Wednesday was Earth Day. We celebrated by going to the playground and enjoying the warmth and sunshine. It is not how we usually celebrate, most earth days we go around the neighborhood enthusiastically picking up litter that is so easy to find this time of year. Even the well tended houses nearby still tend to have some of rubbish stuck in bushes or imbedded in the earth the yard crews that frequent their houses have not yet discovered.
Earth day makes me a little maudlin this year. I have always tried to be mindful of why we celebrate this day. I try to be mindful of the earth year round. I recycle, and am thoughtful about many of the things I do and why I do or do not do them. This past year though, I have clearly not been a friend of the earth. I think of all of the chemicals that filter though my body and out into our waterways, of plastics used in my chemotherapy treatment, the bags, tubes and tubing. There is energy used to produce these things, to run tests and do the imaging of my body. There are countless ways I am currently existing on this planet are at odds with what is good or helpful to it.
I realize that by being a citizen of the United States of America makes me lucky enough to enjoy these abuses. I am lucky to be born where I am, and lucky that I can just afford the cost to pay for the treatments.
Sometimes, I wonder if it is the right thing to do. I am really worth it? I am no head of state, no inventor of life or earth improving technology. I am not a curer of disease or a farmer. I may help relieve stress in the lives of a few parents, and hopefully give some children a good, loving and caring start. But is it enough? Is the cost of the treatment I am now receiving, not in dollars, but in environmental costs the best thing I could do? Will any of these children look back years from now and say, wow, I'm sure glad Kathy was around to take care of me when I was younger. Honestly, will they even remember? I have a good memory that extends back to my early childhood, and it seems to me the things you remember are the things you lacked, not the constants in your life.
Still, this does not deter me too much from the course I have chosen. It is probably the most selfish thing I have done in my life, and I am okay with that. I know that there are other choices I could have made, to not seek treatment, or to treat in some other way, but I think the one I have chosen was the best option for me. Just not the earth.