FIRECOM's SparkPeople Blog FIRECOM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SO WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE? This is a question that has been asked of me from everybody in my sphere of influence. I have been on chemo since July and it doesn’t get any easier. This new cocktail, which is really an old one that has been put into service due to failure of the modern formularies, has had very limited success as indicated in my last blog. <BR> <BR> A byproduct of this formula, called ASHRAM, is that after the 5 straight days of taking the chemo, one is really sick for up to 2 weeks, then a week off and ... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:44:23 EST MY FINAL GOAL HAS BEEN MET Yep, that's right. <BR> <BR> I went over 100,000 points today. I am NOW ON LEVEL 20. <BR> <BR> Been a long time coming so celebrate with me. <BR> <BR> Frank. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:45:18 EST ENTER CANCER STAGE LEFT, MARCH 2014 UPDATE I will admit that I am having trouble finding the right words to compose this report. First an apology to each and every one of you wonderful folks in SP who have offered prayers and good thoughts to me. <BR> <BR> I normally always respond to all mail and blog comments to each and every one personally. I find that I just don’t have the energy to do this so I apologize. Please know that I read and savor each and every contact with me as I travel this really dastardly path. <BR> <BR> For th... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 18:47:05 EST THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS. My granddaughter had her marvelous wedding on January 3rd and it was a hoot, to say the least. Being grandparents, we did not anticipate being in the wedding in any formal nature. <BR> <BR> Yeah, right— <BR> <BR> Hailey and Matt had some surprised in store for us. <BR> <BR> She asked for us to be at the rehearsal so we went only to find out that Marj and I were to lead the wedding party onto the large patio where the wedding was to take place. SURPRISE NUMBER ONE. <BR> <BR> A beautiful c... Mon, 20 Jan 2014 16:55:29 EST ENTER CANCER STAGE LEFT. IMPORTANT DECEMBER FOLLOW UP Well, before I get into the meat of this blog, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for all of your wonderful comments and prayers. I would like to send a personal message to each and every response to this serious matter. Unfortunately, my condition has degraded and I find that I just don’t have the energy to do this. <BR> <BR> I want all of you to know that I cannot find the right words to really show my appreciation. <BR> <BR> NOW … <BR> <BR> The primary reason for this issue is to tell... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 00:16:04 EST NO ONE CAN GIVE ME AN ANSWER TO A SIMPLE QUESTION. In the chemo room, there is this mini refrigerator. Being of the curious type and with a very, very weird sense of humor (at least I think its humor), I asked the entire staff just one little question. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> How do you get the nurse in there? <BR> <BR> So far, no answers. <BR> <BR> I go in for chemo again this week, maybe someone will shed some light on this vexing problem, but somehow, I doubt it. ... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 19:21:06 EST ENTER CANCER STAGE LEFT, FIRST FOLLOW UP The journey continues. I had my fourth R-CHOP cocktail infusion yesterday and as expected today I am wiped out. This will come back to normal in a couple days. I continue to see how each day has its own personality and none are the same two days in a row. Weird. <BR> <BR> So far, I have had no real physical difficulties with the treatments. My son takes me his job sitting beside me and treating me like royalty. I would be lying if I said I didn’t like the care he gives me and his mom. <BR> ... Fri, 27 Sep 2013 21:38:47 EST ENTER CANCER, STAGE LEFT. I have been pondering how to write this as I sure as heck do not want to start a pity party. I have concluded that the best approach is direct and to the point. So here goes. <BR> <BR> First and foremost, I did post this data to my teams and the support from all of you is mind boggling. It was this incredible level of support that told me that this might be of good use for someone out there. <BR> <BR> I have been noticing that my muscle mass and overall weakness have been seriously compromi... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 15:12:31 EST HOW DID WINTER GET HERE SO SOON? Feeling a little nostalgic today and this email from an "old" friend of mine really hit home. So please read it all even though it is a little long. Remember, if you are not in your winter, you will be sooner than you think. <BR> <BR> ********************* <BR> I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST, UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER - READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK. <BR>... Fri, 24 May 2013 15:39:05 EST WEEKS 2 THROUGH WEEK 4 AND ON - AN UPDATE This is overdue and I apologize for being tardy but a lot of happened along the way. <BR> <BR> WEEK 2 <BR> <BR> This was an interesting week. The workouts did not result in any muscle pain, rather, the muscles were just tired. That was the term used by the trainer. That being said, I did see a marked improvement in my balance. The workouts were rigorous and resulted in many positive results. The trainers were always complimenting me (and everyone else in the room) and it was encouraging. ... Thu, 2 May 2013 15:19:53 EST ONE WEEK DOWN, ONLY THREE MORE TO GO. I have entered a four week intensive strength training regimen in at attempt to get some strength back into my legs and regain some semblance of balance. I knew that something was missing when I always felt like I was at a high risk for falling. I have had two major falls in the past few months, one of them ended up with a 3 day stay in the hospital. there were many close calls as well. <BR> <BR> I asked my primary physician if I should see a neurologist, ENT or what and he strongly suggest... