Mindful Monday: Why Medical Screenings Are so Important

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! ❤