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How It Really Is

I have been writing this blog for a long time - like 5 years or something like that. I have filled the inter-webs with a lot of crap and a few pathetic stories. Possibly I have encouraged one or two folks to eat celery instead of a donut with their morning coffee.

Every once in a while the voices in my head make sense.

For those that read each week, you know I like to run, laugh a little, not take things to seriously, tell some tall stories and every once in a bit, tell it like it is. Today is another one of those days. I am trying to pull out of the tailspin of negativity.

I am not feeling strong in this fight with cancer.

It all started in October of 2013. That's when cancer and my name were in the same sentence. #cancersucks Since then it's been a long fight So far the colon tumor has been removed and things are behaving. I am back on every six months to watch for melanoma. It has been a year since my last surgery for that. I also ran 7 marathons and 80 races total.

My July biopsy seemed to reveal a larger tumor in the prostate than the previous, count 'em, FIVE before!

A lot of people are scared of cancer. I am not. I have faith and a well insured afterlife. I am certain about that. What bothers me is that I have not been able to get three dang months without some check-up, some doc's finger in my @$$, or hanging out in an exam room with my under shorts on a coat hook.

It sucks. I am tired. #cancersucks

On the 9th of September I will go over the 5 options I have for treating this cancer.
1) Do nothing. I can't see living out a horrible death due to cancer. I watched my parents do this. :(
2) Join in a study with a potential risk of the cancer returning. This is my second choice. If it's successful, I can create an arcade game where you laser zap the enemies man parts and create a galaxy where people still procreate.
3) Radiation. Sorry, can't see my "growing kid" for 3 months.
4) Have the whole thing removed and take my chances at a normal life. I belong to a cancer charity and their survivors have called me. All they can say is "I am not dead." And when pressed, "Yeah, it really sucks."
5) Be healed with prayer! This is my first choice. If you read my book, you know this is the real deal. Happened three times in five years. Not having a heart transplant is a big deal!

I am angry that this disease just keeps on tracking me down. I am sure some of it is my fault. I smoked and ate crap for a long time. I sat in an office chair for over 25 years.

It's true, sitting is the new smoking.

I had to drop out for the Maui Marathon in January and Dublin is going to be a last minute decision. :( It's hard to plan anything.
So what did I tell myself this morning? I said EFF CANCER. Then I put my thoughts towards helping others. Maybe you want to help, too. You can pray. You can run.

If you want to join in a virtual run, check out the details HERE.

Thanks for reading along, praying, thinking good thoughts, keeping other thoughts to yourself, and eating celery instead of donuts.

Stop the Food Pushers!

Don't you just hate it when "no thank you" doesn't work? What do you do if those inconsiderate family members, friends and Type-A soccer moms continue to offer you food, suggest the worst restaurants, drinks and other deadly treats?

Well, here is an arsenal of snide remarks that should stop them in their tracks. Feel free to mix-n-match. Gender options can be used as needed.

Them: You have to try it.
That's what they said about remote control underwear.
Them: I made it myself. You'll love it!
You: No thanks, I'd rather drink sour milk.
You (alternate answer): I make poop myself, but I keep that quiet.

Them: Here, have {some crap you don't eat.}
You: Did you check the package? I heard that was recalled due to E. coli.

Them: It's just once a year!
You: So are OBGYN visits and I am not sure I like the stirrups.

Them: You should have a beer.
You: No thanks, I am going skydiving at lunch and don't want to splatter on the roof of your wife's mini-van/husband's BMW, it might scare the hell out of the kids.

Them: Have another piece of cake.
You: So, I can look like you?

Them: One bite isn't going to kill you.
You: Unless it's cyanide.

Them: We have so many leftovers. Take some!
You: You are really going to give me the crap no one else eats?

Them: But it's your favorite!
You: No, running at 4 am is. Would you join me tomorrow?

Them: Let's stop at McDonald's.
You: You are what you eat, and I am not interested in being fat, cheap or passed out a window.

Them: You should have some {Name of some food item that your MFP friends will delete you over.}.
You: I am allergic to sugar, fat and sodium, but thanks for asking.

Them: Let's go to KFC.
You: I heard some one got a fried mouse there - pretty gross, right? 

Them: Have a piece of pizza.
You: I just saw the {name of the person most disliked in the office} sneeze on it. It's hard to tell with the broccoli, I know.

Them: How about a Margarita?
You: No thanks; I was looking for a José/Juanita about my age with ripped abs.

Them: Try some banana nut bread.
You: I can't, I am fasting for my colonoscopy. Actually I need to run...

Them: You are a vegetarian?
You: Yes, the only animals I eat are crackers.

Them: It's good for you.
You: Let's see *picking up the package* Bleached Flour, Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Vegetable and Animal Shortening, Dextrose. Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sweet Dairy Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium and Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour, Cornstarch, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness), Yellow 5, and Red 40.

I think you are wrong.

