Part 3: Cellphones

I was relaxing in my neighborhood park last month and struck up a conversation with a lovely woman who looked to be in her early 50’s with a healthy glow.  She told me she was good with exercising but wasn’t sure how to eat properly, at which point I told her about myself and the book I’d written.  She then disclosed she was a cancer survivor and I, for some reason, just assumed she meant breast cancer since it’s so common in women.

We continued talking and sharing our own experiences, and I found her to be incredibly spiritual as she shared how grateful she was despite getting sick.  Then I learned the truth about her condition: she’d had a brain tumor.  What???  How does this apparently physically and emotionally healthy young woman become stricken with such a serious condition?  My mind immediately went to the use of cellphones, and it wasn’t long before she shared with me that she used to be a sales rep and was on her phone for at least 12 hours a day, every day.  The tumor was so deep inside they couldn’t operate but she had undergone radiation and they’d gotten it as small as they could.  The next thing she said absolutely blew me away: the tumor was directly above her right ear, exactly where she’d held her cellphone.  OMG!!  I was so deeply moved when she said, “I have so much gratitude though.  This experience woke me up to my life.  I used to be so completely out of touch and numbed out, and now I’m completely in the present moment.”  Wow.

I found myself holding back tears as I was so incredibly inspired by her strength and outlook.  She may beat it, she may not.  But she was one of the most positive people I’ve met in awhile.  I told her I was writing this 3-part series and wanted to share her experience, and she was eager for me to do so.

Why am I telling this story?  More and more people are being diagnosed with brain tumors – something we rarely heard about until the last 5-10 years.  I don’t have any specific research to share on this issue right now, but what I do know is that we cannot be too careful.  I have always used an earpiece with a wire vs. holding my phone up to my head, and now I’ve even started holding it in my hands less and keeping it on a desk or counter when I type into it.  I may be going to an extreme here, but when it comes to working out, I no longer keep it on my body when I do my weight training and just listen to the house music in the gym instead.  I’m even holding off purchasing a blue tooth earpiece until I know more about the risks.  For cardio training I make sure it’s resting on the machine.

I too am grateful for that day and that woman.  Indeed there are no coincidences…