Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cancer Awareness and St. Baldrick's

     Late to the game, as usual. But sometimes continuing conversations are better than one-time things anyway. Cancer Survivors' Day is the first Sunday in June. And as far as I know, no one in my family who has had cancer has beaten it. My father's mother lost to breast cancer when he was a child; my mother's father lost to blood cancer when I was six; a cousin also lost to blood cancer when I was young; and most recently, my mother's mom to breast cancer in 2013. It's something that has been on my mind a bit lately, especially now that I've got kids. What are my chances of developing cancer? How much of it is genetic? How much is environmental? What can I do to lessen my family's chances? 

     Genetics are what they are; I can't change those. But I can choose to limit the use of things which studies are showing to be toxic to health, most especially in the areas of personal products and house hold cleaners. I can't control the world, but I can control what I allow into our home. I can also be proactive about checking my house for materials and substances that could have already been there before me. Asbestos, for example, was commonly used in homes before the 1970's and can cause a rare cancer called mesothelioma. Same goes for lead and radon - they are common in homes, so we must be proactive about getting rid of them. 

     My first switch was from conventional antiperspirant deodorant to a natural deodorant. It took a few, but I finally settled on THIS deodorant from Whiskey Ink & Lace (based in WA), in the woodsy lavender scent. It works best with my body, still smelling of lavender at the end of very muggy VA days spent at the park. While it seems there is no conclusive evidence that conventional antiperspirants are a cause of cancer, I still think it best to be safe, considering my family history. I also use their face creams, too. 
     For our other personal care products, we use Radiantly You, which is based out of NY. I have pretty much loved everything that I have tried from them. From shampoo, to body soap, to foaming hand soap, to booty balm for the kids, to an award winning counter spray, and fantastic multi-purpose tub scrub, Radiantly You has your basic needs covered! Though I personally found the laundry soap to be not quite what I need. I decided to try ECOS laundry soap, and it seems to be working alright, considering all I ever do is throw everything in together with out pre-treating anything, because I can never remember. I use ECOS Dishmate for hand washing (almond smells like amaretto), and 1 TBS RY tub scrub in the dishwasher, with a splash of RY bleach alternative as a pre-wash and white vinegar as a rinse aid. No streaks or cloudiness on the glasses, which is fantastic! 
     Prevention is helpful, but sometimes there is nothing one can do. With this in mind, I'm fundraising for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which helps to fund children's cancer research. Please consider donating; even $5 would be huge to these kids! And yes, I am shaving my head. On Friday. 
One last info-graphic, because they are fun!

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