Friday, July 9, 2010

Dangerous Dave's Brave Dad

I team-taught a Sunday school class in West Palm Beach with the father of Dangerous Dave, world kickboxing champion. Dangerous Dave’s daddy and I became friends right after he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He invited me to go to the fights with his family to watch their highly accomplished son live up to his moniker. The only way Dave disappointed the crowd was by knocking his opponent out very early in the fight, usually in the second round. It appeared that he could not restrain himself from landing the ultimate punch early. Part of his strategy was to discover the other fighter’s weakness in round one and then exploit it in round two.

The father’s strategy in his bout with cancer was similar to his famous son’s. Immediately after the grim diagnosis, the father, who is a psychologist with a couple of doctorates, learned all he could about the disease. As a strong Christian, he entered into a time of prayer and fasting.

Instead of following his doctor’s orders and submit to surgery immediately, he took a non-traditional route, visiting an out-of-the-mainstream clinic in Boca Raton, just south of West Palm. Under their tutelage, he ate nothing but raw veggies for a time, used his blender to combine all kinds of fruits, only ate seeds and nuts as they were sprouting and took a lot of herbs and vitamins.

That was round one, the diagnosis and non-traditional treatment, beginning about 15 years ago when my friend was in his late 50s. Now, in round two, he has discovered the weakness in his opponent. From what he tells me, the cancer cells in his prostate live on testosterone, so he started taking a Chinese herb that kills that substance. The PSA has gone down, but there is some concern that the bad cells have escaped the gland. I’m hoping and praying that the man, like his ferocious son, will knock out his opponent in round two.

A few years ago, my own PSA was slightly above average on one of my visits to the VA in Mena, Ark. My doctor there sent me to the big VA hospital in Little Rock for a needle biopsy. I am glad to report that no cancer cells were discovered there. I do everything I can to get that PSA number down, because I certainly don’t want another needle biopsy. Even though the procedure lasted only about seven minutes, it seemed like several hours. It wasn’t exactly torture. I mean, I would not have revealed any government secrets had the doctor been the enemy, but I was certainly glad when it was over.

Fortunately, I didn’t even have to enter the ring in the cancer fight. If I ever have to, I shall follow the traditional route. I admire Dangerous Dave’s fighting skill. I deeply admire his father’s courage in following such a dangerous strategy. However, if need be, I’ll do what the doctor says and knock the culprit out in round one.

There was a man who grew roses in our Sunday school class. He said the best way to produce prize-winning roses was to make it impossible for disease to get a foothold.

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