Celebrating life despite effing cancer

Tonight I missed a celebration of a young man’s life from our community, Callum.  He died this week from a form of pediatric cancer.  I cannot begin to explain the devastation, the pain of losing someone way too early, unless you’ve been through it before.  A life full of potential.  His mom, Nancy, is one of the bravest women I have ever met.  It’s been absolutely tragic.

I spent time with my 12 year old friend, Meg, tonight instead of going to Callum’s memorial.   It was a rare opportunity and I chose to jump at.  Meg’s mom was my very close friend.  She died 7 years ago this month of breast cancer and it’s taken me a long time to get over her loss.    Susan was the age that my birth mother was when she also died of breast cancer. sadly.  They are both my angels. Both, I feel, were angels when I knew them… beautiful souls.  So is Meg.

Meg and I went shopping, got her ears pierced, saw a movie and bought gorgeous things at Value Village.  Some serious “girl time” was in order.  I have two boys and spending time with a pre-teen, beautiful young lady is FUN!  We have dinner almost every week but it’s always with a big gang of people so, alone time is precious!

I stopped and talked to talk our friend Josh when I was picking up Meg.  His big smile and bald head both shone as he waited for his mom.  Josh and my son have been friends since grade one and they are in grade 8 now.  He was diagnosed with brain cancer this past September but is doing well.   Again… I can’t explain how extremely painful has been watching Josh and his family go through his cancer diagnosis and treatment.

So, despite effing cancer around me since I’ve been living on PEI, I’m still celebrating life and trying to live it to it’s fullest. Despite effing cancer being rampant.

12 Ways I Avoid Effing Cancer:

1. I eat very little meat.  I’d rather have a veggie burger, as an example (the Big Orange Lunch Box in Charlottetown has an awesome veggie burger in case you’re wondering).

2. I filter my water.

3. I try to avoid sugar and have stevia, a natural sweetener, in my coffee.

4. I try to meditate.  Not as much as I’d like to, but I do.

5. I love yoga and try to practice on a regular basis.

6. I do what I love, work-wise.

7. I have healthy relationships with family and friends.

8. I take vitamin d because I don’t get enough sun in the winter.

9. I take a lot of vitamins and supplements.

10. I keep my hormones in check and pay attention to my health.

11. I take Omega 3 fish oil every day.

12. I try and avoid harsh cleaning detergents and chemicals.

Now, despite a fairly healthy lifestyle and clean living (I was called square by my intoxicated friend the other night), I could be struck down by effing cancer tomorrow so I don’t do all of the above things to try to extend my life. It’s more so to feel good now… which I do the majority of the time, with the exception of a chronically sore lower back from being a computer geek for too long 🙂

But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t believe that the risk of getting effing cancer is high on PEI.  It scares me to death and I wish it would change.





Who can you trust?

Not Johnson and Johnson despite the fact that my doctor recommended their baby shampoo to wash my eyes for a condition I have.  It was a bit of a tipping point for me, finding out a short time later that Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo was going through litigation after a class action lawsuit claiming that one of the ingredients in the shampoo is carcinogenic.

Furthermore, the company which has been one of the most trusted healthcare companies in the world for decades, has been caught up in a lot more than just the baby shampoo litigation according to USA today:

As J&J’s profits last year swelled to a record $13 billion, the company has been found liable or reached settlements totaling $751 million in taxpayer health care fraud claims; paid $70 million to settle foreign bribery charges; been sued by consumers who say J&J’s hip replacement devices failed inside their bodies; and seen the shutdown of a major plant that produces Tylenol and other best-selling pain relievers because it failed to meet federal safety standards.

And that was just for the last two years.

The company also faces the prospect of paying millions or more to settle outstanding government fraud claims stemming from what the government says is J&J’s questionable marketing of at least one brand-name drug.

It really made me think about the products that my family and I are using.  Chemicals, possibly carcinogenic, are all throughout my house and I’m supposedly fairly “green”.  I looked at the “green” bathroom cleaner, Clorox green works, under my sink and found this article:

CLOROX Green Works Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
“Hazardous ingredients” listed by manufacturer: Like Ecover, it contains corn-based ethyl alcohol and a coconut-based cleaning agent called alkyl polyglucoside, a “non-ionic surfactant.” (Read the non-hazardous ingredients here.)

Observations: “They seem to be going down the right path,” says TURI’s Marshall. Ethyl alcohol is what people drink. “Is it without harm? No, because if you drink too much of it, things can go wrong,” Marshall says, but of course people don’t drink cleaners. Note: The Sierra Club logo on the label doesn’t mean the group endorses the product; it just means the manufacturer supports the Sierra Club. Also, the “Design for the Environment” logo shows the product is part of that program, but the program isn’t as exacting, green-wise, as the preferable Green Seal, which tests products to ensure they work and are green. A complaint we heard from a representative of Women’s Voices for the Earth is that this shows Clorox knows how to make a green product, so why doesn’t it make all Clorox products green?

So, bottom line for me is that I’m going to do what I can to make better decisions when it come so chemicals and my family.  Less is more.