Live Life Every Day

Today, I am quite sad. More on that shortly.

In our blog, we have focused on the journeys of people with serious health issues. And sought to be inspiring through posts such as these: 

Why I am Sad Today

Over the weekend, the female half of one of my closest and dearest couples passed away. She was the same age as me. And she dealt with a plethora of health issues over the years. As has her husband. This post is in honor of them both. She suffered greatly. And as a survivor of a long-time marriage, he is suffering a lot now. They have been the NICEST  people I know.

Understand that you are in my heart and head. And always will be. The fond memories will not fade away. Rest in peace. 

Yet, we know that life goes on and that we must treasure each day, because we can be snatched away suddenly. As we’ve noted before: Try not to “throw away” any days. They are precious.

That’s why I find Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” (written by Craig Michael Wiseman, James Timothy Nichols, and Tim Nichols) to be so inspirational. Even though the specific lyrics of the song mostly do not apply to me, the focus is on living life every day:
 

He said:
“I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet time”

 

I asked him:
“When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?”

 

He said:
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”

 

And he said:
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”

 

He said:
“I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again.”

 

Our Interview with Health Professional Radio

I recently did an online radio interview with Health Professional Radio about my experiences and my upbeat message.

As we noted when our blog began: “This blog is intended to inspire hope and show the value of a positive attitude. Happiness is a choice. And may we all live as long as we can as well as we can.”

My personal goal is to try to inspire as many people as possible — and to encourage us all to live life every day.  With that in mind, I recently did an online radio interview with Health Professional Radio about my experiences and my upbeat message.

To listen to the interview, click the play button below. 

To get a FREE copy of Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey, click the book cover.

Surveying Cancer and Embracing Life
 

Health Care and Rideshare Services

Will Uber Health and Lyft Concierge succeed among those going to medical providers?

In physically reaching our medical professionals, new options are emerging. And they will give us all more choices and better convenience.

As  Christine Diani reports for FreshMR:

“This year Uber and Lyft formally entered the healthcare market to offer rideshare services to nonemergency patients for transportation to scheduled doctor appointments. Patient no-shows are a prevalent problem in the U.S., with an estimated 3.6 million Americans reportedly missing their scheduled doctor appointments due to transportation issues each year. Rideshare services may particularly benefit older Americans, Medicaid patients, and those with chronic diseases to help keep appointments and get care. Uber and Lyft have identified a wide-open opportunity that could significantly improve their business and simultaneously reduce healthcare costs and improve quality care.”

Uber Health is partnering with healthcare organizations to provide transportation services for patients. Providers access the Uber Health dashboard to order and schedule rideshare services. And patients can use the services even if they don’t have access to a smartphone or Uber app. The healthcare providers can manage the ride scheduling and billing through Uber’s dashboard.”

“Lyft followed suit by offering a healthcare rideshare platform called Lyft Concierge. Lyft partners with Allscripts, the largest electronic health systems provider, to request Lyft rides for patients directly through an integrated platform. Lyft recently expanded its reach by partnering with Formativ Health to provide nonemergency rides for patients.”

However, as this chart shows, Uber and Lyft still have a long way go to win over patients.

Health Care and Ride Share Services

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

Where do you visit a physician? Are you open to a walk-in clinic?

As patients, there are various ways for us to interact with physicians. Many of us even use multiple ways. Where do YOU fit?

According to Jessica Rudman, research director for financial services and health care at market research firm Maru/Matchbox:

Recently we asked 1,500 Americans about their knowledge of and experience with various settings for medical appointments and probed their interest in using retail walk-in clinics. Currently, retail walk-in clinics are used by a small minority. And the same is true for online video conferencing. Most just sit and wait in a traditional office, where research has shown that almost everyone waits between 10 and 30 minutes.”

“Health care is on the cusp of significant change. The old sit-in-the-waiting-room and hope to eventually be seen by a doctor is not sustainable. People are used to smoother transactions. It used to be that to pay a bill you had to send a check or pay at the bank. Nowadays everything is electronic and even tappable. Booking travel used to be visiting a travel agent. Today it is all online. Shopping used to involve fighting the crowds at the mall. Now it is answering the door with delivery from Amazon Prime. Times change.”

“The old paradigm of waiting to be seen is ripe for revolution. Virtual visits and retail walk-ins seem to be the wave of the future.”

