Imagine having just retired at the age of 55. You’re proud of yourself for managing an early retirement and are living in a city that you enjoy. One day, you develop a set of what appear to be minor symptoms (ie. abdominal discomfort, a feeling of fullness, bloating, and gas). The symptoms persist. You finally decide to visit a physician. You receive abnormal chemistry/hematologic panels, and imaging is requested to identify what could potentially be causing the symptoms. You finally receive a diagnosis: terminal cancer. You try different treatment modalities, which lead to minimal or a lack of improvements. Over time, you run out of treatment options and your quality of life (QOL) begins to decrease. One a half years after your diagnosis, you become deceased.
The scenario described above happens (Please take the scenario with a grain of salt. It’s not intended to induce fear, panic, or hopelessness. If you’re worried about any symptoms you may have, visit a licensed healthcare professional.). I shared the hypothetical scenario above to emphasize how short our lives are and how important it is to not “put off” living (whatever that may mean to you – we all define QOL differently). I’ve read of similar scenarios. I finished my visit at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester) and drove to the airport. Once I arrived at the airport, I worked on a report. On this round of visits, I worked with the same colleague that I worked with at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/ Scottsdale. I learn an incredible amount from working together with her. This felt like a fruitful visit, not just for our study team, but also for my own personal development.
I really enjoyed my time in Rochester. I was last in Minnesota in 2017 when I had a site in Minneapolis. Similar to Minneapolis, Rochester has over 30 tunnels underground connecting a good portion of the downtown area. I absolutely love it! The underground tunnels are filled with dining and shopping options and minimizes the amount of time an individual spends outdoors in frigid conditions (similar to PATH in Toronto, but smaller!) I love the skyway and subway system here – it was extremely easy to navigate. Also, the midwest stays charming – people are very kind and helpful. Back to San Diego tonight. I’ll land around 10PM PST, should be to my car by 10:30PM PST, and inside of my place by 11:15PM PST. I received confirmation that I didn’t have to go to Kansas City this coming Sunday. Instead, I’ll be home in San Diego for the weekend, then flying to Bozeman, Montana on Monday. I’ll work all day Tuesday in Montana and fly back to San Diego on Tuesday night. Then, I’ll fly to Denver, Colorado on Wednesday afternoon. I’ll work all day in Denver on Thursday and fly to San Diego Thursday night. That travel life!