Recently I was diagnosed as having kidney stones. I paid $150 out of pocket to have some CT imaging done to discover that. While it is certainly unpleasant to have them, those stones are not my major health problem. The imaging discovered a 1.5 inch mass on one of my kidneys.
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That sort of news is a major wake up call. In hindsight, that $150 was one of the best expenditures I have ever made in my life because the mass on my kidney was discovered. As of this writing, I have not yet had a biopsy done to determine whether this mass is malignant or benign, but that will certainly be done as soon as possible.
The doctors I have seen tell me that there is no rhyme or reason to why these masses occur. They furthermore state that the chances are overwhelming that this mass is malignant, but they also note that I have a few behavorial traits which increase the odds of this being benign. That’s nice, but hopes are not effective treatment, they are wishes. I intend to treat this growth as malignant until it is proven otherwise, and have already engaged in behavorial modification to do just that. While doctors may not be able to pinpoint a reason, that does not mean an individual cannot examine themselves to see how this invader took up residence in them. In my case, I have had a lot of stress in my life over the last 10 years. The stress in large part was unavoidable and is now frankly over.
My mass was discovered “in time,” which means that the odds are very good that I will get well. There may be pain and suffering along the way. If I follow the orders of doctors, then I will not only conquer and defeat this tumor, I will also annihilate it so that it cannot make a return appearance. I am sharing my circumstances for several reasons.
Get your body scanned regularly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Find out what sort of undetected dangers may be lurking in your body. I was told by one doctor that this tumor was discovered “in time.” Implicit in that statement is that some are not discovered in time. Get ahead of potential dangers. There may be none in your body. If so, then great. But if something exists, I hope you discover it “in time.”
Listen to your body. If something feels seriously wrong, then address what is wrong. Your body rebels when you tax it beyond its normal capacity for endurance. This also means eliminating vectors of stress in your own individual lives.
Prioritize. I owe it to myself and the people who love me to do my best to get well. Indeed, I shall. But that means some things that have been important to me are going to go by the wayside for a little bit of time. That does not mean I cannot return to them, it just means that right now my overall health is more important.
The medical system is very stressed right now and I suspect I will discover this in more ways as I undertake this journey. Regardless, I hope that some will view my circumstances as a warning and engage in preventative behavior to live as long as possible.
Joe Webb is the former chairman of the Jeffco Republican party.
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