I have been surfing the Internet looking for photos and representations of the signet ring cells that constitute my cancer. I attempted to paint the cell in my head a thousand times. And when I tried for real the result was disappointing and very different from the definition I found on wikipedia. “Signet ring cells resemble signet rings. They contain a large amount of mucin, which pushes the nucleus to the cell periphery. The pool of mucin in a signet ring cell mimics the appearance of a finger hole and the nucleus mimics the appearance of the face of the ring in profile.”
I dreamt of the painting and I told my friend Suheil the sculptor what it was like. Sticky soggy transparent drops falling randomly in to the abyss of the abdomen; this is what I retained from the oncologist’s explanation of the signet ring cells’ strategy to gain territory. They are independent. They travel one by one sometimes. What prompts them to stick to one place? I wish I’d known.
My friend Servane’s painting representing what she “felt about my cancer” revived that image.