Celebrate being different.

In his excellent book, Emperor of all Maladies, Siddharda Mukherjee traces the history of cancer treatment.  He covers the history of oncological surgery and notes that many surgeons are competent
musicians.  I am sure that is true but I know more  surgeons who are artists or photographers.

Basil Stathoulis, an orthopaedic surgeon in Durban, spends much of his free time taking photographs. If only for a second.  He sent me a link to a French video clip:

The clip takes a number of people who are having chemotherapy and makes them up with wigs and makeup.  A photographer (behind the mirror) takes a picture of their faces as they see their images.  It is fun.  They are made up to stand out from the crowd.
Many women who are having chemotherapy have told me that they cannot get away from being a "cancer patient".  Their hair loss and change in the shape of their face means they lose their identify.  Wigs resembling their usual hair style can help redress the balance but nothing can replace feeling "normal again".

There are a number of organisations who help women having chemotherapy feel better.  What was remarkable about this clip was, in typical French style, they were made up to be different.

I have recently been to Lyons: a wonderful city to visit.  Although it is the third largest city in France, incredibly well organised for tourists, has 22 museums, there is very little English spoken.  There is little attempt to conform to the generally accepted demands of international tourism.

Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of the French book and celebrate being different rather than trying to conform.


  1. Beautiful and moving. Reduced me to tears. Barbara

  2. It made me feel that I am "not alone".