Discovered: Forgotten Writing From the New Year

The holidays have come an gone and just as expected the new year arrived. With it's predictable arrival come many New Year's resolutions. I admit that I have many of these commitments to myself to effect control over the the indulgences of life. Many want to lose weight, get in better physical shape or perhaps they are more personal like working on an important relationship that is not all it could be or go back to school for higher education. Those are all great resolutions that I personally have made to myself over the decades. Some of them I succeeded at but many I have not either had the means or the resolve to stick with and get them done.

All that changed for me five years ago when I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. And not just any cancer either, anal cancer. Without going into the my long drawn-out story of diagnosis, prognosis and odds defying recovery I want to reveal, no, I want to stand up on my soap box and tell you all something. If you make any resolutions at all this year I'd like you to consider adding making your health a top priority. I am not talking about diet and exercise here, although that's not a bad idea. I am referring to taking advantage of all the things that are generally afforded you in health care. Did you know most insurance plans pay for a yearly physical? This piece is not about debating the HCAA by any means but most people, myself included up until the last five years, rarely take advantage of this when they do have it. Life saving screening procedures like PSA blood tests, mammograms and colonoscopies are also offered when certain age milestones are met. Even a simple EKG can pick up on the beginnings of heart disease. Women are generally fastidious when it comes to their annual breast exams and take advantage of the many options available to them to get it done. Men often don't get their PSA checked for monitoring prostate health. Their thinking is they feel okay so nothing could be wrong. Colonoscopies, which screen for all the lower GI cancers, are often put off or delayed by folks in general. My husband learned through his employer that only about five percent of eligible employees, that's not a type-o, five percent take advantage of this offered service.

Okay, enough with the statistics. As we embark on this year 2015 if you only make one resolution, no, one promise to yourself, consider a commitment to taking care of the body you have. Really taking care of it. You are only given one. If you have the benefit of a yearly physical, get one. Forget about all the excuses not to go. My favorite was I wanted to lose some weight before I made an appointment to see my doctor. It seems ridiculous now, but thinking back I was rationalizing that I needed to be in "good shape" to let my doctor examine me. It never dawned on me that he might be able to provide some tools and support for me to improve my over all health. If your over 50 years old there are lots of screening tests that are recommended and available to you at little to no cost. Even a twenty dollar co-pay is a small price to pay for an inspection and tune up for the machine that is your body. Most of us would never stray from the maintenance recommendations for our automobiles. For instance oil changes, tire rotation, radiator flushes. The list goes on and on. Why? Because we consider cars valuable, necessary assets and if we don't care for them they will lose their ability to function. Even if it pains us financially we find a away to get that vehicle in for it's 40,000 mile check up and even if we push it and wait until it's at 42,000 miles we still find the time and the money. We scrape up the money and make the time!

The way I see it, health is our most personal, valuable asset. It has more importance than a car or a home or anything that is owned. I want to challenge you to take hold of your health. Now that my well-being remains in constant jeopardy more than just "maintenance" must be done on it. There is an ever present threat that I may lose it. My body may beyond repair. I can hardly believe that I treated my car better than myself! It doesn't even make sense to me as I write this but I am compelled to reveal these truths in order that others might be spared.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2015! Take care of yourselves so it will be the best ever for you and you are granted many more years.

Helen Marshall, Annabelle threw a punch at your cancer.
Carmen, Annabelle sent you a hug.
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Most excellent:) hugs and love and always prayers Sabina
Michele likes this comment
I'll take this challenge! I can't wait to see what medical tests are available to me that I don't know about. I just wish I could get my husband to give a damn about being proactive about his health. But, I've learned, people make their own choices. My choice, like yours, is health.
Michele likes this comment
So true! Thank you!
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Vital Info

Posts

October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3

No

As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp

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