Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Plastics Make It Possible

Nearly healed from surgery at long last. Days after I wrote my last post, I grew another infection. Fever, chills, rashes at my incision sites. We’re all walking bacteria farms, but I appear to be an entire continent. Out of the four surgeries I’ve had in my life, three earned me a painful infection. My doctor’s take? “Maybe you should be done having surgeries.” Sobering. That fat graft from my thighs to build perfect breasts is looking a little dicey at this point.

My friend Jeanne sent me an interesting article about how breast cancer is getting a lot of attention on the back end (mammograms, insurance) when we should be doing more on the front end. The chemicals leaching out of microwaved plastic containers, cups washed in the dishwasher on high temps, hormones in meat, PCB runoff? As another cancer survivor says in her memoir, we’re victims of an ongoing environmental disaster.

I don’t want to be a victim. I don’t want to be seen that way. And I don’t want to be some Chicken Little either. But I can’t help but be concerned about the health of my children and staying around long enough to watch them graduate. Some days it seems everywhere I turn there are poisons.

This is all old news to some. I’m certainly not the first person to wring their hands. And it must be said that plastic saved my life and improved it. Catheters. Syringes. Implants. And so I am complicit. My pomegranate elixir comes in a plastic bottle, as does our milk and oftentimes the orange juice. The largest container of recycling in our house is filled with plastics. Why are we collecting this stuff, only to turn it back into the same problem?