancer.

I based my decision on several factors.
    1. The side effects of radiation can be worst than the cancer.
    2. Prostate Cancer is a slow progressive disease and at 71 I'll probably die from something else.
    3. There is a lot of conflicting info about the long term survivability of men who have undergone   radiation and men who choose not to have the treatment.
    4. Travelling to radiation five times a week for eight weeks is a pain.

I'll continue to monitor my PSA. Hopefully, the ginger & turmeric will slow down or kill whatever cancer cells are in my system.

Please Note: My decision is mine and mine alone, based on my lifestyle, health and research. I am not a medical doctor or expert. Do your own research, talk to your doctors and love ones and make your own educated decision.

Friday, September 29, 2017

PSA Rising! Time To Worry?!

So if you read my last post you know that after a radical prostatectomy three years ago to remove my prostate and the cancer my PSA started to rise. Six months ago I started taking ginger and turmeric
supplements because they are suppose to be good cancer fighters. But after my last blood test my PSA has risen from .23 to .28.

Seven months ago when I first went over what my Urologist said was the border line .20 he strongly recommended radiation. But after an MRI and a CAT Scan showed no evidence of cancer anywhere in my body including the pelvic area I decided to wait and take the supplement.

Last week I had a very frank talk with my primary and after a lot of probing he admitted that he would do the same thing I'm doing and not rush into radiation. So I reordered my supplements, but this time I spent the extra money to get a strong dose and better quality turmeric & ginger. I'd only been taking about 100mg of ginger, but in doing further research I found out that I should be taking 1000mg based on my body weight. In three months I'll have another blood test. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

PSA On The Rise! What To Do?

First a warning! Everything in my post is my opinion. I'm not a doctor or specialist I'm just a guy who is trying to make the right decision for me. You need to do the same. The purpose in writing this post is just to offer one man's opinion and experience in fighting and winning the war against Prostate Cancer.

It's been six months since my last PSA blood test at that time my PSA had risen from .18 to .23 and my Urologist wanted me to start radiation treatments. The thought of spendin five days a week for 8 weeks being zapped didn't appeal to me especially with Spring & Summer coming and travel plans my wife & I had made. So I opted to wait. I did agree to have and MRI and a CAT Scan of the pelvic region which thankful was negative on both scans.

A lttle history: I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in the fall of 2014 and chose to have my prostate removed. At the time of the operation, a biopsy done on the surround tissue all show no evidence that the cancer had spread beyond the prostate. Great I thought cancer gone! But unfortunately my PSA started to rise a year after the operation.

In doing my research I found there's a lot of debate on when to start treatment after PSA rises above the magic number of .20. Some like my urologist want to start treatment ASAP. Others want to wait and retest for PSA and some advocate wanting to PSA has risen above .40.

There's really no good answer. My PSA is rising supposively because some cancer cells did get into my system, but were/are so small that MRI does pick it up.

My decision to wait and monitor was based on several factors:

1. There is no consenus as to when treatment should begin.
2. The side effects of radiation in my opinion can out weigh any benefits.
3. Members of my family who had under gone radiation seem to go on a downhill spiral, health declining path.
4. The survival rate for men undergoing radiation and those that don't is about the same. Especially for those older men 70+. I'm 71.
5. I wanted to try alternative treatments

So for the last six months I've been taking Tumerica and ginger. A couple of weeks ago I had another PSA test and my PSA had risen to .28. Concerned? absolutely. But the good news is the rate of increase was less than before.

Now it's time for a decision. Friday I seem doctor who will probably push for radiation treatment. But I'm still not ready? Am I playing with fire?Maybe, but it's my body! Other than the possibility of cancer I'm in great shape. So if I don't have radiation what will I do? Well in doing more research I discovered that I should be taking my Tumeric w/Black Pepper Extract and I should take 1000 mg of ginger. I've ordered the bottles and have been taking them for a few days. I plan to test my PSA in 3 months.

I want to be very clear everything I have written and the decisions I have made are based onmy research, my health and decisions my wife and I have agreed opun after much discussion and prayer. Please, Please, Please do your own research, find a good doctor who is willing to work with you. Monitor you're PSA regularly, have the scans, do whatever is necessary to improve your overall health. If you decide to try herbal treatments make sure you consult with your doctor and that there is no interaction with other meds you are taking. Make sure you are buying the best quality herbs available, organic with all the approval stamps for potency and processed in the USA. Finally have a positive attitude you can beat cancer, but you must be ready and able to fight!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Are You Prepared?!

The point of my last post was to illustrate how quickly a seemingly safe situation can change to a potential dangerous situation and the importantce of being prepared. The last ten days have shown how quickly our lives can change and how defendless we are againist the forces of nature.

Although my immediate family are far away from any danger, like most people who are out of the path of the hurricanes I have family and friends fleeing their homes and wondering if they will have anything left once the storms move through their town.

All this should prompt each of us first to offer a helping hand to the victims of Harvey and Irma, whether it's money, food, clothing, shelter these people and their communities will need an enormous amount to aid. Secondly everyone should assess their own situation.

If you had to vacate your home because of a hurricane, fire or some other danger are you prepared to do so? Do you have an emergency kit? A bugout bag with the essentials already packed inside? Do you have a plan? Where would you go? Is your car in good working order with at least 3/4 of a tank of gas. Are you phsyicallyable to save yourself and family? If not is there someone near by who you can absolutely count on to help you. As far as that goes is there a neighbor or family member who would need your help and are you ready to assist?

There's tons of information on how to prepare an emergency kit. If you're like me safe from this hurricane now is the time to prepare. Don't wait for a disaster to strike! Most hurricanes give us days to prepare, but a fire or some other danger could come out of the blue. Are you ready! If not what are you waiting for!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Lost on a Golf Course: Could You Survive?

Now I know the title "Lost on a Golf Course Could You Survive" sound pretty silly. After all it's a golf course! It has paved trails, plenty of signs, a club house and usually water available along the course. Guys & ladies zipping around in carts, so ruling out dementia how could you get lost on a golf course and how could this turn into a survival situation. Well hear me out.

There's a golf course nearby and at one time 5-7 yrs ago was a very popular course. Rolling hills, long fairways and plenty of ponds. Unfortunately around 2010 it closed down and the property was left to nature. Recently the town gained ownership and plans to turn it into a nature preserve.

One of my hobbies is fishing. I'm no expert, but I do enjoy going out and trying my luck on the local lakes and ponds. Anyway I thought abandon golf course, lots of decent size ponds, there's got to be fish in them. Why not take my fly rod and walk around fishing these ponds?

It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and the temperature in the low 70's. So I decided to travel light. Instead of packing a lot of gear. I only took my fly rod a few flies, a bottle of water, protein bar, lock blade knife and my cell phone.

There was no map of the course, but I figured I'd stick to the paved cart paths and sooner or later I find a pond. Sure enough I found 4 ponds scattered around the course and managed to catch several bass and blue gill. Finally after 3 hours wandering around the course I decided to head back to the car.

