An Alert, Well-Hydrated Artist in No Acute Distress
Catherine Armsden

Having known you when you were young Catherine Armsden, such a vivacious, attractive and intelligent girl, I was shocked when I learned you had Parkinson’s. I could never fully disclose or personally elaborate on my distress for you in fear of causing you more pain but also having to reexamine my own disease and hardships. I know others of our age and our characteristic zest for life and knowledge who are ill or no longer with us from maladies never imagined when we were young. My cancer was caused by solvents, 99% sure. I was exposed to them by not only their availability but my own behavioral pattern of being a tree climbing, aerosol sprayng, Twinkies munching lover of freedom and exploration. We we indestructible. I never went as far as Fruit Loops. I see a correlation between behavior, intelligence and unlimited causation in a time where products were exploding on the scene for the consumer. I too sustained falls and injuries as a child that were untreated and if I was seen by a doctor they were passed off as a part of being a kid. Much of my time now is spent with treatment to stay alive and out of considerable pain. I am not sure I would change my life, my past and present, if I could but I have come to a juncture where I have made plans on how far and at what point the quality of life has deteriorated that I end my life. Being the compassionate person that I am, your health problems at this age seem to cause me more distress than my own but that may be a result of my Medieval chivalry bubbling to the surface from hours of reading Arthurian legends but then again it may just be pure empathy. The causes of these diseases , since onset is becoming earlier and more common can much better be battled by statistical compilation and in this day of computerization, you’d think we would be well on our way to the discovery of patterns of causation which in some cases it has. Inflation and immune system overload is definitely being examined. I am truly sorry for your contracting this disease Cathy. I think of you often even with the decades long period we did were not in touch Your mind is still astounding, your writing is wonderful and you by writing this series is not only an education for the layman but for the medical system and shelter from the storm for those suffering, knowing they are not alone. Thank you. N

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