Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer

Re: An article I wrote on my pancreatic cancer journey.

As noted several times on this blog, it has been quite a personal journey for me since learning in January 2015 that I had pancreatic cancer. And undergoing Whipple surgery in February 2015. I count my blessings every single day!! 🙂

Yesterday, it was my honor to be featured on the Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer page, an affiliate of the Lustgarten Foundation. Click on the photo of my terrific family to read the article.

And, if you are able, please donate to Team Joel. We are raising money for the October 2019 Lustgarten Foundation Walk. You can donate as little as a few dollars by filling in the amount on the team page. Thanks.

From the left: son-in-law Adam, daughter Stacey, wife Linda, me, daughter Jennifer, and son-in-law Phil.

Volunteering and LOVING It

Be inspired by giving back. 🙂

If you aren’t already doing so, consider volunteering. It’s a true win-win, for those you are helping as well as for YOU. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 It is so rewarding!!


As I mentioned at the beginning of this year, I am now retired and interested in giving back. And I really want to volunteer as part of my giving back approach. But, it has been an unexpectedly difficult journey to volunteering. For different reasons, I was not able to hook up with various cancer organizations and other social services groups.

Rather than give up, I broadened my volunteering search. And it must have been my destiny all along to be a volunteer with United Cerebral Palsy of Long IslandSince last month, I have been a volunteer with the day programs at the Hauppauge, NY facility. I am working with disabled individuals who are the sweetest people. They have treated me like a long-lost friend. In addition, the staff is phenomenal and really caring.

I am involved with self-advocacy, socialization, human rights, job skills, and more. They keep thanking me. Yet, it is really I who am thankful because I get to give back in such a meaningful way. I am fulfilling my mission related my to fortunate survival from pancreatic cancer. To me, this is so inspirational and motivational.

As its Web site notes:

“UCP of Long Island is committed to advancing the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with disabilities. Our mission is to provide life skills training, education, advocacy, meaningful employment, and a place to call home for Long Islanders with a wide range of disabilities. UCP of Long Island proudly upholds the values of excellence, integrity, dignity, empowerment, responsibility, accountability, vision and innovation.”

“Over 65 percent of the individuals we serve today have disabilities other than cerebral palsy. These include acquired disabilities, epilepsy, sensory impairments, autism, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, chronic physical/medical conditions, Prader-Willi syndrome, Tourette syndrome, Down syndrome, mental health disorders, and Spina bifida.”

Giving Back Quotes

Consider the following.

Volunteering and LOVING It

Volunteering and LOVING ItVolunteering and LOVING ItVolunteering and LOVING It
 

Profits and Cancer Drugs

Drug prices expected to keep rising.

How do YOU feel about this: profits and cancer drugs? We know that many related drugs are quite expensive — and often required by us!! And in many cases, the situation is getting worse. 😦

As Katharina Buchholz reports for Statista:

Worldwide cancer drug sales are way ahead of those of other drugs. And the revenue generated by them will grow even larger by 2024. This is according to a report recently released by consultancy Evaluate, which analyses trends in the pharmaceutical sector. As per Evaluate’s calculations, oncology drugs reached US$123.8 billion in sales in 2018, more than double that of the next item on the list, drugs treating diabetes with US$48.5 billion dollars in sales. By 2024, cancer drug sales are expected to almost double to US$236.6 billion dollars.”

“Cancer drugs are extremely pricey. Therefore, they generate high revenues, with costs of a cancer treatment at above US$100,000 per patient. Cancer rates themselves are also rising with humans increasing their lifespans. Money funneled into cancer research means new medications coming out, which improves cancer treatment but might also increase its price as pharmaceutical companies charge a premium for the newly researched and released drugs.”

Take a look at the following chart.

Profits and Cancer Drugs
 

How Old Do YOU feel?

To answer, think about the new age 65.

For me, this is really a two-part question. At age 70, I feel great both psychologically and mentally. I perceive myself as much younger than I am. On the other, how I feel physically is another story. The key for me is not to let my physical ailments overpower my psychological wellbeing. So, how old do YOU feel?

With the above in mind, consider the highlights of a very interesting article by Robert Roy Britt for Medium:

“By 2050, the percentage of the elderly is expected to double globally compared to today. As people live longer and an ever-higher percentage of the population is beyond their retirement years. This according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, conventional measures of longevity don’t reflect the quality of extended time on this Earth.”

“A new study looked at aging, health, and mortality by analyzing at what age people in a country actually feel like 65-year-olds, as defined by experiencing the health problems of the average 65-year old globally. The study considered 92 diseases and conditions in 195 countries and territories. The results are a window into both longevity and health status, revealing how well people age, or how poorly, the researchers report  in the journal Lancet Public Health.”

“The findings ‘show that increased life expectancy at older ages can either be an opportunity or a threat to the overall welfare of populations, depending on the aging-related health problems the population experiences regardless of chronological age.’ said Dr. Angela Y. Chang, lead author of the study from the Center for Health Trends and Forecasts at the University of Washington.”

In this study, the United States did not fare so well. For the top 10 countries cited in the chart below, people were all in their mid-70s before feeling 65. The U.S. ranked 54 at 68.5. Certainly, that is food for thought.

How Old Do YOU feel?
 

Health Benefits Available Through AARP

Great resources from AARP

AARP’s mission “is to empower people to choose how they live as they age.” In the United States, it has nearly 40 million members. And annual dues are about $15 per person. [NOTE: Our blog is a nonprofit. This is not an advertisement for AARP.]

The organization offers a number of health-related resources. Some are free. While others are offered at a discount.

Click the image to learn more about each health-related resource offered by AARP. When on the Web site, scroll down to health and wellness.

Health Benefits Available Through AARP