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 Post subject: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wife!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Ohio
This is a brand new day of a brand new year. News Years Eve at midnight as I watched the sliver ball descend in Time Square on TV, I was very happy that 2011 was finally over! At that moment I hated 2011 and welcomed 2012 as a chance of renewal, new hope and potential, and to be much happier and healthier than I was most of 2011.

To me 2011 was the year that I faced my own mortality and suffered more pain, more unhappiness, and more despair than I have faced in my entire life except for the three or four years when my late wife Linda was slowly dying from MS about six years ago. While that was a very dark time for me as I was losing my wife and love of 35 years, there was also the joy and connectedness we both shared as we expressed our deep love and appreciation of having shared our lives together. We talked and shared our feelings, dreams, hope, and fears about everything under the sun and moon and stars and even as we were both aware of the clock ticking away Linda’s life, it was also the happiest time of our wonderful marriage as all past game playing was gone and the reality of how much we both meant to each other was clear and true.

And in the last few hours of Linda’s life, she gave me focus and goals to achieve in the years ahead. She knew that I would face a profound grief and despair with her passing. But she gave me a purpose and a spiritual quest to follow. She made me promise to carry her love forward and give it freely and completely to our sons and grandsons in the years ahead. Linda wanted me to take care of myself so I could be there when our grandsons graduate from High School, College, and dance at their weddings as they make their own giant leap into the promises of the future. And at those important junctures of their lives, Linda wanted me to share with them that she loved them forever and to tell them to follow their bliss and pass their own love on and on into the endless future of caring for others. That love flowed to us, through us, and beyond us and gives us a real and true immortality.

2011 was the year that I was so very afraid would put a tragic end to my sacred promise to Linda and miss the blessed moments to give her precious gifts of love and hope to our sons and grandsons in the years ahead. In 2011 I was diagnosis with Fourth Stage Prostate Cancer. While the pain was at times unbearable this past year, my despair was the worst part of my suffering. To possibly not be able to be there in the future with my family as I had promised my Linda was a sense of failure I just could not bare or accept.

So I have fought the cancer with every method and means I have been able to discover. I have under gone eight and half weeks of radiation therapy and have taken hormone depletion therapy (Eligard 45 mg. injections every six months over a two year period) that vastly decreases my testosterone levels near to zero to reduce the size of my prostate and possible slow or stop the spread of my cancer. I have become physically weak, tired, and endured pain that I at times did not believe I could survive. I had two operations (TURPS) and had to wear a Foley Catheter for over four months with several blood clots that needed to be unblocked in the ER and the Catheter reinserted, that was extremely painful.

During this time I changed my diet to vegan based on all the best research I could find on fighting cancer naturally. I read Dr. Cambell's book The China Study and Dr. Dean Ornish's The Spectrum in which he described his scientific study of slowing down and even reducing prostate cancer with a plant based diet. While I readily accepted that a vegan diet would help save my life, I was also depressed that I may never be able to return my life long love of competing in powerlifting. I must admit that at that time I thought meat and dairy foods were the only way to supply the necessary protein to build and maintain the muscle and strength to be successful in any of the Iron Sports. I was soon reassured from both of the above books, and reading many vegan websites on the internet. Also reading Robert Cheeke's book Vegan Bobybuilding & Fitness was very reassuring and inspiring that quality vegan nutrition could very successfully build the muscle I needed to return to my sport while still protecting my health and fighting my prostate cancer. So armed with a better knowledge of a plant based approach I was determed to defeat mu cancer and gain back my life.

So survive 2011 I did. And I have made some very remarkable changes in my life to give myself a real chance to keep my sacred promise to Linda and hopefully enrich the quality and understanding of the real meaning of life for our children and our children’s children unending into the future! That is my promise. That is my purpose. That is my vision quest. Real strength is not the personal records we may set on the lifting platform at meets or in the gym. It is the care, support, and protection we lovingly give to our family and friends that is the most important. Momentary ego gratification is so shallow in comparison!

Part of my gift to my family and friends is this blog. I don’t have all the answers in how to live a fulfilling and meaningful life or how to beat cancer. But I think I have discover at least a few. I give them to you with a humble heart and hope they may give you some peace, hope, and joy in your own lives!

And I have a new life partner to share my hopes and to celebrate life! I met Rita about a year after Linda passed away. At that time I believed that I would never be able to love another woman like I did Linda. But life and love springs eternal. And I have been a very fortunate man to have been struck by lightening twice in one life time. My family loves her as I in turn have received the love and support of her family. Now hers and mine are ours. Again love finds a way to heal and bring joy and celebration to our lives! I would have not been able to make it through all that 2011 threw at me without the true love and support that Rita freely and unselfishly gave me with all her heart. I have both an Angel up above and another here on earth looking over me!

