Thursday, March 20, 2014

How do you envision your cancer?

When I was in chemo, I would think of the chemo drugs as Pac Man icons going along eating up all the bad cancer cooties in my system. The cancer itself was some dark looming elephant in the room. Well not an elephant but a big looming grim reaper with the scythe running all over from the good guys.

I always thought that on a slide in the lab, they would be big and black. Always ugly, never pretty. Never able to become pretty.

It looks like I was wrong.

"A University of British Columbia professor designed and created 10 dresses inspired by microscopic lab photos of cancer cells and other body systems for a project called "Fashioning Cancer: The Correlation between Destruction and Beauty." Designer Jacqueline Firkins, an assistant professor in the university's Department of Theatre and Film, says she hopes this merger of fashion with science will help create a platform where people feel comfortable discussing "a disease we are all one step removed from.""

This is an '...image of astrocytes in the brain [which] work to keep neurons healthy. Green dye outlines the cells' cytoskeleton, while the red dye highlights specific membrane channels. The blue dye shows the cell nuclei. Watching the structural changes that cells undergo help scientists better understand cancer.' It also inspired this dress.
"Mercedes de la Zerda, a University of British Columbia acting student, models a black organza cap sleeve dress with a sheer top and diagonal multicolor organza trim. With this dress, Firkins says she hoped to express that cancer patients and survivors may want to hide parts of their body and showcase others. "You can see through one layer into another. You can show your skin but hide it in another way," she says."

You can see all the images here. The one which comes closest to what I envisioned are the brain tumor images.... Big and black and ugly and looming....

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