Friday, 20 March 2009

The Mimosa Season

The mimosa is about a month late this year, due to our unusually cold winter. Normally, we expect its bright yellow flowers to cheer us up in February. This year we had to wait until March.

The almond orchard near Nyons was always my favourite marker of the end of winter, but it has been replaced by something more profitable -- to the pocket if not to the spirit. So this year, I am particularly grateful for the mimosa.

And it's a twofer. This morning, Marie-Noƫlle, the nurse, came to take a few phials of blood and mentioned something she'd seen on TV: a vaccine for ovarian cancer. She back-pedalled a bit when I began questionning because it was an "as seen on TV" sort of thing, but she thought it might be available in 2010.

Almost right. It's called the Mimosa Project and those "many" women it describes translate in the French version to death for 3500 women out of the 4500 diagnosed each year in this country. The problem is both late diagnosis* and the relapse rate, but now there appears to be a vaccine on the horizen. The first results are due to be published in 2010, but in fact encouraging results have already been noted, here and elsewhere.

Naturally, I plan on being one of the 1,000, but you know what Robert Burns said: best laid plans, etc. So, another avenue to explore, if necessary. Let's hear it for the mimosa season.
* My reading this morning indicates that the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that have made me a prime candidate for breast cancer are also the culprits in my ovarian cancer. Which means, of course, that I should have been tested regularly all these years when having mammograms. Take heed and scream at your doctor.


  1. It is a blood test for those genetic markers?
    My routine exams are due in June, perhaps I should ask about it...

  2. Ah I will take note of that they told me to watch out for ovarian cancer but didn't know they could test..I have been through annual mammogram screening since 1999 as we have a breast cancer family history clinic here.

    I am now alledgedly out of one in two risk category from BRCA genes:-) to normal one in I have hit my 50' phone mast news great it would be what's its law that it affected me! as links between radiation and melatonin and breast cancer..

    Yes I agree with you on obsession quality of some of the cancer stuff..I am all for the 'live' policy..
    I'm up for hearing your 'living news'..
    mine is mega exciting today will I, won't I do another load of washing to bring nearly to an end mammoth catch up from being off foot last 9 weeks...I do love a washing line..smell of fresh blown clothes ummm..sad or what:-)

    I did first trip to town yesterday and confess to buying just about anything I could get my hands on but what was on my imperative list!!

    I plan to be creative this afternoon and rifle through a Vogue magasine I bought yesterday, to see if there is something I could copy or make for myself..the imagining I will do it, seems to get more time than the actually doing LOL but this year may be differnt..I do like all the little floral prints.

    I think I possible equate Mimosa with Forysthyia here..but no lovely smell:-(

    Jane x

  3. Carina, unless your mother, her sisters and her mother have had breast cancer, it is most unlikely you carry the gene. But, yes,they can test for it. I wasn't tested, since all of my said relatives made it pretty obvious I do carry it. It won't do you much good to know. Some women go so far as to have preventive mastectomies. Mammograms and screening seem more sensible to me.

    Jane, lots of beautiful vegetables, some sausages and cheese.:-) Best of luck with the mast.

  4. Ah, OK, good to know. No cancer anywhere in my family as far back as anyone knows on both sides. Except for my father (liver cancer, age 64) but he had both hepatitis and was an alcoholic....very strong double whammy for predisposition for that.
    I know someone back in Colorado who had a prophylactic double masectomy though. I thought she was very brave.

  5. Yum..that sounds lovely:-0
    Thanks 2am Monday and still working on emails for meetings..the British government in their wisdom or ?? say that councils are not allowed to take into account any objections based on health related issues?
    So I did War and Peace on my personal health version on that anyway and now why I think 3G (third generation remember second WAP that flopped) mobile broadband is all hype not relevant to Cornwall..we should be pushing for household fibre optic broadband..
    plus I calculated in the area this mast might cover, which is a European designated economically deprived area, take up might be 50 people and as low as 35 in economic downturn..
    so if democracy is ala Rousseau? ha ha!

    Hope you keep feeling postive and doing nice things..did the experts(?) like kitchen plan?

    Janex hoping i can finally switch off and get some sleep..foot I hadn't realised has swollen nicely from sitting at computer so long..need to get it down before physio tomorrow..naughty me