If only there was a simple solution to cancer

I’m not sure who was happier last weekend, my wife, our big dog Rodney or me.

My wife was happy because she was at the beach without me and the kids around to annoy her. She goes with a group of friends each spring. I’m not exactly sure what they do, but they were all smiles in the pictures they posted on Facebook. That’s good enough for me. A happy wife equals a happy home.

Even though my wife was out-of-town, Rodney was happy because he was still getting walked regularly.  My doctor’s recommendation that I get up off the couch more often suits our energetic dog just fine.

And despite having to exert myself more often, I was happy because I apparently get to keep my gall bladder.

For the past two-and-a-half years I’ve had recurring pain centered on the upper right side of my abdomen. Two other doctors failed to discover the cause but the third, the digestive specialist I’ve been seeing, proved to be the charm.

After putting me through a few medical procedures about which I’d rather not divulge specifics (you’re welcome), he suggested I get more exercise. He also recommended that I stay away from foods and refreshments that contain high fructose corn syrup, advice that seems to be making for a happier digestive system.

He offered that advice at the end of one of our appointments. It almost seemed like an afterthought, but it turned out to be a key piece of my pain puzzle. I started paying attention not only to anything that smacked of corn syrup in my diet, but also to anything that looked remotely like a sweetener, even plain old sugar.

My attacks are now less severe and don’t last nearly as long as they used to. In fact, I haven’t even had one for more than a week. That’s an amazing turnaround considering the pain was an almost every day thing for longer than I care to remember.

The pain has lessened so much that my doctor is recommending against having my gall bladder removed.

I live by the general principle that there is a simple solution for most problems and that the worst case scenario is likely the last thing to consider.

In the case of my apparent gall bladder pain, it took more than two-and-a-half years to track it down, however the principle still seems to apply. At any rate, limiting sweeteners is a simpler solution than surgery.

I just wish that mantra always held true.

We are hardly alone, but my wife and I have lost too many friends to what is rightly called a scourge – cancer.

I found out about the latest when I took a look at Facebook this week. An old high school classmate had passed away. I found out about her death just a couple of days after I learned of the cancer death of a former co-worker.

To be honest, I barely knew either one. But they both share a connection with others whose deaths have struck closer to home.

They each touched my life in some small way.

And that’s something else I can be happy about amid the sadness and anger over the lives cancer cuts short.

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