James “Speedy” Quartey, my older brother, was diagnosed with cancer lymphoma at the young age of 30. Aside from a second cousin on my mother’s side, nobody in my family knew cancer.
What would become a communal fight for life offered us a frightening introduction.
Suddenly the surgeries, chemo treatments, radiation treatments, and the possibility of death had a captive audience that needed to get in the know, stay in the know, and pass it on.
Speedy has since passed on but the vigilance our communal fight for life helped to inspire follows me into every doctor’s visit, especially as I prepare to turn the corner on my 20s.
In fact, my last doctors visit at Kaiser Hospital in Hollywood lasted nearly an hour due to my top-of-head knowledge of my family health history and the commitment of a doctor that understood and appreciated my attentiveness to health and wellness.
My doctor checked every lymph node on my body and ordered every appropriate test to offer me an added layer of comfort and security–you, too deserve nothing less and should co-create this reality with your doctor starting with your next visit.
Too often we become so scared about what the doctor may find or we feel so uncomfortable being in the raw in a cold doctor’s office, we hurry through what could be the most important hour of our life.
Your top-of-head knowledge about your family health history and willingness to get checked by a health care professional could determine what’s in store for you when you turn the corner on your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, or 60s.
Know what’s around the corner. Get checked for cancer.
Come back and add to the count.
Article written by Nii-Quartelai Quartey