Bad News, East & West

Our good friend S, who is married to L's cousin, just found out today that she has breast cancer. So she will be starting the MRI-chemo dance. She lives in Marin County, which has a high rate of breast cancer, but no one can figure out why. She lives cleanly, exercises, and is a very light presence. Some day someone will figure out this epidemic, if we haven't blown ourselves up before that. (For possible environmental causes, see links on the right to Breast Cancer Action and Collaborative on Health and the Environment.) In the meantime, I tell myself how lucky I am that I'm here and not trying to get treatment in a hospital in Baghdad. Of course, I wouldn't have been diagnosed yet if I were there or most other places. When I have more time and energy I'm going to find out what a person like me, but without insurance, would be going through now in my fair city. The public hospital is run by the county, and all you hear about is how long people have to wait to get treated there. And the county government is cutting its health care budget. I'll also have links to the health situation in Iraq.

4 comments:

BC said...

thank you for this. S & I are trying to create a blog, if for no other reason than to keep our loved ones updated. It is all new to us, the Cancer, the Blog, and the reality. The blog itself is intimidating, because it becomes public, and God forbid I should say something stupid. (who freakin' cares!?!) YOU are an inspiration, like it or not. You are providing strength. You are also very VERY funny. Several times I have said, I wanna be like S. (but not if I have to wear shirts with people on them)...

Thank you. THANK YOU! and L for being who you are and for sharing your wisdom and your inspiration.

Barb said...

My father died of esophageal cancer, my mother had breast cancer, my only sibling has prostate cancer and now, lung cancer. I had breast cancer. We lived in Midland, Michigan, home of the Dow Chemical Company. From the 1940s on, we breathed in chemical-scented air and played in snow turned gray by chemicals. Any connection? But then what of all the Midlanders who live into their 90s? Curious.

Writer said...

I wonder if you lived in a cancer corridor or cluster. Seems likely, even if it hasn't been documented (yet). These things are hard to count. I'm sure none of you lives there anymore, so how would a researcher find you?

Gail said...

It is true, it seems like so many people have cancer. I've had about 5 women close to me get diagnosed and go through the same sequence of surgery and chemo in the last 2 years. It's behind them all now. Their hair is growing back, they've been through reconstruction, they've weathered a very long storm. Nobody died. The only people I know who have died, they died a decade or so ago, when treatments were more like blunt force trauma. I'm so glad to know that treatments have improved. People get through this. It takes so much courage to live life.