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 17:11:51 EST A little change of pace. Found this article on Fluent News For those who don't know, my last name is PEEP, honest, it is. <BR> <BR> I'm reading about 'An exercise in Peep-stalgia' on Fluent News. Here is the <BR> link: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> See, the Peeps belong to me. :-)) Happy Easter to all. <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Sun, 31 Mar 2013 16:13:17 EST How would you answer the question, Is it OK to be overwheight and still like your self? There is a new comment thread titled SELF FAT ACCEPTANCE MOVEMENT, HEALTHY OR NOT. This great thread is asking if it is OK to be overweight and still like and accept themselves. The discussion is spirited and not surprisingly, quite varied, and that is a good thing. How each of us feel is valued and deserve to be heard. In my opinion, and that is all it is, an opinion, is that if one is HEALTHY then it is OK (sort of) to be content with one’s overweightness. In my case, I was so heavy at my p... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:17:14 EST IS TRACKING REALLY WORTH IT? IT IS SO MUCH TROUBLE. There was a recent thread that raised the question about tracking foods and how folks did, or did not, track. Of course, the responses were varied but in general, the resulting conclusion was “write everything down”. Sounds simple, of course. However, there are pitfalls even in the best plan. <BR> <BR> Have you ever … <BR> I’ll just grab this and write it down later? <BR> Oh, that looks just like 1 ounce <BR> That can't be more than a half cup <BR> Hmm, was that 100% whole wheat? <BR> I will... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 18:14:09 EST WAHT A GREAT DAY OK, it’s time for a little self-aggrandizement. This is a watershed day and week for me and just wanted to share. <BR> <BR> Today, Sunday, I crossed into Level 17 by going over 50,000 points. OK, no big deal right? It is for me as I really enjoy the fruits of my labors. Now I can look forward to the next level. <BR> More important that that is on the 11th, I will celebrate my 2 year SPARKversary <em>244</em> . I have progressed from overweight to obese to morbidly obese all of my adult lif... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 15:47:50 EST WHY TAKE CHANCES - IT IS MUCH EASIER TO JUST SIT BACK AND RELAX Good question. And I think the answer is we have to take chances in our lives. Taking chances is the natural way to learn. As young children, we took immense chances along the way. I know that the first time I rode my bike solo without dad’s comforting hand was a frightening challenge. What if I fell? Well I did fall and guess what, I survived and learned not to do whatever caused that fall. <BR> <BR> I dare say that all of us here in the SP community have taken a huge chance in just joining... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 11:28:53 EST GOAL SET - GOAL MADE - GOAL RESET As many of you know, I am a goal setting freak. Having said that, there are times when the “final finish line” has to move. Apparently I am a prime example of that. <BR> <BR> When I first joined SP in March of 2010, I was at 226 pounds so I gave some thought at what would be a reasonable, attainable and measureable goal. Hmmm. Sounds like a SMART goal. <BR> <BR> Considering I weighed around 190 in High School, I employed the SWAG method and determined that 171 pounds sounded good so I picke... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 16:36:17 EST LESSON TAUGHT, LESSON LEARNED Today, I do not offer anything profound, rather an admission that have been making a big mistake for some time now. <BR> <BR> It deals with HYDRATION or more specifically, the lack thereof. <BR> <BR> I do drink a lot of water, or at least I thought so. Having said that, I will relate to you a tale that rally surprised me and has spurred me to a change in tracking. <BR> <BR> I needed a routine blood test on Thursday which is no big deal – normally. The first attempt to draw the blood finall... Sat, 12 Jan 2013 14:55:28 EST IF SPARKPEOPLE IS SO GREAT, WHY AM I NOT THIN? There was a post on a thread recently that asked “Does anyone have a success story” and this intrigued me and I began to think about an answer. Even though when I start thinking a lot of things can go wrong, I will let you be the judge and jury after you read this blog. <BR> <BR> What is it about SparkPeople that works so well for so many? Good question. I am sure that many have asked that question, especially those who have made an attempt to lose weight and improve their health with limite... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 13:25:09 EST HOW WILL I GET THROUGH THIS DAY? When I was young, this question seldom came to mind, except on those days when I was going to take a final exam and was unprepared. PANIC! But you know what, I got through it somehow. <BR> <BR> As I grew to manhood and married and had 5 sons, there were many days where that fear crept into my daily thought processes. I doubt if you would be surprised if I told you was the cause of never seeming to have enough money to be a good husband and provider. Yet, somehow I, actually “we” got through ... