June 3, 2020
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
The importance of building meaningful relationships as we age Fifteen-year cancer survivor Moving forward feeling good Got Medicare? Get a no-cost test for COVID-19 Bulimia nervosa, worst eating disorder Anniversary for seniors can still generate romance Hate never solves anything Five must dos when aging alone Four ways our world is better Be part of the solution, not the problem, with Covid-19 Protect yourself from COVID-19: Stop smoking and vaping now When hard things happen Gum disease and diabetes during the pandemic The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning Part II Two kinds of Coronavirus anxiety Halloween pirate’s gold Fall risks are sometimes simple, yet fatal Is multi-generational living for you? Correcting this faulty belief about COVID-19 will save lives Natural disaster threats call for preparedness plan to protect seniors The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning  Winter sun safety: What to know about protecting yourself during colder months Tending to spiritual distress with aging and illness Blood pressure control a focus of American Heart month Home your own way March is colorectal cancer awareness month Safety at home for seniors Prepareness plan to protect seniors Covid-19 and Mother's Day How to prevent bad breath War on opioids in California Help families make time for seniors during the holiday season Helping seniors with vision and hearing impairments Holiday stress-busters for harried caregivers It’s what’s inside that counts! Dental emergencies Don’t wait until it hurts! Does spring mean allergy season for you? Top 10 products to help seniors stay home How to take Tylenol safely The role companionship plays in aging 7 Tips to reduce the stress of incontinence caregiving Five best pet types for seniors Time for the yearly flu vaccine The state of Alzheimer’s and caregiving in the U.S. Three types of grief a care partner may encounter Improving the state of aging in America Fight flu this season by getting immunized Confirm your preparedness plans for Seniors Did you get your flu shot? If not why not? A message from the heart Using anxiety to your advantage Youth, women and dementia The long-reaching impact of dementia Children’s dental health month Ten tips for healthy aging Planning for aging at home Thirty-four years as a dentist Tooth friendly Easter tips Feeding my hungry heart How to keep older adults cool during the heat of the day Invisible braces work wonders Prosthetic joints and dentistry Avoiding spooky smiles this Halloween How to keep an aging adult’s blood pressure in the green zone Mother's gum disease linked to infant’s death Giving thanks The increasingly important role of caregivers Ten things you can do now to protect your five senses as you age Wonder what it’s like to lose your senses? The difference between seasonal flu and a pandemic respiratory virus Are glasses enough? Spotting common vision problems in older adults Senate passes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding October’s most celebrated event Our Feelings Come From Our Beliefs Making sense of the season for seniors Cultures differ on what makes a beautiful smile! How to have a better year Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is very special A confession Women in dentistry Plan for where you want to age Three ways a senior can fund a home remodel Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging May is skin cancer awareness month A brain is a reason to join the Alzheimer’s fight Recognizing and reporting elder abuse Dental technology- computers have changed our lives Create your personal Medicare account Understanding the aging brain Two ways to get your Medicare taken care of Are you stressed out? Seven ways seniors can interact with pets The joy of root canal therapy Lung cancer screening helps combat the #1 cancer killer in the nation Simple happiness hacks for caregivers Multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease Seniors and Diabetes What you need to know Let’s talk about guilt and the emotional journey of being a caregiver The wonders of a growth mindset Dealing with emotional storms Dealing with disappointment “Do this for me”: How to convince older loved ones to socially distance A new beginning How to know if you are in danger of compression fractures Psychology Today The Art of Resilience: I Have I Am…I Can The advantage of dental implants Too much of a good thing for seniors and the holidays What families’ caregivers need to know about Recommendations for screen time Resolutions for your oral health Super Bowl, Joe Montana and blood pressure Open heart surgery – Thoughts from the other side Chewing gum - Helpful or harmful? Five tips for a healthy smile I will– I should– I can– I’ll try Rightsizing for seniors doesn’t have to be painful The Joy of Sadness Human Touch: The role companionship plays in aging at home Becoming who we really want to be How to fail well Back to school with healthy teeth Five ways to manage caregiver guilt Senior dating – Mom’s new relationship is heating up... Should you be concerned? Aspirin relieves mild pain Fighting osteoporosis and preventing fall-related injuries Pets and seniors make the perfect pair Turn the page Anxiety: The real reason Mom won’t leave the house Oral piercings and your teeth Understanding senior care options Staying well and safe for the holidays Health habits for the new year New Year, new you: Practicing active aging in 2020 Spotting the signs of Alzheimer’s