Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Blood Test Result Since Surgery..

Well before I get into the results, I need to say that I had the most amazing moment on Sunday. Very shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer, I met a person on Facebook who became my mentor during this whole process as he had just gone through the process a couple of months earlier. Without his constant online friendship, this would have been totally unbearable. He was always there for me when I was feeling low. Well on Sunday, he and his wife were in town. I got to meet up with him with my wife and it was great. It felt like seeing an old friend whom I hadn't seen in a very long time. It was like seeing family.

This week was a stressful week for me as I had my first blood test since my surgery, which was to set my baseline for the tests for the rest of my life. I had the test on Tuesday and had 24 hours to wait for my results. As usual the staff at my surgeon's office was amazing. Only this time, the nurse was a bit sadistic as I swear she chose the tiniest vein possible to draw the blood. It hurt like crazy!!! lol She laughed when I screamed. She's an awesome person so I forgave her for trying to kill me. After the blood was drawn, she told me that if I hear her voice on the phone everything was okay. If I heard someone else's on the I was in trouble.

So the next day comes and I'm in a meeting and see that I missed a call from the doctor's office and no message was left. Okay, that scared me as I assumed there was no way it could be good if they didn't leave a message. I hit redial on my cell and I hear the nurse's voice who drew my blood. A huge relief came over me. I almost jumped out of my skin. She told me the PSA came back 0.00! It doesn't get any better than that. So basically all of the cancer is gone or if there is any left it is too small at this point to register a PSA level. I will have to monitor my PSA for the rest of my life. I will do this every three months as I know that there is a 30% chance it can come back given that I had a Focal Positive Margin but for now, I'm going to live La Vida Loca! I will stay with all of my lifestyle/diet changes going forward as that will only help me prolong my life with or without cancer.

I am now motivated to begin a new project and will talk more about this as it develops.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"On Living" by Nazim Hikmet

This morning I was given a poem to read by a friend whom I was very close to at one point in my life. She is a poet herself with very discerning taste. This reflects that as it hits the nail on the head that all of us Cancer Survivors/Patients need to reflect on.

On Living by Nazim Hikmet
Translated by Mutlu Konuk and Randy Blasing


Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example--

I mean without looking for something

beyond and above living,

I mean living must be your whole occupation.

Living is no laughing matter:

you must take it seriously,

so much so and to such a degree

that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,

your back to the wall,

or else in a laboratory

in your white coat and safety glasses,

you can die for people--

even for people whose faces you've never seen,

even though you know living

is the most real, the most beautiful thing.

I mean, you must take living so seriously

that even at seventy, for example, you'll plant olive trees--

and not for your children, either,

but because although you fear death you don't believe it,

because living, I mean, weighs heavier.


Let's say we're seriously ill, need surgery--
which is to say we might not get up
from the white table.
Even though it's impossible not to feel sad

about going a little too soon,

we'll still laugh at the jokes being told,

we'll look out the window to see if it's raining,

or still wait anxiously

for the latest newscast. . .

Let's say we're at the front--

for something worth fighting for, say.

There, in the first offensive, on that very day,

we might fall on our face, dead.

We'll know this with a curious anger,

but we'll still worry ourselves to death

about the outcome of the war, which could last years.

Let's say we're in prison

and close to fifty,

and we have eighteen more years, say,

before the iron doors will open.

We'll still live with the outside,

with its people and animals, struggle and wind--

I mean with the outside beyond the walls.

I mean, however and wherever we are,

we must live as if we will never die.


This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet--
I mean this, our great earth.

This earth will grow cold one day,

not like a block of ice

or a dead cloud even

but like an empty walnut it will roll along

in pitch-black space . . .

You must grieve for this right now

--you have to feel this sorrow now--

for the world must be loved this much

if you're going to say "I lived". . .

From Poems of Nazim Hikmet, translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk, published by Persea Books. Copyright © 1994 by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk.

Friday, June 20, 2008

"I'm Too Young For This" Gala....

Well last night I had a great time. I went to the "I'm Too Young For This" Gala. If you aren't familiar with the organization, go check out It is a great organization bringing cancer awareness to a much forgotten and ignored group, the age group of 20-40. I'm a little older as I'm 41 but hey, my cancer was growing in me before I hit 40! Honestly, I was a bit shy when I went in which is totally out of character for me and was about to leave but I saw a friend from college who I hadn't seen for years. He came there with his wife to support me during this period of my life. After settling down into a booth in the back of the room, we had a great time and I'm truly glad that I stayed.

I picked up a "Stupid Cancer" t-shirt last night and took it out walking around today after work and everyone on the street was looking it. This older couple stopped me and told me how much they loved it. They wanted to get one themselves. It was awesome! I feel that this shirt will be an opening to talk with others about what I've gone and am going through which may help save someone or at the very least give them some info on a great group.

Now on to my cancer. How's that for a segue? Maybe not the smoothest but that's all that I have for today. This week started out with blood in my urine from pushing myself too hard but finally subsided. The problem is that now I've found myself feeling basically like I did the week after I had my catheter out. I'm leakier than I was a week ago and have pain in my pelvic floor and near my bladder. I'm also guilty of not being as faithful to my Kegel exercises as I should be. I'm making a vow now to better about this and not push myself too hard. This weekend is all about rest! Oh and I get to meet a friend from Facebook that had the same surgery and has been a great friend and mentor during this. It will be wonderful to put a live person to my online friend.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday and the blood has subsided...

