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Get the Facts (or the Jaw) Straight: Orthognathic Surgery

Posted on . Filed under: Orthognathic Surgery

Whether you are having problems with your tooth or jaw alignment, in serious cases you might need to have orthognathic surgery. But what is it? What does this entail? And how exactly will it help you? We’re here to tell you all about this surgery that is fairly common and yet fairly unknown.

What Does “Orthognathic” Mean?

This word is long, but it’s not too confusing once we break it up. You’ve heard the prefix “ortho” before in “orthodontics.” And in context that makes sense, as “ortho” comes from the Greek word for “straight.” The second half of the word, “gnathic,” comes from the Greek word for “jaw.” If you put them together, “orthognathic” is essentially just an old, fancy, Greek word for “straight jaw.”

What Does It Mean to Have a Crooked Jaw?

While you might not be able to visibly see the fact that your jaw is not straight (although sometimes you will be able to see it), you will certainly be able to feel it. If your jaw is not in alignment, you might suffer from a lot of unnecessary pain and inconvenience. These problems can include:

  • Speech problems
  • Chronic pain in your jaw
  • Problems eating (such as chewing and swallowing)
  • Excessive wear on the teeth
  • Snoring or sleep apnea
  • Inability to bring teeth or lips together properly

Often it will look like your jaw is pushed back, forward, or to the side, like you are jutting out your chin or purposely gaping your mouth open. However, these are not purposeful, and although you may think they are harmless, they are really causing you a lot of pain.

What Happens During the Surgery?

During the surgery, your jaw will be completely repositioned and realigned. Both parts of your jaw will be divided into smaller sections and often surgically separated and moved to line the teeth up properly. Everything is planned out to the most exact measurements. Even though it sounds intense, you will be out of the hospital soon after the surgery is complete—within the day or the next.



Have the Chiseled Features of a Roman Sculpture

Posted on . Filed under: Cheek Implants

rhino-aug-11The Greeks and Romans may have lived thousands of years ago, but we still know them for their perfect facial features thanks to their everlasting sculptures. The perfectly straight and slanted noses. The lips that are perfectly full yet thin. And perhaps most importantly those cheekbones—high and prominent cheekbones. Sow how can you get cheekbones that are as well defined as that sculpture you saw in the Louvre? The answer is simple: cheek augmentation.

Implants

Cheek implants are a great choice if you want a more permanent option. Often, implants are inserted through the mouth, as this doesn’t leave any visible scarring. These implants are usually made of silicone or Gore-Tex, and are placed directly on the cheekbone. The added volume makes them project out more, giving your face a more defined contour.

It is also possible for implants to be placed below the cheekbones to fill in a sunken middle face, although of course this implant placement will give you a different look.

Fillers

Injections are also a popular opportunity to redefine the shape of your face. There are many benefits, especially as far as general medical risks go. It is much less likely to develop an infection or excessive bleeding with fillers, as you are not having a surgery. However, it is only temporary. No matter how much you like the look of your face with hyaluronic acids injected into the cheekbones, it won’t last forever. Even more permanent options are absorbed into the skin in time. However, you can always get injected again and again.

Another option for cheek fillers is a fat transfer. While it still will not be as effective as an implant, it will last longer than any hyaloronic acid filler, as you are being injected with natural (but processed) fat that has been removed from your own body.

Whatever your choice, you can soon bask in your own celestial beauty. You can become a Greek god or goddess through your cheek augmentation procedure. While you might not be on display at a world-famous museum, everyone will ooh and ah over your high and defined cheekbones.



Are You at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Posted on . Filed under: Oral Cancer

Woman cryingCancer can strike anyone at anytime, even oral cancer.  However, if you are a male over the age of 55, you are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as a female of the same age.  As with any disease, there are certain risk factors we’ve outlined for you here that may increase your likelihood of developing oral cancer.

  • The risk of contracting oral cancer increases with age. More than two-thirds of those who have oral cancer are 55 years or older, and the average age of of those at diagnosis is 62.
  • Men are twice as likely than women to be diagnosed with oral cancer, perhaps because of their use of alcohol and tobacco – both major risk factors for oral cancer. As women who have used tobacco and alcohol age, the American cancer Society reports seeing more cases of women diagnosed with oral cancer.
  • Just like skin cancer, oral cancers are seen more frequently in those who work outside, or have prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • In case you needed more reasons to eat your veggies… diets low in fruits and vegetables have shown an increased risk for oral cancer.
  • We know that smoking is bad for your heart and lungs, but tobacco use is also a risk factor for oral cancer. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can result in cancer of the mouth, cheeks, and gums.  If you need more reasons to stop smoking, take oral cancer into consideration.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to oral cancer. If you drink and smoke, your risk may be 100% greater than someone who does not.

