The Most Important Post I Will Ever Write

Maybe I am overly sensitive to stories about others ailments and afflictions at this point but I don’t think my suggestion in this post is an over reaction. I have been involved in a number of conversations with different people at different times, all with the common thread that at some point we discussed someone’s unwillingness to go to a doctor.  The cases were all different, the people were all different, but in all cases someone was unwilling to seek or accept medical help for a problem they knew existed.  

I was in that same mindset in 2008. I knew that things were not right in my body, but I believed that overall I was healthy and that if I just lived with the problems I was feeling a little bit longer, they would go away or get better. Wrong. If I had taken the time and the care to review all my problems with a real doctor, my cancer would have been caught in an early stage. It probably could have been knocked out completely with 6 rounds of ABVD chemotherapy, and I never would have needed a stem cell transplant.

I don’t care what age you are, whether or not you exercise and eat right, or if you have checked out your own problems on WebMD or heard Sanjay Gupta say something on CNN that pacified you about your condition, if there is something up with you, go get it checked out. End of discussion. No excuses. I also don’t care how much you like or dislike going to the doctor. Nor do I care what you think about the new healthcare bill, the president, health insurance policies, needles in your arm, your doctor’s punctuality, exposure to x-ray, or Crocs as workplace footwear. Go take care of yourself, because NOBODY else is going to do it for you and that problem that is a minor annoyance now, could be growing into a major threat to your health or your lifestyle. And if it gets to the point where your life is threatened by a disease or a condition, it is those around you, who love you, who will suffer the most.

Lots of people just don’t like going to the doctor. Sure, there is plenty not to like from the smell, to the poor attitude of the temp at the check-in desk, to getting your skin punctured with a needle and the potential for more discomforts. But try not to think about that. I did my best to ignore the momentary pain of any procedures that were required and focused instead on the fact that I was fighting off an enemy that was out to harm me and my family. Re-direct your focus and your expectations. The science and technology is here to allow you to live a life free of impediments, so take advantage of that.

I am not saying that everything can be caught, treated and cured, but for your own sake, give it a try. For those who love you and want you to be around for a long long time, do your very best to take care of yourself. And never take health for granted or assume that good health will always be with you. Bad things can and do happen to good people. I was recently reminded of just how fragile our time is by the unexpected death of a friend and neighbor. Witnessing how hundreds of people deeply grieved his passing reminded me to brush off this post and finish it. Treasure your life, your family, and every day you are given.

Dedicated to my friend and neighbor, Hays.

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