Saturday, February 22, 2014


Tonight, Friday, on The Crab Diaries, I read about the radiation masks for head and neck cancer.  It began with a wonderful story of masks, and their history in times of plague.

There were similar masks in the treatment room--white and new-looking and spotless. I wasn't brave enough to think about the technical aspects, but climbed back into my winter clothes and said goodbye. 

Then, last night, the facts: The mask must be perfect - as individual as her fingerprints. Sobering details, building a perfect mold on the patient's face and body.  The thought of being immobilized in them. That would be enough anxiety for some of us without the radiation. I wanted to turn it off.

But then the Diary sent me to another site: an artist and former patient has started a group that makes original art from the masks that patients bring home.  The transformed mask art is sold to raise money for other patients.

When it ended, I was embarrassed about any complaining I did about radiation, and inspired by the resilience and kindness of the "mask artists."  And especially, I know how much I have to be thankful for.

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