I was truly worried yesterday when I saw the faint blood in my urine. I thought that I was doing to much and was separating the sutures. I was doing to much and the fact that I am now able to achieve full erections during this healing process didn't help. Hey, I'm not complaining about being able to achieve those but they can be brutal this early on. Now I know why they say to avoid sex for at least 6 weeks after surgery. I'm going to give it a couple of weeks beyond that now that I've had this happen.

Lately I've been spending a lot of time reading online and hanging out on Planet Cancer and My Sexy Life. Those sites are Godsends. I wish that I would have joined them before my surgery as they would have been very uplifting in times of serious depression and fear. Today I am taking it easy and stayed home from work but will be back tomorrow for a few hours. That's about it for now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Video Clip of Dr. Samadi from ABC News...

This is another video that shows my surgeon, Dr. Samadi. He is an amazing doctor who truly cares about all of his patients. I'm so glad that I chose him. His expertise in robotic surgery allowed me to regain my sexual function immediately!

Monday Morning and Pain is Here...

I have no idea what I have done to myself but my God I am in some pain in my pelvic floor. I know that last week I overdid it with work so that probably had something to do with it. On a personal note, this weekend I was able to have full erections spontaneously. I felt like a high school kid again! I think that this could have been one of the major contributors to the pain and the blood in the urine this morning. I am to avoid sexual interaction for another couple of weeks because the urethra is still healing where it was disconnected and reconnected back to the bladder during the surgery.

On a happier note, last week I finally set up my page on Planet Cancer. That place is awesome. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a social network site like MySpace or Facebook but for people battling Cancer, survivors of Cancer, their family and friends. I have met some amazing people on there who are going through many of the same things that I am and more. The support that they have shown is incredible. Today I also joined another social network for Cancer Patients/Survivors called My Crazy Sexy Life. I'm waiting on my approval before I can set up my page. Looking forward to meeting people there as well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Here is a Video that Shows My Surgeon, Dr. David Samadi of Mt. Sinai Hospital, for Those Interested...

It's a Hot Tuesday in the City...

I don't even know where to begin. First off, the weather is overly hot so getting out is difficult at best. I saw my nutritionist last week as well as my surgeon. The nutritionist had some quacky ideas that I will consider later but one thing that was beneficial was getting my blood work back and seeing that my Vitamin D level was excessively low. He suggested 2 hours a day in the sun plus Vitamin D supplements. Not too bad actually given that now I have an excuse to leave the office everyday to sit in Central Park. He also wanted to get me on a high concentrated Vitamin C IV 2x a week plus some drug that I would have to import from Mexico. I passed on those but got quite a few supplements/vitamins etc.

I changed my diet radically and have switched to an organic vegetarian diet which is much healthier. I will follow this and take the vitamins and supplements to help make my body stronger and more resistant to cancer coming back.

I saw my surgeon as I mentioned earlier. Basically he scared the crap out of me. He told me that I was lucky and that I had a significant amount of cancer that was aggressive and if I would have waited until the normal age of 45 to be tested, I would not have made it to be a candidate for surgery. That would no longer have been an option for me. Basically I had a death sentence growing inside of me that was killing me fast! There is a chance that it will come back given that I had a focal positive margin. One studies shows a 30% chance of recurrence and a more recent shows a 1 in 44 chance it will come back. It is recommended that I get tested every three months with an ultra-sensitive PSA to see what we see. If it starts to elevate, I will have to have radiation treatments. I am dreading that so I will do everything that I possibly can to fight this beast! I have an awesome Doctor who has taken very good care of me. His assistant is fantastic as well. For now though, I am off to Bryant Park to enjoy some live Poetry readings to relax me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tomorrow is another day at the nutritionist...

So I went in to the office today and honestly overdid it. I was to stay in only a couple of hours a day but I ended up being in there for full days and going off site to meetings. Not the smartest move because by the end of the day I was exhausted and leaky. I'm going to take the rest of the week off to go to doctors. Tomorrow I go to see a Nutritionist who specializes in diets dealing with cancer patients. On Friday I go to see my surgeon to fully go over the pathology report. I can tell you that I am honestly nervous. I know what he is going to say, I just don't want to hear it.

I've been trying to be strong through this whole process but at times it takes its toll on me and I snap. Today I had a few tears, tears that I hadn't had in awhile. I guess it all got overwhelming. Tonight I will sleep and hopefully find peace tomorrow and a path to a new and healthier diet!

Monday, June 2, 2008

It has been awhile...

I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing that I haven't written here in a little over a week. I've been going through quite a bit of mental turmoil dealing with the pathology report. I actually received the report in the mail but decided not to open it. I know myself fairly well and will freak myself out so I decided to wait and see the doctor this coming week to go over with him. Even as I type this on my computer, my heart is racing thinking about it. That's pretty frustrating actually.

Since I last wrote, I've done pretty well with the Kegal exercises and am down to 1 pad today for the incontinence. Some days when I move around the city too much or do too much, I can use up to 3. I see a light at the end of the tunnel though. If I stay faithful to the exercises, I'll beat this thing called incontinence. I'm also doing very well with the old guy working again. I'm able to get erections, which is very good considering it has only been a little less than 3 weeks since the surgery. Well actually by the time I finish this, it will only be 9 hours shy of 3 weeks. In 2 more weeks I will have my PSA test again to see where I am. I'm praying for a zero PSA report.

Since this whole thing has happened I have found myself again. I found the things that make me me, the things that I lost as I got caught up in my work life. It feels good to be back working towards becoming Lynn again.