6 months can change everything
Monday, December 28, 2009
I didn't do an annual holiday letter this year. I started it many times, but couldn't find a way to really address what this year has meant to me. It started out with several milestones- a 2 week trip to Europe, the 10 year anniversary of my dad's death, my "little" brother's 40th birthday all within the first 2 months. Then we settled into normal. Graduation from pre-school, summer camp, changes to my job, a couple trips to my dermatologist. Nothing much out of the ordinary I thought.
But then in July I got the call from my doctor. The dermatologist... The one that I've been seeing for over 15 years, who's slowly cutting off all my moles, just in case. This time, it wasn't just in case. It was an odd pink bump on my calf that came back as melanoma. The kind that could spread to my lymph nodes and other organs. It was fast growing - and I was fortunate to have caught it early enough that they got it all out and it did not spread.
It definitely jolted me out of any complacency I felt. I don't usually take my health for granted but I'm relatively healthy and a little extra weight was my only real worry before. I'm adopted, so I don't know my family history and being raised by a nurse, I have been good about annual checkups, eating low fat, wearing sunscreen, etc, etc. And thank God, that vigilance paid off this time.
The other eye opener for me was the lab results from 2 annual physicals. I get them at work every year near my birthday and last year was a bit late, so I had one at the beginning of 2009 and one at the end of 2009 to get back on track. Both times my fasting blood sugar was slightly above 100 - just inside the "pre-diabetic" level. I figured that the 1st high reading was a result of no exercise after I injured my foot. The second reading was on it's way down, but still just over 100, so I'm officially now pre-diabetic.
I know what I have to do - cut down on sugar and processed carbs. Increase exercise. Take vitamins regularly. Reduce stress. Lose the 10 pounds I've been talking about for 5 years.
The last 6 months have changed my perspective on life. I believe in the connection between healthy living and a healthy body. My body is telling me in not so subtle ways anymore that it needs better fuel and more movement. I want to be strong and healthy to face whatever the next 6 months -or 6 years -may bring.