Usually I'm pretty observant of my surroundings, aware of landmarks like a tall tree, pile of rocks, etc to guide me back. But I let my guard down! After all it was a golf course! However because it had been shut down for years nature had taken over. Instead of large fairways covered with closely cut grass. Tall grass, bushes, and young trees blocked my sight line. There was no way to view the club house where I parked my car.

To make a long story short. I walked  much farther than I had to mistakenly taking a trail that leadme away from my car. I finally made it back but I was pushing myself, because the perfect sunny day was turned dark with huge thunder heads piling up in the western sky.

Now at 71 yrs old many people would not have been able to walkout and probably would have had to call for help or worse suffer some kind of medical emergency. Fortunatel I'm in very good shape for my age and although tried I still had enough gas in the tank to walk farther if I had to.

A couple of lessons learned:

1. Never take any outing for granted. My mistake was assuming because it was a golf course I didn't pay attention to my surroundings.
2. Take a map with you. Don't rely on your smart phone's GPS app.
3. Take at least some survival gear. I had a bottle of water and a protein bar. This was adequate for a short walk/hike, but if I had to stay out longer I would of been in trouble.
4. If you are older never walk/hike alone. If I had a medical emergency what was a minor delay and a long walk than I expected could of been a serious survival situation.
5. Stay in shape! Because I am in good shape being lost and having to walk longer in the sun was an adventure, but for someone else it could of ended badly.

The Boy Scouts Motto is be prepared! I wasn't, but I was lucky, next time I'm not prepared I may not be so lucky!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My Second Trip to the Acupuncturists

Last week was my second appointment with my Acupuncturists. Now that I knew what to expect, I was able to relax and enjoy the experience. My fears of the needles being painful and uncomfortable were baseless fears, at least for me. On some parts of my body like the tops of my feet and my butt a couple of the needles gave me a slight pinch. I would say on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a big OW! the pinch rated a 1 or 2 and quickly went away once the needle was in place.

So now I'm relaxed and in a pleasant state of mind. The first after affects of the first session had lasted a bout a week and even now two weeks later my legs/back felt better. The Acupuncturist inserted about the same number of needles in the same areas of my body. Plus she inserted a few around the scar in the small of my back where I had my back operation. Now here comes the good part.

After inserting the needles she heats them up using a bundle of a Chinese herb called Mugwort. It is shaped and twisted into a cigar like cylinder, lite with a lighter which produces a cigar like ember on the end of the herb. Then the lit end is quickly touched to the top of the needles. I know it sounds like an ancient torture, but there is no pain only a nice warm glow that spreads around the treated area.

It's now been one week since my session and I do feel better, despite spending two days installing shelves in a pantry, washing a applying sealant to our deck and hanging a door. This second treatment should last longer than the first. I have another appointment in three weeks.

Again this is my own personal experience, your's maybe completely different. However if you are tired of drugs that only mask the pain or surgeries that have failed to relieve your pain, acupuncture maybe perfect for you.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Be Prepared: Sh-t Can & Does Happen!

I while ago I wrote several posts about how vital it was to be physically fit enough so you could save yourself and others. The importance of this was driven home to me yesterday!

It was a beautiful day temp in the high 70's - low 80's. Not a cloud in the sky & calm. The lake was smooth as glass as my buddy & I launched our boat. The boat is a small 12 ft long aluminum boat with a small electric motor. Nothing fancy about 30 yrs old but it floats and gets us where we want to go. There are two pedestal mounted seat fore and aft. My friend was sitting in the aft seat operating the motor. I was in the bow.

We had just stopped about 10' from shore. I was facing forward getting ready to cast when I heard a yell and felt the boat shake. Turning around I saw my buddy, all 255 pounds of him, laying on his back in the bottom of the boat. Of course my first reaction was asking if he was okay. He said he was and that the screws holding the seat to the steel pedestal had popped out and he fell backwards.

I asked if he could get up and he said no. He was wedged between a tackle box and a cooler. His legs were on either side of the pedestal. Now as I mentioned my buddy is a big guy: 254 lbs and six foot. He's also not in the best of shape, a poor swimmer and 68 yrs old. Yeah I know he does read my blog posts or listen to his wife/doctor telling him to lose weight and get in shape.

I made my way to him and was able to get my arms under his and helped him get up. He was unharmed a little shaken, but we continued fishing. If he had fallen out of the boat the outcome could of been different. I can swim well enough to save myself & possibly to help him. The boat is equipped with life jackets and floating seat cushions so the chances of drowning were slim, plus we're only in about 6 feet of water.

The lessons learned was we need to check, repair and reinforce our seats. We had gone over the boat prior to putting it in the water, but failed to check the bolts that held the seat to the pedestal. Secondly, I was glad that I was able to help him. If he was alone we're not sure if he could of gotten up without capsizing the boat. He would probably have to wait for a boat to come by and help him.

Thirdly, you never know when an accident might occur. It was a perfect day, we're both experience boaters, the water was calm, but still the unexpected can happen. The one ting we can all do is to prepare ourselves. Being fit and strong enough to save yourself & family/friend is a critical fator in determining whether a minor accident turns into a serious life threaten emergency.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Well it's been three days since my first acupuncture session. I wanted to wait a few days just to give the treatment time to take effect. But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let's start at the beginning.
My Acupuncturist is a medical doctor in her sixties. She decided to become an Acupuncturist because she was searching for an alternatives to drugs and surgeries and all the side effects.

She first had me fill out a medical report, much like at a regular doctor's office. Then she did something that a regular doctor wouldn't do, she asked me a series of questions about my likes and dislikes. Favorite color, did I like spicy or sweets and other such questions. I'm not sure the reasoning behind these questions. I have to ask her the next time.

As we went over my medical history and current complaints: sore back, restless legs, chronic leg pain & fatigue we decided to concentrate on the restless legs and fatigue for the first session.

Then I went into a room with a table, like a massage therapist would use. I laid face down, she lifted my shirt and began inserting the needles. I really didn't feel any pain in fact when she told me she had inserted fifteen needles, I was surprised because I had only felt 3/4 and only a very small pin prick. Once in I didn't feel them at all. Next she heated up a mugwort a traditional Chinese herb. It resembled a cigar. The she place the lit end to the needles. I felt a warm feeling radiate thru my back, very pleasant. Then she left me for ten minutes. When she came back in she removed the needles. Again there was no pain and very little sensation of removing the needles.

Next I turned over and she inserted needles in my legs, ankle and feet. I felt the needles go into my feet but again only slightly and once in no feeling of the needles. Finally she insert a number into my head. She didn't heat up the needles, but she did leave them in for another ten minutes.

All in all It was a pleasant, calming experience, no pain or discomfort. My body felt relaxed. She told me not to expect too much in the first session, but I could tell that the needles were doing their job. Also my Acupuncturist told me that usually the first session's treatment wears off in a week or so depending on how active I am. Of course the next day I went fishing in a boat all day and between casting and hauling the boat in and out of the lake it was hard to really tell how effective the treatment was.

