When I was first diagnosed with cancer I had this head-banging question: “Why me?”
I struggled to understand and rebelled at the thought. It seemed so unfair, I thought I was an unlikely candidate. After all, I breastfed my 3 children, I drink very little alcohol, I am Pescatarian eating mostly a vegetarian diet, I run and do yoga, I am conscious of the products I use and try to limit chemicals…
And yet that is not enough.
So, is it me? Of course, I can analyse my lifestyle and find these grey areas, and I have not always been on my best behaviour. So, before I go into a full-blown confession…
Only joking. I could start and google all these cancer-triggering behaviours I may have indulged in. My guess is I can say: “I am guilty of…”, for a few at least. And in a good Catholic fashion, I can get my big wooden cane and start beating myself up for each one of them. Moral faux-pas? Cane, cane, cane.
Or I could embitter myself and succumb to the trendy trend of comparison/competition and say: “Hang on you, yes you, I see you going to your favourite takeaway every night, that’s your exercise for the day. You buy, the mega dinosaur bucket of fried food, downing it with a few cans of Stella or a bottle of Chardonnay…so yes, why not you? How come you are luckier than me?” If you feel you fit the description you are a lucky one. By all means, you can thank your lucky star and carry on being lucky.
So why me, and why not you? Maybe you are affected by cancer too, but I really think it could be all of us.
Today is world’s environment day. I love our planet, but our planet is sick, the animals are becoming extinct, the plants are receding. Hence, I am sick too. According to the latest forecast by Cancer Research UK published in the British Journal of Cancer, 1 out of 2 people in the U.K born after the year 1960 will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.
I am going to paint a dark picture before telling you that there is hope, and you are the hope. I am living in one of the 40 towns and cities in the UK that have exceeded air pollution limits set by the World Health Organization. Although plastic does not directly cause cancer, chemicals present in plastic can move into food and drinks  I am sick of plastic and the planet is suffocating in it. You can find everywhere including at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the Ocean, at 36,000 feet! We swallow up to 11,000 pieces of micro plastic every year in seafood , billions of us drink it in tap water, and if you ever dreamt of escaping on a remote Island, 38,000 million pieces of plastic waste were found on Henderson Island, a tiny landmass in the eastern South Pacific.
Greenhouse gases are poisoning the most remote areas including the Inuit in Greenland ingesting meat containing poison derived from our industrial activities.
The logic of multinational companies is ruthless exploitation without putting anything back in the environment, and very little in the economy. One of the biggest warehouses ever built is planned in my area. Being built on the greenbelt, it is an ecological disaster. It will bring merchandises with high food miles in the area. Could we not create jobs that benefit the local area? I don’t believe it is job vs. nature. Countless initiatives in the world show that they don’t have to compete.
I apologise for this really dark picture, but there is hope too. Some people are making a real difference in the world. We can watch what we buy and put pressure on big supermarkets to stop using plastic packaging. We can stop wasting food and participate in initiatives such as the junk food cafes . We can rethink our economy like the transition movement does , develop local currency so profits made in one area does not end up in a tax heaven. We can grow locally like the incredible edible movement in Todmorden, growing vegetables for the use of all in the town curbs and parks .
I believe that if we look after our environment we will get better and lower our chances of becoming chronically sick.
 UK’s most polluted towns and cities revealed, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-4396434, 4 May 2018
 cited in David Attenborough says the world must act now on plastic after witnessing its impacts filming Blue Planet II, https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/david-attenborough-plastic-ocean-sea-blue-planet-pollution-microplastic-a8001641.html, Sunday 15 October 2017