First, I want to thank those of you who read and commented on my essay, “Runaway Writer Found on Beach, Heart Broken, but Alive!” It will be up at http://www.gutsyliving.com for the rest of the month, then voted on August 1-14, and winner announced August 15th.
Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Two
“Leukemia and other cancers do not seem to strike sick people.” This is a direct quote by me, with no qualifications whatsoever. Yes, this is only my personal conclusion from anecdotal evidence. (Remember, no statistics here.)
My conclusion comes from the hundreds of stories and memoirs I’ve read in the last five years. It comes from the many patients and caregivers that I met during our year in and out of hospitals and clinics. Instead of being unhealthy, most cancer victims were like my husband; healthy, non-smokers who got plenty of exercise. Many ate healthy diets and logged daily hours running, biking or working out at a gym.
Cancer can happen to anyone, at any time. Sure, there are high risk groups for some cancers, like those caused by smoking, and those passed down through genetic inheritance. Sadly, I’ve heard and read repeatedly, “But she/he was so healthy.”
Being prepared might speed up your treatment, it might help make an accurate diagnosis, it could even save your life. If you can’t do what it takes to be prepared for yourself, do it for the ones you love. The ones who will have to go through piles of paperwork, make a lot of phone calls, and piece together the vitally important information that medical staff will need to help you.
Postcard 2: Please don’t live as if you were immune to bad things happening. I don’t believe that being prepared will bring the universe down against you. Being prepared is a loving thing we do for others, not especially for ourselves. Are all your current medications listed in one place, like your purse or wallet? Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a copy, then add vitamins and other over the counter medicines or supplements that you take to the list
To read SMH; Postcards-One go here. This is serialized version of a section of my memoir. It’s kind of serious huh? Hopefully readers will find enough value in the information I provide here, that they will hang in for the lighter sections.
Thank you for reading, please let me know what you think.
July 19, 2013 at 4:58 am
A very creative way to ask people to help themselves and the ones they love.
July 19, 2013 at 5:06 am
Thank you for reading and commenting.
July 19, 2013 at 11:10 am
Great advice! Will you eventually put all the postcards together? I all ready forgot the advice on postcard #1. So if they were all together in a quick reference format, it would be so helpful.
It’s scary that otherwise healthy people are struck by cancer. We start thinking if we eat right most of the time, exercise some, stay away from smoking and drugs we will be immune. Not so. It will only lesson the risk. And then if we live a long life it could still be our demise when we are old. When I got my colonoscopy at 50 something, after getting badgered by the doctor every year since I turned 50, I said I will never so this again, something has to kill me. Probably not a good attitude.
I think these postcards and the anecdotes preceding them will make a great small booklet to go go with the rest of your series. But they should be published as a booklet I think. Not only online.
July 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm
Be patient, Grasshopper, all things will come to pass as the fairies wish.
I just wish the little imps would come help me with my to-do list:>)
July 19, 2013 at 11:14 am
I proof read this before posting it and then they made me jump through the login process as I had posted from the page that came up when I “liked” the article as it came in my inbox. But I see I can’t proof read or some auto correction happened when it jumped pages. It should say I will never DO this again, and one go would have been sufficient. I also thought I put a paragraph space between the comments at the end.
July 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm
You really don’t have to worry about typos…I get it, so will others. Sorry WP goofed up on you, though.
July 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm
Things we might otherwise brush off don’t seem so unimportant, once you’ve become a survivor –or a caregiver. Your postcards are a loving way to encourage people to be prepared, without encouraging that smug security we know preparedness can’t promise.
July 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm
Thank you, Susan. Yes “…without encouraging that smug security we know preparedness can’t promise.”
There really is no security, no promises… But Paul & I had so many, “I wish we knew/had/had done this” moments. THAT is what we want others to be armed with.
So glad you are part of this:>)
July 20, 2013 at 11:18 am
Just followed the link and read your essay…great stuff. Yes, being prepared and facing things bravely, honestly and practically will bring grace into any situation. Sound advice:-) Blessings and admiration coming your way, Harula xxx
July 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm
My arms and heart are open!
Thanks so much for following me around town:>)
July 21, 2013 at 7:16 am
Hello from a twitter friend. Patti, I was diagnosed with lymphoma last year. When the hematologist said the words, “You have lymphoma”, I soaked it in, and asked as many questions as possible. Right now, I have no enlarged lymph nodes, so there is no treatment. And all I can do is pray that my stage stays this way. I pray every day. It’s my peace.
July 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm
This comment fell between the cracks, but I am relieved I found it.
I am so glad that you can get peace through prayer. I find peace through nature and writing, which is my own kind of prayer. We all need that place we can go to garner our peace.
I am so saddened that you have this hanging over you. I don’t like that image, so I will say that I am so sorry that this diagnosis was given to you. I hope you have a loving circle of friends and family to hold you close and support you. Add me to the list.
Email me any time and I’m sending peace to hang over you:>) (If you start seeing a bunch of fairies hanging around, you’ll know why)
July 22, 2013 at 10:29 am
Patti, good thing my hematologist said to me – “It’s manageable and treatable.” I just thank my luck stars she’s a wonderful doctor.
July 22, 2013 at 10:51 am
I went to your site and read more and I absolutely love and admire your attitude.
July 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm
A friend of mine had leukemia and died when she was 50. She was an avid runner, lean and strong, a prolific writer, and a generous mentor. It doesn’t seem fair. It seems like we should have more control over what happens with our bodies, but we don’t. Your postcards are truly wonderful, Patti. We’ve live our lives as best we can, to the fullest we can, but we should never be so foolish to think that “it” won’t happen to us. Hugz, Marie
July 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm
Your comments always make my day.
July 22, 2013 at 8:39 am
Great advice, Patti, especially the request to ask a pharmacist to print out a list of prescribed medications. I know an acquaintance diagnosed, young (40s), healthy, runner, non smoker. Interesting, the connection between health and the disease.
July 22, 2013 at 10:24 am
Thank you, Lynne…it is just my experience, but I think stats would agree w/my conclusion. Done researching cancer…many others have written those books.