Listen Up, Dummies

Posted by Uncle Jesse

I’ll admit it’s probably because I’m a Raleigh native and loyal to my hometown roots, but I’m a fan of the News and Observer. Do I see 25 straight days of disparaging school board headlines while having to hunt for a mention of the re-drawing of the state congressional districts and think, “I believe they may have an agenda”? Yes, yes I do.

But I like the N&O. I like the writers, I like the columnists, I like the sports, I like the easy crossword puzzle, I like the paper.

Yesterday I saw two relevant stories I thought I’d pass on, especially since they had a common theme: they were aimed at people like me. Dummies. Well, actually it was about two books in the _____ for Dummies series.

whoever thought up the "____ for Dummies" series is a rich man

The first was a blurb in the Business section and on their .biz blog. It was about Salix Pharmaceuticals offering a free downloadable copy of the book Colonscopy For Dummies. For those unaware, this one hits close to home as colon cancer was what took my sister Lisa from us. Did you know it’s the second leading cause of death among cancers behind lung cancer? I never would have guessed that.

I distinctly remember sitting in a hospital room with Lisa, maybe a month before she died.  She was already trying to figure out what her “cause” was going to be when she got better.

“I haven’t decided yet…am I going to be a “colon cancer research” person? Or should I make cancer screening my big cause? I’m not sure.”

I am sure that the anti-cancer/pro-screening movement lost a pretty good ally when Lisa passed. She’d have raised some freaking awareness. They’ve got buildings at St. Timothy’s and First Presbyterian to prove it.

We should probably do more as a family along these lines, but we have been pushing the screenings on the grassroots level. After I got done dragging my feet, our family is 100% screened. My uber-smart doctor sister Sallie is even busy screening our genes. I think. I don’t understand all the medical terms she throws at me.

But bottom line: get screened people. If you need a little humor to get you through someone checking out your backside, just swing by the Tanner house–it’s how we get through everything. In fact, our whole family had a really good email chain of potty jokes going leading up to Lisa getting her screening…and then we took a break from laughing for a few months after we got the results. But I do still believe humor is the best way to get through anything, and there was plenty of laughing from and around Lisa right up until the time she left us. So to repeat: GET SCREENED. You can also head to to get straight to the download, but why not visit the N&O blog post about it and give them a little traffic? Newspapers are hurting, people!

The other article was in the Life section from food writer Andrea Weigl, and it was

I only need 5 days of meals planned. Char-grill's got me covered the other two.

about a _____ for Dummies book about planning healthy meals. If you’ve read this blog for long, you know that post-Lisa we have struggled with our grocery list making and that we’ve been living in a bit of a fantasy land when it comes to making dinner because we’ve had so much outside help. So this book would be perfect for a family like us. In fact, Andrea’s giving away a free copy of the book to the person who best proves they’re in need! You can just email or send her a letter why you need the book and she’s going to pick the best one. Warning though: your email will have to be better than mine.

Here’s a link to the website of the author of the book.

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