Today I had to start out with a very light workout. Beside my fight with cancer, during the first week of December I fell in my basement and I suffered a major concussion. I cracked my skull from the crown up to just over my right eye. I had three pools of blood internally in my head, in my crown, along the right side of my head, and over my right eye. I was life flighted by helicopter to the Ohio State University Hospital in critical condition. They keep me a few days until I stabilized. I had headaches and sensitivity to light, noise, and motion for several weeks afterwords. My Neurologist finally gave me the go ahead on January 19th to gradually return to my exercise program. So I just rode my stationary recumbent bike on a low level for twenty minutes. Easy goes it for awhile, but ever onward to regain my health and continue to lose weight. I weighed 300 pounds today. I have lost over 60 pounds since this past February when I began my fight with prostate cancer. My goal is to get down below 220 this year. Being over weight contributes to an increased chance of a relapse with my cancer. No way! So being a SHW is no longer an option. If I ever am able to return to competing in powerlifting, it will be in the 220 or 198 class. Lean, mean, and a lot healthier. I have promises to keep. :)

_________________
Lawrence M. Smith ACSW, LISW-S
Mental Health Clinician & Administrator
AKA as IronSmith (Pen name when I wrote articles in old PowerMag magazine)
Held Drug Free Powerlifting State, National, & World Records in the Federations NASA, AAPF, ADFPA, & Amateur IPA.


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Elephant
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Location: Bakersfield, CA, USA
Great post and great attitude!

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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Location: Waukesha, WI
Welcome to the board, and best of success with your health in the future!

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"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:54 am 
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Rabbit
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Location: Springfield, Ohio
On January 19th I went for my follow-up Doctor’s appointment with the Neurologist at OSU. First I had a CT scan at 11:00 AM and saw the Doctor at 1:00 PM. The great news was that my CT scan was normal! The Doctor explained that I had suffered not just a concussion but I had bruising of the brain and had three pools of blood that could have caused death if they continued to swell uncontrolled. But the Doctor was very pleased with my recovery. He said I could go back to training, with a reasonable break in period, but stop if I experienced any dizziness, nausea, or headaches. Go slow! And I could restart my supplement program that I had to temporary suspend after my head injury. That included stop taking my baby aspirin and fish oil as it would have increased the blood flow and possibly increase the swelling and blood pooling in my head. I had to stop my other supplements for related reasons too. This was upsetting as many of my supplements were an important part of my prostate cancer alternative treatment program. I have been doing so well on my recovery and I did not want to chance a relapse! I’m so relieved to have the go ahead once again!

I tried to gradually start my training on New Years Day but even that was too much too soon! I had an increase in my headaches and dizziness for a few days afterwords so I has to put my training on hold again! I could do some short walks which helped as long as it was indoors and out of bright sunlight. But I have had to be satisfied with “Baby Steps!” However the biggest obstacle was not to get discouraged. This is not a sprint but a marathon. So slow goes it and pick up speed and intensity later on as I feel better. So I will reboot and start my fitness program once again being cautious and use common sense to avoid any more delays or set backs. I am determined that I will make 2012 a good year health wise. Lose some more weight. Get my cardio and strength up. And defeat my Prostate Cancer once and for all. I've been getting good reports from my last two appointments with my cancer Doctor but I am determined to not get complacent! I want to gain back my top level fitness, not just be satisfied with "disease free" as that could just mean they can't see anything at the present time!

Off to the University for a swim and a weight lifting work out!

_________________
Lawrence M. Smith ACSW, LISW-S
Mental Health Clinician & Administrator
AKA as IronSmith (Pen name when I wrote articles in old PowerMag magazine)
Held Drug Free Powerlifting State, National, & World Records in the Federations NASA, AAPF, ADFPA, & Amateur IPA.


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:34 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Back from my swim and weight workout. I swan nine lengths of the Olympic size pool. I think that is a quarter of a mile. I loved it! I have always been a Water Baby since my early childhood on the shores of Lake Erie. I lived in that old lake during the summers and could hardly wait every winter to for the ice to melt and get back in it.