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

An Innovation for Disabled Rail Travelers

Treating the disabled traveler better.

Although this blog focuses on cancer-related topics, we also track good news for those dealing any health issues. So, today’s post relates to an emerging innovation that will aid disabled rail travelers.

As reported by TrendWatching:

“September 2018 saw four UK rail companies trial Passenger Assist by Transreport: an app designed to make rail journeys for disabled users easier. The app will allow disabled users to share their exact location with station staff in real-time. Currently, disabled passengers who book assistance have their scheduled arrivals and locations provided to station staff on paper at the start of the day.”

“Yes, we were shocked to learn that in 2018 — when geolocation is so commonplace that even the sheep in the Faroe Islands are on Google Maps — disabled passengers often have to wait for assistance and face the risk of being trapped on board. Clearly we have some way to go before we have our priorities with technology fully straight, but this innovation is at least a small step in the right direction.”

Click the image to read more.

An Innovation for Disabled Rail Travelers

Humorous Look at Online Self-Diagnosis

How often do YOU look online to diagnose yourself based on various symptoms? I plead guilty to doing this. Is this a helpful approach?

As Kyle O’Brien reports for The Drum:

“The Internet has become the first source of healthcare information for many people. But self-diagnosis can lead to plenty of misinformation, as a spot for North Memorial Health humorously shows.”

“The Minnesota-based healthcare provider enlisted agency BrandFire to compile some of the stranger ailments people think they have after they’ve Googled their symptoms. The spot, titled ‘Symptoms,’ features people discussing the seemingly frightening results with a North Memorial Health doctor who reassures them that their symptoms are not as scary as the Internet has led them to believe. One man is convinced he has scurvy, another bubonic plague while another is convinced he has ‘Himalayan Mountain Syndrome.’”

“The commercial explains that, ‘Searching your symptoms online is scary but our doctors aren’t.’ It’s meant to show that trusting a doctor is a lot more reassuring than taking a stab at Internet diagnosis.”

We Are NOT Alone — Part 1

This is another excerpt from my book Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey. It is available FREE by clicking here.

It may be hard for you to believe that I am a very private individual when it comes to all aspects of my personal life. After all, here I am opening myself up in a way I never would have dreamed of before. But my community helped to show me how cathartic it could be for me to share my getting pancreatic cancer with other people outside of the community. I’d like to think that in this intense situation I finally realized the true value of communication and sharing. It is only by letting others in that they may help us in our journey.

I also learned much more about how not to be so judgmental of others (and myself, too). We all approach good times and bad, adrenaline rushes, fear, thoughts of our own mortality, etc. in much different ways. It took me a while, but I finally got it that some of my friends did not want to think about the “C” word, and therefore avoided me.

This gave me greater thankfulness for those who were there with me through the toughest parts of my journey. It must have been hard for them to see me looking like a skeleton (due to my weight loss) with limited mobility and a variety of post-surgery side effects. They never turned away. They were my knights (of both genders) in shining armor.

These are vital socialization observations from “Life After Cancer Treatment: Social and Work Relationships” by Journeyforward.org. Keep them in mind when interacting with others – regardless of your role (survivor, caregiver, etc.):

Having cancer can change relationships with the people in your life. It’s normal to notice changes in the way you relate to family, friends, and other people that you are around every day. And the way they relate to you. When treatment ends, families are often not prepared for the fact that recovery takes time. In general, your recovery will take much longer than your treatment did. Survivors often say that they didn’t realize the time it took to recover. This can cause disappointment, worry, and frustration for everyone. Families also may not realize that the way their family works may have changed permanently as a result of cancer. They may need help to deal with the changes and keep the “new” family strong.

Most cancer survivors who are physically able to work do go back to their jobs. This can help them feel they are getting back to the life they had before being diagnosed with cancer. Whether returning to their old jobs or beginning new ones, some survivors are treated unfairly when they return to the workplace. Employers and employees may have doubts about cancer survivors’ ability to work.

Some friends, coworkers, and others may be a huge source of support, while others may be a source of anger or frustration. Some people mean well, but do not know what to say. Maybe they don’t know how to offer support. Others don’t want to deal with your cancer. If friends and coworkers seem unsupportive, it could be because they are anxious for you or for themselves. Your cancer experience may threaten them because it reminds them that cancer can happen to anyone. Try to understand their fears and be patient as you try to regain a good relationship.