Saturday, January 14, 2012

Antiperspirants and Flycasting

You know how it is when you fail to do something, and the longer you wait to rectify the situation, the harder it is to actually take the step. That's me - right here, right now. I have missed writing this blog; it is a great outlet for thoughts, feelings, impressions, opinions. But first I didn't have much in the way of update, and then when I did have something to write, I couldn't seem to grab the time.

Today's the day. I am not going to tread back through the last few months, except to say that all is well. I continue to read and research information about how to reduce the likelihood of cancer recurrence, and I find myself in "high dudgeon" over the lack of regulation of personal care products. Earlier in this blog I mentioned the good work of the Environmental Working Group, and once again I encourage folks to take a look at their website This site provides a wide range of excellent information for people trying to clean up their personal environment.

The latest news on the questionable safety of some personal care products came to me today via The People's Pharmacy, an informative radio show out of Durham/Chapel Hill. I receive their email newsletter, and today's special alert featured new information about parabens and aluminum compounds. Parabens are hormone disruptors with estrogen-like qualities, and the aluminum compounds have been found to change the way breast cancer cells divide. I'm not scientist, but just the basic information about those two chemicals makes me want to steer clear of them. I mean, how smart does one have to be to know that rattlesnakes are dangerous and therefore, learn to identify and avoid rattlesnakes?

On a happier, lighter note I want to give some attention to a terrific organization, Casting for Recovery. I attended a weekend retreat in October which was organized by this group. All my expenses were paid for a fall weekend on Lake Logan in western NC where I learned to fly fish along with other women who have breast cancer. The setting was incredibly beautiful and restful, but these women who run the retreat are SERIOUS about fly fishing, so I came away with some basic knowledge of casts, reading the water, flies, equipment, etiquette, and the like. The volunteers, some of them breast cancer survivors themselves, were warm, encouraging, organized, and helpful. The weekend involved not only sessions on fly fishing, but also on the emotional and medical aspects of breast cancer survival. I found that the experience of being on the stream, in the quiet, trying to focus only on the placement of the fly, took my mind to a completely new place. I understand now why people can get "hooked." This weekend retreat certainly counts as one of the BOUNTIES which came with breast cancer.