Anyone who has watched reality TV shows knows that you don’t get anywhere unless you have a sob story. I have always been relatively lucky and have managed to avoid misfortune. I am married to someone I love, have two great kids, a fulfilling job and I live in Cornwall, a mile or so from my favourite beach. Life was pretty good until my husband started to feel unwell in September 2016. This led to a series of trips to the doctor, lots of tests and head scratching and finally to a diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on 29 December 2016, aged thirty-six.
Introducing the Big C
From that moment it was like someone had fired a cannon ball into our lives. My husband was at the whim of our great doctors who did everything they could to treat and cure him and the following nine months were a gruelling trial of constant treatment and awful side effects for my husband. At times I thought I was going to have to say goodbye to him but he pulled through and following a successful stem cell transplant we are both now hopeful for the future.
Right from the start, the doctors told us that there was no reason to believe that my husband’s living environment or lifestyle were to blame for the cancer and that he was simply unlucky. Although this was comforting I have always found it difficult to believe that the increasing rates of cancer are not, in part, attributable to the commonplace use of chemicals in our daily lives and in the products we use and blindly trust.
Going Chemical Free
This led to a change in my thinking and a desire to protect my family by reducing the amount of chemicals that we bring into the home. I am not by any means claiming that if we had lived like this prior to my husband’s diagnosis of leukaemia it may have saved him from this awful illness. I am, however, no longer willing to take the risk with our health and have started to educate myself on what is in the products that I buy to clean the house, within our toiletries and within the food that we eat. This is something that I gave very little thought to prior to my husband’s diagnosis. Like most people, I had the odd good intention to eat less processed foods but I don’t think I ever considered that harmful chemicals were included within the ingredients of my toiletries or that the scented candles that I love so much could be releasing toxins into my home.
Since coming to this revelation I expect that you would imagine that as a family we have cut lots of things out of our lives and are vegan, sugar free, and chemical free. Unfortunately, like most people with busy lives, putting good intentions into action and sticking by them is much more difficult in practice. I am therefore hoping that by writing this blog and sharing my journey with others, it will keep me motivated to keep trying to reduce the number and level of chemicals that I knowingly bring into my home.
I have already started to make changes, some of which have been a great success and others which have had amusing results but not the desired outcome. Personally, I still have a long way to go but I truly hope that this blog helps to educate others who are starting out on this journey and save you time by sharing knowledge, recipes and product swaps as I continue in my learning.