Last week I had the honor of leading the opening meditation session and two workshops on Mindfulness and Creativity in Healing at the (CCA) Colon Cancer Alliance National Conference in Miami. I say honored because I was surrounded by people who are engaged in the joy of living, who are fighters, and who want to change the world and the survival rate of people with colorectal cancer. So here is where people begin to turn away. One fact I learned is that people don’t really want to hear about this most preventable form of cancer because of where it is in the body!!
The focus of so many of the survivors of stage 4 and (lower) colon cancer is to increase the rate of screenings for people under the age of 50. There are so many people being misdiagnosed and diagnosed late with colon cancer. All we need is prevention to save thousands of lives. Survivors and their families are working tirelessly to spread the word, implement screenings in areas they do not exist, and find funding for colonoscopies for those that do not have insurance or cannot afford to have them. Their work has saved many lives.
Find out about your family history, talk with your physician about early screening with or without a family history, and listen to symptoms that seem unusual, no matter what. You know your body best. If you are concerned that something isn’t right, persevere! We all know the prep for a colonoscopy is not a lot of fun, but it could save your life.
Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is an amazing resource and support community. A great book about being your best health advocate is: When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests by Leana Wen, MD, MSc, George Washington University.
We had a lot of fun doing some Qigong, being truly present in the moment, participating in guided imagery, and using art materials to express the vitality and emotion within. CCA conference participants, you are a great group!