Them: If you don't try my dish, I'm just going to have to force you to eat it!
You: Is this food rape?

Them: This is to die for.
You: Last time it gave me raging gas and I was asked to leave the bait aisle at Bass Pro Shops.

Them: You should eat another serving of turkey.
You: No, thanks, it makes me fart and I sound like a tuba with benefits.

Them: You can go off your diet.
You: Think of it like this: I am speeding down a mountain road in Argentina; there are no guardrails. Would you tell me it was safe to go off the road?

Them: You don't look like you weigh too much.
You: Not on a scale of 1 to 10, no I don't.

Them: Here try some pork.
You: Was that once a real pig? It looks like your ex.

Them: We've got donuts in the break-room.
You: Is Michelle Obama on vacation this week?

Them: Looks like someone is obsessed with dieting…
You: I would say passionate about health. But what would you know about that?

Them: Come on, you only live once.
You: And when I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction.

Thanks for the votes and comments. You guys are amazing!

Friend me for wise cracks, sarcasm and support on your news feed. 

Short Answers to Complex MFP Questions

You may have read some of the Message Boards here on MFP. There are hundreds of thousands of them! The categories are diverse, ranging from Success Stories to Nutrition and Chit-Chat. Each one appears to be crafted by experts in their field. With such a wealth of information, how can one sort through all this truth?

As a veteran of MFP, I thought I would take some of the more complex questions and give simple answers. These are actual questions with my not so serious answers.

Should I eat my exercise calories? No.. err... I mean yes! No, I mean half!!!!

What if I eat my exercise calories? You'll get fat or skinny.

Should I exercise? Yes, if you want to eat the exercise calories.

How much time should I spend exercising? At least the same amount of time you spend eating, food shopping and on MFP combined.

I have bad knees. This is not a question. My guess is that you also have a fat butt. Try MFP.

Some one called me fat, what do I do? Stick to the program.

Some one called me skinny, what do I do? Post it as an NSV and wait for the anorexia police.

I have food allergies, what should I do? Unfortunately it isn't to fast food. But you asked, so get an Epi Pen and go to the organic grocery store.

What is cleansing? Claiming poop as weight loss.

What is fasting? Stops poop.

How do I become a vegetarian? *face palm* dsjohndrow is nealry speechless. Don't eat your cat.

I ate more and lost weight, aren't you proud of me? Should I be? (I know it's rude to answer a question with a question?) Are you over 50? (Damn, another question.) Sorry, this is above my pay grade.

Do you have Cheat Days? No, I only eat Sunday through Saturday. If I was on the Mayan calendar, I could until later in the year.

Do I have to drink 8 cups of water a day? No, you can use an empty diet soda can.

Should I get a food scale? Not if you can accurately guess the molecular weight of the hydrogen in the kitchen.

I still have over 50 pounds to go, but how do I maintain my weight? Just eat while you are standing on the scale. If it moves, stop eating.

Should I weigh myself every day? Yes, it is less time consuming than every minute. Unless of course you are using the weight maintenance program outlined above.

Should I stop eating fast-food? Only in between healthy meals.

Do you take supplements? No, my girlfereind and I are exclusive.

What are you thoughts? If I told you I'd be arrested.

Is it OK to wear skimpy underwear or a bikini in my success pics? Only if it's too hot for a sweatshirt.

How come every one wears skimpy underwear or a bikini in their success pictures? It's terribly hot in the bathroom after weighing yourself every minute.

Should I use the Stairmaster? No, just weigh yourself every second.

Should I eat processed food? I suggest it, if you can't grow your own veggies and slaughter your own fatted calf.

My HRM doesn't agree with MFP, what should I do? Schedule a cheat day. No, seriously, just lie.

How would you log one half of a Hershey's kiss? I am sorry, I am going to need more information. Was it the 2 pound one?

What is TMI? TMI = Tight Underwear (often seen in success pictures)

If I only need 2 beers to catch a buzz, how should I log it? As a snack.

Should I eat breakfast? If you finished yesterday's dinner, yes.

Should I eat meat? Only if you want your pudding.

Do you have low carbs? Mine are all the same height.

OK, it's your turn; what question would you like to ask me?

Thanks for the votes and comments. BTW - You can vote and comment!

Rewarding Your Weight Loss with Ink

Although they've been around for a long time, tattoos are pretty popular these days. For us weight-losers a tattoo is pretty enticing now that we don't have to cover ourselves in XXXL t-shirts and stretch pants. It could be a celebration.

At 57 I got my first one celebrating my marathon running and recovery from heart disease.

It's pretty cool when a 20-something gets righteous ink! I often marvel at the art form, although I do think it's a little funny when middle-aged parents get tattoos with their kids to be cool. You know, the kids get a lion and the parent gets a lamb; there is something fundamentally wrong with that.

The only issue I have with tattoos is that they don't rub off. I have made some bad decisions - most of them haven't been permanent.

