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Blog and public health and school29 Jun 2017 06:55 pm

It has been a while since I last blogged. There is some very exciting stuff in the works. Earlier this year I was accepted into a PhD program at University of Texas Health and Science Center in Houston School of Public Health – Health Promotion & Behavioral Science.  I’m very interested in the role of exercise/physical activity in tumor/cancer survivorship. It will be a very interesting transition back into school mode. “PT school Galvez” was a super nerd.  “Young Doctor Galvez” was always on the move.  “Post brain surgery Galvez” is a smart ass.  The next transformation will create a more focused and mature version of myself! hee hee… not sure about the second part of that statement…  The 10 years after treatment and surgery have redefined me and refocused my goals. I’m still interested in healthcare delivery, but now from a new perspective. I’m now very in tune with the issues of survivorship. I want to make a scientific contribution to “post-treatment thrivership” involving exercise/physical activity .

The return to school will bring many new challenges.  Transitioning back into the world of academia will be interesting.  I really enjoyed getting my DPT, but there were few distractions because I was very focused on school. I think Myspace and Friendster were just getting started when I was in PT school… I’m probably going to have to close a few of my social media accounts to avoid distractions! Last week I mapped out my route to UCSD for a couple classes I need to take. It takes an hour + 10 mins via bus just to get there! I have 8AM classes on Tuesday and Thursday. That means I have to LEAVE my place at 630AM! WHOA!I haven’t gotten up that early in a while!  I figure I can blog my thoughts this early cause I can do everything on my phone/ on the go.

Anyways, I had a meeting today with disability services at UCSD. This will be very interesting returning to school with a disability. This will be a good test run before moving to Houston.  I’m looking forward to the new challenges.  We will see how things go next week!  It would be cool to hear from you if you have any advice on how to deal with the issues with returning to school.  I will probably keep blogging, but close my social media accounts to avoid distractions…  Its gonna be a busy July cleaning out my place and packing my stuff up!

 

Blog and mAss Kickers news23 Sep 2016 03:36 am

2016-htkm-now-cool_ericI’m an 11 year brain tumor survivor with severe physical impairments. The last decade has been a crazy ride! I have gone from doctor of physical therapy to brain tumor patient with physical disabilities; brain tumor survivor to brain tumor advocate; and advocate to nonprofit professional! I’m not done yet… ;P

I’m planning on taking 3 “post-oncology treatment thrivers” that embody the SPIRIT of mAss Kickers Foundation to present in Cape Town, South Africa.  We will be presenting about a proactive life after a tumor/cancer diagnosis at health care education schools, to charity organizations, and to survivor groups Nov 9 -16. We believe that we need to approach these diseases with more intelligence, heart, and humor.

Please consider a donation to support our 2016 efforts to educate people in South Africa about a proactive life after a tumor/cancer diagnosis… THERE IS A STIGMA OF SHAME/GUILT/EMBARRASSMENT ASSOCIATED WITH A TUMOR/CANCER DIAGNOSIS. HELP US SHOW THE WORLD THAT SURVIVORS CAN PICK OURSELVES UP AND THRIVE AFTER A TUMOR/CANCER DIAGNOSIS!

The 4 survivors participating in this tumor/cancer “thrivership” mission are very excited to travel to an exciting new place, but we need YOUR HELP TO FUND THIS!

Please help me reach my fundraising goal! The San Diego based cancer research company, Ignyta Inc. will match donations up to $3000. This is a GREAT WAY OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT US!  We will definitely send you a video shout out from Cape Town!

Help us teach the WORLD how to “Kick mAss!” Pass this on!

