Mindful Monday: Why Medical Screenings Are so Important

Mindful Monday

WELCOME TO MINDFUL MONDAY

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Good morning

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and unfortunately, not all of it was good. I tried to deal with each setback the best I could by taking a mindful approach. I lived in the moment and then tried to move on.

Our beloved Pomeranian, Spice, passed away and the grief at her no longer being in this world is still rolling around inside of our hearts. Sugar is coping the best she can. I know she misses her sister deeply.

And, then it was my turn to deal with some health related issues, which brings me to our topic for this Mindful Monday – health screenings and why they are important.

A health screening is a test that is done when you are well. It is an opportunity to find a condition before symptoms begin. It is also a way to find diseases early which makes the treatment easier. In my humble opinion, a health screening is worth every penny you spend on it.

Routine health screenings are recommended for people of all ages and are an immense part of preventative care. Routine screening tests can be as simple as a blood test and as complicated as a colonoscopy.

John Hopkins Medicine shares a list of nine health screenings for men and women that save lives. Find the list HERE.

Image result for infographic of medical screenings

Image credit: Penn Medicine.org

Today, I wanted to share my a recent experience. A few weeks ago, I had a routine colonoscopy which is recommended for everyone after the age of 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer, start early with the testing. In my case, my Dad died from colon cancer so I started by the age of 47. I have faithfully gone for this test every five years.

I know the preparation for a colonoscopy is literally a pain in the butt, but it is a necessary part of life. I started living on fluids a couple days before the scheduled procedure. It certainly makes you feel tired but I took it easy and followed the instructions.

I'm pooped

The results of my colonoscopy were scary, to say the least. A large sessile tubular adenoma was found. My doctor’s pathology came back saying it was pre-cancerous. Now the problem with a tumor of this sort is that it is flat and grows into the muscle of the colon. You can’t leave it because it will turn into cancer. In the past, the only way to remove this type of adenoma was to cut that section of your colon out. Not a fun surgery by any means followed by a lifetime of health issues.

Luckily, I live near Aurora, Colorado where the University of Colorado Hospital is located. They have some of the best doctors in the nation that can deal with these types of adenomas.

On Friday, I underwent an endoscopic mucosal resection where a saline-like fluid is injected underneath the adenoma so that they can lift it from the muscle and get it out of there. This was done satisfactorily except for a small tear in the colon which was also repaired.

My doctor, who is a specialist in this field and type of procedure, said that in a couple of years, this adenoma would have turned into colon cancer!

“What if I hadn’t gotten a colonoscopy?”

All month we have been sharing information about colon health and specifically colorectal cancer. One of the key prevention steps is to get screened when appropriate. Today’s infographic comes from the CDC and provides  a lot of helpful information on how to choose the right screening test.   Recommended screenings could prevent over 60% of the deaths associated with colorectal cancer.  So be informed and get checked!

Image credit: www.cdc.gov

I have to wait for the pathology results, but my prognosis is good. Per my doctor, in six months I will repeat the colonoscopy to make sure that everything is as it should be.

	Graphic: Many adults are not being tested

Don’t end up as a statistic!

Get your health screening tests.

Your life depends upon it! 

Yes… I know. The health care debacle might make these preventive tests something that we all will have to pay for out of pocket. I don’t agree with that philosophy, and I bet you don’t either. Contact your representatives and let them know how you feel. Remember those representatives in Congress and the Senate will have health insurance – will you?

And, if the worst scenario happens, get these tests. It ultimately becomes our responsibility to care for ourselves. If we don’t, who will?

Healthy Living

I’ve been doing well following my Weight Watchers healthy living plan. I have lost almost 10 pounds, total. It just goes to show that when you take your time you can lose weight. I did drop my Smart Points value down to 26-27 points. I couldn’t budge the scale at the allowed 30 SmartPoints.

Image result for weight loss mantras

Real TalkThanks for stopping by for some real talk. Hugs! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Mindful Monday: Why Medical Screenings Are so Important

  1. Colleen, thank you for writing this most informative article. It contains information we all need to act upon. I was disappointed that there was no mention for routine pelvic exams besides the PAP smear. I am an ovarian cancer survivor and a proponent for yearly pelvic exams. I do not agree that it causes a woman undue stress when it might actually catch ovarian cancer at an early stage. This is a very controversial subject and I refer you to an article that addresses it: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/07/518838706/are-routine-pelvic-exams-a-must-evidence-is-lacking-task-force-says. The most important thing out of all of it is for each of us to truly listen to our body and act upon any changes.
    Thank you again, Colleen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, you are absolutely right. Another reason we must be proactive in our health concerns. Thank you for adding the information to the list. Women’s reproductive health should be a top priority for all women to discuss with their doctors. The more we talk about it, the more the message gets out. As you can see, the information I found was meant to be a starting point for all of us to bite the bullet and undergo screenings that are uncomfortable. These tests save lives. Thanks for sharing your experiences too. Hugs to you my friend. ❤

