Yes, when it’s very cold, creativity seems to slow down. About the only real thing I like to do when it’s extremely cold is to sit and read by the warm fireplace. Winter is best enjoyed on postcards especially in the summer.
I really didn’t realize how cold could be until my wife started through her chemo treatments and the medicine has made her hyper-sensitive to anything cold. Today it is minus 17 and she is in the middle of her chemo treatment for this week. She even has to wear gloves to retrieve anything from the refrigerator. Even at room temperature a glass of water or milk is out of the question. So while I deal with the winter blues she has to deal with the real and present element of cold.
Cancer and chemo are seemingly becoming part of every families life. When you feel the elements are against you, try having the elements and your own body in an open-ended struggle. I didn’t realize how many people are affected by cancer until we became active members of this community. The part that stands out the most for us is how many young people are being affected by it. As older people, we know that immune functions break down with age but with the young, we just don’t truly understand it.
As I sit down by the fire, I wonder how and why we are here. Life is a miracle and a gift. To have to fight a battle from the inside out seems strange but that’s our present situation. I have been studying cancer from a layman’s perspective since my father died from it over 40 years ago and my wife and I have both had different types of cancer, her’s being a lot more invasive and traumatic than mine. I read that there is a lot of research being done but what it seems to boil down to is that our food, eating habits and lifestyle has promoted this kind of disease. If this be so, why aren’t there more red flags going up to warn us about this. I think one of the main answers is rather simple, the food and dairy industry have great clout and they are using it to promote their products. The restaurant industry also has great clout and it advertises on TV, Internet and on the printed fliers and papers. This could bring panic to an entire economic and social system. Yes, it is the oversimplification of why.
The other part is that we simply don’t want to hear that our lifestyle is actually hurting us. We like our good life and quite honestly don’t want to change. Will we be forced into it? Possibly like cigarette smoking but try not eating only the good healthy foods prepared in a healthy way. We as a society are not ready for such radical changes, not yet, maybe sometime in the distant future.
It is a hard decision, live the lifestyle we want to and deal with diseases when we have to. It is a major choice, one that needs to be recognized by all of us.
Regarding my wife and her chemicals. A lot of friends have said that summer would be so much better when taking the medicines. For summer, one of the requirements is not to run the air conditioner and no ice cream, no iced drinks, no cold salads, everything has to be warm. That doesn’t seem much better to me.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. He can be reached at (740) 852-4906 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.