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Tag Archive | "cancer"

For Fools and Drunks

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

Marvin had spent more than two weeks in the hospital trying to clear up a clogged lung. When the final test results arrived, he had more than respiratory issues. He had cancer. Marvin wasn’t surprised. I visited him as he recovered from the minor surgery that placed a plastic tube into his chest, a tube that will deliver the cancer-killing chemicals to his malignant lung.

“Let me tell you a story,” Marvin said. “I was hung over one Sunday morning when my friends came to get me to go down to the river, and like fools, we plunged in. I got caught in a vortex, and it sucked me under the water. I fought for what seemed like an hour, but I know now it was only for a few minutes. I could see daylight, but couldn’t reach it. I knew I was going to drown. It was then God spoke to me: ‘Son, go on down,’ He said. But I kept fighting. He spoke again, ‘Son, go on down.’

“Finally, I gave up and let the vortex suck me down into the river. I popped right out on the surface and just feet from the bank and lived to fight another day.” Marvin then fell silent for a long time. When he broke the silence he said, “I guess it’s true. God looks out for fools and drunks; because I’ve been both of those.”

Marvin will not be cured, but he sure is getting well. He’s healing. There is a difference between the two. A cure is a quick fix, an alleviation of suffering, an elimination of symptoms. A cure will help the body and might add days to life. But getting well, healing, being made whole—this is something different altogether. Getting well may not help the body, but it can restore the soul. And Marvin, he is getting well.

I refuse to entertain the notion that he is “terminal.” Even with a new diagnosis of cancer and difficult days of treatment ahead, he was very much alive and well. I hope I get a few more visits with Marvin before his ultimate healing. I want to hear more of his stories. I want to learn, once again, of the relentless pursuit of God’s grace. And I want to scrape together the clues of how we can all be healed. “God looks out for fools and drunks.” Amen, Marvin. He sure does.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net and listen to his talks by going to his You Tube channel, A simple faith.

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Local dentist office to take a bite out of cancer

Offers free swab to join national bone marrow registry


Dr. Richard Jeruzal’s office, Cedar Rock Dental Care, is participating in the “Take a bite out of cancer” campaign to create the state’s single largest bone marrow drive and raise funds to support blood cancer research.

“Since more than 5,100 patients in Michigan—and more than one million nationwide—are waiting for a bone marrow transplant, I want to do my part to help add potential donors to the registry,” he said.

“During the month of May, patients and other members of the community are invited to come to my office to participate in the “Take a bite out of cancer” campaign. My entire dental team is excited about the campaign and stands ready to welcome participants to our office.”

Please call (616) 866-4461 to schedule a time for your free oral swab.

All that is needed to join the fight against cancer is a willingness to do a simple, self-administered cheek swab and complete a basic medical information form.

The doctor added, “With the link between oral health and overall health, it’s a natural fit for dentists to participate in this important project.”

The campaign is co-sponsored by the Michigan Dental Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Michigan.

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Thomas W. Smith

Mr. Thomas W. Smith, age 66, of Baldwin and formerly of Cedar Springs, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, surrounded by his loving family at home after a courageous battle with cancer. Tom was born in Traverse City and raised in Rockford, MI. He was preceded in death by his mother, Leota “Pat” Shears. Tom worked for Gust Construction until retirement in 2007. He was a loving, devoted husband of 48 years to Marcia (Palmer) Smith. They enjoyed doing many things together such as traveling on their Honda Goldwing all over the U.S., boating & snowmobiling all of which included their beloved Sheltie dog, Tapanga. In 2005 they purchased property up in Baldwin and this became the family home/campground known as the “Eagle Nest”. Tom was also the father of two daughters who recall their Dad’s steadfast commitment to his family and unconditional love. He is survived by his wife Marcia; children, Yvonne & Marshall Olson, Dawn Smith Cramer & her fiancé, Bernie Johnson; grandchildren, Terry II & Cassandra Cramer, Michael Cramer, Holly & Eric Almy, Shonna & Bronson Hayden, Christine & Jason York, Charles & Christen Olson, Daniel Olson & Michael Olson, and 8 great-grandchildren; 5 siblings, Sharon & Fred Shatz, Verna & Gene Ashley, Sandy & Derald Rhineberger, Gayle & George Hawley, Bill & Susie LaFollette. Services for Mr. Smith will be Monday at 11:00 a.m. at Resurrection LifeChurch 3233 10 Mile NE, Rockford with brother-in-law Pastor Derald Rhineberger officiating. Donations may be made for the needs of the family. Visitation will be at the Pederson Funeral Home on Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Coping with cancer during the holidays

