Sad news.

Uncle Hap passed away quietly Saturday morning, my dad and mom at his side. He fought chronic lymphocytic leukemia for years, and it was finally beyond treatment.

Saturday, we did a practice swim in our wetsuits at Innsbrook and a 24 mile bike ride. The water was FREEZING, but we dedicated the practice to Hap, and yelled out his name with our "Go Team!" before we ran, screaming, into the frigid lake. One of my teammates dubbed a particularly dastardly hill "Hap's Hill," because he said there was no way he was gonna give up trying to get up it. Hap's death provided motivation for all of us that day, and continues to do so. It reminds all of us on the team of why we're doing this -- to provide research dollars and patient support services to people like Hap, and my brother, and my grandmother.

Let me take this time to remind everyone reading: get screened for cancer, and engage in preventive behaviors like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and protecting your skin (yeah, go ahead and laugh, I know I'm not the best with this one). One of the reasons I'm happy to be raising money for LLS is that, while my career focuses on cancer prevention and screening, I can only promote cancers that are preventable and for which there are screenings. There is very little prevention or screening behavior for blood and lymph cancers. BUT, get a regular checkup, and have the doctor do routine blood work and check your lymph nodes.

Please, do breast self-exams and get mammograms and Pap tests regularly, vaccinate yourselves or your daughters and grandaughters with the HPV vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer, get colonoscopies, talk to your doctor about prostate screening, and, to prevent not just cancer but heart disease and stroke as well -- QUIT SMOKING and don't let people smoke in your homes and cars. If you can't afford a doctor, there are programs in Missouri to get every one of these screenings for free.

You can find cancer screening recommendations (how often to do these things) here.

That's my public health soap box for the day. :) Stay healthy so you can live and love longer and better, and do the things you enjoy for as long as you can.

1 Response on "Sad news."

  1. Lindsay says:

    The account of your workout on Saturday is very moving. My thoughts and love are with you and your family.