Oh Canada! - July 16, 2011

Wow! It's been 6 weeks since my last blog post. Slow activity on the blog is good news. Bladder Cancer is not impacting "normal life" nearly as much as before. Summer is finally here in the West. Although the southwest US has been sweltering, the West has been cool and rainy - very unusual. For the past few weeks it has been a mix of work and play for me. Work, of course, is work - hardly worth mentioning except for the fact that I can really focus on things at work rather than having to plan every commitment around the next doctor visit or whatever. Other than being thinner and healthier with more energy than before diagnosis, normal life is pretty much back to normal.

My weight loss diet is progressing OK with 6 weeks more until I do the final assessment. My goal was to reduce body fat by at least 10% and drop to waist size 34 in six months. I am not there yet, but have lost over 20 pounds and now comfortable in size 36 pants. So it COULD happen. Feeling good and staying on the plan. More on this after the 6 month assessment.

I have had contact from a few new people, and many of our regular "fraternity members" have checked in with ALL CLEAR on cystoscopes, including my cousin Rick in Texas. A new idea comes from Jon M. in Massachusetts, who worked with his wife's osteopathic doctor to come up with a diet modification plan. The doc recommended food sensitivity testing (different from food allergy testing). After donating about 6 vials of blood, he received a report on 30-40 foods. Jon continues: "I am highly sensitive to dairy proteins (whey/casein) and moderately sensitive to Oats, so I cut those completely from my diet about 3 weeks ago. Perhaps not by coincidence, chronic pain in my left shoulder is almost gone (I can sleep on my side again!). Most mainstream doctors only test for food allergies, not sensitivities." So this could be something for all of us to consider! I also heard more from Sebastian, aka Oldman the Calligrapher, from Argentina. Thanks to Google Translate, we have been communicating quite well despite not sharing much common in language. Sebastian is also an engineer (as is his wife) and we also share upcoming Judgment Days in September and an interest in diet modification. From Sebastian:

Less than a year ago we were with my wife in your country, traveling on tourism. We visited the west coast, where we met wonderful landscapes and cities. If I had known what awaited me, would advantage to visit the famous Dr. Lamm. For my story, you can count on my name if you want. In addition to treatment I started drastic changes in my habits. The key is diet. I've studied the subject, including anti-cancer foods and diet that produced is in the attachment. It is adapted to my tastes and habits of my country: light breakfast, strong dinner, can not completely give up meat. It is quite healthy and balanced. I also need a free-day. I'm greedy and I gained some weight by anxiety.
Even though it is not a formal recommendation, the curious may see Sebastian's diet plan by clicking on the picture below:

HK in Toronto continues to test all clear and avoid BCG. He has had a lot of trouble tolerating any procedures or treatments - by far the most sensitive of our fraternity. But HK has discovered a new resource for us all to share. Canada has rolled out a helpful website called Bladder Cancer Canada with doctor lectures, interviews, support groups and the like. HK has been attending meetings in Toronto, and he finds the group to be interesting and informative.

And speaking of Canada, it was my (somewhat expensive) privilege to spend a couple of weeks there zooming about British Columbia and Alberta on the motorcycle for WeSTOC XVI. We stayed one week in Nelson, BC, a gorgeous place where the movie Roxanne (with Steve Martin and Darryl Hannah) was filmed. We found the country to be wonderful, the food excellent, the people first rate, and the alcohol prohibitively expensive. This latter fact really cut down our drinking and associated weight impacts, so it was all good! We saw mule deer, white tailed deer, elk, moose, eagles, hawks, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, coyotes - pretty much everything but bear. A bit annoyed about that, as most of our friends reported multiple black and grizzly bear sightings. We covered over 3300 miles and explored some new to us landscapes and scenery. Enjoy the route map and selected photos below...

(Click on any photo to enlarge.)

1 comment:

A Dived Ref said...

It's good to have you back - what a great vacation you had. Regards David