Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fuck Cancer

It's been a while since I've posted to my blog...but I'm sitting down to write this morning because of the topic of cancer and a new resource that I stumbled across that people should be aware of, and use.  And I stress the word "use".

"90% of cancers are curable if caught in stage one".  I did not know that.  There's also a lot more that I didn't know about cancer on the website called "Fuck Cancer" located at this link of  Excuse their language, but it does get attention, right?  :)

I think it's a pretty safe statement to say that almost everyone knows someone who's been affected by cancer.  The sheer number of varieties of cancer make that somewhat inevitable.  Father, mother, sister, brother, friend....  It doesn't matter who it affects, once it happens it opens up a lot of questions and dialog that many people don't think about in the normal course of life.

The mission of the Fuck Cancer website is to change that.  Go there.  Read about it.  Their goal is to have a blunt and open dialog about cancer to discuss the kinds of things that you won't read about on pure medical websites like WebMD.  It offers the information from many different perspectives:  education, prevention, emotional, patient, caregiver, community.  Great stuff!

One of the things that I've learned within the past ten years or so that really struck me even before I saw this website is that the chances of getting many types of cancer can be significantly reduced by lifestyle changes.

This is entirely within every person's ability to do.  All it takes to get started on this path of prevention is willpower and the desire to live a long and healthy life.  This is not to say that you won't some day get whacked out of left field with a terrible form of cancer anyway, but there are many obvious things that you can do to improve your odds...right exercising more, cutting out smoking, cutting down on drinking, reducing stress, etc.  But there's also much more than that....

How about knocking the constant influx of crappy food out of your life?  Have you ever read the ingredients to something as simple as the croutons that you shake on your salad?  Yikes!  Have you heard all of the news about genetically modified seeds and crops and how horrible they are for you (go to and search for news on "Monsanto" to read about that gem of a topic)?  Have you switched to organic milk so that you're not feeding your family unnecessary antibiotics and growth hormones every day?  Soda?'s nothing else other than chemicals and acids.  How about your laundry detergent....which over the years has been filled with many wacky new "more effective" cleaning chemicals.  Guess what....that stuff stays in your clothes if it's not rinsed out well and then it touches and absorbs into your skin all day when you wear those clothes.  The list goes on and on....

Do you think these things don't affect your health?  If so, you're kidding yourself.  The human body and immune system certainly weren't designed to be pounded all day, every day, with chemicals that you can't even pronounce the names of.  55% of all Americans are allergic to at least one thing.  Does that sound strange to you?  It does to me....and I totally believe that all this crap that gets piled into us over decades has broken down the ability of the body to cope with many simple allergens.

I firmly believe in "everything in moderation" for success in many areas of life in general, but what happens over time is that all of the things above sneak into your life and guess're no longer living a life of moderation, instead you're living a life that has chemicals in it at every turn.  Some people don't care about this, but a lot of people do.  Leading a more sensible life with less garbage in it doesn't turn you into a right-wing chemical hater.  It's just common sense to be aware and take better care of yourself....

But I digress off the main topic a bit....

The Fuck Cancer website is a valuable resource that offers up its information from a variety of angles that anybody can latch on to in order to satisfy their needs.  Even if you don't know someone with cancer, check out the 'Get Educated' section so that you can learn how to monitor yourself and take simple preventative measures to lead a healthier life.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rising: Looking forward from 9/11

Above is a time-lapse video showing the construction of the Freedom Tower.  It's definitely worth a few minutes to watch how far the building and site have come.  Very cool!

For the 9/11 anniversary, my daughter is doing something in school where they pick a person to interview about 9/11 and ask some questions about what you were doing that day, the emotions you felt, how you feel about it all these years later, etc.  I had my experiences from that day that I originally wrote about in a blog post at this link back in 2010.

She wasn't born yet when 9/11 occurred and something struck me about the fact that she's learning the history of an event that I lived right through....that we all lived right through.  Thinking about 9/11 as a history class topic just strikes me as strange for some reason.  I don't think about it has "history" yet, it's still all so new.

I had to pause when she asked me some of the questions, specifically one where she asked how I felt about it twelve years later.  I didn't really know how to answer that.  Not much has changed.  I'm still shocked, angry, sad, and left wishing that people could find a way to get past differences large and small.  I see and hear people every day getting stuck on things that are so trivial in the bigger scope of life that it really makes me wonder what we're all doing sometimes.

But anyway....

I saw a show on the Discovery Channel last night called "Rising:  The Rebuilding of Ground Zero".  It was very well done and I recommend trying to catch a repeat of it if you can.  It walks through the building of the Freedom Tower, the Fountain Memorial and the Museum that all currently sit on the Ground Zero site. All components of the site are due to be completed in early 2014.

It's impossible to watch this show with a dry eye, especially when they interview the plumbing foreman responsible for all the piping and pumps that will move the water up, over and into the Fountain Memorial.  His mother died in 9/11 and he very much feels that he's building the fountain for her since he never got to say goodbye.  Very touching....the raw emotion is palpable.  I can't even comprehend it.

But the show did not dwell on the feelings of sadness so much as it painted an optimistic picture of looking forward, and of transforming that space into a beautiful memorial park where everyone can go to sit, learn, absorb, and take a deep breath to think about the enormity of it all.  And dare I say that maybe people will also think about themselves a bit as well, to reflect on what's important to them in life and how we can all make things a little bit better if we try.  Although it will be emotional going there for sure, I can't wait to see it.  It will be stunning, in a good way.

So on this 9/11 anniversary, I'm not filled with all of the negative images from that day.  Instead, I'm filled with the positive and forward looking images from that show that I saw last night....and the comments of the family members who were interviewed that were crushed by loss and are looking to the rebuilt site and memorial as a way to not only reflect and remember, but to very much move forward in a positive way as well.

Out of darkness sometimes comes a light.....and maybe the rebuilt site and memorial are just the light that we all need.