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  #1  
Old 02-05-2013
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default Listen To Your Body

Good Morning To All

I have been gone from the site for some time and have pondered if it is even appropriate to post the following, and if so where. The following is being written with the hope that in some small way it may help someone in the future.

Last spring I had committed to a goal of doing a 10k OW swim by seasons end. One of the pieces of my quest was introducing a strict and regular routine of stretching to gain greater flexibility especially through my right side, plus help with stroke symmetry. This routine began in March and continued through the summer months with quite positive results. I definitely felt a more balanced stroke and although my speed did not increase ease did.

Shortly after beginning the stretching routine my right flank area developed a deep dull aching. My thoughts were simply that the pain was due to muscle strains as it was not painful to the point of being limiting. This aching never left as I just kept blowing it off, there were times it would subside.

Due to a partial amputation of my right index finger May 5, I was forced to stay out of the water for seven weeks. Continued my dry land routine.

My urinary patterns for years have been troublesome. Always attributed to BPH, this past spring and summer in the same time frame frequency patterns increased while volume decreased. Once again disregarded as just being a part of BPH, saw my physician about it and after a digital rectal exam and confirmation of enlarged prostate just lived with it. Urinary patterns got worse, flank pain stayed the same. Fast forward to the end of September.

Stepped outside my barn to pee and wow pure blood presented. To shorten a time frame which seems light years ago. I have been diagnosed with bladder cancer which necessitates a radical cysectomy Feb 18. I sit here with tube coming out my right kidney for drainage which has been in place for several weeks.

I write this post hoping you all may keep a couple of nuggets planted in the back of your minds. The first if you should endure any type of long term pain in your flank area, do not disregard. Consider it a possible warning sign, my right kidney had been telling me for months that it was not happy. The tumor had grown and occluded my right ureter opening which caused the kidney to swell and shut down. If urinary patterns change with increased frequency, decreased volume please have it thoroughly evaluated. I was told it was BPH plus given meds for a UTI.

Hindsight is always wonderful and I have no reason to believe I or any of the medical community were remiss. Once again I hope my very abbreviated story may place a seed in someones head which could help an earlier diagnosis than I had.

Going forward my prognosis looks good and I hope to be back in the water before OW season. I will be peeing in a back instead of polluting the lakes. One good thing I guess. If anyone would like some information about my journey (bladder cancer) and or discuss it in more detail please send me a PM. This is a very nasty and unspoken of cancer.

Thank You for reading and hope to be back in the water soon.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2013
flychick flychick is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cheltenham, UK
Posts: 86
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Dear Westy,
Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is both sobering and thought provoking and you are brave to speak of it.
I shall be rooting for your speedy recovery and return to the water, and in the meantime do keep us updated on your progress.
Warmest regards,
Nicki
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www.abirdseyeview.co.uk
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2013
Janos Janos is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Liverpool, England
Posts: 389
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Hi Westy, I am probably not alone in wondering how your swimming was going, as you had not posted for a while. So it was a shock to read about your battle with sickness. I am glad you are on the mend. Can I just say how impressed I am with your generosity of spirit and bravery. So I am not surprised to see how once you are over the worst your thoughts turn to swimming! I hope the redemptive power of TI can work its magic on you soon.

Best Wishes

Janos
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2013
terry terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Westy
I'll add my best wishes for a strong recovery to full health as well as my admiration for your spirit and courage in sharing your story with us here on the Forum. I know you understand that you have many friends here, all wishing you well.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2013
Grant Grant is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sooke, BC. Canada
Posts: 581
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Hi Westy
Glad to hear you are on the way to recovery. Thanks for posting. Have taken your advice to heart and booked an appointment with my Dr as I have had a pain on my right side for months now that I have called muscle soreness. Have tried massage in various forms but it always returns quickly. Does not hurt while swimming either Fly or Free so it has not been restrictive. As you say it is best to,listen to our vehicle.
My best to you on your journey.
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2013
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 671
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Hi Westy

Just want to wish you all the best for a speedy recovery. I too was wondering what happened to your postings but thought maybe you were vacationing or something. So very sorry for what you are going through and my prayers are with you and your family. Thanks for sharing your story, don't know if I would have the guts to do that.

Sherry
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2013
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default Progress.

My goal was to accomplish a 10k swim which would mean two laps around a beautiful glacial formed lake in WI. After the minor set back due to finger amputation I knew it was not going to happen.

I took a road trip at the very end of August and found a stretch of beach near Bayfield WI, Lake Michigan. It was the most zen like swim I have ever done. Very calm, lake temp was perfect, no boats, beautiful day, no time frame, all alone, most amazing was the sun being at a perfect angle to cast my shadow on the bottom. I did wear a torpedo bottom and after mapping on google came up with 3.5 miles. That was about my max as there was no nutrition available.

It was one of those magical moments which just happened unexpectedly.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2013
azamy azamy is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Herat
Posts: 124
azamy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
My goal was to accomplish a 10k swim which would mean two laps around a beautiful glacial formed lake in WI. After the minor set back due to finger amputation I knew it was not going to happen.

I took a road trip at the very end of August and found a stretch of beach near Bayfield WI, Lake Michigan. It was the most zen like swim I have ever done. Very calm, lake temp was perfect, no boats, beautiful day, no time frame, all alone, most amazing was the sun being at a perfect angle to cast my shadow on the bottom. I did wear a torpedo bottom and after mapping on google came up with 3.5 miles. That was about my max as there was no nutrition available.

It was one of those magical moments which just happened unexpectedly.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
Glad to know about your progress and that you are well enough to get back to water. While reading this post of yours I had the imagination of the lake and your swim, even the imagination felt pleasant :)

thanks for the update
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2013
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 1,104
WFEGb
Default Westy passed away

Dear Readers,

I'll open this thread once more with mood very sad.

Westy passed away on December 21st. His wife Sue answered my Christmas email and informed me.

Westy and I got to know here in the forums and it turned into an email friendship. In private and swimming matters always very kind, very calm, very helpful.

I'd like to swim some meters with him, if I'd ever be near his home swimming grounds. That has to wait a little longer now to fulfill his footer together in other grounds:

Swim Silent and Be Well!

Best regards,
Werner

PS: If interested you can read his obituary at: http://host.madison.com/news/local/o...018b68bf9.html
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2013
azamy azamy is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Herat
Posts: 124
azamy
Default R.I.P Westy

Indeed a sad news :( May his soul rest at peace.
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