RonHolzwarth (Ron Holzwarth)

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Editorial: Training support

It seems to me that this article would be much more informative if some information was given about exactly what type of training Peaslee Center will be giving its students. The only statement about that is the students will be trained in skills "needed by both existing and prospective businesses in the county."

That could be anything! Car salesmen, farmers, and physicians, maybe?

March 24, 2015 at 5:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Early detection and screening can stop colorectal cancer before it starts

This is another comment I made that same day, with a small editing change:

My father had a colonoscopy pretty much on a whim in 2007, and it was discovered that he had colon cancer, and it was in stage 4, that is, the cancer had spread all over his body already. So, he went into surgery immediately, and had something like 11 inches, a large amount, of his cancerous colon removed. Then came the bad news, they hadn't been able to remove it all.

He handled the chemotherapy (chemo) and surgery very well, and was cancer free for a little while, and then there were problems with cancerous tumors appearing twice in his liver, and once in one of his kidneys. I think that was all, but I could be wrong. Twice they were treated with surgical methods, but the second tumor in his liver could not be removed because there wouldn't be enough of his liver left afterwards. That one was successfully treated with harsher chemo.

He has very expensive CAT and PET scans regularly, and of course he's been taking chemo intravenously every three weeks, and sometimes once a week, for all these years.

It was fortunate that he had an excellent health insurance policy from Blue Cross & Blue Shield, and I think Medicaid also covered part of the cost. I have no idea what the total cost of his treatment so far has been, and it increases every three weeks with each chemo treatment, but I can assure you that if you took the total cost and subtracted $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) from it, you would have a whole lot of money left. Possibly well over $1,000,000, but I really don't know, no one ever informed me of any of the costs. I extrapolated that amount from the cost of a very good friend's somewhat similar breast cancer treatment. Almost all of it was covered by the health insurance premiums of people that did not develop cancer. So a large number of people indirectly paid for part of it.

A colonoscopy performed at the polyp stage would have prevented all that expense, trouble, and worry. I wonder how much that 20 or so minute procedure would have cost.

It was certainly a warning for me. Now there have been colon cancer cases on both sides of my family, and I've been informed that current medical opinion is that one of the causative factors is genetic, that is, inherited.

It cannot be stressed enough that everyone should have a regular colonoscopy performed at least every 5 years after the age of 50. Or possibly every 10 years, you will need to discuss that with your physician, because there are some factors that need to be evaluated before a 10 year interval can be considered to be safe.

March 24, 2015 at 5:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Early detection and screening can stop colorectal cancer before it starts

This is a reposting of a comment I made on this site on January 14, 2014:

This is for anyone that has never had a colonoscopy, and is hesitating to have it done because of terrors or fears about what it will be like to have the procedure performed. It is true that it sounds like having it done will be terrible. There is a name for the terrors and fears that you might have: Phobias.

First off, everyone agrees that the very worst part of the procedure is the preparation for it. You will do that in the privacy of your home, and it involves drinking a whole lot of liquids. It is a fact that if you have trouble drinking water or other liquid beverages, the preparation for it will be horrible. You will need to stay at home, and follow the directions that you will be given. They are not complicated.

Then, about 24 hours after you've been on a liquid diet, you go to the hospital to have it done. There is absolutely no need to be embarrassed at all in front of the professional people that will see you in private, you are no different and you look no different than the last 300 people that they have helped go through the procedure.

They will be very casual and helpful about it because of this: This is no big deal, and if you are worried, guess what, they have worked with probably 100 people that had the exact same fears that you might have. If you have any questions, they will answer them for you in a very polite and informative manner.

You will need to lie down on a hospital bed, and a needle will be inserted into your arm. Then you will be carefully administered a painkiller or two of some sort, and all your cares and worries will drift away. That part of it is very nice, why don't you go get one done just for that.

Then the doctor sees you, and he or she might ask a few questions. But, your answers will not be expected to be very exact, because by then you're somewhat in Dreamland.

I was told that it took 20 minutes to be performed, but that didn't sound right at all to me, I could have sworn that it took between 10 and 20 seconds at the very most. The first time the doctor had just gotten started, and then it was announced that it was done. That's what Dreamland does to you.

Then, you get dressed and go home. But you can't drive, because you're still somewhat confused by the sedative. Then, you're going to be really hungry, so plan to eat some foods you really like.

It's over.

March 24, 2015 at 5:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

New plan to control mental health drugs advances in Kansas

"It also creates an advisory committee to draft guidelines on prescriptions for the needy and disabled covered by the program."

The success or failure of the whole program depends on the advisory committee. It will need to be made up of psychiatrists that have clinical experience, not general practitioners or bureaucrats that are thinking only of cost.

March 23, 2015 at 9:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Westar Energy will return $38 million to customers

To tell the truth, $1.26 is not very much compared with the amount of my electric bill. <br>
But I do appreciate the thought.

March 23, 2015 at 8:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County delegation to travel to San Antonio to look at ways to reduce jail time for mentally ill

"Have you ever noticed that the people who need mental health services the most, are the ones who say there is nothing wrong?"

Ms. Hoyt-Reed, I think that's quite a bit of a stretch. I doubt very much that you could name 5 examples of individuals that have made that claim.

This could be largely my opinion, but I think that most people who need mental health services know something is wrong, but in many cases they're not sure exactly what it is.

March 23, 2015 at 8:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County delegation to travel to San Antonio to look at ways to reduce jail time for mentally ill

From the article: <br>
“We know the economics of providing good mental health care are much more efficient than the costs of incarceration.”

And, reducing the incidence of childhood trauma is a goal of the project.

So, since they're trying to save the taxpayer's money and also reduce childhood trauma, I'm OK with the taxpayers financing the trip. I hope it's effective.

March 23, 2015 at 8:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Smoking age

"raise the minimum legal age to buy tobacco to 21."

That will work for sure, and I know that from the example of the use of illicit drugs. Since they're illegal, no one ever uses them.

There's another way to look at it. Since we have almost no crime here in Lawrence, we need to find something for our police officers to do. They can chase kids with cigarettes. I'm sure that will keep them busy.

March 22, 2015 at 8:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: U.S., Israel facing turbulent times

Years ago Mary O'Hara wrote a very fine trilogy of novels, 'My Friend Flicka', 'Thunderhead', and 'Green Grass of Wyoming'. They were all very successful, in large part due to their succinct statements about the human condition and human nature.

From 'Thunderhead', one statement went something like this: "If you want to know what the future will hold, consider the past and extend it."

If that's accurate, and I think it is, nothing is likely to change in the foreseeable future.

March 22, 2015 at 8:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

100 years ago: Over officers' objections, judge clears man of gambling charges

"He has not been drunk for about three weeks and this is a remarkable record for him." <br>
- Judge Albach, in 1915

That would be a remarkable record for me too.

March 20, 2015 at 2:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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