Thanks,  Eric

Blog and housekeeping18 Jul 2016 05:49 pm

Finding a “new norm” was something I struggled with after brain surgery.  I’ll admit that I was “broken”.  I survived major brain surgery, but lost 90% of my hobbies and professional identity!  I used to think that when you meet someone new, you are defined by “what you do.”  For me, it was merely a way to categorize people in your memory.  After surgery, I couldn’t do much of anything.  I was searching for any identity other than “handicaped person”.  I lost the career in Physical Therapy that I worked so hard to establish and I lost the very thing that defined me… sports.  I remember wanting to go back to the Physical Therapy clinic where I used to work and “shadow” one of my colleagues because I was so bored!  Part of me didn’t want to let go of the career I was just starting.  I even renewed my California PT license and CSCS certification by taking online courses.

I felt like I was broken… kinda like Humpty Dumpty.  That feeling of hopelessness finally went away when I created the Tumors Suck group on Facebook.  I met so many people that felt the same way about brain tumors.  I quickly found that people felt the same way about ALL types of cancer, which led to the creation of mAss Kickers Foundation (mKF).  I eventually recreated myself by finding new hobbies and following new interests.  I decided to focus on what I could do, not what I couldn’t do. It has been fun figuring this out AND stay tuned because I’m still figuring it out!  Through mKF, we started meeting survivors from around the world!  We went to Tokyo, Japan and Manila, Philippines in 2013.  In 2014, we went to Singapore, Singapore and spoke to students at the National University Singapore.  Last year, we went to Brussels, Belgium and met with Flemish survivors then spoke at the Institute Gilles Bordeaux. This year, we are planning on going to Cape Town, South Africa in the Fall!  We are planning on meeting South African survivors, and presenting “Post-treatment Thrivership” at different venues in South Africa. We could definitely use some help with this ambitious undertaking!  With a donation of at least $20 here, we’ll send you some Tumors Suck stickers and put you in a video!   Check out this link to see the videos from the past “How to Kick mAss” Programs.  Stay tuned for updates!

Blog and rehab12 Apr 2016 05:09 pm

There is a connection… I’m starting to do research on Public Health!

Public health refers to “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.”[1] It is concerned with threats to health based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people, or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents (for instance, in the case of a pandemic).

The focus of public health intervention is to improve health and quality of life through prevention and treatment of disease and other physical and mental health conditions. This is done through surveillance of cases and health indicators, and through promotion of healthy behaviors.

Does post-treatment exercise/physical activity lead to post treatment “thrivership”?  I’ve personally seen so many examples of this in my survivor buddies!  Public education (Sesame Street), Post-treatment thrivership, exercise/physical activity, Dissemination (Usher’s musical skills) are connected… HAHAHA! Yes, I have a “unique” way of looking at things…  I’m teaming up with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults on a session at CancerCon to promote the benefits of exercise/physical activity for survivors.  Should be a great session…

 

Blog and rehab07 Feb 2016 01:31 pm

patient-enduranceI’m shifting my focus this year.  Most of the physical activity/exercise that I’ve done to this point has been based on a return to function or modifying things to adapt to my physical impairments.  One of the things that has been neglected is my fitness level.  I still ride my exercise bike and use my pull-up bar daily, but I’m noticing that I’ve been stuck in a rut.  It is now time to shake things up!  After my first few sessions at CrossFit 858 Mission Gorge,  I’ve definitely noticed that I’m not “fit.”  I’m not overweight, but my physical capacity is definitely impaired. My body has adapted to short bursts of power, but not SUSTAINED power.  Ever since I started physical rehab, the focus has been on the return of function, not general fitness.  I stopped going to formal physical rehab sessions once I accomplished my rehab goals for “modified independent functional mobility” with an assistive device .  Now I have to establish “fitness goals.”  I definitely realized that I have difficulty doing any open chain movements and I fatigue easily.  I can’t complete a full circuit without completely fatiguing my muscles.  I start out strong, but my the end of the third set, I couldn’t even complete a full movement!  This will be addressed. Functional mobility is essential to rehabilitation, but very rarely are the next steps addressed mainly because patients are left to figure this out on their own… The Challenge Center  does a great job addressing this.  They have an exercise groups for patients after they are done with rehab which are moderated by athletic trainers.  After I was done at the Challenge Center, I still wanted to address physical fitness/athletic endeavors. I’ve found that CrossFit has the potential to address the athletic intensity in me.  I have enjoyed working with Coach Mark Lin because we are challenging muscle groups that haven’t been used in a while.  He has no problem pushing me.  I was very upfront with my physical impairments and he has thought of creative ways for me to do different exercises.  I still wear my “physical therapy hat” whenever trying something new…  Things will get interesting the next few months.  I’m looking to combine tumor/cancer survivorship, physical rehab, and physical fitness (post treatment thrivership)… Let’s BUST A MOVE and get busy sweating!  Stay Tuned…

