In 2014, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. Although he had turned 50 the year before and had already survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he had put off his colonoscopy. My mother convinced him to get his test one year later, even though he really didn’t want to.
His routine colonoscopy resulted in doctors discovering a blockage and he had to have a colon resectioning. It was after his surgery that we learned he had colon cancer. Over the next three years, he had aggressive chemo treatments, radiation, seed therapy, and many more surgeries. Despite having excellent medical care, he passed away in 2017. He was 54.
Although my dad didn’t survive cancer, he was able to live three more years after his diagnosis. I believe if he hadn’t had his colonoscopy and discovered his cancer when he did, he would not have lived as long as he did.
Colon cancer is now the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third most common cause of cancer deaths. More than 142,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer each year, and while 90% of them are 50 or older, colon cancer is on the rise for people in their thirties and forties. Typically, a person doesn’t get their first colonoscopy until they are fifty, unless they have a family history.
There are three things that automatically increase your risk of colon cancer- having a family history, being a carrier of the Lynch syndrome gene, or having an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s Disease. The following lifestyle changes can drastically reduce most people’s risk of colon cancer: maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet and limiting your sugar and red meats, and getting a yearly physical and blood work. If you are fifty or older, you should get a colonoscopy yearly, but if you carry a high risk of developing colon cancer, you will need to get your first one before age 50.
If you are unsure about what age you need to get your first one, consult your doctor. Consult the infographic below for more information.
Colon cancer is a difficult and often deadly disease, but if caught early, it’s treatable. Making smart lifestyle choices and getting your yearly health screenings can make a huge difference.
I apologize for the light posting schedule. I had some posts scheduled and ready to go, but prepping for Hurricane Florence took precedence. We are safe- just getting some rain and wind. Thanks to all my blogging friends for checking on us.
We will resume regular posting schedule on Monday. Be safe!!
If most of us are honest, we will admit that we don’t have it all together. In today’s Pinterest-perfect society, we are expected to be perfectly dressed with perfect makeup, not a hair out of place, with perfectly clean, magazine worthy homes. We are expected to have a home-cooked dinner on the table every night, with perfectly dressed and perfectly behaved children.
I don’t have that; at least, not all the time. And never all at once. So, who holds us to this impossibly high standard? We do. We hold ourselves to these impossibly high standards we can never meet, but luckily, God does not.
God chose us, even though we are a long way from perfect. We don’t have it all together and God chose us anyway.
Ephesians 1:4 says “For he chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before Him.” We don’t need to be perfect; we just need Jesus. There are no perfect humans, and there don’t need to be. Jesus already fulfilled the role of the perfect human.
It’s tempting to spend all of our time trying to be perfect and live up to those impossible standards, but instead, let’s put that energy into trying to be like Jesus. He already knows we aren’t perfect and he loves us anyway.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
There are so many verses in the Bible that talk about God’s provision and how he never fails to provide for us. Even though sometimes He answers our prayers with “No,” or “Not right now,” He does provide all that we need.
There isn’t enough space my domain for me to tell you all the things God has provided for me, or all the ways He has blessed me. I can tell you the main ones, though.
1. He gave me my family
This one is obvious. Years ago, after a string of bad and unhealthy relationships (including one who was emotionally abusive), I prayed God would send me a Godly man who would go to church with me and who either was saved, or would get saved soon. He did. We also dealt with infertility and pregnancy losses, but the Lord gave us these two sweet girls in His time. If you’re struggling with being single, or desperately wanting a child, don’t give up. Trust in Him and he will give you the desires of your heart.
2. He blessed us with jobs, transportation, and a home
There have been a few times in my life when I’ve been out of work or looking for a new job, and the Lord has blessedly, abundantly provided it for me. We have lived now in two homes since marrying nine years ago, and both were places we loved and enjoyed living. We’ve never had to worry about having food to eat, clothes to wear or a place to live. We’ve never lacked for anything we needed, and even though there have been times when things were hard for the moment, we trusted in God and he brought us through it. I’m not bragging; this is nothing we did. I am grateful for all that the Lord provides for us.
3. If He brings you TO it, he will bring you THROUGH it.
Ya’ll, this past year has been difficult. I lost my dad and my grandpa in the same week. People will say, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” Yes, He does. There was no way I could handle that, and truthfully, I didn’t handle it. But while God does give you more than you can handle, He doesn’t give you more than you AND God can handle together. He delivered me from the darkest, most difficult season of my life. I wish I could say I handled those days with grace, but I didn’t. And even though I was depressed and angry at God, He never left me. Months later after the chaos is fading and order is returning, I can see where His hand was on me through all of it.
4. God sends you the people you need when you need them…even if you don’t know you need them.
I was talking to a dear friend from high school this week. It was her aunt’s birthday and she shared that her aunt had saved her life the day she was born. Her mother was fading, and doctors were working to stabilize her mother. In the rush to save her mother, everyone forgot about the tiny newborn in the bassinet (my friend). She was turning blue and near death herself when her aunt held her and began to help her body temperature increase. Had my friend’s aunt not been there that day, my friend wouldn’t be here now.
The same is true in my own life. I have a very good friend I met through church. She is no stranger to loss, having lost her first husband at a young age. I leaned on her heavily during the losses of my dad and grandpa. She comforted me, she listened to me, she let me cry on her shoulder. She prayed with me and most importantly, she never judged me when I told her I was dealing with depression months later. God knows who and want we need before we know it.
God may not send us everything we WANT, or he may not send us what we want WHEN we want it. But He does provide for those who seek Him.
Trust in God today, friends. You’ll never do anything more important.