Just a wife and mother, whose young, strong, beautiful husband has been in the cancer ward for more than a week. And while we're in a holding pattern, waiting for A to recover from the gall bladder surgery, I thought I would say a word about lymphoma.
I admit upfront that I know very little about lymphoma, but what I have learned is that non-Hodgkins lymphomas are environmental cancers, not genetic. Rates of lymphomas have doubled since the 70's, and have been strongly linked to pesticides, insecticides, and other industrial waste chemicals (google lymphoma and pesticides). Lymphomas are increasing in rural, agricultural areas, such as the beautiful Hudson Valley, where we live --(ironic, since one of the reasons we moved here was to escape city pollution). It's really difficult to pinpoint specific causes, and Andrew and I know that we will never know exactly what caused his lymphoma.
We were talking with his brother Jeff yesterday about this. Although it seems like a modern problem, man has unknowingly poisoned himself for centuries; ancient Romans unknowingly poisoned themselves with lead, the Victorians unknowingly poisoned themselves with arsenic. In 100 years, maybe people will be shocked that we willingly sprayed dangerous chemicals on our lawns and golf courses to get rid of weeds, in our houses to get rid of termites or ants, and on our crops. These chemicals seep into our drinking water, float on the air, and cling to our skin. Even if you don't spray your own lawn or trees (which we don't), if it happens in your neighborhood you are still at risk. Heavy pesticide use in farming gets into the water supply. It sort of feels like we are helpless against it. We want to protect our kids, but protect them from which thing exactly, and how? So we're not going to beat our heads against the wall, but it makes me sad and frustrated nonetheless.
Human beings get sick, it's part of the deal in life. But young, healthy 40-somethings should not be struck down like this. I'm just so grateful for the miracles of modern medicine that are going to save my husband's life!