Recently, I was asked to speak at an awards ceremony. And though I worked for 25 years as a news anchor and health reporter, instead of giving me the usual introduction as a “TV Personality,” or even “Award-Winning Journalist,” they gave me a much better title: “Adventure Creator.”
Helen Keller said it best: “Life is either a grand adventure or it’s nothing.” What’s an adventure? People always think that means jumping out of airplanes or riding a motorcycle across the country (been there, done that.) The truth is, creating adventure is about exploring unknown territory and doing something you think you cannot do. Feeling butterflies in your tummy and doing it anyway.
And you can create adventure at any age. Take my dear friend, Sister Anne Marilyn Tyler. How do you suppose this spunky 71-year-old photographer from St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor plans to celebrate her 50th year as a religious sister?She’s fulfilling a lifelong dream by visiting the Grand Canyon to spend the night at its base under the starry night sky and attempt to capture a piece of its glory on film.Continue reading “MAKE YOUR LIFE AN ADVENTURE!”
Karen Langdon enjoyed dancing, scuba diving and living an active lifestyle with her husband. This all came to a screeching halt when the onset of debilitating pain in both hips, stemming from severe hip arthritis made doing the simple things in life, almost impossible. “It got so bad that I couldn’t do two dances in a row and over time it got worse and worse,” explained Karen.
Following two minimally invasive total hip replacements, performed by G. Victor Gibson, D.O. , a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, using the anterior hip approach, Karen was able to reconnect with her loving dance partner, virtually pain free.
“Now I can go shopping and walk around the mall if I want to, scuba diving of course, and best of all I can go dancing with my husband again,” explains Karen.
“Karen has significantly fewer restrictions along with a reduced recovery time following the anterior hip approach as opposed to more traditional total hip replacements.” says Dr. Victor Gibson.
Karen has re-discovered her freedom, living a life free of pain. “There really are no restrictions after surgery. Just go do it, I recommend it highly, you will be so glad you did. Living a life that’s no longer in constant pain is wonderful”
13 years ago, when Luanne Booth was treated for endometrial
cancer, she never expected to be facing the disease again. The surgery went
well, lab results indicated the cancer was gone, and her prognosis was
good. But in January 2017, Luanne
received the diagnosis that the cancer was back and a second surgery was not an
option. She didn’t hesitate. She knew exactly where to go for treatment, St.
Joseph Mercy Chelsea Cancer Care Center.
Luanne and her husband, Howard Booth, moved to the area from
Ypsilanti where he had been an Eastern Michigan University physiology/ biology
professor and vault coach for 47 years and she had been Head of Middle School
at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor. They
found St. Joe’s Chelsea near their new home to be a first class hospital with
the small community feel that inspired their move, and have trusted the hospital
with their health care needs ever since.
One of the most impactful moments Luanne recalled from her
treatment was Dr. Rebecca Liu, a specialist in gynecological cancers,
recommending a clinical trial. Luanne and Howard felt it was important to
participate. “While we hoped the trial protocol would help fight my
cancer, we also highly value scientific study and the difference it makes
improving treatment,” explained Luanne.
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is one of only 34 National
Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Programs (NCORP), and holds the
highest grant score in the nation. St.
Joe’s NCORP, housed in Ann Arbor and offered through all our Cancer Centers in
Chelsea, Brighton, Livonia, Canton and Pontiac serves 5,000 patients eliminating
the costs, health risks and stress of traveling by bringing research trials
close to home.
“I feel so lucky I was a candidate for the trial arm of
the study. It is in the second phase and showing promising results,”
Luanne said. As part of the trial,
Luanne underwent rigorous treatment including radiation five days a week for
five weeks while undergoing chemotherapy for one day a week for 7 hours each
time, which caused debilitating side effects. Following that, Luanne was
treated with three sessions of outpatient brachytherapy, benefitting from the
continuum of care between St. Joe’s Chelsea and Ann Arbor, housing one of the
nation’s few high-dose-rate / low-dose-rate brachytherapy surgical suites.
Through it all, Luanne maintained her positive outlook and
gratitude for the care she received. Most of all, she admired the staff’s
professionalism, warmth and kindness, and personal interest. “You don’t
really know the depth of the preparation and side effects of treatment until
you’re going through it, and the staff is with you every step of the way,
helping you cope, encouraging you, and gently managing things like your violent
stomach upset, fatigue, and collapsing veins. You can tell they love their jobs
and their patients.”