If you have a sore in your mouth that just won’t heal, a constant sore throat, problems chewing or swallowing, or red or white patches in your mouth you should be screened for oral cancer.  When caught early, oral cancer can be treated easily!

We have the latest and greatest technology to help detect oral cancer at its earliest stages.  If you are over the age of 55, or have used tobacco and alcohol regularly, give our offices a call for a consultation.



Dental Implants: What You Need To Know

Posted on . Filed under: Dental Implants

Happy womanDo you have one or more missing teeth?  Do you hide your smile, embarrassed by your teeth?  If so, dental implants might be right for you. The decision to get dental implants requires a lot of research, and we understand it can be scary – so we’ve assembled a short list of a few of the great benefits of dental implants.

  • Dental implants are often the first choice of doctors and patients. Implants are usually the best way to replace a missing tooth in a way that looks and feels natural.  Dental implants work just like real teeth!  While other replacement options can damage or deteriorate the bone structure of surrounding teeth, implants are a close replacement to natural teeth.  Implants enable you to smile, talk, and eat as you normally would without anyone knowing you have an implant.
  • Dental implants are made for the long haul. Implants are superior to dental bridges, which may only last 5-7 years and will eventually need to be replaced.  It’s likely a dental implant may need to be adjusted at some point, but with proper care, these tooth replacements can last a lifetime.
  • Dental implants stay in your mouth – all the time! Dentures can be awkward, and need to be removed to be cleaned properly.  Implants stay in your mouth, removing the fear that your teeth might slip or fall out.  Cleaning involves only the brushing, flossing, and rinsing that you’re already used to.
  • Dental implants don’t get cavities! An added bonus of dental implants is that they don’t decay like regular teeth.  Although you will still need to visit your dentist for regular care, you don’t have to worry about fillings in your dental implants.

We want you to live your life without worrying about your teeth!  Everyone deserves to go out to dinner and enjoy the company of good friends without worrying that missing teeth or dentures will become an embarrassment during the evening.  Teeth that are restored with a dental implant allow you to be the best version of yourself and let your smile shine through.

If you’re still wondering if dental implants are right for you, give us a call!  We’re happy to evaluate your individual concerns and recommend the best course of treatment.



How Can You Treat Your Snoring?

Posted on . Filed under: Sleep Apnea & Snoring

2739_shutterstock-66221323Many people suffer from their partner snoring. The ironic thing about snoring is that it often doesn’t visibly affect the person actually snoring. While he or she may not sleep as well and wake up tired, it is often their family and friends who notice it most. If you snore, chances are you are keeping your spouse  or roommate up much more than it is affecting you. So when the problem arises, how can you treat your snoring?

How Success is Measured

Snoring success does not necessarily mean that your snoring will completely stop. While that is the ideal situation, your success will be determined by your actual goals—and how your partner feels. Before being treated, discuss with your partner and your doctor what your expectations for the procedure are.

Don’t Go Under the Knife

Although many snoring cases need to be treated via surgical procedures, you don’t necessarily need to go under the knife. Before undergoing surgery, try treating your snoring with one of the following.

  • Changing Your Behavior. There are many elements of your lifestyle that could be causing your snoring. These include a heavy weight, your sleeping position, alcohol and tobacco, and even medications. Changing one of these can often help abate your snoring.
  • Various Devices. Since snoring is caused by the way your air flows through your nose and mouth as you sleep, there are many devices that you can use in or on your mouth or nose that can help open up your cavities, providing the air with more space. While these devices are very effective, they can cause other problems and are often uncomfortable and inconvenient.

When Surgery Is Necessary

Sometimes the fixes listed above will not provide you with the success you want. In this case, your doctor will probably recommend surgery. This treatment usually effects your nose, the top of your mouth, and your tongue. Extensive tests will need to be done first, however, to ensure that surgery is the best route and to help choose the surgery that is right for you.

If you and your partner suffer from your terrible jackhammer snoring, come into our office and talk about your treatment options today!



