Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Live life every day!

As we look forward to the future, we need to be thankful for what we have. And not be unhappy for what we don’t have. Now, we offer our annual message. To embrace life and choose happiness in 2020. 

Why We Should Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

As many of you may know, I am a VERY lucky survivor of pancreatic cancer. Thus, I am thankful each and every day to celebrate the blessing of life. On February 12, 2020, it will be five years since I had my successful Whipple surgery. My longevity is related to my embracing life and choosing happiness.

Only 7 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for 5 years. Thus, I am both happy and sad.

Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Today, I want to share some FREE resources I have developed and tell my personal story. Why? To provide hope and serenity for anyone with a serious disease and their loved ones. We must never forget that our caregivers suffer and endure along with us.

Resources to Better Embrace Life and Choose Happiness

Since recovering from my surgery and follow-up chemotherapy, I view my life’s mission as assisting others with a terrible illness. To me, this is a responsibility that I welcome as one of the relatively few long-term pancreatic cancer survivors. In my mind and heart, I MUST give  back.

So, please take a look at these resources.

Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey

With this book, I want to share my personal cancer journey with you. I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with a terrible disease and their families. Why? To quote the late NY Yankee star Lou Gehrig when he was honored at Yankee Stadium while dying from ALS: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

The book is a hopeful, but realistic, view of my journey from diagnosis through treatment through return to work and my being able to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. It has some humor and many quotes to ease the reading.

Click the book cover to download a FREE copy of the book. Then, share it with someone you love.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

LIVING WELL While Surviving Cancer

During the summer of 2018, I started a new blog to share health-related information and inspirational stories. It features infographics, videos, articles, and more. And despite the title, it relates to a wide range of health issues.

Click the image to visit the blog. Then, PLEASE sign up to follow us.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

Other Resources

Finally, check out these resources. and sign up to join me Welcome aboard!

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    • My personal advice:
            1. Do not avoid the doctor because you are afraid of what he/she may find.
            2. Early detection is the best way to mitigate your health problems. Have regular checkups and blood tests.
            3. Listen to the medical professionals!
            4. Surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive.
            5. Be upbeat; getting down is counter productive. [(a) When diagnosed, I set two goals: to dance at my daughter’s October 2015 wedding and to deliver a toast. Mission accomplished. I never thought these things wouldn’t happen. (b) People don’t believe me when I remark that I never said “why me”? Instead I say, “boy was I lucky to be diagnosed so early.”]
            6. Seek out your friends/acquaintances who have also dealt with cancer. They can be a wonderful resource and sounding board (when you don’t want to further burden your family).
            7. Be active. [I went to the gym while undergoing chemotherapy.]
            8. Live for tomorrow and the time thereafter. 
            9. And to give back as much as I can, since July 2019, I am  volunteering twp days a week with United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island. I LOVE it and find it so rewarding. If you decide to volunteer, you’ll see that it’s a win-win!!!!!

We Wish You Happy Holidays

Many thoughtful quotes.

In the United States, we are sometimes our own worst enemies. For example, see a post about our under-use of vacation time. But, it’s the season for happy holidays 2019. Enjoy your time with family and friends. 

Food for Thought: Happy Holidays 2019 

We hope these quotes make you more reflective. And do things to make others happy. Which in turn will make YOU happy.

Fred Rogers — “I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.”

Kate Klise — “During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the best gift of all is simply the gift of time. I can’t think of anything a writer would appreciate more than being given time and space to work.” 

Ainsley Earhardt — “Giving back to those in need is something that everyone on all sides of the political aisle can relate to. And it is beautiful to see people come together, especially during the holiday season.”

Geoff Stults — “The holiday season can be an especially trying time for our service men, women, and families. Military service and deployment create empty seats at holiday tables, religious services, and celebrations.” 

We conclude with these wishes.

Happy Holidays 2019

Annual U.S. Report on the Status of Cancer

The 2019 report with topical links.

