Thinking of Losing Weight?

Back in 1980 my weight was about 250 lbs. Over the last 32 years I’ve suffered from a variety of illnesses and I now weigh anywhere from 150 to 155 lbs.

Bowel infarction – January 1980 Felt severe stomach ache. Called my GP who made a house call and diagnosed it as a virus. Told me to get rest, but after several hours and more pain every minute, he instructed me to go to Emerg and Dr. gave me pain killers, but they were ineffective. Sent me home. Still tons of severe pain so went back to hospital. This time was admitted. Had Surgeon take a look at me. Had my stomach pumped. Finally was able to have a BM..it was black. Showed Nurse..she flushed it and made no notes.  Surgeon said he would open me up to see what he could find, but was thinking perhaps it was a leaky appendix. Opened me up and found my large and small bowel were gangrenous. Had to remove 75% combined, but did not have to go into a bag. By the way, before the operation, I was over 250 lbs. previous to this problem, I complained on many occasions to my GP that I was having dizzy spells,and having times where I felt spaced out. [...] continue the story

The Four Unwanted Words

By Ron Telpner

Like my father before me, and my grandmother before him, I am a person of words. My daughter Meghan is the same.

I write for a living, whether it is copy for an ad, a speech for a client, or an opinion piece for a magazine. I love words. I love the architecture of a well-written paragraph. I get joy from seeing just how magical a turn of phrase can be.

I am 60 years old and a lot of words have crossed my lips, crossed my mind and ended up on a page, in an ad, or as a quote. Like I said, I love words.

But I never imagined the impact it would have on me of hearing the four words, strung together by my doctor, on September 7th, 2010.

Those words were, “ You have prostate cancer”.

I think he said a few more words after that, but I am not sure I heard them. The one thing I was clear on was that I heard, “you have cancer”.

Then he said something about let’s just wait and see what happens. Did I just hear him say, “You have cancer and we’ll just wait and see what happens?” I [...] continue the story

Calm in the face of cancer

By Fernand Gingras December 1, 2011

I wasn’t overly concerned about my health when I decided to respond to an ad published in a Québec newspaper by the Centre hospitalier de l’Université Laval: Dr. Fernand Labrie was looking for men for a study on prostate cancer. Like the rest of the participants, I agreed to have an annual digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigent (PSA) blood test — that was all there was to it. And for five or six years, nothing came of these tests.

When my PSA started to rise, however, I was advised not to take any chances due to my family history — my father had died from complications of prostate cancer. In fact, as it turned out, I learned that I also had the disease. My doctor went through all the different treatment options with me: prostatectomy, radiation therapy, active surveillance (not recommended in my case), etc. After doing my research and discussing further with my doctor, I settled on brachytherapy (radioactive implants), because it seemed to me that this treatment would be less exacting and the side effects less bothersome.

It was the lead-up to the procedure that I found particularly difficult. I had several biopsies, [...] continue the story