The Different Types of Oral Cancers

Posted on . Filed under: Oral Cancer

Woman cryingTumors can develop almost anywhere in your body, and your mouth is no exception. And when they’re cancerous, it’s a huge problem. Although there are many things that could be a factor in the development of oral cancer, smoking or chewing tobacco is often a major factor. Here’s what you need to know about the various types of oral cancer.

Precancerous Tumors

Although technically not cancerous themselves, these two conditions are anything but benign. If a whitish patch starts to form inside your mouth, you might have leukoplakia. If a similar patch appears except it is red and raised, it might be erythroplakia. Either of these conditions can become cancerous, and so you should get them checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

90% of oral cancers fall under this category. Your squamous cells are the cells that line your entire oral cavity: mouth, tongue, and lips. Therefore, this cancer affects the linings of your mouth and throat. It is not invasive until it spreads beyond the lining.

Lip Cancer

The most common oral cancer, lip cancer is usually a type of squamous cell carcinoma. It affects men much more than women. Symptoms include:

  • A sore on the lip that will not heal
  • A lump
  • Constant or consistent pain
  • White or red patches in the mouth, as mentioned above
  • Toothache

It is important to pay attention to the symptoms, as many people originally believe them to be signs of a persistent cold or something much milder than cancer.

Tongue Cancer

This is another cancer that is most often in the squamous cells. Very similar to lip cancer, this is defined by oral pain, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and a sore throat. The main difference is that the symptoms will be concentrated around the front part of your tongue. If you are experiencing pain in the back 1/3 of your tongue, it is actually not considered oral cancer, but rather head and neck cancer.

 

Mouth Cancer

More general, mouth cancer has similar symptoms but can affect any part of the mouth. It can actually include both tongue and lip cancer.

 

If it is detected early enough, the best treatment is surgery to remove the cancerous growth. However, lip cancer can also be treated with radiation, chemotherapy, and drugs.

 



Wall Street Wrinkle

Posted on . Filed under: Botox

_iStock_000016341734SmallGuys, welcome to the scene.  Women have been using Botox for years to reduce those fine lines and wrinkles.  So it’s no surprise that men are finally embracing the procedure, too.

But just when we thought the gender gap was narrowing, the use of Botox reminds us that perhaps men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  While women want to turn back the clock and reduce all signs of aging with a wrinkle-free look, men are opting for a more natural, “not-overdone” look.

The term “Wall Street Wrinkle” was coined by a doctor in New York to describe the look his male patients requested.  These patients primarily worked in the finance district, and wanted a less-is-more approach to their Botox treatments, choosing to wear a toned-down version of their wrinkles as battle scars.  Rather than trying to reverse time, these patients just wanted to look “well rested.”

According to the American Society for Plastic Surgeons, more than 385,000 men got Botox injections last year alone, representing a 310% increase from 10 years ago.  While cosmetic procedures are generally more accepted across both genders, many men are trying to level the playing field professionally.

 

After the economic slowdown in 2008, many men in their 40s and 50s found themselves competing with younger professionals for the same jobs.  A little Botox went a long way in helping them appear younger and more confident in the eyes of hiring managers.

 

Some speculate male use of Botox is driven by women.  Many men report that their significant other encouraged them to “get rid of that wrinkle.”  Men report liking the procedure because it’s quick (Botox can be done during a lunch break.) and relatively painless.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that Botox does require patients to come back every 4-6 moths to maintain their appearance, regardless of gender.

 

Dr. Sultan would be happy to help you find your Wall Street Wrinkle!  Give our offices a call to schedule your appointment today.



Don’t Ignore the Snore

Posted on . Filed under: Sleep Apnea & Snoring

chin-upWhether you snore or sleep next to someone who does, it’s important to know that snoring can actually be a symptom of some major health issues. Most people snore on occasion, especially if they sleep on their backs, have allergies, or are particularly congested.  However, of greater concern, are the undiagnosed adults who likely have sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea has been associated with major health concerns, including heart disease and high blood pressure.

People with sleep apnea may stop breathing for seconds at a time as a result of a severely obstructed airway.   So how can you tell if your snoring is safe, or something to be concerned about?  Dr. Sultan has a few tips:

  • If your partner reports that you stop breathing, and then snort or gasp for air, you could have sleep apnea.
  • If people complain that you snore LOUDLY, you could have sleep apnea. Loud snoring is a good indicator that your body is working extra hard to get the oxygen it needs.
  • If you are aware you snore and find yourself extremely exhausted during the day, it’s possible you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea prevents the body from getting into the deep sleep cycle that leaves you feeling refreshed during the day.  If you’re ready to curl up and take a nap anytime, anywhere, then Dr. Sultan may be able to help.

