Monday, December 14, 2009

Harvesting Answers

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA - For some reason, this weekend was the time for soy-related emails. There was a recent news release that mentioned the safety/danger of breast cancer patients eating soy, and people have been asking my thoughts. I don’t dispense medical advice – period. Not ever, and I’m guessing that I never will. I defer to my own oncologists, who have told me to stay away from it; the reasons are tied to my specific type of cancer and what may or may not exacerbate my relationship with said cancer. So I’ll do my best to avoid it, that’s my answer. You should talk to your doctor, really. It’s funny, isn’t it? A plant that has been used in China for about 5 thousand years (give or take a millennia) is now the subject of hot controversy. My recollection upon seeing my first soy plant was ‘wow, gross. That plant is hairy’. Keep in mind, I grew up in Illinois. I’ve seen my share of soy plants, and don’t even get me started about the amount of corn I’ve walked. That being said, however, I really wanted to write this for a few reasons. First, I think everyone should know by now that eating stuff that grows right out of the ground is far better than anything processed. Second, even if you think that, ask your doctor anyway. If you don’t have the kind of relationship with your doc that allows for questions like this, perhaps it’s time to find a new one; this is your life, and you’ve put it in their hands. You need to be able to get answers when needed! Let me say in closing that, as a history buff, I take delight in the fact that soy saved this nation (or at least part of it). When the actions that promulgated the dust bowl – that’s a post for another time – caused the soil in the prairies to erode, they planted soy. So thank you, soy, and the beauty of crop rotation. Now go call your doctor.

Monday, December 7, 2009


PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII - 1941. This is my daughter, looking at a site that will ‘live in infamy’ to borrow a quote. Over 2 thousand servicemen and 68 civilians were killed – 1,104 from the Arizona alone. Americans were taken completely by surprise, and it left a scar on the hearts of everyone who were from that generation (and some of us in other generations, too). To this day, the areas that were most affected are regarded as sacred ground. There are sections that most civilians don’t get to see, but are incredibly poignant. The house that many wounded were taken for triage still stands in its original condition, frozen in time and history. You can stand on Ford Island and right there, at your feet, are holes from the bullets fired from Japanese aircraft. When I went to speak to medical staff at Pearl and talk about cancer, I was privileged to get a special tour. My daughter, though young, will never forget what we saw there, and what she was told about the events. It’s not often that teenagers cry when visiting historic sites that their parents drag them to see, but she did. I did. Really, back in 1941, so did the nation. God Bless America.