Aging Well in the Gorge ~ April 3rd, 2024

As we grow older we continue to gain knowledge from our growing life experiences, and wisdom from our many past lessons.

And yet there is one personal trait I feel has taken a hit: my confidence.

I’m not sure why. Maybe because in conversations with friends or at a meeting, I’m afraid I won’t remember an important event, or I didn’t hear a key point. I can still put two and two together to get four, but did I hear two and two – or was it two and three, and then my response wouldn’t make any sense? So, I keep quiet, except with my wife who reminds me of how foolish I can sound – which doesn’t help my confidence!

You may feel the same way: less confident in public, or while driving after dark, walking an uneven trail, learning a new technology.

But sometimes when your confidence is low, it is often best to put yourself out there; take a risk by trying something new. Learn to play a musical instrument, join that Tai Chi class you always wondered about, or meet that cute boy or girl at your favorite gathering spot. (Sorry. I forgot we’re not in high school!)

And the key? Take small steps – and be persistent.

Then most importantly, celebrate your successes.

There will be setbacks: a poor choice of words, a forgotten appointment, an avoidable fall but focus on what you can do: your gifts and talents, so you don’t miss any of life’s opportunities.

That’s what I keep telling myself!

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world but too often cancer goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage. The 5-year overall survival rate is 4x higher when cancer is diagnosed early before it has spread.

Today only 5 types of cancer have recommended screening tests to detect cancer early:  breast, colorectal, lung (for those at risk), cervical, and prostate; while 70% of new cancer cases and cancer-related deaths are due to cancers with no recommended screening.

But the PATHFINDER 2 Study is aiming to change that. This national clinical trial will check how well an early test called Galleri® developed by GRAIL detects more than 50 cancers with a simple blood test. The clinical trial will help determine if it will eventually be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Adventist Health Columbia Gorge and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute are participating in the PATHFINDER 2 Study and are looking for individuals to join the study. To be eligible you must be 60 – 79 years old and have had no cancer diagnosis or treatment in the last 3 years. And I’ve heard they are particularly looking for men for the study.

To participate call 541-399-9095 or email to schedule an appointment to complete a brief medical history and provide a blood sample. There will be a brief annual follow-up once a year for 3 years by phone or online. Last year, I participated in the study and found it easy and confidential.

Worrying about having cancer can feel overwhelming. Knowing there is a screening test for over 50 cancers could help you feel more in control of your health. You can help make that possible by participating in the PATHFINDER 2 Study.

Brain Tease: For me, this was a “groaner” when I saw the answer.

“Who’s bigger: Mr. Bigger, Mrs. Bigger, or their baby?”

The name of the center who led UCLA to three consecutive national championship games and in 1971 publicly changed his name after converting to Islam was Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). I received correct answers from Sam Bilyeu, Mike McFarlane, Kathy Bullack, Dennis Morgan, Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Doug Nelson, Tina Castanares, Dan Crisp, Mike Nichols, Deborah Medina, Keith Clymer, Bruce Johnson, Donna Mollet, Carol Earl, Nancy Higgins, Ken Jernstedt, and Blaine Evinger this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

Today there are approximately 9,500 active satellites in various earth orbits and small satellites (661 pounds or less – about the weight of an average vending machine) comprise 94% of all satellite launches.

For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the first artificial Earth satellite (184 pounds and 23 inches in diameter) launched on October 4th, 1957, by the Soviet Union and triggered the Space Race? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788, or send it with a 1/24 scale model of the Explorer 1 – the first satellite launched by the United States when it was sent into space on January 31, 1958.

Well, it’s been another week, wondering what’s on the other side of the page. Until we meet again, sometimes stubbornness is just another name for being determined – and then sometimes it’s not.

Answer: The baby since he’s a little Bigger

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