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GETTING BACK TO NORMAL

By Virginia “Ginya” Carnahan, APR.CPRC, Director of Marketing & Development,
Dattoli Cancer Center & Brachytherapy Research Institute

After the beating we took from what I call “Nasty Aunt Irma,” it may seem that nothing will ever be “normal” again.

Will you ever take electric power for granted again? Air conditioning, TV, Internet? All seem to be as essential to “normal” life as breathing. But they aren’t. Just breathing isn’t enough either. We all need sustenance, water and shelter. And we need each other.

Times of crisis bring out the best and worst in us. One can easily get angry observing price gouging, looting, hording and other negative actions. A middle school teacher in Sarasota has reported that when her school building was opened for a public shelter, nearly all the books she had personally collected in her classroom for her students’ use were stolen by those who sought shelter there. Why?

On the other hand, Facebook posted a photo of a long line of women waiting to take home laundry from out of state linemen here to help restore power lines. Why?

Why will one person act out of greed and another out of compassion? I don’t know the answer. But my hope is that people will learn from this experience for next time. There will surely be a next time.

The biggest lesson we can learn is fairly simple – be prepared. Every year the media alerts us at the start of Hurricane Season to get prepared. This basic preparation includes:

• Have a plan and communicate it with your family – will you stay or will you go? Where will you go?
• Have a “to go” kit packed and ready. It should contain important papers (insurance policies, passports, birth certificates, bank information, etc.)
• Keep at least one week supply of any prescription medications on hand to take with you if/when you leave. (Don’t wait until the last day to refill your prescriptions!) Also pack a spare toothbrush and deodorant.
• Have a change of clothes, including shoes and several pair of socks.
• Remember your pets. Do you have food, cages/
crates necessary to evacuate them? They are your responsibility for life, you know.
• Never let your car get less than ½ full of gasoline. (Remember those lines?)
• Keep at least $100 in cash on hand, if possible. (How long was your bank closed?)
• Stock a supply of non-perishable foods, canned goods and water – How many times are we told this?
• Flashlights and batteries – check them every month!
• Window protection. Don’t wait until a storm is imminent before trying to purchase plywood! Buy and cut to size prior to a storm. Store someplace easy to access. Make sure you have the necessary nails, etc. to attach the boards.
• Take a photo inventory of your home and all your belongings. (Might do this annually on each New Year’s Day.) Save these on a thumb drive or disk and keep it with your important papers. These will be invaluable if you have to file an insurance claim!

This is all common sense, people! Do it. If we learn anything from Irma, this is it. If you can’t afford it all at once, start somewhere and add to it as you can. This is important. Get prepared. Be safe. Just do it. Don’t count on someone else to do it for you. Take responsibility.

On the subject of being safe – Irma’s timing caused us to postpone the annual FREE prostate cancer screening event we had planned on September 9. I am happy to say it has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2017 – from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm at Dattoli Cancer Center, 2803 Fruitville Road – Sarasota.

Studies tell us that 1 in every 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Studies also tell us that the earlier prostate cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance is of defeating the disease. That is why the not-for-profit Dattoli Cancer Foundation provides and promotes these annual free screening events.

Screening for prostate cancer includes two tests: The PSA blood test (prostatic specific antigen)

and the DRE physical exam (digital rectal exam). The PSA requires one small tube of blood. This will be analyzed in the Dattoli Cancer Center lab. Participants do not have to fast before getting this blood test.

The DRE exam involves the physician inserting a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the size, density and surface of the prostate gland. While mildly unpleasant, this exam is critical to a full screening and only lasts a few seconds. We say “don’t fear the finger – fear the cancer!”

Results of the screening will be mailed to the participants within 10 days. Any abnormalities will be noted and the participant will be encouraged to take the results to his private physician for follow-up. If you have questions, call me – call me before the event! 941-365-5599 (I will not be able to answer the day of the event!)

In conclusion, I hope that you are regaining some sense of normalcy. I hope that your losses were minor and you only lost “things,” not people or pets. I hope that your neighbors and friends are now more important to you than before and that you feel strength for having survived the storm. If you continue to feel fear and cannot sleep, please seek help in dealing with these feelings. They could paralyze you in the face of another life challenge.

Remember to tell those you hold dear that you love them. Tell them every day. Peace.

FREE PROSTATE CANCER
SCREENING EVENT
Saturday,October 14, 2017

10 am – 2 pm
Dattoli Cancer Center
2803 Fruitville Road, Sarasota
Screening includes simple blood test and a physician digital rectal exam.
Results will be mailed.
No appointments – just show up!
No need to fast before exam.
Info BEFORE event: 941-365-5599

1-877-DATTOLI | www.dattoli.com

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