I also had a decent weight workout. The Wittenbery University has a great set of Hammer Machines that gives the best "natural" feel I have ever experienced from machines. I usually like free weights rather than machines but they are very good as I break back into lifting and try to regain back some muscle. The University Fitness Center also has another weight room with lots of free weights, racks, lifting platforms, etc for the more hardcore lifter that most of the Wittenbery athletes train in. Not ready for that yet. I'll stick to the general weight room or just train at home in my basement gym which is better than most communal gyms. It was in my home gym equipped "Iron Smith Gym" that my Drug Free Powerlifting Team "The Anvils" trained at the height of our competition days. I moved from Columbus, Ohio to Springfield, Ohio several years ago and it was difficult for my old team mates to travel to my new home and continue to train with me. We still get together occasionally but it's not like it used to be. We still remain the best of friends but the pathways of our lives have taken different direction for all of us. If you have a great team or training partners, enjoy and appreciate them while you have them as time passes and we all have to follow other priorities in our lives no matter how close we may be! So how I train alone most of the time in my home gym or I go out to other gyms at times just to interact with other lifters.

_________________
Lawrence M. Smith ACSW, LISW-S
Mental Health Clinician & Administrator
AKA as IronSmith (Pen name when I wrote articles in old PowerMag magazine)
Held Drug Free Powerlifting State, National, & World Records in the Federations NASA, AAPF, ADFPA, & Amateur IPA.


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Rabbit
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Posts: 189
Location: Springfield, Ohio
The following is part of a letter I sent to a good friend who was also experiencing prostate problems. In it I explained my general approach to fight my cancer and regain my health. This approach is constantly evolving but this is a good description of what I'm currently doing.

"Sorry to hear that you may be having prostate problems. As you know I have had a very big scare. With my PSA jumping from a 2.) up to a 47.2 in little over a years time, my Gleason Score is a 9 out of 10 cancer score on my biopsy, and of course the large size, hardness, and all the urinary track obstruction, pain, blockage, etc. Both my Urologist and my cancer Doctors have me diagnosis as a Stage Four Prostate Cancer patient (T2cN1MO). This of course is very serious business for me so I have in my quest tried to not leave no single stone unturned. I have looked at both conventional medicine treatments as well as alternatives. I have keep an open mind on all of them. As you know I have received 8 1/2 weeks of radiation treatment plus hormone depletion treatment (Eligard injections) to reduce my testosterone levels. That’s on the conventional medicine side of my interventions. I’m sure with your medical background , you are very familiar with those approaches and rationales.

I have no idea of your present symptoms or history. Nor your level of present concerns. But in my case I’m going full barrel on the alternative side. You must decide how far and in depth you may think your personal case may warrant. Anyways this is what I’m doing.

I’m going to try and list in order from that I feel are the most important interventions to the less important. Having said that I don’t think I would skip any of them. I believe in a broad spectrum approach and each intervention may give a larger to a smaller percentage advantage of survival. But even a small percentage is vital to me at this time! The Gestalt is more than just the sum of the parts. Systematically the different parts of the program augment and support the other parts to work better than just alone.

1.) Vegan diet – This is my first level of intervention. No diary or meat at all! Not even fish! Lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, soy products, etc. I aim at trying to eat my whole plants raw. I aim for 80% of my diet raw but most of the time am at about 50%. I base this on many sources of information. Too many to list them all here, but here are a few. See Dr. Colin Cambell’s China Study and Dr. Dean Ornish’s The Spectrum. Also refer to the Cancer Project at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website pcrm.org. They have books, CDs, handouts, etc that are very informative and based on a comprehensive review of the research out there on cancer and diet! Be sure to eat lots of tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, dark green leafy plants, and a broad spectrum of colorful fruits and vegetables. Reduce your simple carbs, that is very little sugar! That’s like gas on a fire! Get your body PH as alkaline as possible!

2.) Eliminate as much additives, preservatives, etc. from my diet too. No diet pops, limit my alcohol consumption to maybe one or two beer a week at the most and most weeks none at all! I haven’t done this yet, but as soon as I can I’m going to get the best water filter system I can to make sure my water is as pure as possible! (I have since accomplished this!) I do not drink out of plastic bottles any more. And limit the amount of food from cans! And I drink as much Green Tea as I can every day with lemon!

3.) Exercise is vital. Studies all point to regular exercise increase survival rates from 40 to 60%. It also helps to eliminate any toxins, poisons, etc out of your body in your sweat. Very important!

4.) Reduce stress! Vital as stress caused chemical reactions in your body that increase cancer levels. Goggle it!