However after three days I still feel better less pain and less fatigue. My next treatment is in two weeks and I can't wait. Here's a few things I would recommend to anyone planning to try acupuncture.

1. Find an experience Acupuncturists. Acupuncture is as much an art as a medical procedure. The more experienced the Acupuncturist the more knowledge and practiced they will be in their "art".

2. Be opened to the experience. It's okay to have some anxiety over the idea of needles being inserted into your body, but for 1,000's of years acupuncture has successfully treated all kinds of aliments. So be open to the concept that acupuncture maybe the solution you have been looking for.

3. Be honest and frank with your acupuncturist. Don't hold back important medical information. She can't treat you if you keep don't fully disclose all your aliments.

4. If you do experience pain let the acupuncturist know. Unless you are hyper sensitive to pain you should barely feel anything.

5. Plan on spend 1 1/2 hours the first time. You'll have to fill out forms, medical history and be interviewed so give yourself plenty of time. The last thing you want is to feel rushed and stressed.

6. Give the treatment time to work. How fast you'll notice relief depends widely from patient to patient. Some may notice immediate relief and some may take longer. For me I did notice some relief and the next day felt even better.

Acupuncture can be just the treatment you need to cure your pain and want ails you. Give it a try. I did and I'm glad I did!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Acupuncture and Back Pain

Can acupuncture cure back pain? Can acupuncture cure restless legs? How about fatigue and stress? Is acupuncture the cure all I've been searching for? I hope to answer these questions for myself and others as I go undercover to investigate and expose acupuncture. (Only kidding about the undercover stuff.)

First of all a little background. I'm pushing 71 years young, and for most of my adult life, I've strived to stay in shape, eat right, exercise, etc. In 2009 I injured my back requiring surgery and rehab. I have suffered from restless legs for years and take Requip at night, so I can sleep. Finally, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. I had a radical prostatectomy, no radiation and so far has been cancer free.

Since having my prostate removed, I've been suffering from fatigue. I haven't been diagnosed with chronic fatigue, but everything I read about it suggests that what I have. Now I have tried all the conventional ways of dealing with fatigue, restless legs, and constant pain, especially in my right leg.
Back in March, I started receiving massages about twice a month and although feeling great afterward haven't  had any long term relief. So my wife suggested acupuncture. I recently made an appointment and will report on my experience in the hopes it may help others considering trying acupuncture treatments.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Breathe: Just Breathe!

Breathing is something we all do without thinking. From the first gasp of air when we're born to the last gasp of life when we die. Breathing is one of a few things we do automatically, but we can also control how we take a breathe.

We can hold our breathe, take a deep breathe and pant. Pregnant woman learn a number of breathing techniques to ease their delivery. Most of us can't hold our breathe more than thirty seconds. Without  breathing we'd be brain dead in a very few minutes.

Despite the necessity of breathing, most of us don't really think about the breathe we take, but we should. Here are three breathing exercises everyone can do and should do several times a day.

Feeling Tired? Then try the Bellows Breathing. Here's how:
  • Rapidly inhale thru your nose, keeping your mouth shut. Make sure your inhales and exhales are the same duration. Keep your breathes short and exhale with some force like blowing out candles.
  • Only do three in and out breaths at a time expanding your diaphragm, then breathe normally.
  • You can repeat the cycle, but only do this exercise for 10-15 seconds and gradually buildup the time.
  • Try this exercise when you need a burst of energy, like in the afternoon when you're feeling drowsy.
2. Breathe Count:        
  • With this exercise you're going to count as you inhale and exhale.
  • With your mouth shut breathe thru your nose for a count of four.
  • Now hold your breathe for a count of seven.
  • Next open your mouth and exhale with a whooshing sound for the count of eight.
  • This is one rep. Start by doing four reps. This is a great breathing exercise when you want to relive some stress.
3. Breathing Meditation: This is a great tool to help you relax and practice a quick meditation.

  • Sit comfortably and take a few slow deep breathes.
  • Then take a breathe and count "1" when you exhale.
  • Then take another breathe, exhale and count "2".
  • Continue to the count of five.
  • Pause and take a couple of normal breathes then do another cycle.
  • I use this exercise to begin my meditation, but I also use it when I first lie down in bed as a way to relax and quiet my mind.
Doing these breathing exercises as needed during the day will relax you and at the same time energize you. So breathe, Just Breathe your way to a better you!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Aging And Attitude

My last post was about the Art of Aging. It's a fact that barring some fatal accident of illness we all will age. Some of us will be healthy and active and some will suffer debilitating illnesses. Some of these diseases and illnesses we can resolve thru an operation or meds. We are fortunate to live in a time of amazing medical advances. But some people maybe because of life style choices or genes find old age a struggle. It always amazes me how one individual in good health and financially secure ages badly while another in poor health and little money seems to thrive. What's the difference? It's ATTITUDE!

There's been mountains of books written about positive thinking and attitude. From Dale Carnegie to Tony Robbins millions have read their books, watched videos and/or gone to see them speak. I'm not going to try to reinvent the wheel here or compete with these giants. But Positive Thinking and a Positive Attitude makes the difference on how well you age.

In practicing the Art of Aging a positive attitude will be your secret weapon. But how do I get a positive attitude when I wake up with aches and pains? How can I feel positive when I look in the mirror and see an old person staring back at me? I can hardly pay my bills so how can I feel positive about the future?

Well I'm no psychologist, no doctor with degree, but as Aretha Franklin said it's all about respect. Respect yourself and the unique and special person you are. In order to love life and look forward to enjoying each day you need to like and respect yourself. That body of yours has taking care of you all these years despite the abuse, wear and tear you have put it through. With a little TLC it can continue to function for many years to come.

Like most journeys developing your Art of Aging starts with a single step and like most art forms in order to get good at it you need to practice. So practice the art of aging by working on one aspect of it each day. You know what the famous violinist said when asked how she got to play at Carnegie Hall? Practice - Practice - Practice!

So practice the Art of Aging. Join an exercise group or just walk around the neighborhood. Make a new friend. Work on your budget and get help if needed. Count your blessings. Be grateful for each day, each beat of your heart, each breathe you take! And Fake It Till You Make It!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Art of Aging

It may seemed funny to write an article about the Art of Aging. Some may say art? What art? You get old, feeble, lose your ability to take care of yourself and then you die. There's no art to it! But they are wrong. Sure all those things are going to happen if you live long enough. But it's how you face the challenges of aging that become an art. Like all form of art some of us are pretty good artist and some of us aren't. But with a little practice all of us can put some Art into our Aging.

So what do I mean by the Art of Aging? Quite simply it's this. Despite all the physical, mental, financial challenges aging can be a time of renewal. Aging as an Art to me means putting on a smile and facing the day with optimism despite an aching back. It's dressing with a little flare of style. It's having the wisdom to know that all things eventually pass: a rainy day, a headache, bad news, politicians, life itself. It's living in the moment and embracing life with all it's troubles, challenges and joys.

Here are some things that I use to put some art into my aging.

1. Have a sense of humor. Sometimes putting on a smile is the hardest thing I do. But as we all know it takes more muscles to smile than to frown.

