Thursday, August 1, 2013

A cautionary tale

To everyone out in cyberspace this is important for you to know and yes, it is a soapbox rant but very important. I sell custom fit bras for a bit of income. The lack of knowledge out in the world among not only our young adults but and women of all ages. Yes men get breast cancer too and often theirs is not diagnosed until very late in the disease and it has spread. A couple years ago while doing a bra fitting for a beautiful young woman in Oklahoma she asked if I knew what "this is.." This turned out to be a walnut sized lump in 1 breast and a second, smaller lump was found in the other breast that had spread to her ovaries as well. I hate when a woman who does not know how to do a BSE and we find the large lump when fitting the bra. Finding a lump during a bra fitting is frightening just because we have so little knowledge of what it is. The young woman's breast cancer had spread and she also had ovarian cancer. I also have ladies share that the special man in their life has a lump on "his parts" and won't get it checked. Also a very scary situation. I held the hand of a young woman in Oklahoma for college from Botswana as she awoke from getting a double radical mastectomy and oophorectomy/hysterectomy and at just 25. Her brother pulled me aside (she had not told him but her roommate had told him where she was when she did not return his call) and asked why she had surgery. Talk about a difficult conversation! She chose the massive surgeries as when she went home there would be almost no access to follow up medical care. She wanted to teach so the members of her village could move forward with education and help to move her country into the 21st century away from subsistence farming on lands that had been treated with herbicides by the powers that be to kill the native foods for the goats and people. Her brother was just 21...I remember the pain on his face as I told him--as gently as I could I had to tell him what his sister had just gone thru. She had not told me her brother was also in Oklahoma studying in hopes of becoming a physician. He then asked me if I knew what a lump on "his guy parts" meant. (Yes even a guy studying to be a medical doctor was not comfortable asking about 'his parts'. No I didn't ask to see the lump nor touch it--I'm not a doctor. I did refer him to a doctor and yes he had testicular cancer. Their family had lost 10 of the generation between 20-35 out of 15 who had made it to at least 20 years. The doctor traced it back to the herbicides used in Botswana and the incidence of cancer in the specific area is almost 75%. This is just a horrible incidence of presumably unintended genocide by the powers that be wanting the people to take up farming instead of traditional susbistence farming. This rant is not about herbicides...I do that on other posts...this is just about the incidence of cancer and a horrible lack of knowledge of our own bodies. Men as well as women develop breast cancer and should check themselves. Men develop testicular cancers early and later. We need to become more comfortable with our bodies so we can combat this insidious disease. Cancer of all kinds has been linked to pesticide abuse. Yes in the USA we have the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) but most people do not read the label to make sure they are using the chemicals correctly. Doug, my dear hubby, a forester has gone out on way more 'sick tree calls' than he cares to enumerate only to find the person has killed his own trees by putting a common fertilizer/weed controller on at as much at 25 times the amount recommended and right up to the tree trunks. The directions tell you how much to use and not to use within 100 feet of a tree, ornamental bush, flower or vegetable garden. When he would get home from those calls. He would immediately put his clothing in the washer for a tripple wash cycle and get a shower. We had to wash his shoe soles too. Yes I have asthma caused by herbicide spray when I had a mild oversxposure while working on a TSI (Timber Stand Improvement) project in the mid 1970's. Before the knowledge of how bad it can be and now professionals use respirators and protective clothing when working with them--a leftover from the packaging of the 1960's before more knowledge of the dangers. I can not go in areas of stores due to the herbicides stored there. Some laundry products cause cross reactions and my breathing requires medications to make it possible to continue living. Please be aware that the incidence of mammary cancers in female dogs and penile cancers in male dogs are both 99% linked to herbicide use in the lawn they play on sometimes while the chemicals are being spread! It says to keep people and pets off for 3 to 14 days after application! Gentle readers please read the labels and follow the instructions for your safety and the safety of your beloved family, friends, and all companion animals. Peace, Cyn