Chemical Valley

I’ve made several references to where I live now (NorCal if you haven’t been paying attention ;p), but I moved here from near Toronto, Ontario. I moved there when I went to University. But originally, I hail from a super small town in Northwestern Ontario. One I not so lovingly call Chemical Valley. And this is what it looks like.

Pretty huh? In all fairness, there are actually some nice, pretty things about the place. It’s on a river and I have fond memories growing up there. But I’ve always had conflicted feelings about it. On the one hand, my entire family lives there. I am actually the only one who has moved away. My family thought it was kind of crazy when I moved 2 hours away, they were still asking 10 years later when I was moving back and then we moved to California.

I do like that it’s a small area, I really enjoyed growing up in a small town. And my dad worked at one of the chemical plants (1 of about a dozen all in one location!) and it gave us a roof over our heads and food on the table. Chemical plants also produce things that most people use every day from ziploc bags, to those little pellets in bean bag chairs and even pens.

But I also remember growing up hearing the emergency sirens go off and being scared of whatever was leaking into our air. I even remember once looking outside and seeing men wandering around in hazmat suits telling us to stay indoors and close the windows. Ummm…. right.

I’ve been in so many spills and leaks, I’ve lost count. And about a year before my thyroid cancer was diagnosed, I happened to be working at my dad’s plant doing grounds maintenance and happened to be in the vicinity of a hydrochloric acid leak. Which was the same time I lost my father to brain cancer. I can’t help but wonder if we both got cancer from living and working in that environment.

It bothers me sometimes and I feel like I put a lot of blame on my cancer. BUT, something else I have learned over the years is how we react to things. So if I am negative about my situation, that will only bring negativity. And that genes and environment can certainly set the stage for diseases like cancer, but it’s how we act and treat ourselves that pulls the trigger to set things in motion. I really did not take care of myself for the first 25 years of my life and I feel like that could have had just as much of an impact on my health.

I probably still won’t move back there though ;p But that has more to do with the fact that my hubby and I are happy where we are =)

Happy Monday

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