by Simon B II

Last week’s Blog was  ‘Are you in the Pink? Outside Part 1′, This one is about how I’m trying to make my Inside better!



Outdoor Air
We lived in Texas for 11 1/2 years. I worked for a Health Systems Agency analyzing data. At that time, there seemed to be no significant difference in the mortality rate of smokers and non-smokers living in the area between New Orleans and Houston.  I lived in that area! My question was “How could we change some of the things that caused the pollution, so we all could live healthier lives?” I wanted to do something, but I felt it was out of my reach. Did it bother me? Yes, but again, what could I do? 


Mind you, that was over thirty years ago. Most people thought about issues of toxicity in a different way:
– How’s the air quality here? (slight concern).
– That perfume is pretty strong. It’s making me cough.
– The wood burning fireplace is so warm and comforting. Let’s sit closer. Or even
– Second hand smoke won’t really harm me.

“We’ve come a long way”, since that time.


Indoor Air
Am I completely removed from those air pollution situations now? No! For instance, when I stay at a hotel, I’m looking for the room to be clean and the air filters to be in good shape and not spitting out little particles of dust.


No, I’m not taking a black light to examine the comforter on the bed. I’m moving the comforter all the way back and sleeping between the sheets. Hopefully, that’s good enough.


I’m not sure everyone understands my idioscentries, but if necessary I’ll explain to hotel staff that I’ve had breast cancer and I know these things set me up for an unhealthy experience. Furthermore, I really can’t deal with this kind of thing. Can you please move me to another room or remedy the situation?



A Bad Situation
That’s the kind of thing I should’ve done 2 years ago when I stayed in a conference dorm room that wasn’t very clean it all. The air vent seemed to be spewing tiny dust particles into the air. But I thought I could tolerate just sleeping there at night and participating in the conference each day for a week. I tried to make sure I was not in my room most of the time. That didn’t work. I still got sick. Upon returning home, I was diagnosed with pneumonia!


So how do I feel about requesting changes? I now am confident. If the place doesn’t make changes quickly enough I’ll try to go someplace else and if worse comes to worse and I’m stuck with that situation. I’ll leave. But it’s only because I remember my dorm experience and the months it took me to recover.

For those who have had cancer, anything from the air we breathe to the stress in our bodies to the anxiety and depression in our mind can affect recurrence (morbidity) and our lifespan (mortality).

What Counts?

What will you do to clean up the air you’re living in?


“Air, I should explain, becomes wind when agitated” – Titus Lucretius Carus

Dr. Harriette

Let me know what you think.