Blog and housekeeping10 Jan 2016 03:23 pm

crossfit_forging_elite_fitnessOn Saturday, I went to my first CrossFit session at KDA CrossFit in Miramar.  I wanted to find out why many of my friends were so involved in it!  The camaraderie I found there was very similar to high school sports.  I was a part of some very focused high school teams that were very successful in football, wrestling, and track.  The common denominator on those teams was that everyone was on the same page and knew how each individual’s goals related to the team’s goals.  In college, I found the same similarities in vastly different organizations: Lambda Phi Epsilon: develop a sense of unity among Asian Americans and attaining full national chapter status; Filipino American Student Association:  educate young Filipino-Americans about their roots and develop a sense of pride; 58 Greene a cappella: help establish the group on campus as a legitimate performance organization and explore our personal artistry.  In Physical Therapy school, that same camaraderie was formed very early on in our first year of the program together as future young professionals.  As a physical therapist, I experienced the same type of “professional” camaraderie in continuing education courses and conferences through the professional organization, the American Physical Therapy Association.  I’ve seen hints of this same type of camaraderie in the survivor world, however it is difficult to maintain because other priorities arise once a patient starts to feel better.  Anyways, I’ve re-shifted my focus to health/well-being based on the influences of my experiences:  athletics, ethnicity, creativity, physical rehabilitation, and post-oncology-treatment “thrivership”.  This time, I’m looking to explore the benefits of physical activity/exercise for tumor/cancer patients.  It took me a while to cope with my own physical limitations and establish new goals.  Establishing “functional goals” for ADLs or mobility is great, but for me it wasn’t enough.  My interests are now on personal fitness. At the CrossFit gym, I realized that it is very time consuming for me to move from exercise to exercise due to my mobility impairments.  It requires a lot of help setting up the equipment so perhaps “one-on-one” training is more appropriate. Many of my rehab colleagues cautioned me about overuse injuries.  The coaches do a great job assessing technique, but I can see how the focus can become on the completion of a certain exercise.  I’m liking what I’m seeing in the CrossFit community, but I’m still very cognizant of my functional rehab goal for improved mobility… I still have to check out a few more gyms vs personal training, but a new challenge is coming into focus this year…

Blog and reviews22 Dec 2015 07:38 pm

Here is another entry from my first travel journal in 1995.

May 12, 1995
sm1Well, here goes another entry into my “journal”.  Yesterday was kind of boring.  My nephew, Paolo, came over to my uncle’s house yesterday morning!  After breakfast we played for a while.  At around 1PM, we went to the mall in Makati: Quad and Shoemart.

Nako! Maraming tao doon! Mayroon mga magandang dalaga rin! Pumenta tayo sa bookstore at mga clothing stores.  Bumili akong mga libro may “Pilipino culture”.  Bumita ako tagalog libro.

OK, enough Tagalog.  I figured I should practice it a little since I am in the Philippines.  I tried getting in touch with my other cousins from the States that were also visiting, Eileen and Janice.  They were out until 10PM last night.  (This was before email, texting, voicemail!)  What’s crazy though is that I went to bed at 9PM!

