off topic: general health update

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 2/27/2011 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I hope everyone will forgive me because this is not directly about PCa, but it is health-related and we had a thread going on this for a few weeks.

I joined Weight Watchers in October 2010 in a rather desperate move to gain some control over my body. I was clearly overweight, and on the verge of obesity. I was on meds for blood pressure and cholesterol, and figured diabetes was the next bogeyman. I was also worried that my weight and bad habits could add fuel to the fire of PCa, should it show its head again.

Several weeks into WW, a meeting topic was on the importance of exercise, and at that point I started to increase my activity and track it (a major advantage of WW is the tracking). I tried to get some sort of aerobic exercise (mainly bike riding at first) on most days, and strength training 3-5 days a week in the form of push-ups, then pull-ups, and dumbbell workouts, using a $40 set of weights I bought on Amazon.

I have now achieved my weight goal. I have two goals, one for home (because I weigh with most clothes off, in the morning, before I've eaten all the high fiber food) and one for WW meetings. My goal at meetings was set at 175, and I hit that several days ago. My goal at home was 172. Today I weighed 171.8 at home. When I started I weighed 205. That's 1.7 lbs. lost per week on average.

After maintaining this goal level for 6 weeks, I will become a lifetime member--no more membership fees, although I'll probably continue the online tracking (not free) because it's so convenient.

My waist shrank 4 inches, putting me at high-school levels.

My blood pressure is down. This month my average over several readings was 112/66, down from 122/73 in October/November. However, I am still on the same med (Hytrin), same dosage (10mg), as before. I hope that can be reduced at some point in the future.

My BMI has fallen from a level near obesity of 28 to a healthy 23. My percent body fat (as computed by my bathroom scale) has fallen to 17.

I have not yet achieved my 100 push-up goal, although each week I get closer, now up to 80.
I have been increasing my pull-ups, from not being able to do one complete pull-up (palms facing away, dead hang to chin over bar) to being able to do 7, without any assistance. (Hint: if you want to do pull-ups but can't get started, I suggest using a heavy duty elastic strap to get started--loop the strap around the bar, put your knee into the loop and use the elastic bounce as a boost).

All of this has also helped me manage stress. The only downside? Buying all new clothes.

Dx Feb 2006, PSA 9 @age 43
RRP Apr 2006 - Gleason 3+4, T2c, NX MX, pos margins
PSA 5/06 <0.1, 8/06 0.2, 12/06 0.6, 1/07 0.7.
Salvage radiation (IMRT) Jan-Mar 2007
PSA 9/2007 and thereafter <0.1

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 2/27/2011 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
What a great story. You have done so very well, and it sounded like a sensible way to do it. My wife just started back up on WW again. It's amazing that even with some minimal weight loss what kind of health improvements can be made. Every since my last big surgery in Sept, I had lost 41 lbs, but have gained about half back after 5 months, I no longer need any blood pressure or thyroid meds that I was once on.. Great going.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 2/27/2011 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Life altering, amazing news! Kudos to you! I don't remember - were you a part of Casey's four week fitness group?
Husband 60yrs., no symptms: PSA 10/04 2.73, 12/06 3.64, 5/09 3.9, 10/09 4.6, 1/10 5.0w/ free PSA 24
6 core biop 4/1/10 path rept: rt mid: adnocarc. G=3+3, 5% of core; R apx v. susp. minute ca, R base bnign w/ mod. atrophy, L side atrphy only; 2nd opnion JH confrmd
MRI - 15mm nodule
BiLatRP surg 7/6/10, path: T2c, nodes, sem.ves, extra caps. neg., adenoc both sides G=3+3 cntinent, Viagr-8/27 ED

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 2/27/2011 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks David--and best wishes to your wife on getting started with WW again. It's very doable. I still go out with my buddies once a week for trivia, beer, and some tasty but definitely unhealthy bar food. I have my glass of wine with TV at night.

NEIrish--yep, I was part of that group. It was a big motivator for me.

Dx Feb 2006, PSA 9 @age 43
RRP Apr 2006 - Gleason 3+4, T2c, NX MX, pos margins
PSA 5/06 <0.1, 8/06 0.2, 12/06 0.6, 1/07 0.7.
Salvage radiation (IMRT) Jan-Mar 2007
PSA 9/2007 and thereafter <0.1

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 2/27/2011 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Kudos! and thanks for the encouragement. I'm where you were when you started. My wife has been doing WW for about 5 months and I'm now realizing i'm not going to do this on my own. and I'm retiring in 4 months and don't plan to sit around, watch TV and wait till my PSA doubling hits "treatment" time. Way to go Galileo!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3989
   Posted 2/27/2011 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
way to go dude.  you are an inspiration to me!
age: 55
PSA on 12/09: 6.8
gleason 3+4 = 7
received 3rd and last lupron shot 9/14/10
2/8/11 PSA <.1, T= 6 ng/dl

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 2/27/2011 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   


You are doing great, and you are an inspiration!  In fact, it seems to me that you are not just an example of "survivorship", you are an example of "thrivership." 

The term "thrivership", and the quote below, comes from a document (free online) published by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) titled “Nutrition, Exercise and Prostate Cancer.”  This is a document that I would recommend for all PC patients (attention moderators:  excellent site sticky opportunity).  Here’s the LINK to the PCF document.  It even includes a section on making, and sticking to, a commitment to bring aboutchange in lifestyle…which many men find hard to do, despite the documented evidence that the “big three” (diet/nutrition, exercise and stress reduction) can bring real, documented benefits (re-read the UCSF study) in men with PC. 

What is thrivership? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines thriver as one who progresses toward a goal despite circumstances, and flourishes.  The diagnosis of prostate cancer can lead you in one of two directions. Some will react to this diagnosis with a sense of resignation and fatalism.  This view can lead to helplessness — waiting for the other shoe of cancer recurrence or progression to drop.  On the other hand, thrivership puts you in the driver’s seat — making you as vital to your care and treatment as any doctor or nurse. You may have had prostate cancer, but now you are in charge of your life, adopting new healthy habits and enjoying each day to its fullest.  As a prostate cancer thriver, you can use the latest knowledge about nutrition and exercise to improve your overall health and quality of life.  Your diagnosis of prostate cancer can be the beginning of a healthier lifestyle. 

Way to go, Galileo!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 2/27/2011 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
That is great, and a good excuse to but new clothes. Agree with Casey as exercise gives me some sense of control in my life and sure helps deal with stress. Living life on our terms rather than on lifes' terms. Keep up the great work.

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3741
   Posted 2/27/2011 7:03 PM (GMT -6)   

Congratulations on your great progress.

My BMI of 21.7 was a factor in my successful sling results. That should be incentive enough for my fellow leakers.

Worried Jeff
Age: 58, Mar 35 yrs, 56 dx, PSA: 4/09 17.8 6/09 23.2
Biopsy: 6/09 7 of 12 Pos, 20-70%, Gleason 4+3 Bone, CT Neg
DaVinci RP: 7/09, U of Roch Med Ctr
Path Rpt: Gleas 3+4, pT3aNOMx, 56g, Tumor 2.5x1.8 cm both lobes and apex
EPE present, PNI extensive, Sem Ves, Vas def clear, Lymph 0/13
Incont: 200ml/day ED: Trimix
Post Surg PSA: 10/09 .04, 4/10 .04, 7/10 <0.01, 12/10 <0.01
AdVance Sling 1/10/11

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2461
   Posted 2/27/2011 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
You are the MAN. It is amazing how much you accomplished in jest few months.
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