When I met with him in his office a week later, he told me that after the surgery to remove my prostate, he was 90 percent sure that I wouldn’t need to wear diapers the rest of my life and 70-80 percent sure I could still have an erection if I took Viagra. Not a happy outlook at 46.
He clearly thought he was spreading the good news, but his matter-of-fact manner only amplified my feelings of being blindsided.
After a couple of days of feeling suicidal, I broke down and sobbed, and that was the beginning of the turn around.
From there, I went on a mission to discover everything I could about prostates, what makes them healthy, what makes them sick, and how to beat this “thing” that was living inside me.
Someone at Whole Foods handed a friend a book by Dr. Aaron Katz of Columbia Medical School that included preventative and non-invasive treatments for prostate cancer. Three weeks later, I met with Dr. Katz and Dr. Geovanni Espinosa in New York. With their help, the cancer went away: undetectable by biopsy, medical imaging, with a PSA that dropped from 5.1 to under 2.0, and remains that way today.
How did I do it? I changed everything: diet, exercise, started a four-day-a-week yoga practice, began meditating daily, spent more on supplements every month than most professional bodybuilders, integrated Chinese medicine into my daily life, did multiple fasts, juiced daily, read everything I could get my hands on, embraced EMDR therapy, forgave my family, even held a hands-on healing session where 30 of my friends and family laid their hands on me and sent their love.
My mission to create a healthy prostate took me on a healing journey that went far beyond my prostate—beyond cancer even—and into the land of wellness. Sharing the love, the understanding, and the information I’ve gleaned along this journey has become my life’s passion.
During the summer of 2010, I had a string of five epiphanies:
- The “Standard American Lifestyle” is killing us.
- If you want to change your life, you have to change your lifestyle.
- No one wants to be lectured to about the virtues of eating broccoli and daily exercise.
- The only way to entice people into embracing a healthier lifestyle is to make it fun.
- Live music makes everything fun.
That’s when the spoonful of music helps the medicine go down philosophy dawned on me. Bringing people together around the music they love is the best platform to inspire/educate them into adopting a healthier, happier lifestyle.
This was the genesis of the BOOM (Boulder’s Outrageous Outdoor Music) Festival. The goal was to weave together the vitality of yoga/music festivals like Wanderlust and Tadasana with the information of TED talks and the joy of listening to your favorite music at music festivals such as Outside Lands or Sasquatch.
In this environment, not only would people have the times of their lives, but they’d be much more open to absorbing new information and embracing change in a way that stuck. That’s the goal, the mission, the dream.
From moments of inspiration to our current state of planning, the BOOM Festival has been a labor of love—and a search for sponsorship.
If you’d like to help the BOOM Festival get off the ground and reach our August 2013 date, please take a minute to visit our Indiegogo site.
Mark B. Saunders
About the author: Mark Saunders is Bartlett’s publisher and editor. He has written hundreds of articles for dozens of newspapers and magazines including The Denver Post and Water Efficiency magazine—focusing on sports, fitness, and water issues. In addition, he has also been the editor in chief of VeloPress and sports editor of the Colorado Daily newspaper. For the past 14 years, he has been teaching journalism & creative writing.