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Steve Birdsall

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Two Men, a Hike and Maps!


I met two interesting men today, Jerry and John, who stopped by to say hi. Little did they know that they were about to get an education about prostate cancer!  We talked for quite a while about my journey, healthcare and how important early detection is. I find it interesting to learn of the various attitudes people have about getting tested. Some jump on it right away, making plans to get tested ASAP, some are adamantly opposed, figuring they’ll just deal with it when and if it happens (fear is usually behind that one) and others find oblique reasons to dodge the issue. One was all for testing and I really hope he will he follow through. While the other wasn’t opposed, he seemed so put off by the cost of healthcare ($215 for his last 15-minute visit), that I didn’t get the impression he would prioritize testing. It seems that we really need to look at our healthcare system if people are avoiding potentially life-saving tests due to cost, when early detection is a heck of a lot cheaper than treating advanced cancer.

We talked about a lot of other things, too, like places we’ve traveled or want to travel to, our careers, jobs we’ve left behind, new jobs we’ve walked into, our common faith. Jerry and I talked a lot about hunting and horses. He is the first man I have met who has first-hand experience with Billy Goat Mountain Trail in the North Cascades of Washington State and the lakes along the way. That trail is a beast! I hiked it once a long time ago. We talked about possibly doing a horseback trip in for deer hunting and fishing. That would be a lot of fun.

It turned out that John’s wife, Annette, is a map geek like me, so we pulled out the maps and poured over ideas on where to go, with encouragement from everybody to spend time in Glacier National Park. I was worried about Janie becoming kibble for a bear, but they convinced me all would be well, so we plotted a path to Flathead Lake tomorrow and then to sunny skies in Glacier National Park on Tuesday or Wednesday.


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