9 responses to “Radiation Roulette”

  1. Amy

    This is a moving essay, Catherine. Thank you for sharing this story.

    Although not as serious as scoliosis (what do they do for that now? DO teens still have to wear the back brace? I lived in fear of that.) and breast cancer, I had my right leg cut up as a child to stop a spastic muscle. I am only 43 and I can already see how the severed tendon (at age 7) in my leg will hamper me from being able to walk and move very well in the coming years.

    I am thinking of you.

    1. pinkisnotmycolor

      Amy, Thanks for the sweet note and for reading my blog : ) My understanding is that (generally speaking) orthopedists no longer see bracing or surgery as an appropriate way to treat scoliosis, except in the most serious of cases. I’m so sorry to hear about your leg. I don’t think most people realize just how much of medicine is trial and error. I understand the need to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but it sucks for those of us who get caught in the middle!

  2. Andrew


    So. I admit it. I blog bash perhaps more than you. And, I must admit, that I dread dread dread it when someone asks me to keep up with their blog–and the main reason? I teach writing and edit for a living. I can’t read any more than I must. And yet, I read your blog without skimming, without skipping, without sinking. Sure, part of it is because I care about you and I am thinking about you and I want you to be cancer-free and espresso-machine-connundrummed. But part of it is because you write so well–with awareness of pacing, line length, image, and detail. Lovely.

    And, to take your mind off you, might you be willing to think about me? I might try to call in a day or two–and only if you’re up to it–ask some advice about magazine article writing–I am responsible for delivering an introductory lesson in it soon.

    Thinking of you,


    1. pinkisnotmycolor

      Andrew, Thank you so much for the kind words about my writing. I’ll email you about that magazine chat.

  3. marissa

    ouch, i mean: ouch!

    and infuriating, just plain infuriating

  4. Barb Freda

    I’m a mom to a son who had scoliosis badly enough to have surgery only three and a half years ago. So yes, they still do surgery. And a brace. And because such a tiny tiny percent of scoliosis cases are in males, I doubt a study’s been done

    I realize he’s had his fair share of radiation, too. And I did ask if he couldn’t just live with the curve–because I’d avoid the surgery and the radiation if it’s all the same…but the answer was no.

    We all just do the best we can.

  5. Jackie Dishner


    This is beautiful writing. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with cancer, though. Wish that wasn’t why I am discovering your talent now.

    More hugs,

  6. Jenny Cromie


    I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through this. I am hoping that you continue to write throughout your experience, though. If you’re like me, writing has helped get me through so many things in my life. And it has helped me make peace with a lot of things in my life that I didn’t want to make peace with. So I hope you find the same solace in writing that I’ve found throughout your experience. And you are a beautiful writer.


  7. Mary


    We haven’t met yet, f-t-f. Likely you know I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year and half ago and chose a bilateral mastectomy. I had to laugh with recognition when I read what you wrote about not wanting to be lop-sided. That was a big deal for me. It’s a good idea to have an apron system to deal with the post-surgical drains – I got a bartender’s apron, with pockets in the front, to slip the drains into once I was up and about. There’s a pic on my blog (http://brys.wordpress.com/2007/07/12/the-gift/). It transformed the quality of my life after surgery, which in the case of this surgery, is really no biggy. This is quite an easy surgery, as far as post- stuff, once you manage the drain situation. I was baking a cake for my g/f 2 days after, with those pesky drains tucked out of harms way. And then, sleeping with those drains – that took some getting used to, albeit that they were only in for abt 9 days. But no one had talked about that before-hand. Hence my mention of this today. In case you are pacing tomorrow, you can find yourself a drains apron. It’s something to do. And how unlikely! 🙂

    I am sending you the very best of my thoughts and strength. I wish you both well in this time, which can be a tad tumultuous. It’s tough. It has all kinds of unexpected ups and downs.

    And thanks for your excellent writing. I will enjoy coming to visit your blog.

    Take care,


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