5.) Supplements! Everything I take is based on scientific research. I won’t list all the research links as you can goggle them yourself but if you run into any dead ends, let me know and I will sent you what I have! I go for natural vs. synthetic supplements! Very important!
A.) A good basic muliti-vitamin/mineral tablet.
B.) B Complex
C.) Vit. D-3
D.) Sulforaphane
E.) DIM
F.) Asparagus Extract
G.) Lycopene
H.) Pomegranate Extract
I.) Saw Palmetto Complex
J.) Full Spectrum Vit E w/Tocotrienols
K.) Vit K2
L.) Fish Oil with focus on Omega 3
M.) Vit C
N.) Turmeric
O.) Chlorella
P.) Garlic
Q.) Wild Blueberry Extract
R.) Seaweed Vegetable Complex
S.) Pectipure (Modified Citrus Pectin)
T.) Resveratvol
U.) Co Q-10
V.) Red Yeast Rice
W.) Melatonin 3-4 mg at bedtime
X.) Baby Aspirin 81 mg at bedtime
Y.) A Green Smoothie everyday with a scoop of Perfect Food (Super Green Formula)
Z.) RAW Protein (Organic Raw Sprouts) One scoop in fruit Smoothie daily.

That may sound like a lot but I don’t think so personally. But none of the supplements are of any use if your diet is not right. That must always be your first priority! Supplements are not magic pills that will replace good solid nutrition from whole plant food diet!

This is basically my approach. You may not have prostate cancer but there is nothing like preventive medicine and healthy life style choices to reduce your future risk levels. If you have any questions, concerns, criticism, please feel free to be open with me. Nothing I have here is set in stone and I’m still learning. But so far all of the above is my best present approach. My last PSA was a .2 down from the high of 47.2. My contract CT was also very positive with no signs of the prostate cancer spreading to my bones, my lymph nodes are reduced to normal size, and the size of my prostate has decreased by a large amount. My Doctors are very positive at this point. Is my results from just the conventional treatment or is my results also due to my diet and supplements, etc.? I don’t know. But I really think that everything in total is giving me my best chance. I’m not about to change course at this point!

Good luck with this! Take care!
Larry"

_________________
Lawrence M. Smith ACSW, LISW-S
Mental Health Clinician & Administrator
AKA as IronSmith (Pen name when I wrote articles in old PowerMag magazine)
Held Drug Free Powerlifting State, National, & World Records in the Federations NASA, AAPF, ADFPA, & Amateur IPA.


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Elephant
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Posts: 2357
Location: Bakersfield, CA, USA
IronSmith wrote:
A.) A good basic muliti-vitamin/mineral tablet.
B.) B Complex
C.) Vit. D-3
D.) Sulforaphane
E.) DIM
F.) Asparagus Extract
G.) Lycopene
H.) Pomegranate Extract
I.) Saw Palmetto Complex
J.) Full Spectrum Vit E w/Tocotrienols
K.) Vit K2
L.) Fish Oil with focus on Omega 3
M.) Vit C
N.) Turmeric
O.) Chlorella
P.) Garlic
Q.) Wild Blueberry Extract
R.) Seaweed Vegetable Complex
S.) Pectipure (Modified Citrus Pectin)
T.) Resveratvol
U.) Co Q-10
V.) Red Yeast Rice
W.) Melatonin 3-4 mg at bedtime
X.) Baby Aspirin 81 mg at bedtime
Y.) A Green Smoothie everyday with a scoop of Perfect Food (Super Green Formula)
Z.) RAW Protein (Organic Raw Sprouts) One scoop in fruit Smoothie daily.


That is a lot of supplements! Taking that many can strain the liver, so make sure you are getting your liver function tested regularly. My only real concern is the amount of food extracts you are taking. Some good research has shown that single antioxidants and extracts are not really beneficial, especially when compared with the whole foods the extracts come from. Not saying you can't take them, just saying you might be able to find better things to buy with your $$ :)

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Learning how to be compassionate, gain wisdom, and love life.


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:16 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:34 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Clearly understand. If you read one of my above posts, I say that my plant based diet needs to be right or any or all of my supplements will not be of any use. Diet needs to be comprehensive and 7-8 fruits and vegetables plus grain and beans have to be there first daily.I try to do only organic with no GMO plants. The supplements are an add on and are taken to increase the concentrates of all the micro-nutrients I couldn't get without stuffing myself. Also to get the amount of pomegranate that the research recommend for prostate cancer patients, I would have to consume way too much sugar that is counterproductive for cancer. Cancer feeds off too much sugar in the system. So I cut down my pomegranate juice from 8 oz a day to 2 oz and make up the difference with the pomegranate punicoside complex that is as full spectrum I can find in a supplement. It always a balancing act! Also I drink about a quart of green ice tea with lemon every day. Each one of the supplements are natural. No synthetics. And I take full spectrum supplements rather than isolate ones. The research support the effectiveness of full spectrum but isolated nutrients fail to be protective or useful. May even block the pathways if not taken in balance as they are found in nature and whole plant foods. There is so much contradictory information out there and everyone has their own pro and cons. I try to be comprehensive in reading the best research I can find on each and every supplement I take or not. So far my results is that I have come back from having a Fourth Stage Cancer diagnosis to having my Doctor say she now considers me "disease free". I have no idea if that really is true or not but the best indicators they currently use for prostate cancer say that I am. I'm a living "experiment" who doing my best to empower myself the best I can. I hope I haven't come across as a "know it all" because I do know I have so much to learn. So even if I debate you on your comment, please know I truly appreciate your input and please continue to challenge me where ever you think I need to reconsider things! Thanks!