2. Have a sense of  style. Remember when we all had to dress for success? Well being retired and old is no excuse to wearing old worn out clothes. Sure I have a pair of faded jeans and a favorite T Shirt. But I pair them with a nice belt, watch & sneakers or dockers. If money is tight visit the thrift shops. My wife and I usually stop by our favorite thrift shop every couple of weeks and usually find some nice brand name clothes and sometimes even brand new items.

3. If you're a man wear a fedora. Instead of a ball cap. Men's hats are making a big come back and a nice hat really adds to your style. If your a woman wear a red hat or something with color.

4. Get fit! Being in shape at any age helps you face the physical challenges of aging, improves your mood and makes you look younger.

5. Become an interesting person. Read some of the classics, start a hobby, buy a Harley or the cra of your dreams. I bought a 2007 Jaguar S Type for my 70th birthday. It's British Racing Green, low mileage and in perfect condition. It only cost me $8500 dollars far less than a new car. But I love it as soon as I get inside and turn the key I feel like a million bucks!

6. Volunteer: Find a cause you believe in and volunteer. Every organization needs volunteers and getting involved gets you out of the house and meeting different people.

7. Socialize: Get up off your couch and go out and meet people. Join a club, join a senior center, church, etc expand your circle of friends.

Most of all have fun! This can be your Golden Age despite all the challenges of aging. Practice the Art of Aging and thrive!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Why Everyone Should Take A Power Nap.

Power naps should be a job benefit! Along with health care, paid vacations and coffee breaks, a short snooze in the afternoon should be included in any job description. Why? Well besides being one of life's small pleasures a short nap has many benefits.

1. Improved memory.
2. Gives you an energy boost.
3. Increases creativity.
4. Improves your mood.
5. Increases productivity.

I was fortunate being an on the road salesperson I would routinely pull over and take a short nap in the afternoon. The quick snooze always gave me a boost of energy and helped me get through the rest of the day.

If you love a good nap you're nor alone. Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein,  John Kennedy and Salvador Dali all enjoyed a nap. So if these famous people could nap and still run a country, create great art and discover the Law of Relativity just think what a nap could do for you.

The trick is not to sleep to long. If you do then you'll enter deep sleep and probably wake up groggy.
Here's dome tips on taking the perfect nap.

1. Find a comfortable spot.
2. Keep in short 20-30 minutes max.
3. Do it in the afternoon.
4.Play some soothing music.

Sometimes you have to be creative. If you're on the road like I was then pulling into a safe rest stop works. I knew a person who always took a long bathroom break in the afternoon. Not my idea of a comfortable spot, but it worked for him.

Several companies now allow their employees to take a nap. If you're a member of one of them great. If not maybe you can talk to your HR person with the idea of instituting a nap break. A silly as it may sound there's a lot of solid data you can give showing the ROI of your company provided the time an a place for power naps.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Put Your Fitness Program on Auto Pilot!

If you're like me you are constantly on the go and sticking to a fitness program is a challenge. Summer time is the time to be outdoors, road trips, weekends at the beach, etc. Who has time to workout! But what if you could put your fitness program on Auto Pilot?

Well you can and here's how.

1. Put your workouts on your calendar.

2. Let everyone know your workout schedule and ask them to join you.

3. Schedule your workouts for first thing in the morning & get up early ready to workout.

 4. Get everything ready the night before; workout clothes, shoes, drinks, everything you need so in the morning you're ready to go.

4.  If your on vacation, say at the beach find a fun/new spot to run/walk.

5. Plan a destination after your run/walk: ie: coffee shop or just a bench with a great view.

6. If you can't find an hour for exercising fit time during the day for short burst. See previous posts for "Bathroom Workouts".

7. Enjoy the summer finding new and creative ways to exercise.

Don't lose all the progress you made just because it's summer and you're on vacation. By sticking to the above suggestions you can put your workouts on auto pilot and still enjoy the summer.

Friday, June 23, 2017

5 Simple Exercise Hacks Anyone Can Do!

No time to exercise? Try these simple exercise hacks and say goodbye to excuses. We all have busy lives and unfortunately one of the most important thing we can do for ourselves, exercise gets bumped in lieu of more pressing things. But try these hacks and you'll be surprise how easy it is to add a quick workout to your day.

1. Bathroom Workout: Every time you go to the bathroom do 10 standing wall pushups and 10 squats. By the end of the day if you're like me you could end up with 70-100 reps each.

2. Standing in Line Deep Breathing: I hate standing inline, but try this and relax. Breath through your nose to the count of four, hold for four seconds and slowly release agin to the count of four.

3. Sitting Stomach Tuck: We all sit much too long. But now you can work those abs will you work. Just suck in your stomach as far as comfortable, hold for a few seconds, release and repeat.

4. Steering Wheel Grip: Commuting back in forth to work can be a nightmare. Try this to lessen the tension and improve your grip. Every time you stop squeeze the steering wheel hard then release and repeat.

5. Sitting Leg Raise: Alternate this exercise with the sitting tummy tuck and you're have a six pack in no time. While sitting with your back straight up against the back of you chair extend your legs out and slowly raise them, hold for a few seconds, lower your legs and repeat.

There you have it. Five simple exercise hacks when combined will give you a great workout.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Can An Everyday Spice Cure My Prostate Cancer?

 Can An Everyday Spice Cure My Prostate Cancer?

WARNING: The views and/or opinions about Prostate Cancer and treatments are mine and mine alone. I am not a doctor or health care professional. I am just one man recording his experience with Prostate Cancer in the hopes it may help some one facing the same decision I faced.

Is it possible that spices most people have in their kitchen be as effective a cancer killer as radiation/chemo? If so then why isn't it recommended by doctors?  The answer to the first question is a strong maybe. To answer the second question you only have to ask yourself could Big Pharma patent it and make a profit? The answer is no!

The spices were talking about are Ginger and Tumeric. What so special about these spices and how do they kill cancer cells? For centuries these spices have been use in traditional eastern medicines to cure a wide variety of aliments. More recently modern western medicine has been taking a hard look at Ginger and Tumeric's ability to inhibit and kill cancer cells.

Here are some key points and results.

1. American Cancer Societ: Curcumin the active ingredient in Tumeric interferes with  development, growth and spread of cancer cells and even killing cancer cellsand shrinking tumors.

2. Tumerice/Curcumin can enhance the effectiveness of chemo treatment.

3.  A study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in 2006 found ginger to be effective against prostate and ovarian cancer, too. The research, conducted at the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, showed that ginger kills cancer cells and also prevents them from building up resistance to cancer treatment. (

4.  Researchers at Georgia State University also found that ginger can be helpful in fighting prostate cancer. Their study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that whole ginger extract can help shrink prostate tumor size by as much as 56% in mice.

Here are some links:




Although most of the test were on animals and more human tests need to be done the conclusions so far are very encouraging. As I said earlier if Big Pharma could figure out a way to sell these spices and make a profit I'm sure research would be heavily funded and a new drug would be released selling for many times what the spice and supplements now cost.

