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The almond orchard near Nyons was always my favourite marker of the end of winter, but it has been replaced by something more profitable -- to the pocket if not to the spirit.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-Noëlle, 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.