disease Sniffles and sneezes and fevers, oh my... The risk of isolation and loneliness from hearing loss Healthcare - this feeling has to change What the Coronavirus is teaching us COVID-19 update, What we know Covid -19  Walking in the wilderness Un-retiring in a changing economy Coping with the unpredictable life of caregiving Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tips for living with low vision  Keep your Medicare costs down The freedom and choice to again place at home Put dementia on the agenda for 2019 Free app shows what Medicare covers The reason “Four” is the magic number? Preventing tooth decay in children Laughter is the best medicine Sports mouth guards-keeping teeth safe  Help your senior loved one avoid preventable hospitalizations Tips for keeping calm in the midst of crisis  Five cybersecurity tips for older adults Preparing kids for first dental visits Dental treatment concerns with patients taking blood thinners Home Health Care vs. In-Home Care: What you need to know Three ways to lessen negative thinking Five ways our self-talk may be hurtful Is this Summer or Fall What can you do to help dad control his blood pressure? By this time you have learned... whether you’re 14 or 84… Controlling your holidays Your Medicare costs in 2020 Mind your mind Hints for a better life When we’re haunted by regret, we all have regrets. Some surprising discoveries on being optimistic Valentine’s Day befuddling First dental visit – Make it a good one! Unusual connection between your sense of taste and risk for disease Coronavirus, taking life for granted Tempted to go out? Here’s what family caregivers can do instead 4 ways to help Nurses during the Coronavirus Pandemic Amazing results with Arestin Navigating the aging journey Smoke and stress maintenance and recovery How to lower your surgery costs Know your pharmacist… Know your medicine as drug prices will jump in 2019 Influenza activity is increasing throughout California Show your kids’ teeth some love this Valentine’s Day! New life and stormy weather Your Medicare rights and protections Summer snacking and your child’s teeth Back to basics 10 summertime activities for seniors Three ways to boost your self-esteem Increasing West Nile Virus activity in Ca. Why are seniors targets for scams? Summer’s sun damages the skin Abscess gives warning 8 tips to minimize the behaviors of “Sundowning” Keeping your relationships fresh What are dental sealants? Suicide - Are there answers? Nothing is impossible Becoming optimistic in a chaotic world Entitlements - more money Your best Christmas gift? Suicide a growing epidemic What family caregivers need to know about Medicare changes Should you quit? Steps to help minimize wandering behavioral symptoms The Groundhog’s last plane ride Are you making yourself understood? Five tips to prepare for and reduce risk of illness in older adults Thriving in the new normal The impact of technology on vision loss Healthy eating habits can benefit you and your teeth How does the body heal? Apply or renew Covered Ca. Health insurance by Jan. 15 Guilt from holiday eating Toothbrush tips Three reasons for a root canal Seniors: Say no to “free” genetic tests Yoga for relaxation & healing What causes sensitive teeth to hurt All of us make mistakes  Heat and older adults Five tips to cope with caregiver anger Back to school health Real decisions and moderation Conscious Sedation Dentistry– No fear! Still time to change your Medicare health plan Dental emergencies can happen What Medicare does (and doesn’t) cover Weinstein, Sanders, Trump pleasing people? Rain is expected this week in NorCal, and I love gazing at it No Easter for America? Now We Get to Listen! Three gifts you can give yourself Don’t stress, clench or grind! Gratitude and positivity can inspire caregiver self-care Medicare helps seniors use opioids safely Is it elder abuse or neglect? Dental scanning technology improves dental care Using Medicare when on foreign land I slept in last Saturday! Always being bright may not be so bright Trying to save a knocked out permanent tooth Reduce senior fall risk Are glasses enough? Spotting common vision problems in older adults Kobe - preparing for shocking death Who will decide your death? Fear of losing loved ones may keep families from planning To vape or not to vape? What happens to our teeth and gums as we age? Reduce wear and tear As Autumn begins, a reminder flu season can hit seniors hard Overcoming fears surrounding End-of-Life care Important: women and periodontal health Americans unaware of potentially life-threatening skin cancer Sun protection tips for young children Some good news! Aging gracefully The better angels of our nature today Covid-19: We’ll find a way Cannabis symposium Sept. 19th The importance of immunization Returning home is bittersweet Kids who grind their teeth at night Covid-19 and churches shaking hands? Depression, heart disease, diabetes… Could it be low Vitamin D? Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and dental health Living with Lupus Erythematosus Still time to change your Medicare health plan Teddies in the window How dentistry handles gastric reflux disease Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  A free cheek swab test The value of calm in the midst of chaos Twice a victim Finding a path forward after an accident Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  If it is not broken, don’t fix it! Managing your mental health with or without insurance coverage Why gardening is the most recommended exercise for seniors