The bottom line to me is there are no or few side effects from taking high doses of ginger and tumeric. You can buy them in supplement form and/or add the spices to the foods you now eat. I believe that humans have developed over the course of thousands of years thru trial and error many natural foods that do cure many diseases.

Of course you need to discuss this with your doctor before taking these spices and don't stop taking any prescribed drugs unless the doctor tells you to.

My opinion and the treatment I'm now taking is Active Surveillance and Three 500 mg of Tumeric and 150 mg of ginger in supplement form as well as adding to my foods as a spice. I strongly believe that for me this is a safe way to proceed. I'm scheduled to go for further testing in late July and will update on my progress on this blog.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Prostate Cancer: Is Active Surveilance A Good Option for Me?

 Prostate Cancer: Is Active Surveillance A Good Option for Me?

WARNING: The views and/or opinions about Prostate Cancer and treatments are mine and mine alone. I am not a doctor or health care professional. I am just one man recording his experience with Prostate Cancer in the hopes it may help some one facing the same decision I faced.

In previous posts I have briefly describe two major treatment plans for  the treatment of Prostate Cancer. Radical Prostatecomy and Radiation. Both of these treatments are effective in treating and curing Prostate Cancer. But what if I told you there was a third treatment option that is non-evasive and has none of the side affects or risks of surgery/radiation?

The good new is there is a viable option called Active Surveillance.  Simply put Active Surveillance is the close monitoring of your cancer and if/when the cancer spreads and your PSA show a steady raise begin more aggressive treatments.

So the question is whose a good candidate for Active Surveillance and what are the survival rate?

A good candidate for Active Surveillance is one with the following:

1. Older men with other medical problems.
2. Low risk men with a Gleason score of 6 or less and a PSA less than 10.
3. Healthy younger men who want to avoid the side effects of surgery/radiation and are willing to carefully monitor their cancer.

The risks? Well like all treatment programs there are risks. Sooner of later your Prostate Cancer will probably grow. At that point surgery or radiation become the choices of treatment. But in the mean time you can live a normal active life

By Active Surveillance it's vital to realized that this doesn't mean just forgetting about the cancer or putting off keeping an eye on it. You need to work closely with your Urologist. Regular PSA testing, Prostate Biopsy and possibly MRI and Bone scans are an important part of the monitoring program.

So what are the survival rate?

According to most studies 50-66% of men during the 10 years after their diagnosis stay on active surveillance and don’t warrant treatment. Younger men with low Gleason score are better candidates than older men whose cancer can me more aggressive.

If you meet the guidelines and are willing to work closely with your Urologist than Active Surveillance is a real and effective option; avoiding more aggressive treatment and for the rest of the men a delay in having to experience the side effects of treatment.

 Please don't use this article as your sole source of info. Do your research, talk to your doctor and partner and make the decision  that best suits your age, progression of cancer and health.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Prostate Cancer: Is Radiation the Treatment for You?

WARNING: The views and/or opinions about Prostate Cancer and treatments are mine and mine alone. I am not a doctor or health care professional. I am just one man recording his experience with Prostate Cancer in the hopes it may help some one facing the same decision I faced.

As I mentioned in the last post, there are three major treatments for prostate cancer: Surgery, Radiation and Active Surveillance. I outline the pros and cons of surgery (Radical Prostatectomy). Today I'd like to provide you with somw information on radiation as a viable treatment to cure prostate cancer.

There are two forms of radiation: External Beam and  Brachytherapy (internal radiation). External radiation basically is bombardment of the prostate with radiation waves. Usually this is performed five days a week for eight weeks. There are several types of external radiation available and as with all treatments these procedures are constantly being refined and approved.

Internal Radiation or Brachytherapy involves place radioactive seeds in the prostate. Pellets (seeds) of radioactive material (such as iodine-125 or palladium-103) are placed inside thin needles, which are inserted through the skin in the area between the scrotum and anus and into the prostate. Ouch!

Usually 100 seeds are placed in the area depending on the size of the prostate.

The possible side effects of both of these treatments are the same as with surgery. Except with the addition of bowel problems. Inmy experience talking to guys who have had these treatments everyone of them has experienced and/or is experiencing urinary problems (leakage) and erection problems.

The only advantage with the seeds is you don't have to give up eight weeks of your life getting zapped five days a week.

I should point out one other issue and that is, as I understand it that once you have undergone radiation and the cancer comes back surgery is not an option.

Radiacal Prostectomy  on the other hand carries the same risks as any surgery and the recover period can extend over sevearl weeks/months.

For me one of the biggest side effects was/is fatigue. Usually this is common with radiation, but after my surgery I found that I tired easily and needed naps. Now I realize I'm 70+ years old and at this age I can expect some slowing down, but for me the change was pretty dramatic, like turning off a switch. So bear in mind that whatever procedure you choose It will affect your lifestyle.

Also the "cure" rate on all these treatments is about the same.

Please don't use this article as your sole source of info. Do your research, talk to your doctor and partner and make the decision  that best suits your age, progression of cancer and health.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Prostate Cancer: Radical Prostectomy

WARNING: The views and/or opinions about Prostate Cancer and treatments are mine and mine alone. I am not a doctor or health care professional. I am just one man recording his experience with Prostate Cancer in the hopes it may help some one facing the same decision I faced.

As I said in the previous post. The Prostate Biopsy showed cancer in three of the four sections of my prostate (Gleason Score 7). I was now faced with a decision, which of the three common treatments for Prostate Cancer do I want to under go?

The three treatments are:

 1. Radical Prostectomy: complete removal of the prostate.

 2. Radiation: Usually eight weeks, five days a week of radiation of pelvic area and/or hormone treatment. A subset of this is radioactive seeds.

3. Active Surveillance.

In this article we'll look at the first option, Radical Prostectomy. At first this seemed the most invasive. During the operation the surgeon removes the complete prostate and hopefully all the cancer. Of course this surgery works only if the cancer is contained within the prostate. If after removal of the prostate there is evidence that the cancer has spread then radiation and/or chemo are your next options.

The operation is done my robotics. The surgeon manipulates tiny flexible instruments that are move flexible than the human hand. These instruments are insert through small incisions. The prostate is cut free and removed. The small incision and the use of the robotics mean that recovery and healing is faster than traditional surgery.

The operation usually requires at least one over night hospital stay.

Now for the bad news: The after effects of this operation.

1. Lost of prostrate means you are sterile. The prostate produces semen without it you can't "delivery".
2. More than not you will be impotent, at least for a little while. Most men will recover and with the help of a tiny blue pill be able to have an erection. For some men an erection may become a distant memory.
3. You will have to wear a catheter for at least a couple of weeks.

These are the "Big Three" side effects. Suffice it to say your lifestyle and sexual life will be forever changed.

In the next article we'll look at radiation. For now please don't use this article as your sole source of info. Do your research, talk to your doctor and partner and make the decision  that best suits your age, progression of cancer and health.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Prostate Biospy: One, Two, Three Click!

