Monday, November 06, 2006

radiation confrontation

I spent the morning with my mum at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. She has to have radiation on her nose, of all places. Ah yes, the result of far too many summers spent in the sun not only without sunscreen (cos uh yeah, that just didn't exactly exist in the 1950s) but with some sort of oil spread around to deepen the tan. "Deepening the tan" is probably one of the most ridiculous phrases my mother or I could use. It's right up there with saying to the clerk at the LCBO on Friday night "Have a great weekend!" because I know (and they know and I know they know) that I'll be back the next day. But yeah, the tanning thing? No. We turn pink. For us, "deepening the tan" is when all the freckles join together, so really, what's the point? No wonder those skin cells start to rebel.

Anyway, for the past few years she and my dad had been going to a dermatologist to get little pre-cancerous spots "zapped" off. It was a no brainer really, in to see him, 5 minutes with him, then out until next time. The last time though, it was a bit trickier - a biopsy was required and now the radiation. So she's not worried at all, this is for her, just an annoyance, an inconvenience. An interference with her regularly scheduled life. "10 trips to the centre for radiation, what a pain!" says mum. Ha. And no, we are not being flip, and certainly not trying to make light of what can be an extremely serious disease. But she's done the hardcore stuff already. 12 years ago she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She beat it, obviously, but lost a lung in the fight. So we know how scary this can all be.
But I think when you take the attitude of "all right, let's do what we need to get this done and over, so we can move on with life" that has got to help you in your fight against absolutely anything. And, as my mother is a self-proclaimed tough old bird, between you and me? Those cancer cells don't have a chance.

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