In Honor of My Mother
My mom is an amazing woman. I could write pages about all she has done for me, but today I wanted to share the top five lessons she has taught me. These five lessons I carry with me and can apply to all aspects of life. Today I am going to apply those lessons to women’s colorectal health.
- If my mom had a mantra, it would be “You never know until you ask!”
This week I learned on Stop Colon Cancer Now’s Facebook page that a lot of women (and men) are still putting off their colonoscopy due to the prep. But what people don’t know is that prep for colonoscopies has made strides over the years. Patients now have more options; there are even flavored preps. So, if the prep is the only thing keeping you from getting a colonoscopy, ask your doctor about your options. There might be a prep that doesn’t turn your stomach – you never know until you ask.
- Lead by example.
My mother is a great example as a parent, because she has always led by example. When she turned 50 she didn’t hesitate to get her screening colonoscopy, and then she made my dad get his too! Not only was she her own health advocate, but she shared her experience with the rest of the family so we could learn from her. The majority of women are leaders within their own family. I encourage women to be proactive about their health and get their colonoscopy screening when the time is right. Hopefully, loved ones will then follow suit.
- You can be defined by the company you keep.My mom has amazing, long-time friends, which I feel speaks strongly to her character. In life you want to choose your friends wisely, because the people you choose to surround yourself with will greatly influence you – even in your health care decisions. If you have friends who support preventive health care like screening colonoscopies, you will be more likely to get yours. With real close friends, you might even schedule your screening appointments together – the buddy system always helps us do things we might not relish doing (can you say exercise)?
- Learn to make one good recipe from scratch.
My mother makes a rockin’ apple pie, which she is now teaching my son to make. Learning to cook from scratch makes a person aware of the contents that go into meals, and self-conscious eaters usually eat healthier. Proper nutrition and diet are also important in helping prevent many diseases like colon cancer, according to an article on www.webmd.com. Also, when you take the time to pass down great family traditions, like how to make a rockin’ apple pie, you’re creating the opportunity to have serious discussions, such as colon cancer occurrence in the family tree.
- Family comes first, always.
This last lesson is probably the most important and it affects every decision I make – even my health care choices. When you put your family first it puts everything into perspective. If you don’t want to get a colonoscopy for yourself, then do it for your loved ones. Take that step to prevent colon cancer, so you can continue being everything to everyone else.