Prostate Lecture, fun huh?

As I have gotten older I have become an amateur expert on illnesses I have had or people I love have had. I could tell you all about Atrial Septal Defect, a heart disorder that is congenital that is usually found days after a baby is born but mine wasn’t found until I was 36 years old. It is unfathomable to me that all those doctors over all those years missed it. The one who found it was pissed off at all the others. She was a feisty bitch and I didn’t like her, but bless her heart, (no pun intended) she found it. I had it fixed. Not easy. Open heart surgery.  A lot of pain. A lot of drugs. A lot of scars. I could have dropped dead and I didn’t. I’m grateful to the feisty bitch.

Now, someone I care a lot about is having a prostate cancer recurrence. This man asked his primary care physician if he could get him in for a physical at the end of 2013. Of course, every one in the world is trying to get in for their physical while their deductible is satisfied at the end of the year. This man’s physician said no, he couldn’t squeeze him in. My friend said, “Can we at least do blood work?” This request saved my friends life.

You guys, prostate cancer is the number one cancer for men and one in six men will be diagnosed with it sometime in their lifetime. There are no symptoms in the first 2 to 3 stages of the disease and by the 4rth stage you might be toast. Yes, I’m trying to scare you. Like any other cancer the trick is to catch it early. Stage one prostate cancer is relatively easy to treat and has a huge success rate. Stage two, a little trickier but still very treatable with a radical prostatectomy. (Surgical removal of the prostate or other options depending on your situation). Stage three means cancer cells have gone beyond the initial site, maybe into lymph nodes, etc. and that gets into really serious cancer treatment which has serious quality of life implications.  Stage 4 I don’t even want to talk about.

The reason I’m writing this, is that there is this new idea circulating around that maybe a yearly PSA test is not that important. There are organizations that say it leads to false positives and unnecessary biopsies.   If my friend did not get a PSA test in 2013 it could easily be over by now, if you know what I mean. A PSA test will tell you if your PSA is elevated and if you might have cancer! It’s an easy and cheap test! A little blood test!

Men, I warn you, do not assume when your doctor says your blood work was fine that she /he tested you for PSA. You must know what your PSA is, guys!  I have men friends who say their doctors do the blood work but don’t include PSA! WHAT? It’s the number one cancer of men! Why would that not be obviously in every blood work up! I just don’t get it.  But it’s true.  Take control of your health by being positive your doctor is checking PSA.   Have I made my point? One in six! Get your PSA test no matter what anyone says!

Whew, I’m exhausted…..


Pearls of Wisdom

This is my first post from long ago writings by me.   It made me chuckle when I re-visited these writings from roughly 1983 when I was in my mid 20’s that I had the audacity to call them Pearls of Wisdom.

It was hard for me to record these exactly as they were written 30 some odd years ago, I so wanted to update and edit.  But, for authenticity, I didn’t.  Here, from a 20 something year old are some guidelines for life….

–Being attached to outcomes distorts your perception of what’s happening.  You tend to ignore your intuition or gut feelings because you are absorbed with wishful thinking.  You can have a preference in the outcome but you must be able to clearly see what is happening in the present time to be able to create an action plan to get to where you want to be.

–If you wait to see what is expected of you before you perform, the level of expected performance is set by something or someone outside yourself and vey well may be lower than your own.  If you go for it and don’t put limits on yourself, no one else will either.

–The more you use your brain the better it works and the more creative it becomes,  it is resonating at a higher level and “tunes in” to higher creativity.

–You can’t be happy in a relationship until your happy with yourself.  Two halve’s don’t make a whole; it makes for a fragmented relationship with unrealistic exceptions resulting in resent.  If you are hoping for self confidence as a result of a relationship, your process will be mirrored for you and you will attract into your orbit someone who is hoping to get self confidence from you.  Self confidence is not given and recieved.  It’s way more personal than that.  (Seems a little dramatic now but when I wrote this I capitalized this next part which I will do here in honor of that young girl.)

SELF CONFIDENCE IS CREATED WITHIN YOURSELF BY A PROCESS OF TRYING/STUMBLING/FALLING/MAKING CORRECTIONS/TRYING AGAIN/AND FINALLY SUCCEEDING IN ENDEAVORS LARGE AND SMALL AND ASSERTING  WHO YOU ARE AND COMING TO BAT FOR YOUR PERSONAL BOUNDRIES ALONG THEY WAY.

–I have never seen anything healthy come as a result of an outburst of anger.  It usually only causes pain, fear and confusion.   For the person who is supposedly expressing themselves, it leads to feelings of being out of control and wounded self esteem.

–The older you get, you more you look like who you are.  So people who like themselves have an easier time aging.

–Creativity lies where there are no facades.