Each year, the National Cancer Institute at  NIH (National Institute of Health) produces a report on the status of cancer in the United States.

Here are a few highlights from the 2019 report:

    • Overall cancer death rates continue to decrease in men, women, and children for all major racial and ethnic groups.
    • Overall cancer incidence rates, or rates of new cancers, have decreased in men and remained stable in women.
    • In adults ages 20 to 49, women have higher cancer incidence and mortality rates than men.
    • This year’s Special Section focused on cancer trends among adults ages 20 to 49.
      • For all age groups combined, incidence and death rates were higher among men than women, but among adults 20-49 years, incidence and death rates were lower among men than women.
      • The most common cancers in this age group were:
        • Breast, thyroid and melanoma of the skin for women, with breast cancer far exceeding any of the other cancers; and
        • Colorectal, testicular and melanoma of the skin for men.

To learn more, click on these images.

Annual U.S. Report on the Status of Cancer
                                                            RESOURCES

Annual U.S. Report on the Status of CancerAnnual U.S. Report on the Status of Cancer
 

Giving Back on Giving Tuesday

PLEASE give back.

In this blog, giving back is an important topic. For example, see Giving Back to Whom? Volunteering and LOVING It. And Embarking on the Next Stage of Life. Now we look at giving back on Giving Thursday. IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY to give back.

To honest, until recently, I was not familiar with Giving Tuesday. After learning about, I think it’s a great idea. And one that encourages giving back.

According to its Web site:

“Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

“One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We’ve created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community. “

Click the image to visit the site and learn more

Giving Back on Giving Tuesday
 

Small Calorie Cuts Can Yield Big Benefits

Interesting new findings.

Many of us have worked hard to reduce our caloric intake and improve our health. Both short-run and long-run. BUT, how many calories must we cut to see benefits? It depends on our weight at the time that we diet.

As reported by Samiha Khanna-Duke for Futurity.org:

“Adults already at a healthy weight or carrying just a few extra pounds, can benefit from cutting around 300 calories a day, new research shows.”

Click this image to read her article.

Small Calorie Cuts Can Yield Big Benefits
(Credit: Chasing Donguri/Flickr)

 

4,400 Steps Daily Are the New 10,000

No excuses now not to hit the proper number of steps.

Interesting blog title, huh? 4,400 Steps Daily Are the New 10,000. To put this in context, consider that for years we have been told that a minimum of 10,000 steps per day are needed to be healthy. Yet, for many of us, this may not be a realistic goal. So, what do we do? Suppose that the 10,000-step figure is wrong.

According to new research, the proper minimum number may be as few as 4,400 steps daily.

As Allison Aubrey observes for NPR:

“There’s nothing magical about the number 10,000. In fact, the idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day for health goes back decades to a marketing campaign launched in Japan to promote a pedometer. And, in subsequent years, it was adopted in the U.S. as a goal to promote good health. It’s often the default setting on fitness trackers, but what’s it really based on?”

“‘The original basis of the number was not scientifically determined,’ says researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was curious to know how many steps you need to take a day to maintain good health and live a long life, so she and her colleagues designed a study that included about 17,000 older women. Their average age was 72. The women all agreed to clip on wearable devices to track their steps as they went about their day-to-day activities.”

“It turns out that women who took about 4,000 steps per day got a boost in longevity, compared with women who took fewer steps. ‘It was sort of surprising,’ Lee says. In fact, women who took 4,400 steps per day, on average, were about 40 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period of about four years compared with women who took 2,700 steps. Another surprise: The benefits of walking maxed out at about 7,500 steps. In other words, women who walked more than 7,500 steps per day saw no additional boost in longevity. The findings were published  in JAMA Internal Medicine.”

“So, if 10,000 steps has been feeling out of reach to you, it may be time reset those factory settings on your fitness tracker. Instead, try to hit at least 4,400 a day, along with daily activities that you enjoy. And stick to it.”

