February 2014

Blog and PT shop talk and rehab and reviews22 Feb 2014 12:31 am

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak at San Diego State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.  I’ve spoken at different Physical Therapy programs all over the United States over the past few years, but this one felt different.  The program at SDSU is only 4 trolley stops away so I have a feeling that I will be visiting there more often.  I lectured at a neurology class for 2nd year students.  Last semester I helped out there at a neurology evaluation lab.  Last month I went up to Loma Linda University to help out with a lab.  I really enjoyed helping out at the lab because I felt like I was giving back to the profession that has served as the foundation for the MKF concept of post treatment “thrivership.”  I wanted to show the students that we don’t just “have a tumor/cancer”, we are “LIVING with a tumor/cancer.”  I think that message can resonate with many groups.  You educate the students that tumors/cancer are not always a death sentence, and that they can educate their patients that people can live productive lives after being diagnosed with these diseases.

Earlier this month I was in Las Vegas for the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting. This is is a big conference where PTs/PTAs/students have the opportunity to learn the latest news and clinical techniques in the profession.  I always enjoyed meeting other therapists and vendors at these conferences.  The past few years, I have been attending the Oncology Section programming.  I was formally introduced to the benefits of a post treatment physical rehab program for tumor/cancer patients.  After I did my radiation treatments, I tried to keep physically active because I needed to stay active to keep my sanity.  I now have “Peer-reviewed” evidence that confirms the benefits of a physically active lifestyle for general health benefits after treatment.  In my humble opinion, when done safely, under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, the benefits of physical activity (PA) after treatment are too great to ignore!  I have seen many survivors fall into “self-defeating ruts” after treatment.  There are so many benefits to physical activity!

I truly believe that post-treatment exercise programs need to be formed to harness the benefits of physical activity.  Dr. Steven W. Morris at St. Jude’s Pediatric Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee has presented numerous in-services/seminars addressing the benefits of physical activity for post-treatment cancer patients.  I was lucky enough to present his findings at a young adult survivor event in San Francisco a couple years ago!  I think young adult survivors turned “post treatment thrivers” are in a prime position to become the leaders in the promotion of a physically active lifestyle after treatment!  We are the ones with all the potential and the loudest voices.  Throughout history, revolutions are propagated by young people who realized there needed to be some sort of change.  This is a prime opportunity for Generation X and Generation Y to create our legacy!  The change in society starts on an individual level before it can catch fire.  If we truly commit to a healthier lifestyle, we should see changes in the prevalence of these diseases!  The trick is getting the under represented populations to follow suit.

Blog and Random blog08 Feb 2014 03:25 pm

Music has the magical ability to transport you to a different place, time, or situation.  A couple months ago I found a bunch of old cassette tapes in my room back in Michigan.  I was dying to listen to a few of my old mix tapes that I made in the late 80s and early 90s.  Before iTunes, Napster, and CDs… I used to record songs off the radio from the show, Rick D’s Top 40.   I even found a few of the first cassettes albums I bought!  My friend let me borrow her cassette player to figure out what songs were in my old collection of cassettes.  I was really into hair bands and pop music growing up because I had easy access to those genres through the radio.  Before my rock-n-roll phase, I remember singing Barry Manilow songs and “Tiny Bubbles” with my dad on guitar as a toddler.  I’m pretty sure we lost those “recording sessions”(at least I hope they are lost.)  When I got to junior high, I realized that those songs weren’t going to be cool with my friends… HAHAHA!  My interests shifted to the music my friends thought were cool.  The Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, and Def Leppard were huge influences on me.  When I got older, our family got our first video camera.  I used to tape my brother and cousins lip syncing songs… usually these lip syncs ended up me filming them jumping off stuff with cool background music.   Anyways, I borrowed my friend’s cassette player to find out what songs were on those old cassette tapes.  What I found took me back to an innocent and curious time.  I was transformed into the quiet and awkward pre-pubescent version of myself who was still trying to figure things out!  These were a few of the songs:

Hee hee… those songs brought me back to a simpler time where my only worries were: getting good grades, winning the football game at recess, and learning as much as I could about EVERYTHING!  People always assumed I was a quiet guy, but in reality I think I was just being extra “observant” about everything.  I recently found the Goldbergs on TV.  That show cracks me up because it embodies my awkward years in the 80’s.  Of course the 90’s, 2000’s, and 2010’s were also “awkward” in their own ways, but I’ve learned to embrace the awkwardness.

Freaks and Geeks was a short-lived TV “dramady” about high schoolers from the early 80s trying to fit in.  Some big names in movies came out of that show: Judd Apatow, James Franco, Seth Rogan, and Jason Segel are a few.  Although it only lasted one season, it is definitely one of my favorite shows because I could relate to the coming of age “awkwardness” of it!

“Awkwardness” in new situations make for some great stories!  ;P  STAY TUNED because I’m still getting into a lot of NEW awkward situations as a “Kick mAss” brain tumor thriver… These songs from my past reminded me that I can get through any situation no matter how uncomfortable it is.  The old cassettes from my “wonder years” took me back to my first round of awkward years.  Combining music with an experience always enhances a memory.