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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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  • E-mail me at:

    sara at saraarts dot com

    Make sure the subject line of your correspondence is clear and specific. I do not open e-mails from strangers unless I can tell in advance that I want to read them.

Shameless Self- Promotion

  • I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Good reads, grownups only

« Today we celebrate my true love, aka "Harvard Muffin." | Main | Well, it seemed like this year's must-have, bad taste Hallowe'en gift for amputees, but sadly it isn't even that cool. »


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wow! I especially love how excited you sound about the whole thing. And thanks for the excellent links.

My work is tangentially related to cancer research. That's absolutely true about what gets funded/not funded, etc.

Plus I've been meaning to read Dr. Davis' book; heard her on the radio a while ago and forgot to write her name down. So glad you reminded me.


Aha. I always pictured you as a public librarian, sitting behind the reference desk with your rhinestone glasses and the ghost of a tiara, Queen of Facts.

And hell yes I'm enthusiastic. Those of us who have been rabid proponents of the organic and natural foods movement for decades -- and been called unreasonable crackpots for it -- can only take validation from what she has to say, as can those of us who have been very selective in our own use of conventional medical treatments -- and been called crackpots for that, too.

Barbara J. Gill

I especially relate to the aspect of toxins and cancers. I was exposed to dioxins early. And I have been experiencing weird things all my life. Vague symptoms. Now a new mass where sarcoma was removed six years ago. To me it is as though we have to very very VERY carefully back out of the mess we have ourselves in. I am 56 and heading into another MRI (with ativan in hand). Barbara


hi sara-

saw your link over at jeanne's place and wanted to thank you for the great feast my eyes and brain just enjoyed. people think i'm nuts when i won't breathe their air fresheners, drink their diet coke, or use their toxic cleaners. this isn't rocket science, people! must we continue to resist it because we are lazy and spoiled? have we no respect for our bodies?

thanks again, for there is nothing quite like validation. eat your antioxidants, folks!


Barbara, hang in there. Here's hoping for a stupendously boring diagnosis. And Jessica, yes.

I just want to make sure, though -- and this is me talking, not Dr. Davis, though she might agree for all I know -- that people understand that things have gotten way beyond any one thing we can or should not put in our mouths. There is no magic bullet a single person can swallow to ward off cancer, and there is no magic cloak of impermeability any one of us can don to protect ourselves. You can do everything right, never smoke, never drink, eat perfectly healthily and exercise every day, come from an immaculate gene pool (as if there were such a thing), and still fall ill with cancer, especially if you are over 65. We need to look at our own nutrition and our own choices as consumers to give ourselves as individuals the most potential strength to live happy lives with the real bodies we have in the real world we have, a world which has gotten systemically polluted over the course of generations and won't be cleaned up or re-engineered in just one. And we need to make and create for each other every healthy, conscientious choice we can in order to start that clean-up. But the problem is bigger than a vitamin bottle or any individual person's kitchen or snacking habits.

To illustrate the massive amount of pollution this planet has sustained in the last hundred or so years, Dr. Davis told of a population of polar bears in a particular part of Norway where ten percent of the bears are born hermaphroditic probably as a result of ocean pollution including not just industrial chemicals, and "cleaning" products, and perfumes, and petroleum but all the literal tons of pharmaceuticals we have peed out of our own bodies. When tested, if I understood and remember correctly, the fat of these polar bears shows an accumulation of all these things.

Every organism on the planet is susceptible to damage from what we have already put in the ocean alone. Yes, we need to eat our antioxidants to support our individual physical ability to fight, especially those of us who already have cancer. But what will ultimately stem the tide of the worldwide epidemic is a complete rethinking of how we conduct our collective life as a species upon this planet. It only starts with what you and I put in our mouths, our gardens, our cars, on our backs, in our attics. (Asbestos is still used in insulation, did you know that? And where do you think that goes when it gets replaced?) There has to be a worldwide commitment to taking responsibility for the consequences of our choices beyond the boundaries of our own bodies. This is something humans have not historically been very good at, but that doesn't mean we can't learn.


I've always wanted to be a librarian, so you're not that far off :)

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