(I’m noticing that whenever I travel overseas, I got to bed early and wake up early!)

I’m noticing that this entry was a “filler.”  Not much to talk about… they do get better (I hope…) here is another entry

May 14, 1995

On Friday, I finally got to meet up with my cousins Eileen and Janice.  I went over to their Uncle’s house for dinner,  We ended up watching a video of their 25th Wedding Anniversary Celebration.  It seems like the Filipino here are a lot like the ones in the States:  lots of food, laughing, and loud screams of joy.  It was kind of funny looking at everyone’s reaction at seeing themselves on TV.  After that, we ended up going to a night club in Makati:  CATS.  Actually, it was like “Asian Persuasion Thursdays at Nectos” in Ann Arbor, only it wasn’t.

The next day I had to get up early to go to San Pablo.  On the way there, we stopped at the Galvez resort:  “Balik Bayan”.  (I think my Aunt owns another one in San Pablo, “Makiling Breeze”.) When I finally got back to San Pablo, I wanted to do some site seeing.  Actually, this entry sucks cause I don’t feel like writing anything now.

HAHAHA!  I had to force myself to write stuff down back then.  The early stages of something that would eventually lead to a blog.  At 19 years old, my main interests were in going out and meeting pretty girls.

Blog and reviews20 Dec 2015 08:23 pm

airbending-symbolThe second entry from my journal… It was one long flight to the Philippines!

 

May 10, 1995 (cont)

Captain’s log, supplemental (I was/am such a geek!)  My voyage to the Philippines has just begun.  I arrived in Manila at 2100.  God, I was so tired when we got to Osaka for our connecting flight to Manila.  I was just waiting to get on the plane and fall asleep.  When we boarded the plane, we were greeted by the most beautiful flight attendants I have ever seen.  They were all Filipina + cute too!  Wow, I was in shock!  Me, being the “stud” that I am, flashed them a flirty smile in return I got a bunch of giggles.  That’s cool, but too bad it didn’t actually happen like that.  I always act really stupid around pretty girls!  The whole 4 hours I couldn’t sleep, partly because of the gorgeous flight attendants and partly because I was really excited to be back in the land where my parents were raised.

When I stepped off the plane it was so damned hot.  It didn’t help that the walk to the baggage claim was like 30 miles away and I was carrying 3 tons of carry-on baggage.  The second I noticed was the smell in the air.  There is no other smell like it in the world.  It’s hard to explain but it’s really “thick” and hard to breath, yet it fills your lungs like a good meal would fill your stomach!  I don’t think it was smog, but I’m not completely sure it wasn’t.  I’ve breathed smog before in NYC and Paris, but this was different.  Oh well, I gots to get some rest!

I have a few more entries I’ll post while on vacation… they get more interesting..

Blog and reviews20 Dec 2015 06:34 pm

di9rXzB4TI found this old journal while cleaning out my room.  I was going back to the Philippines with my Lola (Grandma.) I was in college and traveling overseas for the first time as an “adult”. This was my first overseas “adventure.”

May 9, 1995

Well, I’m on my way to the Philippines again.  The last time I was there was when I was in the 6th grade for my Grandma and Grandpa’s 60th wedding anniversary.  I stayed there for only a month.  This time around, I’m going back with my Lola (my other grandma.)  I guess she’s going back and staying there for good. (She actually moved back to Canada for health reasons.)  When I first heard about her plans, I jumped at the opportunity to go back with her!  I don’t know… I guess there’s a part of me that’s looking for something back there.  Maybe I’m looking for an escape from the “real world” or some sort of cultural enlightenment, or maybe I’m looking for a wife… j/k!  Right now I’m on the plane to Osaka (Northwest airlines)  God, this is boring.  “Jurassic Park” is on, and everyone is asleep.  Looking after Lola is so weird because she was the one who always looked after me when I was little.  It’s kind of strange how things come full circle in life.

Stay tuned for more old journal entries…

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