Preventing illness gets plenty of press. The idea of preparing for it? Not so much.
Hernandez-Aldama was a fitness-loving health reporter when diagnosed with leukemia in 2014. Her prognosis was improved because her high level of fitness helped her body handle the chemotherapy.
Wanting to help others, she created ArmorUp for Life, "a nonprofit with a mission to encourage people to eat well, exercise and improve their work-life balance so their bodies and minds are better able to face future health challenges."
Taking advantage of measures to prevent illness (such as colon cancer screening to detect and remove PRE-cancerous polyps) is life-enhancing. Preparing for illness complements prevention.
Will preparing for a health challenge make you feel doomed? Probably not. During my remissions, I tried to get in shape, hoping I'd never need treatment again but knowing I probably would. Paradoxically, by making me more confident about handling future treatment, fitness as preparedness calmed my fear of recurrence. And when I didn't recur, I just felt better.
Life is uncertain. Nobody is immune from diseases, injuries or, if fortunate enough to grow old, age-related health issues. Preparing for future health challenges...
- improves your quality of life today
- helps prevent or delay certain health challenges that you are destined to experience
- means your body can better handle any illness, injury and interventions needed to heal.
The side story here is that Hernandez-Aldama's efforts to help others helped her through her bone marrow transplant and the accompanying depression and PTSD. In the pursuit of Healthy Survivorship, helping others may help you.