There is actual news about my upcoming memoir with its working title of Bulldogs and Chocolate. It will soon be is getting a new name. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s final. The book is scheduled to be out in . . .

                                    MARCH or the beginning of APRIL 2024.

A portion of my memoir is about living through the time of my husband, Larry’s, illness, and there were some questions without answers. My logical mind kept asking why he developed a Glioblastoma Multiforme (multiforme meaning the cause is unknown) brain tumor. Was it just the luck of the draw or would following the line of his background point to a possible key. Over the years, I’ve pondered the question for a short time before moving on to think of other things.

Then, my book club read Full Body Burden by Kristen Iversen which is about the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant located near Denver. The plant, in existence from 1951 until its eventual closure and partial clean-up in the 2000s, manufactured the plutonium core located in the nuclear bombs our country built to fight the Russians during the Cold War following WWII. The U.S. Government and the large corporations who operated the plant, covered up, denied, and lied about the danger to humans, animals, and land as they manufactured this part of the horrific bombs.

According to Ms. Iversen’s research, in 2000, scientists explained that low-level exposures of ionizing radiation can sometimes alter living cells and trigger the cell’s growth into cancer cells. The delay range can vary from several years for leukemia to decades for solid tumors.

The book brought back my question about the origin of Larry’s brain tumor.   

I recalled the six-weeks during the mid-1970s when he worked at a uranium mine thirty miles from our Casper home. The picture below shows the Shirley Basin area now.

Larry’s time spent walking in the pit taking soil samples without protective clothing, bothered both of us. He soon quit the job. Might he have been exposed to uranium radiation since the soil kicked into the air surely contained uranium particles which he breathed in and touched his bare skin?

Using the internet for research, I discovered varying information about the dangers of uranium to the healthy person. Most sites agreed that it could cause kidney cancer, leukemia, and other cancers, but didn’t point to brain cancer. One study done on rats exposed to uranium suggested changes in the chemicals of their brains. Can the studies which show no connection to the brain be trusted, or are they like the unreliable Rocky Flats reports used to blind people to reality.

Right or wrong, I developed a theory:

Cold War + nuclear bombs + uranium + employment + family cancer genes = Larry’s tumor?

Maybe that was the reason for this nastiest of brain cancers in Larry’s head. There’s no way to know, and it changes nothing. But, it does relieve my mind to think it could be.

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