Tag Archives: Mind And Body

Yoga Dad Turns Cancer To A Positive

Yoga dad Dennis Ingui has a story to tell that all you dudes need to hear.

Now, I don’t normally turn over the precious white space here at A Dude’s Guide very often, much less three times in less than a week, but this is a special case. See, a friend of mine told me about Dennis and, once she did, I knew I’d have to have him share his story here with all of you. It’s a long story, so I’m going to have a jump that I want you to follow and I think you will.

This yoga dad is more than a health nut, more than a cancer survivor, more than a business man. Although he’d probably fight against anyone telling him this, he’s a bit of an inspiration. But let’s hear the story from Dennis’ mouth instead of mine.

Despite completely changing my life starting with a yoga practice at the age of 48, I wouldn’t call it a mid-life crisis.  

My mid-life turnaround was brought about after a stunning diagnosis of prostate cancer and surgery. What began as a journey of recovery and self-discovery has grown into a new business venture, mentorship for other budding entrepreneurs and a path toward philanthropy, touching the lives of children and adults across the globe.

Born and raised in the Bronx, I’ve always been athletic and physically fit. Which meant I was thrown completely off guard after a cautionary check up with my urologist showed a slightly rising PSA test. I will never forget the moment I received a call from the doctor on my way to the airport for a business trip. Immediately, I turned the car around and my wife and I went straight to the doctor. Within a few weeks, I was scheduled for surgery.

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Life As We Know It

by Richard

Forty years of multiple sclerosis. A bout with breast cancer a decade ago. Osteoporosis. Osteoarthritis. Through it all, Mom managed to stand stronger than any disease. She took whatever life threw at her, spit in life’s eye and dared it to do more. It took meningitis to lay her out flat on her back.

In a way, Mom knew something like this was coming. For years, she’d told my sister and me that she never wanted to be dependent on a tube to breathe or a tube to eat. Her worst nightmare was to be unable to move, unable to think and only be alive through the grace of a machine. And we were right on the doorstep of making that decision.

As my mom’s children, my sister and I had no problem at all with doing whatever it took to keep her alive. She was our mom, after all. There was nothing we wouldn’t do to keep her with us. Unfortunately, she raised us too well.

Mom made my sister and I be her guardians should she ever be sick. Because she gave us her power of attorney, we could make decisions for her, both medically and financially. And that meant we had to do what she would have done had she been able to make a decision.

The doctors at her hospital told us that they could do nothing else for my mom unless we allowed them to intubate her and insert a feeding tube. We wanted it. Oh, dudes, how we wanted it. The problem was that we knew our mom wouldn’t want that. She would never want that. She had spent the last several years drilling into our heads that she would never want to be kept alive by machines.

We didn’t want to do it, but we made what we think was the right decision. We checked Mom out of the hospital and into a hospice, where she could be made comfortable until she and her body decided what they were going to do. She might continue to decline and eventually pass on. She might stabilize and then move to a rehabilitation facility, there to regain whatever of her mind and body that she could. We just don’t know.

Every day here in hospice is different. The first day she was more aware than she’d been in days, responding to visitors, nodding her head, sometimes speaking. The second day, she spent most of her time asleep, opening her eyes only rarely. We just don’t know what she’ll do.

As I write this, I’m sitting in her room, looking at her on her bed. She’s breathing deeply, soundly and, if I closed my eyes, I could almost believe she was asleep. But then I open my eyes and I see that one eye can’t close all the way and one side of her mouth droops down uncontrollably. And I know she’s not sleeping normally.

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