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 12:40:04 EST I WILL NEVER FORGET JESSE When I first met Jesse, it was 1951. I was 16, a junior in High School and working at our Buick – Pontiac dealership as a “gopher” Jesse was the car wash guy. He was at one time a tall man but was not stooped over and now looked older than what I assumed to be his real age. He was a black man who had one problem. He loved his wine and I would see him bending over the seats of the car in his stall, pretending to be cleaning, but really taking a long drink from his bottle “hidden” in a paper ba... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 14:02:27 EST A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY <BR> I was only 6 when it happened. I will never forget the look my mom and dad had on their faces. Undoubtedly the same look that we had on 9-11. STARK TERROR. <BR> <BR> The United States of America had been boldly attacked at Pearl Harbor. That was 71 years ago today and as I write this on this day of remembrance I wonder how many are still around to remember the shock, the fear, the as unknown and the realization that we were a nation at war. Everyone was talking about what was going on ... Fri, 7 Dec 2012 09:13:28 EST AFFIRMATIONS - SELF TALK THAT REALLY WORKS I first heard about the great benefits of a properly designed and written affirmations when I attended a motivational seminar led by the great Zig Zeigler who just passed away. I walked away from his presentation wondering if they really worked or had I wasted my money. <BR> <BR> So I set about practicing and eventually had 15 or 20 that I read every day. Zig said that they had certain rules. Namely… <BR> <BR> 1) They MUST be written as if they have already happened, not something in the f... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 11:35:52 EST VISUALIZATION – A VERY POWERFUL TOOL WHEN USED RIGHT We all utilize visualization in our lives and most of the time; often we are not cognizant that it is even happening. I often reflect on what the future might bring, not having an end point in mind. This is casual visualization and is often good for the soul but seldom gives insight as to what goals need to be put in place to insure that we end up at the finish line. <BR> I have been a proponent of what I refer to as directed visuals. When I coached little league baseball I noticed that for... Sat, 1 Dec 2012 11:26:57 EST IS THIS REALLY A RACE WE ARE IN? Have you noticed the barrage of TV and radio commercials for quick weight loss companies, products, and other possible scams? I certainly have and it got me to thinking. This thinking (always dangerous) raised a question. <BR> <BR> This journey we all seem to share, is it a RACE or what? <BR> <BR> I began to search for similarities between SP and an actual long distance race. Both start with a bang (that noisy starter’s pistol) and we are off to the finish line. At the beginning, the pace... Sun, 25 Nov 2012 15:41:50 EST THIS IS A TIME FOR REFLECTION AND THANKS. For me, this is a time of mixed emotions. I experienced a period of profound sadness and loneliness all in one. It was very early in 1997 but let me begin at the beginning. (Where else would one start?) <BR> <BR> Our home was full of family and we had just celebrated Christmas 1996 and now it was New Years Eve. A time when joy and expectations of a grand year ahead were on our minds. Our son David and his family were staying with us and preparing to leave early on the 1st for their new home ... Thu, 22 Nov 2012 15:11:20 EST A great experience I HAD A GREAT EXPERIENCE ON TUESDAY <BR> Perhaps some of you know that my DW had her knee replaced and for the last three weeks, I have spent almost all of my time with her. That is why I have been pretty quiet lately. <BR> Well, she gets discharged on Friday and I, along with the cats, will be very happy to get her home. Thanks to all of the well wishes that you have sent her way. <BR> But that is not the experience I was referring to. A nurse came into her room this afternoon and told us t... Thu, 8 Nov 2012 11:45:15 EST I WISH I COULD SEE THE FUTURE No, it is not simple curiosity that causes me to ask this question. But now that I am at a weight that I consider optimal, I am staring the foreboding MAINTENANCE, right in the eye. The thought of this frightens me to no end. Like many, I have a terrible love of food. Food is not the only love that I have faced in my life. A very big one was smoking. At one point in my earlier life, I was smoking five (that’s a 5) packs a day. I would wake up during the night craving a cigarette. I was not su... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 16:11:58 EST SO WHY BOTHER WITH THOSE PESKY GOALS? Lets talk about it, OK? <BR> They often seem so trivial as to be unimportant or valuable. Let's take a look at what these goals really are and what they can do for us. <BR> FIRST, are they supposed to be long range or short? The answer to that question is they are BOTH. Personally, I have very few long range goals. Of course, I have selected a final weight goal and maybe some other longer range goals that appear to be appropriate. Those are up to each of us to decide. <BR> The most important... Sun, 30 Sep 2012 10:36:12 EST Feeling great with winning this health and weight challenge OK, this is my first blog. My "assignment" today from Spark guy is to build a list of how my life has changed with my weight and health improvements. Actually, I could probably write a book about this, but brevity is the key here. <BR> <BR> My weight journey has been life long and I have tried every known diet in existence. they all worked --UNTIL I stopped then it piled back on. I never reached a desired goal until I found SP. My highest weight in the early 80's was over 335 lb. (My scaled... Sat, 22 Sep 2012 12:52:40 EST