The Double Ribbon Mobius is a 9-foot tall coated aluminum sculpture chosen for its dynamic, strong and heart-like appearance. The Double Ribbon Mobius is a 9-foot tall coated aluminum sculpture chosen for its dynamic, strong and heart-like appearance.
During treatment, Luanne and Howard also noticed the
beautiful, well-appointed features donors made possible. “When you go into
St. Joe’s Chelsea Cancer Center, and you’re so warmly received by the
concierge Ken and department secretary Betty,
they have set up a convenient card swipe for check-in, there is a warm
fireplace, comfortable seating, gorgeous paintings, the food is like room
service, you make friends with all the patients and spouses, and the staff is
so cheerful, there is just one thing that doesn’t fit, the view out the window
to the bleak rooftop,” explained Luanne. “Howard and I have a
philosophy, we give back any way we can. I’m a musician and painter, so the
idea of beautifying the rooftop with a sculpture appealed to us. We wanted our gift to make the experience
even better for other patients and to be a lasting reminder of our gratitude to
the staff for their wonderful care.”
“Howard and Luanne Booth’s generous support is making
our incredible Cancer Center even better,” said Judy Stratman, Director of
Development. “We are fortunate to have supporters who understand the
important role that art plays in the healing experience. Their gift will have a
lasting impact on patients and families who rely on St. Joe’s Chelsea for
I Feel Lucky
Luanne Booth wanted to do more than sit on the sidelines watching her husband, Howard, a World Champion in pole vault and other track events and current men’s vault coach at EMU, so she also joined the Michigan Senior Olympics. She has run in distance and sprint competitions and qualified for the nationals.
This same champion spirit helped her get through cancer with
courage, hope and determination. Just three days after finishing a
three-month-long rigorous treatment plan at St. Joe’s as part of a phase 2
study that included beam radiation, chemotherapy and brachytherapy, Luanne
joined Howard for a trip to Washington DC for the 2017 National Street Vault at
Freedom Plaza. The treatments were physically draining and she spent the trip
in a wheelchair, but she was not going to miss it.
“I got around pretty well,” Luanne said. Today, less than a year later, Luanne is building up her strength and stamina to run again, is filled with vibrancy, and takes walks every day. Her resilience and healing journey inspire everyone she knows and meets. Luanne will tell you, “I just feel very lucky.”
For information about cancer services call 734-712-HOPE or
Water is one of the most important components of great health. Water regulates body temperature and keeps you cool in the hot weather. When we exercise, our body temperature increases and we lose water in the form of sweat. Our sweat helps to lower our body temperature so we don’t overheat. We don’t just lose water when we sweat, we also lose key essential electrolytes including sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
To find the correct fluid balance, the American College of Sports Medicine suggests the following:
1) Check your weight: Be sure to weigh yourself before and after exercise to check the amount of fluid loss. For every pound lost, you will need 16 – 24 oz of water to replenish your sweat loss. Senior citizens tend to be less sensitive to thirst sensations than younger adults. Athletic seniors need to be mindful of drinking fluids regularly.
2) Monitor urine color: Simplest way to tell if you are adequately replacing sweat loss is to check the color and quantity of your urine. Your goal is to have pale yellow urine which means you are well hydrated. Dark urine means you need more fluid and very pale or clear urine could indicate you are overhydrated, which is also dangerous.
3) Gauge how you feel: Chronically tired, headachy or lethargic? You may be chronically dehydrated and simply drinking more fluids may improve how you feel.
4) Prevent muscle cramps:. These are usually associated with dehydration, electrolyte deficits and muscle fatigue. Take extra care to drink plenty of sodium-containing fluids or eat a salty snack while exercising or after exercise if you are sweating in the hot sun.
For athletes exercising more than 2 hours, it is recommended to consume an electrolyte replacement snack. Simple and convenient sources such as energy gels, sport beans, blocks, bars, and drinks may be needed. You can also try eating real-food snacks during exercise such as pretzels, bananas, and fruit chews. You should never experiment on race day. Only use electrolyte replacements and caffeine the day of the race if you have previously used during training.