Did gravity’s force increase?
It’s now the evening of Day 3 of chemotherapy treatment…the fatigue is intense. Fatigue isn’t really the correct word to describe what I feel today. It feels much more like the force of gravity mysteriously doubled overnight. As if there is a layer of heavy lead covering every inch of my body. My phone feels twice as heavy. My water cup feels like a CrossFit kettle bell. From the moment I woke it’s been present, and as the darkness of night fills the space outside of my house, the heaviness has not left me.
This sensation has reminded me of one of my favorite pun jokes on several occasions today. And you know I can’t resist sharing a good pun! So…
I read a great book about anti-Gravity last night… I couldn’t put it down!
I started the day with a brief drop in to our virtual Halloween party at Bridges. The highlight of my day! Dressed up as Wonder Woman, I was greeted by students in all kinds of fun costumes and teachers wearing pink wigs in a show of solidarity! What an amazing community I have on this journey with me. 💕
But, after just 10 minutes the pull of gravity was crushing me and I could not sit up any longer. I logged off zoom and made it back to bed. Moving from my home office to my bed I thought about astronauts walking on the moon. How they must have felt the opposite of how I felt with each step. With 1/2 the gravitational pull they would bound effortlessly. While here on earth in this moment my every step felt dragged down by the weight of leaded boots.
The scientist in me wondered what could cause this sensation. We know Gravity is determined by how much mass a given material has, so the more mass an object has, the stronger its gravitational pull. Could the chemo make my cells more dense? Could it make me more sensitive to gravitational pull?
So like any good scientific investigator, I googled it. “Is the force of gravity increasing?” Turns out that is the question of discussion on this Moment of Science online at Indiana Public Media, and their write up has assured me that I do not need to worry about a sudden increase in gravitational pull.
Did you know that about 200 tons of debris strike the Earth every day? Although most of this stuff burns up in the atmosphere, the resulting dust still settles and adds to the Earth’s mass. That’s about half a million tons per year! If the earth keeps accumulating mass, doesn’t that mean that the Earth’s gravitational pull has been increasing? After all, gravity is directly proportional to mass, right?
Wrong, while gravity is directly proportional to mass, you need not worry about a sudden increase in gravitational pull.
In metric tons, the earth’s mass is approximately six followed by twenty-one zeroes. Assuming that the Earth accumulates a half a million tons of debris every year, this means that in the sixty million years since dinosaurs existed the Earth would have accumulated approximately thirty trillion tons of meteoric debris. That’s thirteen zeroes. The point is, a number with thirteen zeroes is minuscule relative to a number with twenty-four zeroes. While thirty trillion tons sounds impressive, it is nothing compared to the Earth’s total mass.
That settles that. It’s me, not a change in gravitational pull.
Tonight I will start injections of bone marrow boosting meds to increase my white blood cell production as chemo tends to wipe those out. They tell me to anticipate some bone pain… more to come soon. This should be interesting.