      Like

  2. This is an excellent post, Colleen. From using yourself as an example to delineating the preventive tests necessary to stay healthy, you covered all the bases. I empathize with the many challenges you’ve been facing. Remaining aware and in the moment is the best approach, and you have that nailed. I’m so relieved to hear your prognosis is good. Sending much love and healing energy to you, dear sister 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hesitated to press “LIKE” but these procedures are life saving! When hubby and I turned 50, Kaiser automatically sends us the poop test screening kit every summer. Darn these challenges for coming at you in rapid succession! I’ve been very fortunate that Kaiser Permanente believes in proactive (shouldn’t all HMOs?) screenings. My OB/GYN started me on mammos right when I turned 40 amidst controversy that it was too early. I’ve had all the PAPs and poops now, and I am not shy or hesitant when it comes to my health. Sending healing energies your way (prayers). Thank you for sharing all of this info, without educational posts like these, many people would not know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your well wishes, Terri. It seems that we must be proactive about our own health in many parts of the country. Luckily, we are retired military and I get excellent care. This is the care that all Americans should have. Thanks for sharing your experiences too. That is how the stigmas get removed for others to follow suit. Hugs to you, Terri. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    A very important message from Colleen Chesebro on the subject of Health Screening. This is a MOT if you like which can check all the key indicators of your health such as Blood Pressure and Blood sugar levels. It also can involve more advanced testing if you are at a higher risk of certain diseases. In Colleen’s case this is colon cancer and she recently underwent a procedure that identified a pre-cancerous adenoma. This has been dealth with and because it was at this very early stage the prognosis is excellent. Please head over and read this very important post and offer your feedback directly to Colleen. #Recommended

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sally, I knew you would pick up on my post. Thanks for sharing it. No matter where we live in the world, our health is important. These tests save lives and I am blessed to have been lucky enough to live in the world today. Sending hugs and love your way! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank goodness you go for these checks regularly, Colleen. Like you I know they can be uncomfortable but I’m glad I had mine too, they took out a polyp which was pressing on something, can’t remember but it’s gone and life is good. Good luck with the results and fingers crossed. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such an important post about life-saving tests, Colleen. So glad you were able to get the treatment you needed, and all is good. That prep that everyone complains about is nothing compared to the horror of colon cancer, and there are no real warning signs. I’ve had 3 colonoscopies so far, another one scheduled this summer. Pre-cancerous polyps were removed. No history of the cancer in the family, no symptoms…I just went on advice of a Dr. So glad I did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I am so glad you did too, Van. We have to take care of our bodies for sure. It’s worth it to know. I’m not fond of all the poking and prodding and … pooping, but it’s still better than the alternative. ❤ Hugs to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You have been through a lot lately Colleen. Thank you for raising awareness of such an important issue. I had a period of 10 years where I had internal bleeding and I had 2 colonoscopies, 2 proctograms and 6 biopsies of my bowel. I am very thankful that it has now resolved as like you bowel cancer runs in my family. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You really have had a huge amount to deal with of late. So glad that the procedure was done and you had the best care, as you say these tests are so important. My poor hubby as you know had this done recently thankfully all is well. Hope you are feeling less tired and more yourself today. It is so sweet and thoughtful of you to share this. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so sorry you’ve been going through all of this, but thank you for using your experience to help others. You are an inspiration and my thoughts and prayers are with you as you recover to health once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for sharing your story Colleen. I was a little worried when you told me, but am happy things went well. You are right that screenings can save lives and I need to do better at getting mine done. I noticed on the chart they are not recommending colon screenings for people under age 50. This may be changing soon because I read an interesting article the other day on how millennials are the fastest growing demographic to suffer from colon cancer. Something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read that too, Lisa! The thing about these tests is that literally save lives. If they can find the pre-cancerous adenomas like they did with me, they can remove it. The procedure I had done is new. It saved a life time of problems. I’m still waiting on the results of the biopsy. Hope to hear something soon. Thanks for reading and please talk to your doctor about getting some of these tests. A simple blood test can find issues you didn’t know you had. Hugs and love to you, my dear friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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