Friday, April 8, 2011

Save The Planet Or Myself?

I had a rather interesting "discussion" with someone at work about my use of a plastic water bottle.

We were talking about "rethink, recycle, reuse" when this person pointed out in a meeting with others that I "could get rid of the water bottle. That's a big part of our problem." To which I replied, "I need these water bottles." Then it got interesting. As we walked out of the meeting together I then told this fellow employee I needed water to survive because of caner. This person proceeded to admonish me, saying I could use a permanent water bottle, made of steel––I can't because of the metal reaction that occurs in my mouth––or I could use a Brita water filter––I do, at home and at work, filling my water bottle that I use for the day over and over and use it until the next morning. I've tried glass water bottles––I have broken two––and plastic bottles as well.

The treatments I had for Head & Neck cancer were extensive––if you've read this before, sorry––and included 4 oral surgeries, replacement fillings in 4 of my teeth, surgery to insert a feeding tube, 35 radiation treatments over 7 weeks and 13 chemo treatments, one a week for 13 weeks. While I'm thankfully still alive––no ghost writing here––the side effects are permanent. Especially the damage to my salivary glands. I produce about 25-30% of the saliva I used to produce. Which means I need water by my side 24/7/365. Not just because of constant dry mouth and throat. But as a result of not producing enough saliva, I now have acid reflux. And sometimes I start choking because I'm too dry and have mucous stuck in my throat––at least that's just one of the things that make me choke or cough at any moment. Swallowing? An adventure in itself.

Now I'm not looking for any sympathy. It just struck me odd that someone would not even listen to my situation. I did say under my breath, "if I didn't have cancer I'd be drinking out of a glass just like you" but when I was asked what I said I just replied "nothing." Because this person either didn't care or understand or is just a douche bag and nothing I said was going to change their mind. This person was determined to save the planet starting with me. I have no problem with that other than it got me thinking.

Today, I'll save myself so I can help save the planet.