This past Sunday, Mother's Day, kicked off National Women's Health Week, an annual event that is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. It should serve as a wake-up call -- if you are lucky enough not to have had a health concern in your own life -- to see your primary care physician and your gynecologist and make your appointments for whatever you need to do around your own health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, followed by cancer. National Women's Health Week is a reminder for women all over the country -- no matter their age -- to take care of themselves. If we don't, who will?
Which reminds me -- is it me, or is cancer so much more prevalent these days than it was a few years ago? It seems not a month goes by anymore without me hearing about a friend or acquaintance who was recently diagnosed. Whereas five years ago, I knew a friend of a friend who was battling cancer; now I know several women who are facing this challenge in their lives. I don't like these statistics growing so quickly.
As a mother, I scheduled my children's yearly physicals, eye exams, cleanings and X-rays at the dentist like clockwork, but I have to admit, when it came to my own health, I could have been -- and even now, should be -- more diligent. We all let life get in the way and don't always make ourselves a priority -- now is the time to change this. As soon as I finish writing this, I'm calling my family doctor for a checkup. Remind your friends as well. Be a real friend and show them how much you care about them. After I make my own call, I'm calling my best friends and making sure they're on top of this.
Nothing -- nothing -- is as important as your health. As the mother of two children, and now a grandmother of six, I know that I want to be around for a long time to come!
Here are some great links for more information on National Women's Health Week and women's health in general: