I saw an acquaintance on Friday morning while I was out grabbing a coffee, and called a quick hello as I walked past. He didn’t seem to be aware of who was talking to him, and while I might ordinarily have just kept going on my way, for some reason I turned back and made a point of saying hi again.
He apologised to me for being vague, but he’d had a hell of a week.
I listened, expecting him to talk about the usual work pressures, but that wasn’t it at all.
He’d resigned from his job and starts a new role on Monday. That is reason enough to be distracted, however what he followed up with both surprised me, and unfortunately didn’t because it’s news I’m hearing versions of far too often.
Two days ago he’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Looking at him it seemed incongruous. He’s fit and healthy with no obvious signs of illness, and they have caught it early.
So while it’s early days, the prognosis is pretty good.
But his world (and that of his wife and daughter) has been turned upside down.
Quite coincidentally, that morning I’d been to get blood tests (including PSA levels) as part of a routine health check.
Now, like many blokes I’ve never really worried about regular health checks. I’ve only tended to go to the doctor when there was a specific issue, and if it wasn’t urgent I’d generally accumulate them so I could get 3 or 4 things dealt with at the same time rather than making multiple trips.
Everyone knows I exercise regularly, and I eat pretty well too. My blood pressure has always been good, and I get enjoyment out of confounding inexperienced health practitioners with my heart rate (because of the amount of running I do, my resting heart rate is well below ‘normal’ levels).
The only reason I was getting these done is because of a reward system offered by one of my insurance partners.
But as my doctor patiently pointed out to me, there are two potential benefits from getting these tests done:
1. The first is that they are more likely to pick up any issues early, rather than only once you notice symptoms
2. By keeping a record of the results, they can look at the trend for each of them which can also help improve the chances of picking up an issue early.
These are the same reason we conduct regular Forward Planning Meetings with you.
So given it’s November, please make a point to get your health checked if you haven’t done so this year.
Also, if we haven’t been able to coordinate a time to meet this year, please get in contact with us so we can make sure you are on track, and also that you and your family will be ok financially if things do go wrong.