–We are not going to enjoy the “more” we get later if we’re not enjoying  what we have now.  Happiness comes from within, not from stuff.

— Work HARD!!

 

 

 

 


Bubbles

The other night my husband Steve was stressed and achy so I drew him a bath. I lovingly put in Epsom salt for the aches and a nice smelling bubble bath product for the scent and the bubbles. Bubbles when you are in the bath over age 50 are a really nice idea. His bath was ready and he got in. I hung around in the bathroom with him. We’ve only lived in this house about 8 months and we haven’t taken a lot of baths.

“This bath has a Jacuzzi function, did you know that?” Steve asked me.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Have you ever used it?” he asked.

“No,” I said, “I don’t like chaos and Jacuzzi’s seem chaotic to me.”

“I’d like to try it,” he said.

“Okay,” I replied, “Let’s see if we can figure this out.”

Steve laid his head back while I fiddled around with the controls on the touch screen. Nothing was happening and then suddenly the jets sputtered and sprung into action. And I mean action. The bathwater and bubbles suddenly looked like a gigantic vat of boiling water on steroids.

Then the bubbles began to grow.

And grow.

“Before we knew it, bubbles were rising up from his waist to his chest and then threatening to envelope his face.

“How do you turn this damn thing off!” he shouted over the rising bubbles and the noise from the jets.

“I don’t know!” I yelled back as I was bailing bubbles with my arms and throwing them into the shower.  I had to keep bailing bubbles because they had begun to spill over onto the floor while I had visions of them filling up the entire bathroom.  This was a race against time.

“Try anything and everything!” I yelled, “Before those bubbles cover your face!”  I frantically kept bailing bubbles into the shower.

It seemed like and eternity but he finally did something that worked and the jets stopped. We stood there staring at each other. Bubbles everywhere! In his eyebrows, his hair, my arms and everywhere else.

“Relaxing bath, honey?” I asked. We burst into hysterics. “Steve, I’m going to go get my phone! I need a picture of this for my blog.”

“No, you’re not,” he replied.

Sorry, no photo!


Stay Calm and Chive On

They must be chefs I thought as within a couple weeks I saw the phrase “Stay Calm and Chive On” on several t-shirts and bumper stickers. It’s the only thing I could think of to make sense of this phrase. I’m a cook. Here is a lovely definition of a chive:

Chives belong to the same family as onion, leeks and garlic.  They are a hardy, drought-tolerant perennial growing to about 10-12 inches tall. They grow in clumps from underground bulbs and produce round, hollow leaves that are much finer than onion.  In mid-summer, they produce round, pink flowers similar in appearance to clover.

One day, a week or so after pondering this, I was at the zoo in front of the gorillas describing behaviors and body language to the zoo guests. Many people at the zoo glom onto every word I say because they are so interested in gorillas.  On this day I noticed a young man and his girlfriend who were listening intermittently. She had long jet-black hair, a crop top, a nose ring, a belly button ring and a French manicure on fingernails as long as my fingers. He was laced with tattoos, several piercings while a knife swaddled in leather graced his belt loop. His t-shirt said “Stay Calm and Chive On.”

As I was explaining that chest beating really isn’t chest beating at all, but chest “cupping” which causes a popping sound when gorillas engage in that behavior, I thought, I’ve got to wrap this up for now so I can ask that guy what that means!

“Are you a chef?” I asked. “I see a lot of these t-shirts and wondered if it was some kind of Dallas chef promotion.” They both looked at me like I was missing a chip and glanced around self-consciously like young people do when they think an older person is going to embarrass them in front of other young people. She let out something between a gag and a giggle.

The young man looked around nervously. “It’s a website,” he said quietly once he realized no one else had heard my question. “A men’s website.”

“Oh, thanks,” I responded as they hightailed it away from me as soon as they could.

I could have googled it on my phone while I was still at the zoo but I didn’t care enough and I didn’t want to miss any awesome gorilla behaviors. When I got home to my Mac, up popped a website with hot cars, sizzling girls with big boobs in string bikini’s pole dancing, images of “wasted” guys and a wide variety of cool guns and knives.

Here is how the website introduces itself (This is copied directly from the website and pasted below.)

Chive On refers to the mutual understanding between Chivers on how to go about life, regardless of all the assholes, douchebags, posers, etc, who might fuck it up from time to time. it’s also stronger in the sense that it unites people who share similar opinions or tastes or those who just like to see crazy shit as it happens – it’s an underground social network, a family

Alrighty then…..

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I Just Don’t Get It

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Okay, so this definitely falls squarely into the category of things I simply do not understand about Texas. Somebody’s got to help me out here. Chicken and Custard? What? You dip a piece of chicken into custard and then take a bite? Or, you have the chicken for dinner and the custard for dessert? I just don’t get it.

