George’s Journal

Thank you to all who have left me a message in the Guestbook. I treasure your thoughtful, encouraging words. I’m responding to each message by replying on this site. Many of you have mentioned that you’re praying for me daily. That is extremely heartwarming and appreciated! Your prayers bolster my faith, and are making an impact with “the man upstairs”.

Yes, God is looking after me. My faith is strong, and with everyone’s prayers and God’s Will, we will prevail. It has been a tough battle since September to shrink the tumor down to a qualifying size and condition in order to receive the BMT, but I’m now, “good to go”. Today, I have two primary topics to share with you: Nutraceuticals and Attitude.

My initial 12-day treatment phase at Oasis of Hope (Mexico) ended, April 14th. My stay paid off with the dramatic improvements highlighted in last week’s journal (see below), which significantly attribute to my OOH treatments. In sum, the hospital was spot clean, staff warm and friendly, physicians and nurses extremely competent, and treatment protocol “state of the art” in blending unconventional, holistic and also some traditional therapies to treat me. Now, I’m on the Home Care Program, featuring “Nutraceuticals”, mega-doses of nutritional supplements (dosage levels not available in the states).

I’ve noticed a major improvement in my right leg over the past 2 weeks. This leg has troubled me with blood clots (emanating from tumor in lower right abdomen), and resultant numbing and swelling; particularly in my calf and ankle. My right foot has felt like a board for five months! I’m under medication to control the clots. For months, I’ve been walking with the help of a cane.

A key part of my Oasis of Hope protocol is to take Nutraceuticals 4 times daily, at meals and bedtime. The Nutraceuticals, 11-12 capsules/pills per meal, have really helped my right leg! My supplements include: EPA-DHA (Fish Oil), Boswella, Semethyl, Vitamin D3, Restveratrol (antioxidant phytochemical found in red wine), Salsalate, Melatonin, Soy Isoflavaones, Curcumin, Promegranate, Lypocene, Green Tea extract, Piperine, Grape Seed extract, Apricot Pit extract, Zinc, Silenium, Folic Acid, Glutamine, Modified Citrus Pectin, and Glycine.

I’ll spare you the technical details about how the various supplements blend together to create a synergistic effect. It feels good to be walking without a cane! I look forward to getting back to the gym daily at 5:00 am, and leaping onto the track for two-mile runs.

What a simple, powerful word, attitude! During this challenging journey, I’ve tried to keep a healthy routine of early morning prayers, good breakfast, optimistic-positive outlook, and healthy interaction with family and friends. The key is to have a good attitude every day, even those days where my health was “on the ropes”.

As you can imagine, I’ve been thinking about my upcoming Bone Marrow Transplant, getting physically and mentally prepared. I’ve been hospitalized at the City of Hope, a number of times and during each stay, I would ask my nurses (who are amazing), about their experiences with BMT patients. Never stopped asking, even when the tumor wasn’t responding, and my options were dwindling. Our sights were always on the BMT and being cured!

My curiosity and questions will continue. I’m scheduled to enter the City of Hope, April 29th – the date established by my oncologist-hematologist, Dr. Chen. The key to keep this BMT on schedule is for my Donor and me to pass a series of tests. I’ve passed all of mine, just waiting to here about my anonymous “Unrelated Donor Match”. This terrific, giving person lives overseas. No additional information is available. That’s how it’s set up. A year after the BMT, if we both want to meet, then it is arranged.

Concerning the BMT protocol and month-long hospital stay, I recently exchanged emails with Scott Smykowski, friend of my brother John’s, and former University of Michigan football player (one of Bo’s Boys). Scott received a BMT, 20-years ago, and now enjoys a healthy life with his wife and two sons.

Words of Wisdom
Scott shared with me the following: “I will give you the advice I was given by one of my nurses while I was awaiting my transplant. As I asked him question after question about everyone else on the bone marrow unit and how they were dealing with it he told me, “everyone is different and their body handles things in its own unique way and the only thing you can control through the process is your attitude, you can’t control the amount of medication they give you can’t control how it makes you feel but you can control your attitude, and you must keep a positive attitude”.

I’m lucky for the benefit of great coaching/mentoring throughout my life. My Dad, John V. Ghindia is a member of the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame, as well as a HOF father! My high school football coach, Jack Castignola, is also in the HOF. Coach Jack’s philosophy was based on strong fundamentals, nothing fancy, i.e., discipline. blocking tackling, run the ball, an occasional pass. His favorite saying was “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. That saying really highlights my challenge.

Attitude….That’s what I can control. Attitude is the key for everything we do. Whether healthy or not, how we approach, and relish each day determines our happiness and success in life.

“The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being”. Proverbs 20:27 (NIV)

I pray to God for increased strength to successfully get through this rigorous BMT protocol. I pray to God for increased faith to bolster my daily attitude. I pray to God for a renewed life, free of cancer. I pray to God for an opportunity to serve Him better here on earth, to raise my overall game to the next levels. It’s in His Hands. I’m confident that we will beat this thing!

My friend and business associate Donna Ganshirt left me a wonderful message, which included this: “Faith is not believing that God can, It is knowing that God Will”!

God Bless You and Yours,

PS – Check out my Top 100 Rock Albums and give me your take. Also featured are 150 plus albums that didn’t quite measure up to the top tier, but were enjoyed immensely.

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