Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now??

Honoring Brett Willis,
Stairway to Heaven                                                       September 27 2009

   How ironic that CNN had on today’s show (9-16-2012) a segment about how it would feel to “live without a cell phone for a day.”  The banner read “Are Cellphones Harmful?” and a guest Dr. Gupta talked about radiation (microwaves) physical heat, and that the instructions which come with the cell phones that tell you to hold it two inches away from your ear.  He laughed and called his earpiece “geeky, and we were all reminded that the standards for cell phone radiation exposure have not been updated for 18years.  He mentioned the rare types of cancers that seem to be associated with cell phones, but wasn’t too cautionary as he described how inconvenient it was to be out of touch without a cell phone for a day. They joked about not even considering “Giving it up.” I cringed at their cavalier ignorance.

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the death my best friend, an electrician neighbor, Brett Willis, who at age 42, died from that “rare cell-phone cancer.”  In his case, Astrocytoma Glioma, type 2 brain cancer, which stemmed from his right ear and completely spread throughout his entire brain mass.  The doctors told him there was nothing wrong with him, right up until he flat-lined after fainting at the emergency room in Phoenix, Arizona.  In the end, he was accidentally given an overdose of chemotherapy and radiation, after a two year battle with the disease.  He was surrounded by his family at home, under a mural I had painted.

   Brett lived in Arizona, but worked in Southern California, because he couldn’t secure a  license for his work in Arizona.  He was right there in ‘96 when cell phones were the news of the day, and he used his cell phone constantly for over ten years, communicating with his family, friends, and clients.  His headaches grew worse, although he tried to ignore them, knowing he needed to keep on working and earn enough to support his young family.  He drove home every weekend to see his wife and two children.  Of course, now there is still a big hole in the hearts of those who cared deeply about Brett, his Mom, Sisters, Children, Wife, extended Family and Friends.

   Are cell phones really harmful?   You betcha.  Glioma and other rare cancers are now more ubiquitous than ever.  Is this a toy for a child?  No way!  It is an insidious weapon, a bit like cigarettes.  You get hooked and then the damage is done slowly, day by day. Give up a cell phone for a day?  No problem--I do not own one, nor will I ever own one!   I’d rather feel inconvenienced at not communicating with immediacy, than to suffer a slow and tragic death from microwave cellphone radiation like my dear friend, Brett. 

This is a real warning to all cell phone users.  This is a true and cautionary tale. Just THINK about each time you feel the urge to utter unnecessary words and exercise your free will to microwave your temples and then decide: NOPE not today! (Can You Hear Me Now?) 
God Bless all those who are suffering now with unexplained brain cancers.