P.S. I love my Doctors. I have a great GP, a cancer Doctor and a Urologist. They are all testing me left and right to make sure all my systems are working and not going outside of "normal limits". Checking the liver systems is an excellent idea but I'm sure they already are doing that. But I'm going to ask! Thanks again!

_________________
Lawrence M. Smith ACSW, LISW-S
Mental Health Clinician & Administrator
AKA as IronSmith (Pen name when I wrote articles in old PowerMag magazine)
Held Drug Free Powerlifting State, National, & World Records in the Federations NASA, AAPF, ADFPA, & Amateur IPA.


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:12 am
Posts: 51
Iron smith! Your stories are heart wrenching & compelling. I wish you all the best in your healing, weight loss & promise keeping! You have the right attitude to not only achieve your goals but to exceed them! All the best! I'm anxious for further updates!


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:19 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:34 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Rode my stationary recumbent bike for twenty minutes this morning on level seven. Almost the same level I used to do before my concussion. It felt good and not at all like I was over doing it. Now several hours later, I have experienced no ill effects so I think I'm doing OK. I don't want to over do it but I don't want to baby myself either. Maintaining an intelligent balance is the thing. I'm very instinctive about my training and "listen" to my body to be sure I keep the best balance of intensity and not over training based on whatever injury or fitness condition I may currently be at. I try to train with my head and not my ego!

_________________
Lawrence M. Smith ACSW, LISW-S
Mental Health Clinician & Administrator
AKA as IronSmith (Pen name when I wrote articles in old PowerMag magazine)
Held Drug Free Powerlifting State, National, & World Records in the Federations NASA, AAPF, ADFPA, & Amateur IPA.


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:34 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Another 20 minute bike ride on the 8 level today on my recumbent bike. Up one level from yesterday. Slow steady progress. Also did a light dumbbell workout to keep loose and toned over the weekend. I will be doing a more heavy leg workout tomorrow depending on how I feel. I need to push ahead but also hold myself in check that I don't over do it at this stage of my recovery from prostate cancer and my recent concussion!

My problem is that in my lifting career I loved to squat. I won most of my meets by the big lead I would rack up in my squats at the beginning of the meets. But squatting also causes pressure in the head as you you push past the sticking point coming up from the hole. I am sometimes a slow learner. I have to keep my desire to return to squatting big in check and break into it slowly to avoid injury and not to have a relapse from my concussion! So it goes!

Made a great Latino pumpkin and black bean stew to take over to my son-in-laws this evening to watch the Super Bowl. Just a little heat in it to be interesting but not burn anyone else up! I do like the spicy food more than most and have a hard time keeping my food I make for family occasions at the right intensity level for everyone else. I'll just take some hot sauce with me to jazz up my own bowl! :P

_________________
Lawrence M. Smith ACSW, LISW-S
Mental Health Clinician & Administrator
AKA as IronSmith (Pen name when I wrote articles in old PowerMag magazine)
Held Drug Free Powerlifting State, National, & World Records in the Federations NASA, AAPF, ADFPA, & Amateur IPA.


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:02 am 
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Rabbit
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Location: Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Wow, intense times. best of luck to you on your journey ahead.

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Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.
- Bruce Lee


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 Post subject: Re: Fighting Prostate Cancer & Keep My Promice to My Late Wi
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Rabbit
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Posts: 189
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Please follow my progress on the training blog on this forum. That is where I post now. If anyone has any information personally or learned from loved ones who have fought cancer, I would love to hear from you!

_________________
Lawrence M. Smith ACSW, LISW-S
Mental Health Clinician & Administrator
AKA as IronSmith (Pen name when I wrote articles in old PowerMag magazine)
Held Drug Free Powerlifting State, National, & World Records in the Federations NASA, AAPF, ADFPA, & Amateur IPA.


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