It’s Worth Noding…
Published Friday, September 6, 2013 11:37AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 6, 2013 5:30PM EDT
So how was it? How was your summer? Hopefully it was one filled with many fun adventures. As we transition into the upcoming fall season, I am sure you'll agree, we're like squirrels at this time of year - there is so much to do. In between swapping the flip flops for leather uppers, rushing to get last minute school supplies, you might be topping up the wardrobe with a few new swanky autumn fashions. Then, some of you will also have to pack up the patio furniture and close down the cottage. Dare I add to that list?
In this case, I believe it's necessary.... How about knowing your nodes?! As in, lymph nodes. At the risk of sounding like Dr.Oz, I am urging you not to get caught not knowing your nodes. It could kill you. Do you even have any idea where, or what, they are in your body?
Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands. We have hundreds of them and they can often be the first mini alarm in our bodies that something is wrong. In fact, it was a large swollen lymph node on the lower part of my neck that changed my life forever.
You see, this winter will mark the 4th anniversary of when I was first diagnosed with Lymphoma. It is called that because it is a cancer of the Lymphatic System. I was lucky, and thankfully, caught it early. Like many of you reading this right now, prior to my diagnosis, I had no idea where my lymph nodes were in my body or what the symptoms of Lymphoma were. Many of us tend to think the dreaded “C” can’t happen to us – it’s always someone else. It’s surprising to learn that close to a million people worldwide live with this particular cancer, yet only half of the population have ever heard of it.
Just so we are all on the same page, you know the guy who plays “Dexter” on TV - Michael C. Hall, he was treated for Lymphoma. Mr. T was also diagnosed with Lymphoma, Mario Lemieux has endured treatment for Lymphoma twice, and Hollywood legend Ingrid Bergman died from Lymphoma. I point this out, because this is not a rare disease. It affects men, women and children, and is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in young people between the ages of 18-39.
Part of the biggest problem with Lymphoma is that it is so often misdiagnosed, which can affect the success of treatment outcomes.
Let's try to turn over a new leaf - pardon the fall time pun, but it is important. While you’re getting set for a new season, join the world - yes world, mid-month, and take time for yourself. Please learn about the symptoms of Lymphoma.
September 15th officially marks WORLD LYMPHOMA AWARENESS DAY. In the days leading up to “WLAD”, various iconic buildings across North America will be illuminated in purple. Close to home in Toronto, look out for a purple city hall and CN tower, in Montreal the Rialto Hall, and in Vancouver, Science World will also glow purple.
It will be a day for everyone from doctors, to patients, to lymphoma survivors and their families to rally together to bring much needed awareness to this disease, and of course, hopefully raise funds to find a cure. Join me LIVE on location with Lymphoma Canada on Thursday Sept 12th between 11-1pm at Yonge and Bloor and take the "know your nodes" quiz or view it online at www.lymphoma.ca . Also, if you’re in a position to do so, please donate today. Lymphoma Canada is the only Canadian, not for profit, organization that is solely dedicated to lymphoma support and research. It truly is worth noding.
(*RAIN OUT LOCATION IS INSIDE BROOKFIELD PLACE 181 Bay st).