Tuesday, December 14, 2010


One year ago today, at almost this exact time, I was home in bed, having called in sick with the flu. I answered a phone call from my doctor (whom I’d seen for my annual check-up just 6 days prior) and she dropped the “C” bomb followed by a flurry of long words, doctors’ names, referrals, phone numbers and urgent instructions and additional appointments.

So much has happened in the year that followed, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year. Most importantly, I’m cancer free – PRAISE GOD! I’ve kept up with all of my follow up appointments – very uncharacteristic for me – and I have a new respect for “routine” checkups actually being a part of your routine.

So let’s put YOU on the spot. Have you kept up with your annual physicals and tests? Why should I, you say? I feel perfectly fine. So did I – so did my Dad. Both of us were blindsided by our cancer diagnoses – in good physical health otherwise – but only one of us is wearing the badge “survivor”. The other basks in the light of Christ, living out eternity with our Lord. Not a bad trade-off either way, I know, but is your family ready for that? Who will you be leaving behind or burdening with your illness if you don’t take care of yourself?

Have I gotten through yet? Not sure what you should be doing when ?

Here are a few words from http://www.lifeorganizeit.com/routine-physical-exam.html about routine exams:

What You Need to Know for Your Routine Physical Exam
Get organized and document your family medical history!

In your 20’s and 30’s - Get your annual physicals and check to see which routine exams need to be added to that "every few years" schedule based on age and history (i.e heart disease, hypertension, cancer, etc.)

In your 40’s -In addition to your annual physical, there are a few new things you need to add to the list, regardless of familiy history.

  • Breast cancer - Mammograms may be recommended annually or semi-annually, depending on your individual health and doctor's preference.
  • Cholesterol Both men and women should check this on an annual basis.
  • Prostate - Men should add this to the yearly checkup list.
  • Electrocardiogram - Both men and women should have this done, along with a stress test.

In your 50's - Add a discussion with your doctor about these to your yearly checkup: arthritis, arteriosclerosis, cancer, emphysema, diabetes, and signs of dementia. Colon cancer testing should be done at 50 and repeated again at 60 (unless there are issues discovered or a family history). Men should receive a PSA blood test every year.Women should have a bone-density test done to check for osteoporosis.

In your 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 100's.... - The annual physical a must and be sure you are following up on any additional screenings that your doctor has recommended. He isn't saying for HIS health, you know.

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