Prostate Biospy: The word strikes terror in the hearts of men. It is the moment of truth. You knew you PSA was rising and the prostate was growing. You've put up with having trouble emptying your bladder and getting up 3, 4, 5 times a night. Your Urologist wants to do a biopsy of the prostrate which he said most men "tolerate" well. The key word here is "tolerate". But not having any options I agreed to the procedure. Basically the procedure involves insert a device up your rectum and firing 12, yes 12! hollow needles into various sections of your prostate. Sounds like fun huh! Kinda like being tortured with burning cigarettes only where they "go" is a place not designed for probing!

Anyway you are numbed. A device is inserted and the doctor starts the biopsy. Before inserting the device my doctor demonstrated it and the sound in makes when the needle is fired through the rectum wall and into the prostate. Believe me if I was a prisoner being questioned about the location of a secret treasure just the sight of this device and the knowledge of what the doctor was going to do with it would be enough to get me to talk!

I will say this despite my initial fear and embarrassment of laying on a table in front of a doctor and a couple of nurses the procedure although slightly uncomfortable wasn't painful. On a scale of 1-10 with ten being the most pain, I say the biopsy was a three.

After a few days I got the results. I had cancer in three out of four sections of my prostate. Not the news I had hoped for but I was assured by my Urologist that the cancer was more than likely contained within the prostate and had not spread.

No I had a decision to make. Which type of treatment did I want to deal with my prostate cancer. They are three major options. Surgical removal of the prostate, radiation and watchful wanting.
In my next post I'll describe each one and the reason I chose the treatment option I did.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


A devastating  as breast cancer is for woman, prostate cancer is for men. Of course being men we tend to ignore the signs. I'm writing this to share my own experience with prostate cancer and to encourage every man to go for a prostate exam.

I won't go into all the details about what the prostate is and does. If you're a man reading this post you know how important it is and how much trouble it can cause as men age. Most men if they live long enough will have an enlarge prostate. You'll begin having trouble peeing and needing to pee more often including getting up more times a night. Can you say "naps".

The classic exam for the prostate is the infamous digital exam. Your doctor inserts a finger up your rectum and feels around the surface of the prostate looking for and lumps and bumps. Most of us have probably endured this exam. You know the drill: Drop your pants and bend over. Believe me the doctor doesn't enjoy this anymore than you do!

The newer exam which should be used in addition to the rectal exam is a blood test to measure your PSA. PSA or Specific Antigen Test measure the amount of this protein in your blood. PSA is secreted by the prostrate and the higher the level the likely hood you have cancer.

Normally a level of 4.0 is cause for concern and your doctor will probably want to do a biopsy of the prostate. If you hate the digital exam just wait till you have a prostate biopsy!

So in my case my prostate had been rising for several years. Now I was 65 at the time and figured it was just a part of aging. However in 2014 my PSA Blood Test showed my levels had risen from 4.3 to 9.1. More than double in the course of a year!

So off I went to have a biopsy of my prostate. Which my doctor assured me that most men can endure it without any problems. The key word here is endure! I talked to several friends who had already "endure" a prostate biopsy and they ranged from uncomfortable to painful. One guy a retired carpenter who had bang thumbs and driven nails into his hand almost passed out during the biopsy. Oh Joy!

In my next post I'll go into more detail and my continuing journey into the wonderful world of prostate cancer.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Defend Yourself: The Most Importatnt Self Defense Weapon You Must Always Carry!

The internet is filled with information about what is the best self defense weapon, There's all kinds of self defense products: mace, knives, taser, pistols and on and on. In every town there are self defense courses being taught. But here's the problem.

1. Most of these self defense weapons are illegal to carry in most cities and require continuous training to use effectively.

2. Self Defense courses are expensive and take weeks or months to learn.

So what's the answer? Well the good news is that there is a weapon that you already have on your possession that is legal everyway and that you have used many times everyday.

That weapon is your BRAIN!

The biggest problem most people have and the one that gets them in the most trouble is there don't use their brain to avoid dangerous situations. You see it everyday. Somebody so busy texting or talking on their phone that they are completely unaware of their surroundings walking into a tree or traffic. Or you hear about the person mugged coming out of a bar at three in the morning drunk and walking down a dark street or parking lot.

The military has a term called SitRep or situation awareness. Which means always being aware of what's happening around you.

When I first started traveling years ago my boss told me to behave myself, don't go out drinking alone in a strange city. Stay in the hotel, have a nice meal, maybe a couple of drinks and go to bed early. Good advice that I have always followed.

All the guns, knives, tasers in the world and black belts won't help if you're not paying attention to your surrounds! SOoooo...

1. Put away the cell phone.
2. Never walk out of a bar alone.
3. Stay sober.
3. Never park or walk in strange, dimly lit areas.
4. Never wander into bad neighborhoods.


1. Pay attention to your surroundings.
2. Travel in pairs.
3. Always give yourself an escape route.
4. If you're going to carry anything make in a loud whistle or download an alarm app and practice using it.

Stay Safe!

Friday, March 24, 2017

K.I.S.S - The Only Diet You'll Ever Need!

You have tried every weight lost plan there is and never really got any lasting results. You have seen the ads on TV and the internet. You read magazine articles about losing weight and watched celebrities strut their stuff. Weight reduction plans run the gamut from fast, cleansing, detox to Paleo, high carbs and low carbs. What is a person to do? Why can't I lose weight? If only I could find a diet I could live with and actually enjoy eating the meals.

Well there is such a diet! I call it the K.I.S.S. Diet or the Keep It Simple Silly Diet. You see most every diet out there is doomed to failure. Why? Because in order to lose weight and keep it off you need an eating plan that is easy to follow, easy to prepare, uses common everyday ingredients, one that will not break your food budget and that you will enjoy eating.

Most diets out there call for expensive and unfamiliar food items and/or require long prep times. Using exotic spices with unfamiliar tastes may be okay when you are feeling adventurous but not as a regular addition to your meals. The K.I.S.S. Diet uses everyday familiar foods, comfort foods if you will and a few simple principles.

Now, I am not a doctor or dietician I am just a regular guy, who with his wife has tried nearly everything under the sun to lose weight and failed! Finally a few years ago I looked at all the highest rated weight lost programs and took the common elements they shared and developed my own system that has worked for my family. This is not a diet program you can buy. I do not have a book, DVD or meal plan to sell you. As I said this is a Keep It Simple Silly plan that I freely share. So without further ado here are the key points.

1. Start each day with a lean protein breakfast. It can be eggs. I like mine poached. But a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, non fat free plain yogurt with fruit or a smoothie will do.
2. Lunch is a salad or vegetable laden soup. It's okay to add some chopped chicken breast. We also keep a bag of frozen turkey Italian meatballs in the freezer and pop them into the soup.
3. Dinner lean protein either meat or vegetarian with lots of steamed veggies.
4. Snacks: Fruit, low fat cheese, handful of nuts, non fat plain yogurt, olives, Hummus, etc
5. Drink plenty of water.
6. Avoid sugar in all its forms.
7. Do not eat any food that is white.
8. Eliminate processed foods from your diet.
9. Move! Walk, walk, walk! Insert three, five or ten minutes of some kind of exercise every day.
10. Get enough sleep! Turn off the TV and/or electronic device. Chances are the world will still be spinning around without you checking emails every two minutes.

