On an Aspect of Health

This story started early last November (2011) as we were at our first handbell rehearsal after returning from cruising the southern Caribbean. We only missed one rehearsal, but it still good to see our handbell friends. At the end of the rehearsal, my wife and one other choir member convinced our dear friend that she needed to get return to the doctor to tell them that whatever they gave her was not working.

By the end of the week, our friend and her husband went to the hospital for routine x-rays. Doctors admitted her and eventually diagnosed her with lung cancer. She never smoked and never had any other cancer. We never saw her again as she died three weeks later at age 56. Her passing was difficult for us, and some of you may remember I shared my feelings along this journey – and eventually dedicated this post to her.

This past February I celebrated my 59th birthday – thus I am now older than my mother who passed away one month short of 59. Yes, it was cancer. She smoked for many years, but after a breast cancer diagnosis and a radical mastectomy, she stopped smoking – but in the end, liver cancer shortened her life. I spoke at her funeral, thus recounted that journey in a three-part post starting here (for anyone interested).

Also in early November, a handbell player unexpectedly left the choir because of her out-of-town mother’s health issues. Recently, and out-of-the-blue, doctors diagnosed our former handbell player with lung cancer. That news is relatively new, so we don’t know about her prognosis. Nonetheless, many are shocked.

I find it interesting that we hear so much about breast cancer, yet my wife recently heard that more women die of lung cancer than breast cancer. With the recent news and because I wanted verification, I found this graph from the American Cancer Society. (The full report)

Because the Dancing with the Stars is what got us interested in taking ballroom dance classes, it’s no surprise that we regularly watch the show. We love the waltz, and this one by professionals Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts (a married couple) is wonderful; however, as the video shows, there is more to the story. As I end this post linking handbells, ballroom dance, friends, relatives, and cancer, I hope you take four more minutes for this video and consider telling others about this post.

On Smoking Lettuce

I wonder what I was doing in early June when the world learned that on the fabled floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) made a plea to ban smoking lettuce. And the debate hasn’t continued? No ads pitting the battle between the vegetable lobby and the medical lobby? No calls that Washington is ruled by communistic tyrants? Have the French banned smoking lettuce?

There must be a division along party lines! Conventional wisdom tells us that Republicans would oppose this regulation. On the other hand, the agriculture union workers support the Democrats … that’s it! So is Rep. Buyer attempting to break the union or is he simply looking after the health and welfare of the American public?