pursue stuff that matters

pursue stuff that matters

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mr. Harper: The cancer machine needs your attention.

Mr. Harper, if you’ve seen what I’ve seen, if you walked in my shoes, you’d stop trying to degrade our health care system. You’d make different choices.

After years of living in the bewilderment of the cancer-care system of complex terminology and swamped departments of duplication and contradictory knowledge by well-meaning specialists, I have a few things I’d like to share with you.

Last week, the universe spoke to me. I opened my email inbox to receive this YouTube clip about food corporations passing off chemical blueberries as real. The author of this video claims that companies are forming fillers, chemicals and dyes to mimic berries. http://www.naturalnews.tv/e.asp?v=7EC06D27B1A945BE85E7DA8483025962&s=1

Later that morning, I chose to share this story www.theloveoffood.ca about my visit with a family who farm in New Brunswick and grow some of Canada’s most luscious blueberries.

That same day, I found myself at Kitchener’s Grand River Hospital Cancer Clinic.  Again.

It was early afternoon. The parking lot was full. The reception desk (where you are banded for identification) was lined up 14 long. There was only one intake staff clerk, and she was doing her best to keep things moving. When I moved up to the counter, the clerk gave me a BIG smile. I was a familiar face.

Pam is one of Grand River’s heroes. Years ago, our paths crossed when she worked in another area of the hospital and on more than one occasion, she went beyond the call of duty. She bent rules and out-maneuvered doctors who were making bad decisions. When I nodded to the line-up behind me, she tipped her head forward and in a hushed tone responded, “We have grown so much. You wouldn’t believe how busy we are!”
I have personal friends who are GP’s and Specialists, and a life-long friendship with a nurse who is the president of her union. Kudos to them, and to all who have chosen the challenging profession of health care. Having travelled the world, I know I’ve won the lottery to have been born in Canada and have deep gratitude for our medical system.

But Mr. Harper, if you’ve seen what I’ve seen, if you walked in my shoes, you’d stop trying to degrade our health care system. You’d make different choices.

The medical machine is being stretched to the point of no return. You only have to be processed though the system a few times to know that it is sadly lacking in compassion, and is riddled with confusion, errors, and bad moods.

Up the elevator to the clinic waiting room, I found a buzz of health care workers, administrators and clients. The vibe was one of courage and hope; where folks are doing their damnedest to put their best foot forward.

As I gazed politely and smiled in the direction of a young woman with dark-circled eyes and a bandanna-wrapped head, I was flooded with memories of being in the trenches of major hospitals in Waterloo, Hamilton, Toronto, and suddenly overwhelmed at the hunger of this disease.

The disease is ruthless. And this cancer machine is one of corporate interests, institutional bias, charitable foundations, billions spent in research, bullish pharmaceuticals stocks and employment dependency. Ironic isn’t it? We need the machine and the machine needs us.

I’ve been privy to countless high-level and low-level consults, but not once in four years, has a medical professional ever broached the subject of “Why?” Why does cancer feel like it’s at epidemic proportions? What causes this disease? 

On that Thursday afternoon, as I sunk into the waiting room’s high-back chair, surrounded by Hospice support materials, I couldn’t help but be flabbergasted at the predicament we are in. It seems to me, that the only obvious winners of this war on cancer are pharmaceutical giants—whose profits are soaring from patented, costly chemotherapy drugs.  

Mr. Harper, are you as perplexed as I am? Do you wonder how we got here?  

I find it baffling to live in a society where I need to be a food detective in order to protect myself against a pharmaceutical-driven environment that pollutes our bodies. If there is an effective consumer-friendly decoder that translates labels on processed foods, household cleaning items, personal and environmental cosmetic products, please let me know.        

And while I sat in that crowded waiting room last week, wondering if your family (Mr. Harper), eats a diet of highly-processed food… an image of one of the New Brunswick farmer’s  ripe, plump, freshly picked blueberries, grown naturally, fixed itself in my head.

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