Here are some other fast food business ideas I came up with for Texas that make about the same amount of sense:

-Chicken & Oreos

-Steak and Peanut Butter Cups

-Shrimp and Peppermint

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Loose Screws in Texas

“Bounce it! Bounce it!” a person named Susan was shouting at me from the other side of the net.

“I know the rules, Susan!!” my voice was raised as I whacked the ball as hard as I could back over the net aiming for her head.

I missed her head and the ball flew out of bounds (It surely would have been a home run had I been playing baseball) and I lost the point. I am normally not at all mean spirited but this woman was obnoxious and had been adamantly bossing us all around.

“Susan,” our coach Dave said gently, “if this had been tournament play you would have lost that point for shouting over the net to your opponent!” Susan glared at him menacingly and if looks could kill, coach would be dead.

I have recently taken up Pickle Ball. I wish it were called something else because that doesn’t sound very fierce but it is a fast paced game and a cross between badminton and tennis. The court is one-third the size of a tennis court and much of the game is played volleying at the net. It’s the fastest growing sport in the country because the baby boomers are aging (me) and it’s not as hard on the body as tennis but just as much fun. I am happy to say I am a very good pickle ball player as the skills I acquired playing 15 years of tennis were directly transferable to the sport. It is a very convenient sport if you are the victim of the dreaded Dallas weather of severe ice storms, extreme winds, torrential rain, oppressive humidity and outrageous heat because it is played indoors in a gym.

Dave is a youthful 71 years old, is very outgoing and gregarious, has a charming South African accent and an irrepressible sense of humor. I have so much fun with him. I also have a great time with the other women in our group.

“Dave!” Susan shouted, “You have to quit calling the score! Whoever is serving should call the score! It’s incorrect in Pickle Ball for one person to call the score, Dave!” Scoring in Pickle Ball is very confusing and is the only thing I didn’t pick up immediately and am still struggling with.

“I want him to call the score, Susan!” I loudly interjected, “I’m still learning the scoring!” Mitra backed me up by forcefully saying she also wanted him to call score.

Things were getting really weird and Dave made an attempt to lighten things up and with a delightful smile on his face he said, “Susan, quit bossing me around. You are not my wife,” as he walked away to get some water.

“Thank god I am not your wife. I wake up every morning and thank god I am not your wife!!” Susan viciously asserted.

It was so bizarre and I was realizing this woman has a real screw loose and I couldn’t help laughing as Dave approached me. “Did you hear what she just said?” I said.

“What?” he said. I repeated her comment.

“Do you think she knows the feeling is mutual?” Dave laughed.

As we said our goodbyes and see you next week Susan said she would not be there next week. It was all the rest of us could do not to break into applause.


Funny Texas Indians

“You mean Chicken Korma?” the stout man asked in his thick Indian accent from behind the host stand.

“No, just the Korma sauce,” I replied. “I want just the sauce and I’ll put my own organic chicken in it.”

“Korma is all together in a big pot with the tomatoes, cream and other ingredients.” He looked utterly perplexed which utterly perplexed me.

“I know,” I said, “can I buy a container of it? I used to buy it every week at an Indian restaurant by my house in Scottsdale.”

“No one has ever asked for this before. I don’t think I can sell it that way; it would probably be thirty dollars,” he said as he looked at me suspiciously. I think at this point he was just trying to get rid of me because he was in the middle of his lunch rush and I threw a wrench into the works with this seemingly troublesome and outrageous request.

“Thirty dollars for a couple servings of Korma sauce?” I asked surprised.

“Well or fifteen or twenty,” he said looking around bewildered.

“If it’s really good Korma, fifteen is okay.” I said wondering if I sounded like I was bartering. “Is there someone you can ask, maybe the chef?”

He flitted away in the direction of the kitchen.

My husband and I love Chicken Korma and while I have tried and tried to make it and have come very close, it’s just not as delightfully Indian as when it comes from a good Indian restaurant.

I could see beyond a glass wall separating the entrance of the restaurant to the lunch buffet room where hungry customers mounded their plates with Indian culinary delights. Then entered an Indian man donning a tall white toque followed by the host. The chef began ladling something from the buffet table into a container as the host watched. The chef handed the man the container as they both laughed.

A minute later the man came out with a smile on his face and a bag that I hoped held a container of Korma.

“I completely over complicated this,” the man said with a smile. “I don’t know what I was thinking or why I made this so difficult.”

I laughed out loud. “It is soooo sweet of you to say that!”

“Here’s your Korma and it’s only four dollars, not thirty!” he said as he laughed and rolled his eyes. I put five dollars in a tip jar on the host stand.

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