Rise & Thrive. The message on this $10 throw pillow from Target has given me a new mantra to add to my repertoire (I’m alive. It’s not as hard as cancer. It’s not as painful as radiation). While I will likely never be a morning person, replacing my internal early a.m. grumbling with Rise & Thrive is like a jolt of strong coffee to my spirit. On another level, as a cancer survivor, I Rise & Thrive.
I Rise & Thrive because I got my first colonoscopy in the nick of time. The colonoscopy revealed a ping-pong ball-sized tumor that was Stage 3 colorectal cancer. Another scan showed that the cancer was confined to the tumor and had not spread. If I had waited a little bit longer to get screened, I would not be here.
Part of the reason I am here is to tell you to get screened, especially if you are at risk for any type of cancer. A National Cancer Institute model that looked only at colorectal cancer and breast cancer predicts over 10,000 deaths in the U.S. over the next 10 years due to pandemic-related delays in diagnosis and care, with most of these death occurring in the next two years.
In late December 2019, I was scheduled for my first colonoscopy since surgery to remove the tumor in October 2018. I canceled my appointment due to a family emergency and then corona virus hit. Colonoscopies were considered an elective procedure, and I had to wait until June to have the procedure. As a colorectal cancer survivor/thriver, I don’t think I’ll ever consider a colonoscopy to be an elective procedure. The great news is that I don’t have to have another for 3 years!!!
In July, I had a follow-up ultrasound that showed a cyst discovered during a mammogram and subsequent ultrasound last year had shrank in half. More great news! That ultrasound was also considered to be an elective procedure a few months ago. As there is a history of breast cancer in my family, I don’t think I’ll ever consider a mammogram or any follow-up ultrasounds to be elective procedures.
My doctor wants to do a third follow up, so I was informed my annual mammogram will be billed as diagnostic, rather than preventive, which means a copay, as opposed to no copay, respectively. I’m totally fine with that, since it was for this very reason that a doctor told me to delay my first colonoscopy until I was 50 so it would be considered a preventive screening.
While screenings are being offered again, some are hesitant because of corona virus, and I get it. I have been super careful not to get corona virus. I didn’t survive cancer to get taken out by a virus. But like any time I feel the need to go Out There, I weighed the risks and getting screened won. The facility took extra precautions, like taking my temperature when I got there and making my friend who brought me and would take me home wait in the parking lot for the duration.
This pandemic has already taken so much from us. So, please get screened. Early detection of cancer increases survival. It’s that simple. I know, because I Rise & Thrive.
Oils & Spoils Updates
AYSM – And now we wait. The nonfiction book proposal for AYSM is out there, and fingers crossed it gets picked up by an agent. In the meantime, as part of increasing that chance, sign up for my newsletter by dropping your email address in the Oils & Spoils link here.
Essential Oils Everywhere – The August issue of Real Simple article, “Make Scents of Self-Care,” features essential oils that calm, invigorate and make you smile. Prevention‘s The Mindfulness Manual has a recipe for a detox bath of 2 tablespoons of sea salt and 10 drops of essential oils that can be tailored to suit your needs. Both are on news stands now.
Monat – VIPs: Add a fully-loaded Summertime Grab Bag, valued at around $163, which includes 3 full-size Monat products, 1 travel-size product, and a surprise gift valued at $20, for $30 when you spend $84. Free shipping. Through August 5, 11:59 EDT.