Fit For A Fight With Cancer
Men’s health and prostate cancer: I believe the more healthy you keep yourself, the better your chances are to battle prostate cancer, if diagnosed. I believe staying in shape may not beat heredity, which was the case for me, but will help in the fight against it.
Active and athletic childhood
I always was athletic growing up in the 60’s with my 2 younger brothers, we were always playing sports outside together and with the neighborhood kids. I also have 2 sisters who would join in once in a while. Baseball was the sport of choice for the summer months, and tackle football in the fall, no girls for this one. We all played youth baseball, but my real passion was football. Back then there were no football programs, so it wasn’t until high school that I got to play organized football. I went to a small high school, graduated 125 students, so if you went out for a sport you, you could pretty much expect to make the team. I was always a starter, but not a real standout. I was lucky enough to be on our high school 1974 hall of fame football team. I also ran track for the 4 years of high school, 440, and mile relay went to state our senior year.
Beginning my bodybuilding career
After high school, I went to a tech school DeVry Institute in Chicago for electronics. I always liked to run so I kept doing that as my way to stay lean and reduce stress. I got into weightlifting after being confronted at work by a bully, who wanted to “kick my skinny behind”. I have a large frame, 6 feet tall, and the muscle came fast. I started lifting regularly at the local YMCA with friends and ran 5 & 10K races with a local runners club.
Inspiration from my daughter
It wasn’t until my daughter was diagnosed with ADD that I got into the nutritional side of bodybuilding. I didn’t like the side effects the drugs prescribed for her had so I took nutritional courses at the local junior college. Not only was I able to replace Ritalin with an amino acid, but I also found out how to eat healthier myself. I got my certification as a registered nutritionist from the junior college, I also went on to get my personal trainer certificate, massage therapy certificate, and EMT license. I was looking to replace my living as an electrician by becoming a personal trainer.
I figured by doing a few bodybuilding contests, I could solidify my credentials. I started out by doing a few local non-tested contests, I am steroid free. I placed at these contests, but when I started doing tested contests, I began to win a lot. I was Mr. Natural Illinois 2002, 2004. Runner-up to Mr. Natural USA 2002. After a major back surgery in 2005, I stopped perusing this dream and settled for just staying in shape and being an electrician.
Thankful for my fitness
When diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2012, my doctors informed me they could be more aggressive with my treatment due to the physical shape I was in. Unfortunately, my general practitioner never wanted to check my prostate due to how well I ate and my physical condition. My PSA of 44.3 was found after a blood test from an earlier tumor removal in 2011 from my stomach/liver, fortunately, that tumor was benign. After a radical prostatectomy 1-13-13, which was lymph node positive, my urologist recommended I have radiation. I had 45 radiation sessions that summer, which I was told was a lot. Unfortunately, after radiation, my PSA rose to 163. I decide to at this point to leave the area for further treatments. I now travel 85 miles north to see a urologist I really like.
It’s been a long road, but my PSA was at 0 the last visit in March 2018. I have continued to be active and workout as much as I can these days. I believe by staying active and fit, not only has my body tolerated this awful disease better, but my mind could focus on making my body better.