I am flying back to Niagara after a short trip with Lynnda for a check-up to ensure that there are no issues with her heart. After an exhaustive check-up, it is clear that she is fine… great news!
We are getting back to the new normal after the three weeks that I was away on ‘the ride’. Lots of things have happened during the period…
First I want to introduce the Team Five Riders in the picture above... In front is Danelle Lesley Titus who is from Fredericton, NB. From the Left we have Rodney Sallmen who is from Bracebridge, Ontario... beside me is our Coach Chad Robertson who is from Halifax, and then on the far right is Jason Stoke who is from Victoria, BC. Missing from the picture is Lindsay Alexander who was unable to come on the ride, but was there at the outset, and at the ending in Austin. The team did well, and was able to complete the ride intact, with no incidents.
1) The renovation on the main floor of the house is almost complete and we move back into the house this weekend. We are exceptionally impressed with the quality of the work being done by Jeff MacIntosh’s company, Olde Towne Building and by the kitchen company Art Craft from Niagara Falls. Yes, this is a reference for them both.
2) Our investment in a holding company, Beachview Holdings has started taking hold… one of the businesses we now own, through Beachview, is a roofing company (Affordable Roofing) and it has legally started in business… and has had several sales and installations… in a late fall start-up, we are happy with the results. This investment is an extension of our belief in the local Niagara and Canadian economy, and especially in the fundamental need to give trades people good management, sales and funding. We believe that this will also extend the benefits of their efforts deeper into the local economy and social fabric. We are One Hundred Percent in support of facilitating good people doing good things, and having their families financially stable as a result.
3) Shamus, our seven month old Golden Doodle puppy is now 62 pounds and still growing. He is a really good looking brute, and has passed his Second Stage of training. Lynnda has done a great job bringing him along… and while I like to call Shamus our ‘oxymoron’ (he is a black Golden Doodle), he is becoming a calm, very good family member.
4) ‘The ride’ proved to me that I am back… physically and mentally. I am fully ready to get back to full-time work!. I have been consulting practically full-time, and have been able to regain some of my intensity… but thankfully, not all of it! I have decided to look for an opportunity to either run a Canadian Arm of a large international medical company, or a US medical business. I have consulting commitments that I will continue to support, of course, and absent an opportunity to run a company, I will continue to do the “Blueknowser Consulting” work. I am excited about life, and want to get going.
5) I have joined a new health club… White Oaks… that is near our home. It has over 4,000 members and a huge facility with everything from tennis to Pilates. I have started the spinning classes, and now know that I will be in much better shape the next time I make a commitment to do the Give To Live ride. I suppose this is a good time to give fair warning to all of my contacts, that I am beginning to consider the ride again… and if you have philanthropy in your 2011 plans, I will be doing a much better planned fund-raising campaign for the next version of ‘the ride’. We have raised $24,000 for the 2010 version… I think it will be appropriate to set some bodacious goal for 2011… any reasons we shouldn’t be targeting $50,000? If there are, I will try to dispel the rumor…
6) There are 8,000,000 million people that will die this year from cancer, in the developed world. That is a Livestrong number, and I hesitate to repeat it since it is hard to verify… perhaps its only 7,000,000. Certainly, we are in the ballpark. I have been involved in healthcare for 35 years now, and when I had my open heart surgery back in 2001 (remembering that I was at the time working in cardiology) I thought that heart disease, and even vascular disease was the most critical health concern… wrong! We have a way to avoid virtually all heart and vascular disease… what we can’t avoid, we have a way to treat virtually all heart and vascular disease. But when I started to look deeply into CANCER, after I became a Stage Four victim, I realized it is a much more strategic plague on our society… we don’t know what causes it; we don’t understand how to care for many of the people who get it; we have virtually no “cure” for it; we don’t have a national strategy to wage war against it; and we shudder to think what will happen when it hits us… so, it is time for a grass roots attack on all fronts. I am suggesting a change in strategy… one of those “if you don’t like the results of what you are doing, you have to change what you are doing to get different results” things. Only a fool will believe that different outcomes will occur if we keep doing what we do. My suggestion is that we should go into a national ‘make war on cancer… not people movement…together, perhaps we will prevail, if we change…
7) I ripped this cancer data from the Canadian Cancer Society webpage…
http://www.cancer.ca/Canada-wide/About%20cancer/Cancer%20statistics/Stats%20at%20a%20glance/General%20cancer%20stats.aspx?sc_lang=en General cancer statistics for 2010
An estimated 173,800 new cases of cancer (excluding about 75,500 non-melanoma skin cancers) and 76,200 deaths will occur in Canada in 2010.
· Approximately 83,900 Canadian women will be diagnosed with cancer and an estimated 36,200 women will die of cancer.
· Approximately 90,000 Canadian men will be diagnosed with cancer and an estimated 40,000 men will die of cancer.
· On average, 3,340 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every week.
· On average, 1,470 Canadians will die of cancer every week.
The risk of cancer increases with age: 43% of new cancer cases and 61% of cancer deaths will occur among those who are at least 70 years old. However, cancer can occur at all ages.
· Lung, prostate, breast and colorectal cancer account for 50% of all new cancer cases every year.
· Lung cancer accounts for over a quarter (27%) of all cancer deaths each year.
· Breast cancer accounts for over a quarter (28%) of new cancer cases in women.
· Prostate cancer accounts for over a quarter (27%) of new cancer cases in men.
Probability of developing or dying from cancer
Based on 2009 incidence rates, 40% of Canadian women and 45% of men will develop cancer during their lifetimes.
An estimated 1 out of every 4 Canadians are expected to die from cancer.
Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada: 1,026,600 years of life were lost in 2004 as a result of cancer. This represents 32% of the potential years of life lost resulting from all causes of death.
At the beginning of the year 2005, there were approximately 723,000 cases of cancer that had been diagnosed in the previous 10 years.
Based on 2002-2004 estimates, 62% of people are expected to survive for 5 years after their cancer diagnosis compared to the general population of the same age and sex. Survival rates differ according to the type of cancer.
It is really mind-bending to think that we could lose over a million years of life in 2004 as a result of cancer, and not have a national strategy in place to address it. Especially because following that 2004 year, we had 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and now 2010 when another 6,000,000 years of life have been lost… still without a federal strategy. How do we consider our country to be an advanced society when we can accept this often unnecessary loss of life.
Perhaps we should understand that the federal government really doesn’t have any direct responsibility for health care in our country. It has only responsibility for the financial aspects of healthcare, and even that is questionable.
But one can wonder, if the federal government proposed a special strategy for cancer, would the provinces fight it? What if we had a party in government which had a strategy to properly care for dying cancer patients through proper palliative care facilities? What about a government that co-0rdinated, funded and protected the research(ers) that is happening in the country, so that information flow was faster; data sharing was encouraged; and discoveries immediately vetted, published, and acted on? What about a program from government that directly impacted carcinogen use in the environment; that communicated clearly on life-style issues that facilitate cellular DNA degeneration and cancer (smoking, BPA, fluoride), in order to reduce the number of cases of cancer?
Why don’t we have these programs in place, or something like them? In my opinion, it is because we don’t see cancer as a huge economic issue. We see it only on a personal level. Those millions of years lost due to cancer, generate a giant sucking sound in the economy… lost man hours; lost opportunities; enormous expenses. We seem to think only of the social impacts on friends, families and so on… so we are not able to co-ordinate our thoughts and efforts relative to the economic impact…