Things have been more than a little quiet here. Activity came to a complete stop over the last several months. But if there were ever a day for me to end the silence, that day is today. I am a member of the Green Moms Carnival, and today’s carnival is about something that hit entirely too close to home for me recently: cancer.
I still don’t like to use that word. In fact, I almost never say it. I don’t believe my daughter has ever said it, and she’s probably heard it only once or twice when doctors and nurses have slipped and said it. In case I have you completely confused, let me reveal something that I wrote about a while back over at Green Your Decor. In January, my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. I’m not a fan of telling the story over and over, but if you want to know all the details, feel free to read the post over at GYD.
Today, I’m writing less about the details and more about what I don’t know. What I’d love to know. Simply put, why?
Not necessarily why in the “Why my daughter?!” type of sense, but why leukemia in the first place. The doctors have told us over and over that they don’t know what causes the disease, and also that there is nothing we could have done to cause or prevent it. But that begs the question: If you don’t know what causes it, how can you be so certain that it couldn’t have been prevented?
I have been obsessed with all thing green for a while now, clamoring for more and more information about the chemicals that we put in and on our bodies every day and going leaps and bounds to try to avoid them when I can. So my daughter’s diagnosis hit my family like a sledgehammer. It is no secret that some cancers have environmental links. It’s the reason we avoid lead and asbestos and the reason that some people who do certain high-risk jobs with lots of chemical exposure wind up with forms of the disease that others do not. But clearly, my daughter is in a household where we take exposure to these types of things seriously. So what could we have done differently?
Even if we’re never able to determine the cause of leukemia, I know this: I will do everything in my power to make sure that she, nor anyone else in my family, ever has to suffer from a disease that could be prevented simply by changing the way we live. It’s easy to make excuses about why we can’t change, banking on the idea that we don’t really “know”, scientifically, that some chemicals and products are bad for us. Preying on people’s skepticism about whether “green” is just another ploy to charge more money for stuff. I, however, won’t wait until everyone else decides it is time to change. I figure the only way to protect myself and my family is to make the change on my own, hoping to be an example to others who want to do the same. And hoping that if enough of us do this, the rest of the world will eventually catch on.
Because if the doctors had told us my daughter’s diagnosis was the result of some environmental factor we easily could have avoided, I’m honestly not sure how I would have reacted…