Father's Day is a great day to remember, spend time with, and honor the men in our lives who have helped shape the person we have become. For me, this also includes the men in my life who supported me while I was facing breast cancer and related procedures. For others, this might be our partners, husbands, lovers, sons, neighbors or male coworkers. Anyone supportive may be worth honoring, but could we also use this day to do a little more in the area of prevention?
In my life, I feel especially fortunate to have both my father and step-father who are still alive and well. Both walked me down the aisle when I was married, and both have been touched by cancer. My father had his own scare with cancer several years ago and fortunately found a tumor to be benign, but in 2015, my step-father was diagnosed with a rare stomach cancer. Cancer has touched the lives of many I love and have cared for. My paternal grandfather, who proudly immigrated from Poland and made a life for his family, in America passed from cancer while I was still in grade school. Only a couple of years later, I lost my maternal grandfather to cancer.
I personally plan to use Father's Day to remind myself of the values both sides of my family have established and passed forward to future generations. But, I also find it to be a good day to remind male family members to have gratitude for any degree of health that they can maintain thanks to medical advancements and living a healthy lifestyle. For some, genetics play a part in monitoring health and wellness. Genetic testing can be a step in the right direction. Maybe Father’s Day is also a good day to remind and encourage the men we care for to have those important checkups, as part of letting them know how much we appreciate having them around. Would you feel comfortable suggesting or asking if they have scheduled appointments for important screenings and then holding them accountable to make sure they follow up? If you're not asking them, then who is?
Beyond the seriousness, have fun, enjoy time and share a little story with the person you care about.