The good news for those who suffer from sleep apnea?  It’s highly treatable!  Sleep studies, 3-Dimensional airway analysis, and fiber optic exams of your breathing passages can help Dr. Sultan assess your condition.

A variety of treatment options exist, including non-surgical options. Two popular non-surgical options include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and oral appliances.  If non-surgical options are unsuccessful, there are surgical options to remove the obstructions in the airway.  Dr. Sultan will work with you to find the best treatment plan possible.

Regardless of the severity of your snoring, it’s a good idea to have it evaluated.  Give our offices a call to schedule an appointment today.



Anchors Away: Skeletal Anchoring Devices

Posted on . Filed under: Uncategorized

shutterstock_98635421When your orthodontist is trying to move your teeth, he also needs to work with the laws of physics. If you start to pull on the teeth, there’s a chance that they will slide the wrong way—especially if you are just trying to close a gap or move a single tooth. In these situations, what is an oral surgeon to do? Dr. Leslie H. Sultan has a solution: skeletal anchorage surgery.

When Do You Need This Surgery?

Skeletal anchorage surgery is needed when there are large gaps in the teeth or bite. For example, if your son has an open bite due to sucking his thumb, he might need this surgery to fix it. Or if you have deeply impacted molars, this could be the solution. After consulting with Dr. Sultan, he will be able to tell you if this is a viable solution for whatever oral problem you are facing.

What Does It Entail?

Essentially, a tiny screw is placed in the jaw to be used as an anchor. This keeps the other teeth in place, while a series of plates and springs helps move the teeth that need to be adjusted. While this might sound painful, it is no more uncomfortable than normal braces. Dr. Sultan is a professional who makes the situation as comfortable as possible for you. The screw is so small that, while you will be numbed during installation, you feel no pain as it is placed, and there is surprisingly no pain while the screw is in your mouth.

Prevention is the Best Cure

Of course, the best part about these tiny anchors is that they prevent a variety of other serious treatments. Why worry about embarrassing and uncomfortable headgear, extra years of braces, or even tooth extraction or jaw surgery when you can use skeletal anchors to fix the problems in just a few short months.

Talk with your orthodontist and Dr. Leslie Sultan about what this surgery can do for you. It can probably help you get a nice, new smile, free of gaps and full of charm.



In May 2014 Dr. Sultan delivered the Commencement Keynote Speech at the University at Albany

Posted on . Filed under: Uncategorized

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Sultanphoto

Below is my address in its entirety.  The title of my speech “Inspirational Wisdom for the New Graduate” was written to inspire my fellow alumni with references from my experience, humorous anecdotes and spiritual pearls.

I hope that at least the essence of my thoughts help those who seek challenge, intellectual adventure and are able to overcome emotional and physical hardship.

Enjoy!!

Leslie H. Sultan, BS 1980, DDS 1985

To all the distinguished faculty, staff, friends, family and graduates in attendance:

Thank you very much for allowing me the honor and privilege of speaking to you today, the graduating class of 2014 at the University at Albany.

I am here today, having joined a select group of giants in industry, billionaire entrepaneurs, nobel laureates and famous celebrities in hopes of inspiring you: the new graduate.

Although I am certainly none of the above, I am here to tell you a story, actually my own story, with my own pearls of wisdom thrown in.

Pearl #1: Try to gleam at least one pearl from today and incorporate it in your daily life.

The last time I took to the stage here at SUNY, as we were once called, was to emcee the Albany student telethon back in 1980. Unfortunately, I am told this tradition is no more.  The annual student telethon took place every march and raised money for a local children’s school.  Months of preparation culminated in a 24 hour show of shows.  A major production, really.  Even after giving many presentations over the years, I will always remember my first…. given in the campus center.

Yesterday I took a walking tour around campus, awakening many old memories I thought I had forgotten.  There are so many stories to tell, although some not in public.  As we passed through each building, I began remembering names and faces, along with my personal anecdotes.  It’s unfortunate that many of you could not have experienced many of the fine professors I had the privilege of knowing.  But suffice it to say that the university at Albany has grown to a major institution of higher learning that I am extremely proud to have been a part of.

So let me suggest that our lives are productions, much like movies.  And as a rocker from the 70’s once sang, dream that you are in a Hollywood movie, and you are the star of that movie.   You are not only the star, but the producer and director as well.  The screenplay has been written, different subplots have been developed, and possible endings are in place.  Our lives have been cast, and it’s up to us as to how we play the parts of our Hollywood hit.

The chapter of my screenplay regarding my Albany experience was instrumental in molding me, my personality and my vision.

i began as a shy insecure freshman from a middle class family in Brooklyn.  I came to college the goal of being a “doctor.”  What the word doctor meant I had absolutely no idea.   I began as a premed, starting off my academic curriculum with biology, chemistry, calculus and physics.

I was first housed on Indian quad, and then migrated to Dutch, and finally off campus.  I have great memories of campus life, whether it was in the library, on and off the tennis court, and of course podiating.
This time honored tradition, I am proud to say, began during my undergrad years in Albany.  The term has even made it into the urban dictionary.  To podiate, it is defined is to sit on the academic podium at SUNY Albany relaxing or chilling when you are supposed to be in class, or whenever. Fountain Day and National Podiate Day eventually developed.  I understand it is also called Hap Day, for happy apathetic people day.

We all looked forward to the throw of the first Frisbee, the turning on of the fountains.  People we had not seen all winter, hiding in the wind tunnels finally came out to play.  It brought us all a little bit closer.

Sadly, I struggled academically through my freshman year, my confidence waned and I became frustrated.  I dropped calculus and was failing physics.  I worried; would I make it through the next 4 years?

It was then I met and befriended my first educational mentor, who was there to listen, inspire and guide me.

So, pearl #2: Choose a mentor, even though you may not think you need one.

I chose chemistry as a major after my first semester of organic with Dr. Shelton Bank.  The subject matter, although immensely confusing at first, seemed to just make sense.

I’m glad to see that Dr. Bank has been honored for all the education and guidance he has given to so many chemistry students.  There is a story about Dr. Bank that I must share.  Every year, he and his family invited his undergrad and grad students to a picnic at his home.  It was about a week prior to finals.  I was worried enough about the organic chem final exam, let alone trying to rub shoulders with the professor.  During the student faculty volley ball game, as luck would have it, I fractured my tibia going for a spike.  There goes my final exam, there goes my grade!  Dr. Bank, being the gentleman that he was, gave me a two week period of healing and offered me a take home final.    Fortunately I passed his course and I hope earned his respect. I will never forget his graciousness and professionalism for what he did.

Back in the 70’s at SUNY, slide rules were slowly being replaced with handheld calculators.

Windows 8 and Mac maverick operating systems were not around.  Basic, Fortran and punch cards were.  I spent many a night hand writing those weekly 20 page p-chem lab reports.  But I was proud to sport my “honk if you passed p-chem, honk twice if you got an a” bumper sticker.  Yes, I was a chemistry nerd.

Disco and Saturday Night Fever hit the airwaves.  Bruce Springsteen and the Grateful Dead now completed with Donna Summer and the Bee Gees on the campus radio station WCDB.  Even a former student government president became famous as the doorman at Studio 54, true story, eloquently characterized in the cartoon strip Doonesbury.   We had the first toga parties reminiscent of animal house.

I volunteered as a research assistant under the tutelage of Dr. Henry Kuivila, and eventually had my name added to my first paper in the journal of organic chemistry.   I began to train my mind to think like a computer utilizing algorithms to guide my thoughts.

Vast memorization of organic molecules helped train my mind to think three dimensionally.

Little did I realize, but some of my undergraduate research, utilizing mass spectrometry, and then nuclear magnetic resonance, would become the precursor of magnetic resonance imaging, a modality that I utilize frequently with my patients.   I am proud to say that I took part, even though immensely small, in development of that groundbreaking technology.

Let’s skip a few pages of script.
I eventually graduated with honors in chemistry, and chose to pursue a PhD in organometallic chemistry at another institution.

I decided to take not the MCAT or the Dat Butthe GRE.  At first I thought of studying biopharmacology, but Dr. Kuivila advised, emphatically, no, you must study pure chemistry.  I then chose to become a PhD in organometallics, as he had done. A different type of doctor, to my parent’s chagrin.  They just didn’t understand.  Just what did a chemistry doctor does, they asked.  Unfortunately, it was difficult to explain to them.  As the only member of my family to make it past high school, their preconceived notions played into my decisions.

Maybe it was fear of the unknown, comfort in what I already knew, or lack of confidence in making my own choices, I chose this path.

