We went up to Baldwinsville yesterday for the annual Bee Ville XC meet. Always a favorite for the team but also as a parent as the course is so beautiful and the anniversary quality that this meet evokes. We have been going to BeeVille since Alex was in seventh grade with the little modified runners, so this being his senior year, we have been able to compare from year to year to measure his growth as an athlete, as an individual and as our boy. How wonderful and bittersweet. Tyler Sutherland was, to use Alex’s phrase “killing it”—bringing home a very good time and finish being the first of the group of varsity runners. The shorter guys in the middle of the shot were the lead dogs in this race. Double excellent as they are sophomores and juniors—so the team has some terrific horsepower for a couple more seasons! They all seemed to have a jolly time with good results and great comraderie amongst themselves. So, the season is on, the season of brotherly love and friendship, hard races but good times. Sweetness on the edge of frost. The dualities are remarkable.
I guess I was wiped out. We got home and I decided to take a nap as I was winking out on the drive home. And so I did. I napped and then read a junky book. It got darker and darker until it was time to get out of my nest to see if there was another place to plop down. And so I did. Alex came home from a movie date. Rob went to a funeral and was back late…and then it was time to sleep again. I am still wiped out. I am gauging it my my impatience for stuff that normally doesnt drive me crazy, but I can push to the side of my perifery and disengage. I am all loose ends and frazzled. So, instead of attending Porch Fest all day, I think I will catch up with some email, do a bit of reading and maybe close my eyes again. I am just feeling so strung out. I need to get myself back to the point where I do not have to leave the room to prevent a rude outburst on my part or some sort of physical nastiness.
I just finished the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and enjoyed it immensely despite the sadness of the story and the end result to the family of Mrs. Lacks. I was stunned to read about scientific experiments performed on the poor in recent history—mad scientists gone wild that rivelled some of the antics of the German scientists during WWII. We should be teaching this stuff to our kids…that this sort of inconvievable behavior and treatment of others happened right here in our happy little big island…and not just “over there”. Additionally, it pointed up the import of HIPAA and the rights and privacies we are guaranteed with our medical information and data. However, how are our personal cells and tissue material tracked. Do we have the right to that material and how it is used? or once blood is drawn, or a specimen taken, or birth is given—all of those byproducts we no longer have a right to? Though we are much further ahead than the mid-fifties—there are miles to go to better understand our rights to our own cells and the information they hold about us. One of the big take aways from the HeLa cell book was the gift Mrs Lacks gave (unknown to her, her family) to better mankind— through the truly immortal HeLa cells—was an singular one. Why her family was never notified, were treated badly and stupidly by doctors (all horrible communicators and frankly thoughtless people), and were unable to be treated or helped medically as they could not even afford health insurance while big Pharma made money (millions) due to the work they had done with their mother’s cell. This is just wrong all around.
I loved The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks so much, that I am now on a path for more of that sort of reading. I have The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. This book started as a blog or diary of a young doctor and his fellowship focusing on oncology. From that pretext, Dr. Mukherjee begins to simply tell the story of cancer to laymen. I have just started but am engaged and intrigued by the elegant way the writer is peeling away the complexity of the ideas—and making them pristine and memorable. He presents cancer as a character—the hero and villain—a character of great stealth, dimension and scope. I am looking foward to diving into this.
I am beginning to get more than stupid right now. I hear the siren song of my pillow.