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President Carter and Other Farmers Who have Suffered from Cancer

Updated on August 19, 2015

The Enchanted Valley of Mamushi

A marker1358 Coleman Road, Franklin, Tennessee 37064 -
1358 Coleman Road, Franklin, TN 37064, USA
get directions

This is just a small snapshot of the valley, and a view of the creek that finds it beginnings here, from the watershed.

Farming can have inherent risks for cancer

I can remember doing many things that were risky behaviors growing up on our family farm.

Even as a child I should have known better. For example, if we happened to get grease or dirty motor oil on our hands we would just use some "leaded" gasoline (I think that all the gasoline was leaded back in the old days) and wash our hands in it. Then take an old dirty cloth and dry our hands with it. That would take care of the problem.

Kerosene (some people called it "coal oil," if I remember correctly) was a handy thing to have on hand also. You could use the kerosene to help remove the paint off of your hands.

By the way, if you needed to burn some trash or other difficult "stuff," that did not want to burn easily, you could just pour some kerosene or gasoline on the "stuff" and light it with a match. That would always "do the trick." You all cannot see me laughing as I write about these dumb acts that were more commonplace, on farms, that I care to remember. But actually, this is no laughing matter. I am so fortunate to be alive today! I will admit that I have started off this discourse giving you extreme examples on how farmers, in the past, have abused chemicals and have taught their children how to follow their examples. You see, I saw adults performing these dangerous acts, adults that I admired, so I just followed their example.

Notice that I mentioned that gasoline had lead in it. All kinds of chemicals are in gasoline and kerosene. Not to mention the grease and the old motor oil and other substances that we were exposed to, on a routine basis.

How long does it take for one to develop a cancer after being exposed to a cancer risk, be it exposure to a carcinogens (that is, after being exposed to a cancer causing substances), or after being exposed to other risk factors in the farm environment. As far as I know, these questions are not always easy to answer. Time is a factor that matters for certain.

What about the sun? Farming involves exposure to ultraviolent radiation, which is not suppose to be a good thing, if one is trying to decrease one's risk for cancers.

When I was a child, it seemed like a lot of people smoked cigarettes, used smokeless tobacco, and liked to take in beer, wine and whisky. Home brew beer was available if one knew where to go to get it. Moon-shine whisky was available also, not legally of course. What kind of effects do these substances have on one's health? In many cases there are bad outcomes from using too much of these substances (which are actually, just chemicals). Maybe it is not fair for me to use the word "chemicals." Should I say "bad chemicals?" After all, everything is made out of chemicals. It's all chemistry, good or bad! So, I need to be careful how I use the word "chemicals." This is a complicated world that we live in.

President Jimmy Carter was a highly successful farmer. He later went into the U.S. Navy and was an officer in the Submarine fleet. Nuclear power submarines, I must add.

President Carter is man who has lived a full life. He is 90 years old, by the way. Mr. Carter, the 39th president of the United States, is one of four presidents still alive. President George H.W. Bush is just one year older than Mr. Carter.

I want to read Mr. Carter's most recent book, that was released in July, 2015, "A Full Life: Reflections at 90." Carter did real good and make we farmers proud to be farmers. Farmers have a lot of talent, if I must say so myself. A whole lot of talent. Thank God for this. I just hope that we farmers will take a long hard look at our situations, that is, look at the way that our occupations put us at risk for serious accidents and for the development of diseases, especially cancer. I know too many of my farmer friends who have had to deal with cancer.


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