Inspiration from Meghan

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Meet My Dad: The Four Unwanted Words


You’ve seen us dress up in cat costumes and cook weird pumpkin dishes, and you’ve heard all about what he and my family are going through. We thought it only right that you get to know the man himself. Meet my dad Ron. And that picture above, was taken last March, a couple days after his 60th birthday. And you wonder where I get my nonsense from?

The Four Unwanted Words

by super special guest blogger, my dad,  Ron Telpner

Like my father before me, and my grandmother before him, I am a person of words. My daughter Meghan is the same.

I write for a living, whether it is copy for an ad, a speech for a client, or an opinion piece for a magazine. I love words. I love the architecture of a well-written paragraph.  I get joy from seeing just how magical a turn of phrase can be.

I am 60 years old and a lot of words have crossed my lips, crossed my mind and ended up on a page, in an ad, or as a quote. Like I said, I love words.

But I never imagined the impact it would have on me of hearing the four words, strung together by my doctor, on September 7th, 2010.

Those words were, “ You have prostate cancer”.

I think he said a few more words after that, but I am not sure I heard them. The one thing I was clear on was that I heard, “you have cancer”.

Then he said something about let’s just wait and see what happens.  Did I just hear him say, “You have cancer and we’ll just wait and see what happens?” I couldn’t believe it! Turns out he was right.

I was in shock. I felt light headed.  What was I supposed to do, now that I had cancer? I did what came naturally.  I went back to work.

I did my best to stay in control and hold back tears, as I relayed the news to my family and close friends that first week. The response was universal. They thought I should get another opinion, take action immediately, seek out additional experts, talk to a friend of friend, see a doctor they knew about, and on and on and on. Everyone had a different perspective.

I was upset, confused and frightened.

I immediately talked to three prominent urologists, and heard three different recommendations.

Then I did my homework. I read as much as I could, and I listened to the experts. Naturally, one of those experts was Meghan. And she brought all her knowledge, resources and contacts with her.

For me “Active Surveillance” is the route I am following, but I am taking control of my health in a way that is hard for some to comprehend.

With the support of family and friends, I have embraced a program of low glycemic diet, juicing, exercise, acupuncture, meditation, yoga and de-stressing.

Now, just two months later, my PSA has dropped from 5.8 to 4.76. While still high, it is moving in the right direction.

I know I will kick cancer and emerge a healthier and happier person.

I am truly appreciative of all the good wishes that came to me from you, Meghan’s readers. Your support and good karma are definitely helping me heal.

After 35 years of non-stop working in the advertising industry I have come to embrace this thought… Health is Wealth.


Question Of The Day: Who or what inspires you to live your healthiest life?

31 Responses to “Meet My Dad: The Four Unwanted Words”

  1. lou said…
    I'd be honoured to grow a moustache for you Ronnie, but happy I cannot accommodate (note to Meghan's readers: this Lou is a Louisa). You're an inspiration as always. Meghan loved the pic of your mad dad. I recall one like it - in a black suit wasn't it - from about a decade ago. And expect to see your father pulling warrior 3 on wheeled vehicles for decades more...
  2. AndreaD said…
    I've always heard such amazing things about you and admired you from afar. I think you're whole family is pretty amazing and inspiring!! Great post and great poster I might add! Thanks for posting your personal story!!
  3. Jennifer R. said…
    Loved hearing from your extra special guest blogger :). Without a doubt, I know your dad will be fully healed. Hope you all are having fun as a family in California!
  4. Pam said…
    Hi Ron. I so enjoyed your story. My husband was just diagnosed with prostate cancer as well. Trouble is, we already eat a very healthy diet. Not completely free of any bad stuff, but pretty darn good. His prostate levels are about in the same range as yours were. I don't know if I could convince him to do meditation, yoga, and juice on a regular basis (although he juices on the weekend (once a day) with me. My husband's doctor has said he would do surgery if he were my husband. My husband's gleason's score was 6. I wonder if it would be helpful if we would talk with other urologists? I would love for you to e-mail me at the e-mail above so maybe you could share some of your successes to help us make our decision. Thanks so much Ron, and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Pam
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi Pam, I have passed your info on to my father. A colleague of mine has put my father on a therapeutic supplement protocol as well. If your husband is open to this, my father can also offer his contact.
      • Pam said…
        Sure, Meghan. That would be wonderful. I appreciate your forwarding the information on to your father. I look forward to hearing from him. Thanks again. This means the world to me, as you might imagine. Peace to you and your family. Pam
        • Pam said…
          Hi Meghan, Thanks for putting me in contact with your father and mother. I have corresponded with your mother from time to time. Sounds like your dad is having other issues that complicate his healing for him. Hopefully, things are looking up now. Does your friend who suggested the nutritional supplements have a web site? I didn't talk with your Mother or Father about the supplements. Thanks! Pam
  5. Marisa said…
    Health IS wealth. We cannot function as well when we don't feel well, and our morale and optimism can certainly take a kick. But it's important to lose faith because we can take action. I think it's so nice that Meghan and you collaborated here on her blog. I met her during a photo shoot and she's great! I wish you both well.
  6. [...] My best advice is to simply do what you need to do to make the time to stop and smell the flowers. Better to force yourself than have it forced upon you. Right? My dad knows this lesson all too well too. [...]
  7. [...] In his own words, Ron Telpner, my dad, shares his story and experience with prostate cancer. His series, The Four Unwanted Words chronicles his experience from diagnosis to the best health of his life. Read Part 1: Four Unwanted Words [...]
  8. [...] seems to have been born and bread in me. It’s just more fun that way. (And you’ve met my dad, right? Genetic [...]

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