By Mary Anne Meyers

Much of our holiday cheer comes during celebrations with friends and family around the table. If a loved one or friend has been diagnosed with an illness such as cancer, however, that meal may pose problems because of treatment side effects. Registered dietician Sharlene Bidini says planning ahead of time can help. For example, she suggests that the host ask the guest in treatment about the best day for the celebration.
“Often, if they’re receiving chemotherapy, say on a Tuesday, they have a pattern of feeling bad Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. But maybe they might rebound and feel good on the weekend.” Bidini, who counsels cancer patients at the Oakwood Cancer Center, Dearborn, says it’s best to ask the person questions like this first, because many times only small adjustments need to be made so that everyone can enjoy the meal and a memorable holiday.
Some treatments cause a sore mouth or throat, so something cool and creamy can provide comfort, she says.“Instead of hot, crispy cherry pie right out of the oven, they might prefer pumpkin pie with whipped cream right out of the refrigerator.”
Some people might need something as simple as the croutons or tomatoes left out of their salad, or a side dish may have to be changed, Bidini says.
In general, the main dish is usually not a problem, she adds. “Whatever you choose—turkey, ham, chicken, fish—whatever your primary protein is, that’s excellent for healing.”
Bidini understands that a diagnosis of cancer can be stressful for a family, but she says by asking such questions and doing a little research, attention can return to what’s really important: “Creating memories, having fun holiday times together, not focusing in so much on how much they are eating or not eating, but just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.” For tips on coping with cancer during the holidays and holiday recipes go to www.cancer.org.

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Women’s Health

NOW Is the Right Time to Quit Smoking

By James N. Martin, Jr, MD
President, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

For people who smoke, kicking the habit is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Cigarette smoking kills about 178,000 women each year in the US, shaving an average of 14.5 years off the lives of female smokers.
Each puff of cigarette smoke exposes users to 2,500 chemicals and cancer-causing agents, including nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide. Smoking causes 87% of lung cancer deaths and increases the risk of developing cervical and other cancers. Smokers are more likely to experience heart attack, stroke, emphysema, bronchitis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts, and infertility than non-smokers are.
Pregnant women who smoke put their babies at a higher risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, poor lung function, asthma, and bronchitis. The harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke are also passed through breast milk to babies. Smokers who quit can stop or reverse the damage caused by cigarettes. In the days and months after you quit, your heart rate and blood pressure drop to healthier levels, and your breathing, circulation, and sense of smell and taste may improve. Heart attack risk decreases by 50% within the first year after quitting, and the chances of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and other ailments fall to nearly that of a nonsmoker in the first few years.
Nicotine withdrawal and cravings derail 70% to 90% quit attempts. If you are thinking about quitting, nicotine replacement products—such as patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal spray—or doctor-prescribed medications, such as bupropion or varenicline, can help curb cravings and may increase your chances of quitting successfully.
Smokers can call 800-QUIT-NOW, a free national smoking cessation hotline, to speak with trained counselors who will help develop individualized quit plans. Support groups, such as Nicotine Anonymous, and other local smoking cessation resources may also be a great place to start.
Set a quit date when you will throw away all your cigarettes and clean your clothes to get rid of the smoky smell. You may want to schedule your quit date for November 17, 2011, to coincide with the Great American Smokeout. Keep busy
on your quit day—exercise, go to the movies, take a long walk, etc.—get plenty of water, and ask your friends and family to help keep you honest.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 75% of women say they want to stop smoking. It takes most smokers several tries to finally quit for good. If your first attempt is not successful, don’t get discouraged. Get some help and get back on track. For more information on smoking cessation, go to www.cancer.org/.

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Colon cancer: awareness and screen are key to prevention

Spectrum Health United Hospital hosts free informational events

Knowledge and action have become important tools in reducing the incidence of colon cancer, which is the focus of National Colon Cancer Month in March.

On Wednesday, March 9, Spectrum Health United Hospital is hosting two complimentary community health talks with the focus of:  Colon Cancer: Be Informed, Take Action. Sessions are scheduled for 1:00-2:00pm and 6:30-7:30pm. Both sessions will take place at Spectrum Health United Hospital’s Conference Center located within the hospital.  Refreshments will be provided.

Presenter Dr. Theodor Asgeirsson will focus on answering questions such as:
•    What is colorectal cancer?
•    What are the risk factors?
•    How often should I be screened?
•    Can colon cancer be prevented?
•    What treatment plans and options are available?

Dr. Asgeirsson joined the medical staff of Spectrum Health United Hospital in June 2010. He specializes in a wide variety of digestive disorders including colon and rectal cancer and screening, proctology, diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. He has extensive experience in minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery. Dr. Asgeirsson is board certified in general surgery.

Community Health Talks are free to attend, but registration is required. To register please call: 616.225.6822 or register online at spectrum-health.org/colon-cancer-seminar-1.

When registering, please identify which session you will be attending.

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Intandem Credit Union
Ray Winnie


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