Now I admit there is nothing new in this plan. In fact you probably knew all this before you read this article. But sometimes with all the hype out there regarding weight lost and new diets we forget the simple truth about eating. This truth is "Everything in Moderation." You probably remember your Momma saying this, right?

My point in trying to grab your attention with my diet is to help refocus you and remind you that you don't need to spend buckets of money, drive all over town searching for strange foods or spending hours in the kitchen preparing unfamiliar meals. The solution was always right in front of you in your refrigerator and pantry. So relax use the simple principles above and rest assure that over time you will lose weight and keep it off for good!

Living a vital, vigorous life is possible. Your journey starts with the first step. Take that step now and start living! I hope this article was healthful and aids you in living a healthy and active life.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Man Saves Woman From Speeding Train

I recently saw a news item about a man who saved a woman from a speeding train.

“I saw the train was really coming. I sprinted onto the tracks, and I pulled her by the arm,” Mango said. “She actually stopped because she was scared, so then I tried grabbing her arm and then really tried pulling her. She was having a lot of trouble.” (March 9, 2017 Seattle Times)

Joe Mango was stopped and sitting in his car at a railroad crossing when he saw the woman. Apparently frozen in fear at the sight & sound of the approaching train. Without a moment's hesitation Joe ran to the woman and pulled her to safety just as the train roared by.

Now Joe didn't wake up this morning, put on his "super hero" uniform and went out to save some one. Let the rest of us he was just a regular "Joe" (Sorry couldn't resist.) What Joe did do was ACT!! 

Could you? The whole point of the last few articles was to help you be physically fit enough to save yourself and others. This doesn't mean you have to be super strong or faster than a speeding bullet. I'm sure Joe was none of these. But he was fit enough to save a woman's life.

I know fit people in their 70's & 80's who could do what Joe did and I know out of shape, overweight twenty and thirty year olds who couldn't even get out of their car in time to save themselves or anyone else. Let alone run across railroad tracks.

What you have to decide which one do you want to be.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Well I can cross one more item off my Bucket List. I had my first massage! Don't really know why it took me so long to have a massage? But finally I decided to give it a try. After all truth be told at 70 years young I do get my share of aches and pains.

I met Dan Cunningham a certified Massage Specialist http://ccm.abmp.com/benefits-of-massage at a local business show and scheduled a massage.

I opted for a 45 minute introductory full body massage. Well despite having some reservations the massage session was great. I felt very comfortable at all times. I don't believe I went to sleep, but when Dan finally said were done and left the room so I could dress; the session actually took 75 minutes. All through the session I was asked for feedback to make sure that I was comfortable and that Dan wasn't using too much pressure.

At the end of the session I felt very relaxed and all I really wanted to do was take a nap right there on the table. Dan said to expect some soreness or tenderness. Kinda the like when you exercise as the massage does create micro tears in the muscles.

The only discomfort I felt was in my right leg, but that went away in a day or so. I happily pad for the additional time as Dan explain that because it was my first time and I had a lot of tensed muscles a longer session was necessary. I scheduled another session for next week.

So was it a "Miracle"? Time will tell. But I did feel the massage made me feel better less aches and more flexibility. I will keep you updated on my experience.

Here are some benefits of a massage. (Taking from Dan's website http://ccm.abmp.com/benefits-of-massage

Benefits of Massage

Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Enhanced sleep quality.
  • Greater energy.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Increased circulation.
  • Reduced fatigue.
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
  • Ease medication dependence.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system.
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
  • Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
  • Relieve migraine pain.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

90 Man Does 24 Pull Ups!

Vern Greenwood is 94 years old. Now reaching 94 and being able to stand upright is quite an accomplishment. But what is really amazing is that this gentleman can do 24 pull ups!
To put that in some perspective Navy Seals minimum is 10 their competitive standard is 15-20. This guy could qualify for Seals Training!.

The average for a 18 - 30 year old man is only 8 pull ups. So the idea that a 94 year old man actually cranked out 24 in less than a minute is unbelievable! Don't believe me here's the link.     90 Year Old Man Does 24 Pull Ups!

I don't know much about Mr. Greenwood. From the video he apparently walked into the gym with his son (Who's taking the video.) and cranked out 24 pull ups in under 1 minute. The fact that he's in his street clothes tells me he's not some gym rat or old body builder. He looks lean and mean and didn't seem out of breath or even worked up a sweat.

So what's the point? There's really two points here.

1. Age doesn't matter! You can be fit at any age.
2. Building a foundation of functional strength and fitness when your young pays off in huge dividends later in life.

I'm sure of a couple of things about Mr. Vern Greenwood.

1. He's developed his fitness and strength over a lifetime.
2. He could save himself and others in an emergency.

Now's what's your excuse!

PS: I'm 70 years old and can manage 4 pull ups. Nothing to brag about but that's four more than my 16 year old grandson! Sorry Peter. As soon as the snow's melted it's back to the school playground. My goal is 10 Navy Seals here I come.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Is H.I.T The Greatest Exercise Program Ever?

Is H.I.T The Greatest Exercise Program Ever? Maybe. There's a lot of buzz lately about H.I.T or High Intensity Training. It reported to be the most effective exercise program ever for to big reasons: Time and Effectiveness.

Now when we like of working out most people picture a gym/health club with sweaty men and women riding stationary bikes, running treadmills or pumping iron. Or you may think of Muscle Heads spending hours in the gym, grunting and groaning under huge weights.

If you have been paying attention to my recent posts you know that for most of us that the gym/health club is not required to get Functional Strong. As you know everything you need to get fit is right in your home or nearby school playground.

Hopefully you have started a program. Now let's take it to the next level with H.I.T.
 High Intensity Training is short burst of activity followed by a quick rest period before moving on to another group of exercises.

Here's an example:

After a warmup do two sets of jumping jacks for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds followed by two sets 20 seconds of  wall pushups. Take another 10 second rest and do two sets 20 seconds of lunges, 10 second rest and two sets 20 seconds of triceps dips using a chair.

That's it! Four exercises done rapid fire with a short rest period in between each for a total of four minutes.  Doesn't sound like much but you've just did a full exercise routine in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee! But is this type of training effective?

You bet! Here's what's happening to your body.

1. You burn more calories faster than regular exercise programs.
2. You never get bored.
3. You can do them anywhere.
4. You'll build stronger and leaner faster.
5. Your increased your endurance faster.
6. It's a great way, maybe the best to start building functional strength.
7. It only takes minutes not hours!

There's a lot of science behind H.I.T which you can research thru a Google search. Done properly it is intense so I advise you to start with 20 second bursts and gradually increase the duration. You can mix up the exercises so you are working the major core muscles and increase the exercise sets or types of exercises as you become stronger. But don't over due it! Most of us will get good results doing H.I.T twice a week. Research has shown that the results of doing H.I.T lasts up to 48 hours.