Pearl #3: Set your own goals, not someone else’s.  Be focused and never stop, whether things are good or bad.

It’s not that I regret making the choices I did.  That subplot in my life had already been written in stone.

After one year, my interest in pure research and playing with organic solvents waned.  Truthfully, I had more fun at the football games of this big 8 school than in the research lab!

I really didn’t know what I wanted out of life.  I was following an undetermined path with no direction.

For a short while, I worked part time for a pharmaceutical research lab synthesizing the precursors of the skin care product Retin-a.  A girlfriend with self -admitted psychic powers told me at the time “Les, you will definitely reach your goals, but it will not come easy”.  Well, she was correct.  I quit my job soon after, and gave notice of giving up a full scholarship and teaching assistantship at Penn state.

It was then I met another mentor who guided me towards another path in healthcare.   And fast forward a few more years, I chose to attend and graduate from dental school at the University of Maryland, by the way the oldest dental school in the world, eventually specializing in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

I have since expanded the envelope of my training and experience to utilize computer guidance and  virtual planning for surgery in reconstruction of the face, mouth and jaws.  My ability to visualize objects in 3 dimensions, taking them apart and then rebuilding them all began from  my roots of playing with my framework molecular models, the chemist’s pick-up stix of its day.  Very similar to the German chemist Kekule as he dreamt of the structure of the benzene ring (most likely during a mind altering experience), I attempt to develop ways, for example, of rebuilding a face fractured into many segments.  I now live in Fort Lauderdale, FL, far from the snow squawls of the Albany winters. I am in private practice, but also teach residents and peers in surgical technique.  After all, the true meaning of the word doctor is “to educate”.

I now realize I have come full circle from my rudimentary beginnings in organic chemistry.

So now comes my time to reflect on my story and extract those pearls that I feel would be most helpful for a new graduate.

I can honestly say that I truly love what I do.  I have had many choices in life, and feel I have chosen wisely in my career path.

Pearl #5: love what you do, and just as important, who you are with.  Once again, another classic rocker to inspire us all.

Surround yourself with people and things that inspire you to be a better person.  And if you have not found your chosen path or companion, never give up searching, and don’t settle.

Pearl #6: Understand the difference between idealism and realism.  Be the best you can be; it may not be the same as being the best there is.

Learn your strengths as well as weaknesses; test your limitations and gradually push the envelope.

Challenge makes you grow, habituation is stagnation.

There are so many pearls, so little time.  So I will paraphrase from a few of my life mentors:

Let the insight of Dale Carnegie guide you to win friends and influence people………….

Let the tenacity of Donald Trump empower you to dream big, plan bigger and kick you know what……….

Knowledge is power!! Exclamation point!

Be passionate in achieving your goals.  Set your goals and constantly re-evaluate them.

From a personal note……never let stress overtake your goals in life.

Life must hold a spiritual balance.

A balance between our health; our relationships and our financial stability.

I learned this all too well in recent past.

I was originally scheduled to give this address last year.  However, I was delayed, as I was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer a little over 13 months ago.  I truly believe that stress played a major role in my disease process.

Life hit me like a brick and I was not prepared for what was to come.

My diagnosis was devastating, my treatment was long and fraught with complications.  My recovery was slow and painful.  I lost my confidence, my mojo.

I didn’t follow my own pearls.

Looking back on the last year, fortunately now being healthy, cancer free and enjoying a new lease on life, I have had time to reflect on my life and project where I will be for my next 50+ years.

  • I now understand the implications of stress on my health
  • I don’t sweat the small stuff
  • I don’t worry about criticism.  It is truly a compliment in disguise.
  • I think before I speak, meaning I try not to react
  • I take joy in doing a great job, and am passionate in my work
  • I surround myself with positive people and truly enjoy them
  • I focus on solutions, not problems
  • I don’t dwell on negative thoughts
  • I stay happy…and stay foolish
  • I am mentally tough and don’t give up

Lastly, life is full of challenges.  Go out of your comfort zone and take chances in life.

Trust your gut.
Remember Tom Cruise in “Risky Business”….
You should never have to say “what if”.  Say “why not”…..

This positive attitude will help you  grow physically, emotionally and spiritually.

These pearls are the best of all, as they will assure you a balance in your life.

And as this commencement is a new beginning, I hope that my pearls help guide you along your new path.

I wish all of you the best that life has to offer.

Thank you.