Thursday, March 28, 2013

Survival of the fittest and skin cancer

However much we dislike the concept of the survival of the fittest, it is a reality. Charles Darwin  knew it: we know it.

On the seashore, this truth is shown time and time again. Marrum grasses struggle to colonise the sand closest to the shore. Some runners survive the salty spray, while others shrivel up and die. 

Recently, while exploring the seashore, I found a piece of pig face creeper that had broken free from its parent plant and established itself in a crack of rock, close to the pounding of waves. I discovered roots so it looks as if the plant will survive. 

On the other hand, a penguin found dead on the sand has become food for sea birds. A mangrove seedling, washed ashore, will try to establish itself. But mangroves never survive on this part of Phillip Island. The skeleton of a seal pup -- found on the sand -- reminds me of the breeding colony on the northern tip of the island.
In the photo you can recognise the flipper and the general shape of the seal pup.

Meanwhile I'm recovering from surgery on my eyelid (removal of a skin cancer), and also on my back. Unfortunately, the back lesion proved to be a melanoma. I'm going public over this in the hope that it will encourage other people to have their skin regularly checked by a Dr with expertise in the recognition of skin cancers. Also, that it will encourage people to protect their skin from sun damage.

It is now three days since surgery and my eye is still black, bruised and taped half shut – not a pretty sight!  Likewise my back is painful every time I move. However, I am a survivor and I will recover and be back to my normal activities of writing and and watercolour painting -- very soon.

Thank you to all my friends for your good wishes.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Robin. I was led to your blog after reading your book "Tsunami" from the Barnes and Noble website. It was so good I was able to read it on an e-reader while scanning documents at my job. There are lots of interesting literary and biblical parallels and symbolism, which made it really meaningful for me. I will send healing angels to you for your eyelid and your back and wish you a speedy recovery.