Prevention is Key: Had a Colonoscopy Lately?

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Mary Windishar, a veteran broadcaster, knows what it's like to lose someone to a serious illness. She lost her husband, Larry, 56, to colon cancer. In this short video, Mary encourages patients not to delay in scheduling thier colonoscopies. Listen, as Mary provides important tips for patient advocates always looking out for others and often, not themselves. 

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Hello.  I’m Andrew Schorr.  As you know, we’re adding additional voices and faces on Patient Power as presenters.  A new one is Mary Windishar.  Mary is a veteran broadcaster based in San Francisco, but she also has a lot of experience as a caregiver.  Her daughter was treated for leukemia, fortunately, successfully, and her husband was diagnosed with cancer.  Mary has tips for caregivers.  Here’s Mary. 

Mary Windishar:

Today I’m asking you for a date.  Hi, I’m Mary Windishar on patient advocacy for Patient Power.  We patient advocates need to take care of ourselves too, so I’m asking you for the date of your first or your next colonoscopy.  Now, to be fair I’ll give you mine first.  It will be in September of 2017. 

Why do I want yours?  Well, this is the most recent patient that I took care of.  It’s my husband.  I can’t introduce you in person because I’m sad to say that he died of colon cancer a little over a year ago.  This disease took him from us in only three days, probably because even though he was 56, Larry never had a colonoscopy.  So here it comes, I’m about to go all Katie Couric on you. 

Did you know that colon cancer is the third leading cause of death in America, yet it’s completely avoidable with regular screening?  Don’t die of stubbornness.  Commit to having a colonoscopy when you’re 50 and every 10 years after that.  Tell me when you’ll do it by sending an e-mail to comment@patientpower.info and include a funny story if you’ve got one.  I did this on my Facebook page, and my friend Kevin, who is a videographer, said he was awake for his procedure.  During it, Kevin asked his doctor why the images he was seeing on the monitor weren’t in HD.  Kevin’s advice:  Don’t make the doctor laugh during your colonoscopy.  So, take care of yourself, patient advocates. 

There’s even an organization that arranges discounted colonoscopies if you don’t have insurance.  Visit colonoscopy assist at www.colonoscopyassist.com, to find help where you live.  And, hey, if you want to go all Katie Couric or all Mary Windishar on your Facebook page, be my guest.  You’ll be surprised by the reaction of your friends.  Lots of love coming your way, I predict. 

Next time, deciphering prescriptions.  We caregivers are often asked to pick up medication for our loved ones.  How do you make sure that the dose and instructions are correct?  I’ll help you crack the code that physicians write in, so that you can make sure you’re getting what’s really needed. 

Meanwhile, don’t forget that you owe me a date, and you can send it to comment@patientpower.info.  Until then, I’m Mary Windishar for Patient Power. 

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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