Listen to the brief NPR audio for an overview. And click on the image to access the full NPR article.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/29/727943418/do-you-really-need-10-000-steps-per-day
“New research shows that daily light walking is important for maintaining health as you age. But if you can’t hit 10,000 steps, don’t worry.” Peter Muller/Getty Images/Cultura RF

 

Stevie Wisz — Role Model as a Courageous Young Athlete

Read about this amazing 21-year-old. In a word, WOW!

Yesterday and today, we highlight two truly inspirational role models. One is 55 years old and battling lung cancer. The other is 21 years old with long-term heart issues. Neither has let their health problems slow them down. Bravo!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Stevie Wisz — Role Model as a Courageous Young Athlete

Stevie Wisz is a 21-year-old who plays on the UCLA women’s softball team. And she has had to battle heart issues virtually her entire life. Nonetheless, this is one highly motivated young woman. Quit or give up is not in her vocabulary.

Stevie’s story is an uplifting one that will also draw a tear from readers. Anyone who does a blanket job criticizing today’s young adults through stereotypes such as lazy and unmotivated, needs to rethink their view.

Here are the highlights of Stevie Wisz’s story, as reported by Wayne Drehs for ESPN:

Early Diagnosis and Surgery

At one year old, “In San Luis Obispo, doctors diagnosed Stevie Wisz with aortic stenosis, the severe narrowing of the aorta as it branches out from the heart. Stevie’s aortic valve was one-sixteenth the size it should have been. With such a narrow passageway, much of the blood her heart was pumping was leaking back into the heart chamber, meaning her heart had to work that much harder to pump blood throughout her body.”

“Wisz would eventually need open-heart surgery to save her life. But the doctors suggested postponing the surgery as long as possible to allow the heart to grow closer to its full size. They would keep an eye on Wisz through regular checkups. Over the next several years, she lived like many other little girls, competing in soccer, basketball and track. In a fourth-grade track meet, she remembers running as hard as she could but finishing a distant last. ‘That was the first time I remember thinking I was different,’ she said.”

“Over time, the blood leaking back into her heart went from a mild problem to moderate to severe. By the summer of 2006, after fourth grade, doctors said it was time for surgery.”

Stevie in 2019

“Now 21, Stevie Wisz has reached a point where her heart is 100 percent reliant on her pacemaker. If the pacemaker stops, she collapses. The leakage in her aorta is again severe. And yet she’s a Division I athlete who every day tries to push her body to its own unique limits. In last year’s Women’s College World Series, she leapt at the fence to rob Florida’s Janell Wheaton of a go-ahead home run. In April, she made a face-first, diving catch on a sinking liner against Cal, preserving a 1-0 UCLA victory. ‘You have to understand,’ Kylee Perez said. ‘Stevie isn’t someone who is just going to give up.’

“Each day that passes this spring, each victory that draws the Bruins one step closer to the Women’s College World Series, brings Wisz’s college playing career closer to an end — and closer to yet another open-heart surgery. She had circled the dates for months now. June 3-5 is the championship series, a destination UCLA has not reached since winning its most recent national championship, in 2010. June 13 is the day Wisz will walk across the Pauley Pavilion stage and receive a bachelor’s degree in biology from UCLA. And then June 21, one week later, she will head into another operating room for another attempt to solve the problem she has fought since that first checkup when she was 1.”

 

STEVIE, WE’RE ROOTING HARD FOR YOU THROUGH YOUR SURGERY AND LONG-TERM HEALTH.

 
Click the image to read more about this INCREDIBLE young woman. She is the epitome of the human spirit — and what we can accomplish if we push ourselves.

Stevie Wisz -- Role Model as a Courageous YoungAthlete
Stevie Wisz’s parents have supported their daughter after her risky decision to play this season. COURTESY WISZ FAMILY. [Stevie’s on the left.]