Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What causes cancer.......

As a breast cancer survivor I've read countless research articles and wonder of theories of what causes cancer.  Cancer is blamed on so many things, including chicken.  After all the studies I always wonder-with as much chicken consumed wouldn't there be even more people diagnosed with cancer?  As far as breast cancer the common demonator is alcohol consumption - not hormones.

Alcohol is a carcinogenic, such as tobacco.  However, of course, one may smoke or drink and never develop cancer.  With the type of cancer I was diagnosed with my oncologist instructed me to never try daily red wine consumption to reduce heart disease risk.  Preventing cancer from recurring is more important in my life.

Diet is blamed for much cancer-the thoughts of hormone injected and pesticide ridden crops.  I think back on my childhood and our foods. I wish I had learned to garden and can foods from my parents.  We raised and canned everything--pinto beans, corn, green beans, cabbage, krout, pickles, jellies and jams, canned sausage, potatoes, and on and on.  Store bought-I'd never eaten anything from a box or can until adulthood.  I'd never had mac and cheese until I was 19 and Chris made it for me. Both my father and mother's sides of the family have a history of much cancer.  Different forms of cancer which in no way could be related to just one risk.  Perhaps a reason for the cancers was the high percentage of tobacco use of their generation (Great Depression Era), perhaps it was genetic, perhaps the community in which they were raised had something in the ground, (though in my opinion not likely in the rural community with no chemical hazards. Plus I don't know if the other families had such a high incidence).  The families would be interesting to study though I bet no one could narrow down to one risk/cause factor.

What is the history of my breast cancer?  Why did I have it?  Hmmmm...lets see if we can narrow down to risks-one or more.  I was 38 when diagnosed.  Very young.  I never had a drink of alcohol until I was 30.  Following 30 I might have had five drinks per year and never any following age 38.  I never smoked.  I grew up on home grown foods throughout the 70s and 80s.  After two rounds of genetic testing I'm certain my cancer was not genetic.  I was an active person-farm chores and horse back riding seven days per week.  My diet has always been high fat.   Growing up I was very thin-at times underweight.  I did take birth control pills for a short time.  I never had children and thus never breast fed.

Who knows why I developed breast cancer.  I'll never know.  Looking back that was the hardest time of my life in many ways.  But also the best-because of developing the knowledge of how much I was loved and also seeing that yes, I am a strong person.  Everyone must be vigilant in all areas of their lives to maintain the overall health they can.  Diet, environment, exercise, etc.  As one with a high risk for reoccurring breast cancer, fat intake concerns me.  (Along with avoiding alcohol.)  One feeder of my cancer was estrogen-which is produced in fat cells among other things.  My diet should be low fat and weight controlled to reduce my risks.  Higher weight=more fat cells=increased recurrence risk.

Note: Remember before you go through genetic testing for breast cancer risk that only 5-10% of all breast cancer is genetic.  There are reasons to be tested-for example if you have breast cancer you'll need to know the ovarian cancer relation.  Just keep in mind that just because you test negative doesn't mean you will never suffer from breast cancer.  And if you test positive, before you do something drastic, think about the facts of risks of cancer.  No matter the circumstances, nothing in life can be narrowed to just one cause and effect.

Empowerment of Women? Wait....What?

Sitting watching Beyonce and Jay Z's concert on HBO I started wondering when did it become desirable to dance like a stripper?  I've missed the transition.  A gradual transition that slipped in under my radar.  Things have changed since Friday Night Videos and a-ha "Take on Me".

Beyonce has an amazing voice.  I like most of her music and listen to it often.  And Jay Z?  I like some things of his as well.  Edited.  When he says "Jump" it makes me wanna JUMP!  What I don't like?  Beyonce the performer (except for the times she is dressed while dancing.  Wow, those moves, well, it's then I wished I could dance like her.)  And Jay Z, instead of being a husband, being a voyeur enjoying millions of fans looking at his wife strutting her half dressed, stripper performance.

The couple may state they are only "performing" but what they are really doing is setting an example of an ideal relationship full of an image of happiness, love, family, money, success.  "Hey, our fans, you can have it all.  And this is how you do it."  Millions of fans, mostly young, look up to "stars" and whether those "stars" admit it or not they ARE influencing the lives and decisions made by those who want to be like them.  And those stars (yes, Mylie, or however you spell the name, and Brittany and so many others) include not just the movie and music industry but also teachers and preachers and politicians.  All of them can fall.  And do at times.  However, the whole of their life should be lived with the knowledge they are being watched by eyes who look up to them.  Those people should live to a high standard.  And remember it day after day while those eyes are looking at them some hoping they succeed while others, out of jealousy, are hoping they fail.

"Reach for the Stars".  Isn't that what most hear throughout childhood.  And today things of the world are what many grow by.  Instead of close family ties and church ties and community ties, in today's  family and community structure youth and young adults develop a moral code often from what they hear and see on TV or on the radio or on Facebook and Twitter.

"Stars" who refuse to take responsibility for this (yes Robin Thicke and, well, the others) are so far removed from the realities of today's world because their own moral codes have become corrupted by the same things.  Hey PitBull, love ya too.  But dad gum you must hate women to disrespect them so.  Where's your momma at?  Would you want her to be subjected in such a way?

Beyonce has been called a role model for young women.  A role model?  A woman to emulate because of her ability to advance empowerment for women.  Huh??  Wait.  What?  Isn't she setting it back????  I wouldn't want my nieces to dance like her on stage.

I don't know a whole lot about the feminist movement other than what I learned in college. And though I really don't agree with the modern feminist movement, I do know enough that the founders of feminism worked for some great things.  One of those things was moving women away from having to use their bodies to advance their place in life.  That believing their only true worth came from their bodies by either bearing children or working to bear children and pleasing men.

Feminist wanted women to think for themselves.  Work.  Not to depend on anyone but themselves. To  have self esteem.  To be able to make it on their own-do it on their own. To not accept anything less than what men were privileged to take a part in such as voting, work place safety and stability.  Helping women free themselves of the belief that a violent relationship was sometimes a part of a healthy marriage.  Pushing for women to be allowed to attend college and become doctors, lawyers but in the pure sense not separate gender from the part that women and men are different in many ways.  The blessing of motherhood being one of those.

Now, performers such as Beyonce have corrupted all that women have worked for.  Is this setting back the progress women have worked so hard for?  What do young women want to be like when they "grow up"?  What do they feel they must do to achieve their dreams?  Use their bodies to get what they want?

Beyonce.  A role model for young women?  Furthering the cause of empowering women?  I don't think so.  Powerful women don't have to dance like a stripper for money.  Unless your like her and other women in the music industry.  When they act like that, well, when they act like that, in a way they are high price strippers.  For what's different than the performance they give?  Money changes hands to watch what's honestly not more that a peep show.

Sorry Beyonce.  I love your voice.  I don't love your performance.  And Jay Z.  I did gain an ounce of respect for you because you didn't hit Beyonce's sister in that elevator.  But the way you like the way your wife makes a dime kinda cancels that out.

There are no children in my home.  If there were there would be no discouragement from me of them listening to Beyonce and Jay Z music.  However, there would be limits on watching performances and long talks about what those performances really mean.  Women shouldn't use their bodies to achieve success.  And men should not subject women to degrading situations in order for them to do so.

Maybe I'm just a prude.  Been called that.  And that's okay.  I'd rather live as a prude, and though I'll unfortunately fall sometimes, I'll claw back up and continue to work hard so as to have my Heavenly Father look upon me someday and say "Well done........"

But hey guys, while I'm picking on you, why don't you stay out of Cuba too......