I have been wanting to start another challenge to promote healthy living in our society and community. And I know there are a ton of people like me who know that they need to be healthy but don’t have the time, the motivation or don’t know where to start. So I will try and help as much as I can through documenting my own journey.
Today, I am linking up with Suzzie from SVSmiles for her blog challenge of making a healthy resolution.
I’d like to start off by telling you guys a little story about my grandfather and why I believe living healthy is important.
My grandfather in 2007 at my high school graduation party.
I think many of you saw my posts in March about my grandfather’s surgery and fight with cancer, I mentioned it shortly here and in a few other posts. Today, I want to tell you his story.
My grandfather is currently 79 years old. He has served in the Navy, and is a vet for Viet Nam and Korea. He has been a successful employee and a world traveler. He is still a small business owner and an avid bike rider. The man does anywhere from 30 to 80 mile bike rides, several times a week (if weather permits).
In May of 2010 he was hit by a car while out on his bike. He practically walked away with a few bruises and some broken ribs. Through his checkups the doctors noticed a “bruise” on his lung. They biopsied it and it came back clean. A few months later during another checkup, they noticed that what they thought was a bruised lung had actually grown. They did another biopsy and in January 2011 diagnosed my then 88 year old grandfather with lung cancer.
At my birthday lunch in February before the operation
The doctors said that he would have to go through chemo because they could not operate. If they operated they would have to remove half of his left lung, and they did not think that my grandfather could survive on only on one and a half lungs. The news was shocking to all of us, and at one point my grandfather stated that if he had to be on supplemental oxygen then he wouldn’t do anything at all. In that case he would have about a year to live.
However, we all thought he would be just fine on one and a half lungs, since he was still riding his bike for miles without breaking a sweat and being out of breath. The surgeon said that he would operate if the test results for Oxygen levels came back where he wanted them to. Well, low and behold, they put my grandfather on a bicycle test, which he passed with flying colors. EVEN with the cancer taking up half of his lung he was able to preform at such levels that the doctors were amazed. Surgery was scheduled for March.
The surgery took about three hours, and through the whole process we were getting updates from the operating room. At one point, when the nurse called to update us, my grandfather’s daughter asked how he was doing, the nurse replayed “he’s doing good… no wait… he is doing GREAT.”
When the surgery was over and the doctor came out, he told us that the cancer was much bigger then they had been anticipating, and it was actually pushing on his pulmonary artery, meaning he was getting even less oxygen into his system. He also told us that my grandfather should be feeling even better after the surgery and he did not think that he would need any supplemental oxygen when going home.
True to the surgeon’s words, my grandfather walked out of the hospital about a week later, with no oxygen and feeling great. His blood oxygen levels were actually higher then his pre-op, and he was feeling significantly better.
And he was there for my college graduation a few weeks after his surgery!
The doctors said that if it wasn’t for his biking and his outstanding physical health, he would not have been considered for surgery and God knows how affective Chemo would be.
Just this past weekend my grandfather did the annual Kaiser Permanente Moonlight Classic ride, around downtown Denver. He was also asked to speak to lung patients at the hospital and given an award at the Moonlight ride.
Here he is post op and at the Moonlight Classic.
Moral of the story. Get healthy and stay healthy. It will save your life.
So what are you health/fitness resolutions?