Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting a Second Opinion

Just wanted to update...

Dad has mentioned that he would be interested in getting a second opinion.  I am now in the process of getting together his medical records.  If anyone knows of a good oncologist in the area that you would recommend, please contact me.

Daddy made a giant peace sign for my daughter's room yesterday.  It turned out really nice, and now just need to paint it!

Just wanted to post a quick update!  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

- Mary Beth

Monday, May 14, 2012

Time Flies...

My sister sent me this picture last night.  You can't see the faces that well, but it's me, my sister, and my Dad when Becky and I were about the ages that our daughters are now (6 and 3 years old, looks just like our little ones, too!).  Time sure does fly!  Don't take it for granted!

Several people have donated in the past couple of days.  Please accept my thanks and know that every little bit helps more than you know.

Mary Beth

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Thanks in Advance

Just wanted to say thank you to Neaniebug Suggs Brooks for sharing the blog and Etsy shop with her facebook friends.  I am working on new paintings to add to the shop.  Below is a work in progress. While driving down the road the other night, I looked up at the moon - this was the night of the "Super Moon" or "Perigee Moon", when the moon makes its closest approach to the Earth.  It was so beautiful and I thought I should paint it.

I'll be adding in a few more details and the painting should be up for sale in the next couple of days.  Money from sales of my artwork will be donated to Dad's fund. 

Please accept my thanks in advance to those who have helped my Dad, and to those who are thinking of him and praying for him every day.   He is doing the best he can, and we appreciate everyone's help so much.  

Mary Beth

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Colorectal Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

By Dr. Philip M. Joson, Southwest Gastroenterology Associates

No ifs, ands or buts about it–routine screening for colorectal cancer saves lives. Just recently, the results of a national study that followed more than 2,600 patients for as long as 23 years added the latest and clearest evidence. As reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, the death rate from colorectal cancer was cut by more than half among those who underwent screening and had precancerous growths, called polyps, removed.

This is great news, considering that colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. for both women and men. The best approach is to prevent it–or at least catch it early, when it’s much easier to cure. Most early colorectal cancers produce no symptoms, making routine screening even more important.

That’s because chances are by the time you notice symptoms, the cancer may be more advanced and difficult to treat.

Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence supporting the preventive power of screening, about 40 percent of adults who should get screened still don’t.

Age and other risk factors

Since the risk of colorectal cancer increases with age, men and women typically should begin screening at age 50. If no polyps are found, additional screening can be done every 10 years. If polyps are found, your doctor will schedule your next screening sooner, generally within three to five years, depending on the size, type and number of polyps removed.

People at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer should begin screening at an earlier age. For example, if you have a family history of the disease, particularly a parent, sibling or child, you should begin screening either at age 40 or 10 years before the age your relative’s cancer was diagnosed. Digestive conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis also increase risk, requiring more frequent screening.

Protect yourself

Talk with your physician about the best screening test for your particular needs. Colonoscopy is the most commonly recommended cancer prevention test because colonoscopy not only detects cancer, but more importantly can prevent cancer by removing polyps. Other screening tests to detect colorectal cancer include fecal immunochemical test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonoscopy, double contrast barium enema and fecal DNA testing.

In addition to routine screening, there is some evidence that you can protect yourself against colorectal cancer by exercising regularly, avoiding smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. You may also reduce your risk by eating a healthy low-fat, high-fiber diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding or minimizing red and processed meats, charbroiled meat and fish, and beer.

As a physician, I’ve probably heard every possible excuse for putting off a colonoscopy or other screening, despite a range of new, improved options that makes preparing for the tests easier than ever. But facts are facts–colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer, as long as you get screened regularly. Saving your life might be just as simple as going ahead and scheduling that appointment.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

And Now We Wait...

The biopsy went well yesterday, and I spent the evening with Daddy. Now, we just have to wait for the results. It's hard to be patient, but I'm still hopeful. Please keep my Dad in your thoughts as we wait to hear what we're dealing with. Thanks to everyone who has donated to my Dad's fund so far. I'm hoping that it will ease his mind a little and take some of the burden from him so that he can focus on feeling better. Love, Mary Beth