Today, January 15th marks the 6th year of my wife passing due to breast cancer. I can tell you from my experience, the loss of a loved one does not fade with time but rather remains present in your thoughts and mind. Awaiting a trigger to remind you of a place in time when things seemed so perfect. Remembering experiences that were shared with the loved one, no longer present.
I wish no one the experience, the pain and emotional devastation of hearing a physician tell your loved one that they have Cancer or that the cancer is terminal for which there is not a cure. Having to set young children down (7 and 4 at the time) to tell them their mother has passed and is in heaven. That they will never be able to see, speak or hear her again is tough and has been one of the hardest things I have had to do. Tough for me to even write about it 6 years later without tearing up.
Unfortunately, the probability of someone receiving a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime is greater than 1 in 3. Every third person will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
“The Burden of Cancer in the United States,” www.cancer.gov
*In 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease.
*The number of new cases of cancer (cancer incidence) is 439.2 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2011–2015 cases).
Beating cancer requires early detection and having the malignant mass surgically removed before it metastases into other areas of the body or treating blood cancers while the body is able to fight. Therefore, regular routine wellness visits to a healthcare provider could save your life. If you have a qualified health insurance plan, you have wellness benefits that will cover your wellness exam 100%. If you are a woman, get a pap smear test and mammogram every year. Colonoscopy if over the age of 50 and men have no excuse for not getting their labs and prostate checked every year. Since I work in the benefits and health insurance industry, I often hear people tell me that they have not been to a doctor in 5 or more years. When I explain that the wellness benefits are covered at 100% on all plans, they typically respond with “I did not know that”. I want everyone to know this coverage is available to them.
I write this reminder every year and every year I receive a response from a client, friend, family member or colleague that read the article / post and were motivated to visit the doctor. Last year, I learned a client, who had not seen a physician in over 10 years, read the post and decided to visit a doctor. He went in for a routine check up and learned, after testing, he had Thyroid Cancer. The cancer had been caught early and removed.
No one wants to hear the doctor say “You have Cancer” however, if those words are ever spoken, you want hope and early detection is hope. Treatment options continue to advance and hopefully, one day, cancer will be eradicated. Until then, please get checked.