My prostate and thyroid cancer

By: Glenn Mollette
November 15, 2019

I never wanted cancer - who does? Within four months I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and prostate cancer. 

Last Oct. 26, my entire thyroid was removed with four malignant nodules. I dreaded that surgery because I knew speech and singing complications could happen because of the proximity of the thyroid to the vocal cords. Some people end up with paralyzed vocal cords for a lifetime. The surgeon assured me he would take his time and utilize extreme caution in protecting my vocal cords but reminded me that the cancer had to be the priority. 

By the middle of Dec. 2018 my voice was gaining strength and I was starting to exercise a little bit and was overall feeling good. I then had my annual blood work done. The telephone call came from my doctor’s nurse telling me everything looked good except my PSA was 4.7. This was the highest it had ever been in my life. The prior year had been 3.7. I was told that PSA numbers can sometimes fluctuate and that we would need to do another blood test. Three weeks later I did another one on Dec. 27 and found out my score had risen to 5.9. I called my wife who was visiting in Kentucky to tell her, “I’m in trouble.” 

We decided to act immediately, however, finding a urologist during the Christmas holidays was difficult. I tried six or seven in Evansville, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky. I ended up finding a doctor named David Levy from Cleveland Clinic. His receptionist said, “He has one opening Dec. 31, at 2:30 p.m..” I explained to her my diagnosis and she explained, “The only way you and the doctor will know is by a prostate biopsy.” I already had heard fearful reports about prostate biopsies. She very calmly assured me that he had a very gentle technique, and few ever complained. I booked the appointment. I hung up and called my wife back to tell her how we would be celebrating New Year’s Eve. 

New Year’s Eve I met Dr. Levy and he spent quite a bit of time asking me questions and explained we won’t know anything until I do the biopsy. They got me ready and he removed 18 pieces of my prostate, one small sample at a time. Almost every time he would remove a piece he would say, “Did you feel that?” And every time I said, “Yea, I felt it!!”  At that moment that’s not really what I wanted to say however, somehow by the grace of God I managed to control my mouth. Levy would later explain that often many urologists only take 12 samples, but they miss the cancer by taking too few. “If it’s in there we need to find it,” he explained. 

I walked out of the urologist’s office a little sore but was able to drive back to our hotel where I managed to eat dinner and we later found a movie on television that I halfway watched.

On Jan. 4, 7:30 in the morning my cell phone was ringing, and I braced myself as I knew it was Dr. Levy. He began by asking me how I was doing today, and I said, “Dr. Levy, go ahead and tell me the report.” “You have two cancers out of 18 samples,” he reported. “One cancer is a 3+3 for a Gleason score of six which is not too bad. However, you have one that is a 3+4 for a Gleason score of 7 or stage 2 cancer which is very concerning. We can monitor and do active surveillance, or we can do a procedure. I don’t recommend surgery for you, but I do recommend either cryotherapy (freeze treatment) or Brachytherapy (radiation seed implant). However, I need to do an MRI and it will be 10 weeks before your prostate will be healed enough to do an accurate MRI. The MRI will show us more if the cancer is spread or if it’s still contained in the prostate.” 

The next ten weeks were agony as I read everything I could find about cancer, treatments, supplements, procedures, side effects, nutrition all mixed with worry. I watched my dear friend die a slow death from prostate cancer just a couple of years ago, so I know prostate cancer can be deadly. 

In March I had an MRI and found out the cancer was still contained to the prostate. I elected to do the Brachytherapy radiation seed implant procedure by Dr. Jay Ciezki of Cleveland Clinic who does over 300 procedures a year. Years ago, my father-in-law had the procedure done and so I was already a little familiar with it. After the procedure I never stopped walking, working or trying to be active but for a month I was sore and there were side effects, but they weren’t unbearable. 

Recently, the new blood work revealed my PSA is now .71. The lowest it’s ever been in my life. I still have my prostate which will make PSA. “Everything” is working well. I am back to jogging a couple of miles, working and overall things are normal.

One thing that has changed is my awareness and respect...fear of cancer. Cancer can and does recur. My radiation oncologist doesn’t think I’ll ever have it in my prostate again, but he said there’s always a chance it can show up somewhere else later. 

I will have to give my urologist Dr. Levy credit for laying out in detail everything I should and should not eat for the rest of my life plus an array of vitamin supplements he strongly suggested I take every day. 

While I feel great today, I know my fortunate outcomes are by God’s grace and the decision to move forward with two surgeries as soon as possible. I do know that all of this is a comma until next time or something else. I have to be real. These bodies are not made to last forever. There is always something around the corner that will test us or will kill us. Life is short. We have to do the best we can with whatever we know to do and trust God with the results. 

Keep in mind God gives us brains. Have regular medical checkups, bloodwork and pay attention. Don’t go to a lazy doctor. A dear friend recently died from liver disease because her doctor kept telling her not to worry about it and that she would be okay. Never hesitate to get a second opinion! Putting off taking care of something does not make it go away. The chances are good it will only get worse. 

Remember, with good care and treatments we aren’t going to live forever but we might get to extend our lives and do a few more things we enjoy like spending time with our families, hobbies, living out our faith or collecting some of our hard-earned Social Security money!