In case you are feeling the need to make a statement and beautify your body to celebrate your success, I have done a little research. Here is what I have decided NOT to get. 

The Last Supper Trampstamp: This would be located across the lower back and Judas would be situated over your butt crack. If someone dropped a price of bread - yeah, that's where it would fall.

Cats: Cats are OK and the Egyptians had Siamese cat tattoos. I would just skip the litter box pose.
Forehead Tats: If they include words, just remember the horror you'll feel every time you look in the mirror and it is backwards!  

The Donut Man: Getting a donut man with glazed pink frosting could be a trigger to a food binge. May I suggest the winged celery stick tat is a better idea.

Words, Any Words: There is no back-space for tattoos. I have also noticed that tattoo artists are not often grammarians. Do your research. 

Buttock Penguins: The Arctic birds facing each other might seem cute in the mirror, but every time you do a squat they'll look more like kissing birds. It is better that the right doesn't know what the left is doing. And if you gain the weight back, it will look like a cave dwelling bat.

Belly Tattoos: These are bad for MFP-ers. Plateaus are bad enough, but imagine gaining back the weight? Your cute little hummingbird ends up look like a buzzard, or that nice little morning glory is as big as a sunflower. You get the idea. If you must have one there, I suggest a 6-pack.

SO's Name: They maybe significant now, but what if you have to cover it up in a few years? The good news is that if it was a long name, you can have it made into a snake.

Dates: For men I suggest your anniversary date. Try it on the back of your eyelids.

Neck Tat: The only way to cover this is to become a man or woman of the cloth. Unless that's in your plans, may I suggest something a little more discreet.

If tattoos are not your thing, may I suggest body piercing? You can take a run down the lure aisle at Bass Pro Shops and save a few bucks.

Tell me, if you were going to get a tattoo in celebration of your weight loss, where and what would it be?

The Battle I Didn't Choose

My name is David and the doctor says I have cancer. Still. I have had it before. I had surgery a few times. Each time there has been success. It set me back in my training, I missed a few marathons, but I emerged with a normally functioning life.

Last week's phone call with the oncologist was sobering.

In October of 2013 the urologist found a tumor. He sent me off to a surgeon to schedule a radical prostectomy. I guess it's radical because it has two severe side effects: ED and urinary incontinence.

I got a second opinion.

The doc said I had a slow growing form of cancer that was pretty common in just about all men. Whew! He said they would keep an eye on it and let me know if it became a risk to my life. "We want you to go as long as possible without surgery. It's not a very comfortable surgery." he said. He sort of winced when he said that.

I confess it made my navel pucker too.

What did they find in this last biopsy? "There are some new cells that we have not seen before." said the voice on the other end of the phone. "These are more worrisome than what was there previously...

F&%K CANCER! I thought.

I know the 5 stages of grief. I had them all when I quit drinking soda and eating bad food. I was angry when I came out of denial - I was depressed and finally, I just did everything I could to be healthy.

I beat heart disease in 2011.

Then I beat cancer because I got regular checkups. I even have run nearly 80 races including 7 26.2 mile marathons! My effing tumor has seen three of the six world major marathon courses including NY, Chicago and Boston.

I confess that writing these words keeps me hovering between denial and anger. I will never bargain with God. I have learned to ask my loving Father for the things I need. As a good parent he is well equipped to give me what I need.

If you have ever had to say no to a kid, you know what I am talking about.

Having lived for quite some time in a medicated depression (which running has ended!), I know that I have to keep on talking about this. I am a great isolationist. I have made a list of guys that I can talk to about this. Two of them are pals here on MFP that I met at marathons.

I call one of them every day.

As grateful as I am for almost three years of managing this damn disease, we are now face-to-face and I am will be talking to a surgeon soon. There is one more test they are doing to determine how aggressive this form of cancer is. I would have a month or a year.

Or, like the heart transplant I was supposed to have, God could just fix it.

I have had a lot of thoughts about this whole thing. 12 to 16 weeks of recovery after 3 or 4 days in the hospital is not anything to look forward to, or get through. 6 to 24 months to possibly recover from the side effects is also a daunting task.

I know that I get to live through this. My friend Bill died of it about 15 years ago. He was 53.

Cancer sucks.

My mother presented with a similar option when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She chose to die without a surgery. I have thought about the too. She spent her last months traveling in Europe with the love of her life. She came home, spent time with her kids and died a horrible painful death.

My dad did the same thing.

I have had those thoughts too. My parents were both in the 70s. I am not even close to that. Because I am a faith guy, I am confident about my afterlife. That takes the pressure off. Then I had to ask myself what I have left to do in life - what's on my bucket list.

Other than traveling with someone who loves me, it's a short list.

I am jobless and working on my next book. I have a few trusted friends. I don't know how I will support myself if I am down and out for 12 to 16 weeks. I lost my disability insurance with job. I can't collect unemployment if I can't work.

It's a tangle.

So here I am in the middle of all this with you. The last chapter has not been written.
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