Friday, October 01, 2010
Tomorrow is October 2nd. It is Livestrong day. LIVE STRONG Day marks the day of cancer survivor celebration ... I encourage you to celebrate cancer survivorship by wearing yellow tomorrow 10/2.
Currently there are 28 million cancer survivors, but the stats are scary - the prediction is one out of two men and one out of three women will be diagnosed with cancer. It is scary.
What can we do to avoid being a statistic - we can make efforts to prevent it from happening. One of them you have already done - you are here and making strides to eat and live healthier. If you smoke - stop - and stop all tobacco products - wear sunscreen when you are out (even on days where it is cloudy), breast exams, mammograms, colonoscopy, testicular exams etc - make sure you have an annual physical ... yes, I know it was in a reflections just a few days ago.
and tomorrow - wear yellow to celebrate survivorship
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
First of all - thank you for reading my blogs. Second, thank you so very much for all the compliments. I have to be honest and say I am pretty overwhelmed by the outpour of support.
This past weekend I got an email from a friend. His wife had a mammogram on Friday, and you know what may be up with her. Depending on the result - she may have a stereotactic biopsy.
When I browse spark website and all the postings about what people are doing to maintain their health - there is something I am really missing. So I will come with a gentle reminder by listing a few things. Monthly breast exam (men as well), PAP smear and the male equivalent - exam of the prostate (don't forget to teach the younger boys to examine the testicles ... remember the Lance Armstrong story and the Scott Hamilton story?), colonoscopy, and physical. I am sure you are getting the point. And yes, I had my colonoscopy when I was 50, and I am having an annual physical (next one is next month and I got my flushot this week), got my teeth cleaned last week.
In addition to the prevention/early detection of disease - having an annual physical will also help you harvest the fruit of your labor - as in share your success with your health care provider (MD, DO, NP) ... lower weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol etc
The other thing you may want to consider to measure wellness - make a list with two columns - one being then (when you embarked on your spark journey) and now (today). Here is couple of things you may want to compare. ... add what ever you feel - this is your list
- quality of life
- quality of sleep
- self confidence
- level of energy
- relationship with your family
Keep the list and do it every 4 - 6 months - look at the progress or use it to help you set goals. Goals may not always be measured in lbs (kg), inches, or miles run or walked.
Now make it a healthier day!
Monday, September 27, 2010
This is a difficult blog to write, but I am writing it to honor the patient and his family.
Last week, I supported a young woman and her teenage daughter during a very difficult time - a couple of days before and the day of removing life support from the husband/dad. The patient had sustained a closed head injury with a large bleeding in his brain after a motorcycle accident.
When I spoke with the wife for the first time, she shared a couple of significant pieces of information with me. One of which is the reason for this blog. Advanced directives and power of attorney.
If you fall and hit your head on the ice and cannot speak for yourself - or something else happens where you are in a terminal condition - do you have someone who can make the decisions you would make (Power of attorney for health care decisions) and does he/she know what you want? (Living will)?
When we realized the severity of this patients illness we had a conversation with the spouse, she know exactly what he wanted or not wanted (if you will), and his position on donating organ and tissue.
I will tell you, this family taught all of the nurses, physicians, social workers so much and how to prepare for this unthinkable situation. The wife and daughter were incredible, and I think I know them well enough that they would want me to share this blog with all of you, so if something happens to someone in your family - you are as prepared as they were 'when disaster struck'.
I had the privilege of spending several hours with the wife and the daughter. I will spare you for the details, but these two people taught me so much, and their love for each other as a family, their courage in this situation will not soon be forgotten.
If they were standing in front of you - they would tell you - take the elephant out of the room, get the forms, and discuss what needed to be discussed when it comes to living will and decisions towards the end of live. Completing these documents represents love ...
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Many of you know John Bingham's quote - the miracle isn't that I finished - the miracle is that I had the courage to start.
Yesterday, as I was running the marathon, I saw so many people who exemplify that quote. For all I know, some of them could be Sparkers. However, it was very clear to me that these people were out making a difference for themselves and their health. And you know what - I was smiling. Smiling on their behalf because I cannot even imagine how good they must have felt - trained and completed what ever event they did.
I am also privileged. Privileged by being with people who are making a difference to them - to their lives. I have to be honest - some times when I run along some of these folks, I wish I could talk to them and hear their story why they are doing this, and congratulate them for having the courage to start.
Each one of you I know from the Spark site - represent these people I don't know on the run course, on the bike course, on the tri course and I am proud of all your accomplishments.
I am not the skinniest guy, nor am I the buffest dude - but I am healthy and I continue to work on my healthy life style. Through exercise and eating habits - I have diminished my risk of getting diseases related to overweight. As I mentioned in a previous reflection - losing weight is not the only measure of being healthy. Look at yourself in the mirror - compare yourself to when you started your journey - and you will find yourself a whole lot more healthy than you think you are!!!
Now make it a terrific day!
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