So there you have it! you now know that exercise will make your body younger and it'll only take a few minutes a couple of times a week.

So let me ask you again: What's Your Excuse?!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Grow Younger Genes With Exercising!

Is it possible to grow younger through exercising? If so what are the best types of exercises? The first answer and I think you instinctively know this, is YES! Just compare your a fit person to a couch potato. The difference?

1. The one who exercises has more energy.
2. Is leaner.
3. Walks and talks with confidence.
4. Looks younger.

Those are just a few of the differences. Now science has some real evidence how exercising not only can make you look young, but can also help you grow young.

Enter epigenetics, epigenetics is a process by which your genes are changed. Studies have found that exercises can changed your genes. An experiment was done in which a group of young people exercised one leg only for a period of time. The results of course was that the exercised leg was strong with better muscle development. But what really astonished the researchers was that the gene expression of the genes in the exercised leg dramatically changed. The actually grew younger!

In one study 25 older volunteers (Average age 68) were compared with 25 (Average age 24) younger inactive subjects and the results were startling! After 26 weeks of twice weekly exercising the older group's genes had changed. In fact the 179 genes associated with age and exercise more closely resemble that of the younger subjects. These senior citizen's not only slowed the aging process but had actually reverse the process and grew younger!

These studies and more like them should motivate everyone no matter what their age to exercise. Think what this would do to the quality of life for our older population. Not to mention cost of health care.

In my next post I'll go into simple exercises you can do at home. In the mean time what's your excuse!
 Here are some links:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Be Your Own Gym!

I live less than 10 minutes from a health club. Plus being retired I can go whenever I want. Still the idea of having to gather up my workout clothes, get in the car, drive to the gym, change my clothes, exercise, shower, change back into my street clothes and drive back home seems like such a waste of time. Especially when I know that I have everything here at home to be my own gym. Besides the time spent going back in forth could be better spent doing my H.I.T Program. More on this in a later post.

Sure I know what you're thinking. The guys to cheap to pay for a gym membership. Well I am fugal but I really don't need a health club to build functional strength. Don't get me wrong gym and health clubs are great! Plenty of equipment, professional advice and people to interact and motivate. But I'd like to offer you an alternative. Be your own gym.

Now just want do I mean "Be your own gym.". Well for starters you have everything you need to get a great workout at home. Remember the last post when I told you are a Joe Weider muscle building program I followed fifty plus years ago? Well besides doing the usual jumping jacks and pushups, his instructors had us doing a variety of exercises using a wooden kitchen chair a beach towel and a broom handle. That's right you probably have all these things in your home, know need to order the latest "Thigh  Master" from QVC.

Most of the functional strength exercises only require your own body weight, not some fancy and expensive machine that will probably end up as a clothes rack or a Goodwill donation.

I have an added bonus. I live right behind an elementary school. So when schools out I can go over and do incline pushups on the bike rack or pullups on the jungle gym.

See you don't need a health club you have your own gym, your body, a few everyday home items and the great outdoors. Now what's your excuse?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Baby Step Your Way To Functional Fitness

One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a physical fitness program is doing too much. You know how it is you finally decided to start a fitness program. You bought the latest exercise togs, shoes, Fit Bit or other type of monitor. Maybe you bought a gym membership or hired a personal trainer. You've written down your goals and stocked up on all the right supplements and protein shakes.

So all primed and brimming over with enthusiasm you start your first workout! Pumping out as many reps with as much weight as possible or running a couple extra laps. You get home gulp a protein shake feeling tired but pretty good.

The next morning it's a different story. You wake up and your whole body is screaming in pain! Everything hurts! You're stiff and sore in places you didn't even know you had. So you swallow some pain killer, take a sick and go back to bed. The next day feeling a little better, but you skip your workout, vowing to get back at it tomorrow. But tomorrow comes and you skip the workout again. Maybe you finally get back to your workouts or maybe like a lot of people just quit.

Many, many years ago about 54 years to be exact. My younger brother and I signed up for an eight week body building course promoted by Joe Wieder. We brought a cheap set of weights and some protein mix and waited for the course to arrive figuring we look like Charles Atlas (Yes I know that was another program.) in no time.

Each week you received a specific set of exercises demonstrated by a world famous body builder. You can imagine our surprise when we opened the first weeks program. Instead of lifting weights and tearing up phone books. We did a series of simple bending and stretching exercises! What! Well as Joe Wieder explained you need to prepare your body before you hit the weights. These simple exercises would get progressively harder until finally in the eighth week you finally grabbed the iron, But even then starting with light weights.

A little disappointed but having faith in Joe we went thru the entire program. By the eighth week we were ready and made amazing progress! After about six weeks on the weight and following Joe dietary guidelines which was pretty solid advice even by today's standard I gain about twenty pounds and had great definition! This program and the sound advice started me on a lifetime of physical fitness.

The lesson here is pretty simple. You can't run until you can walk and you start walking with baby steps! So take it easy start slow. Build a foundation of strength and condition your body by progressively increasing the types of exercises, reps and duration. Sure you'll still be a little sore but that's okay. If you start with baby steps your body will thank you, the chances of quiting are less and the results in eight or ten weeks will amaze you. So baby steps your way to functional strength.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Never Too Old To Build Muscle?

Yesterday I wrote that you are never too old to build muscles. Now let me give you some more reasons why it's important to build muscles/strength.
 I'll use a great example:

Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981. A long-nosed .22 caliber bullet, fired from a pistol, ricocheted off the Presidential limo and entered Reagan's chest, under his left arm. The bullet was of the exploding type, but it did not explode. The main threat to Reagan's life was from blood loss and a collapsed lung. He lost 1/2 of his blood. Despite the seriousness of his wound he walked out of the hospital 12 days later.

President Reagan recover from a near fatal gunshot wound and lost of blood, an injury that could of killed a younger man. Aside from having great doctors and the best possible care Reagan was remarkably fit for a man 70 years old.

Reagan's lifestyle could be called vigorous. Riding horseback, cutting brush and chopping wood on his ranch. As president he converted one of the White House bedrooms into a gym. After his recovery from the gunshot wound he started a weight training program. The results according to his doctors was a gain of 1 3/4" of muscle! Pretty good for a 70 year old man recovering from a gunshot wound.

So let me ask you. "What is your excuse?"

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Too Old To Build Muscle?

One of the comments I hear from friends and people I meet is that "I'm too old to build muscle." They use this as an excuse not to exercise. Some even go so far as to say "At my age why bother?".

Well research has shown that there's really no age that's too old. A study in the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging showed that resistance training just twice a week  for two months dramatically improved the muscle strength and mobility in both men and women between the ages of 77 and 97.

Yeah you heard right building muscle at the age of 97! So what's your excuse? Resistance or strength exercises can greatly improve your life in a very short period of time. This means everything from getting out of your recliner or car, climbing stairs and yes saving yourself in an emergency.

So again what's your excuse?