Anatomy of an Artist Exhibition- Part - 33


Half Way There and Hanging In

Ending my second chemotherapy session, I have become more confident that I can finish what I began despite a few days that prompted me to consider giving this process up. The recommended daily shots of a rescue drug to keep my white counts from taking a dive, seems to be giving me days that I can bear and actually get out of my bed or chair. Mind you, I can’t do much without the energy, but any movement allows me to feel like I have accomplished something during the day. It also helps me while I cross off the calendar days looking forward to the last of this procedure end of November. I did rant somewhat about the barbarism of this process with all the irritants and side effects I seem to be experiencing. As one nurse said, “You are certainly doing this the hard way”. I doubt the stories about those that have gotten through this easily or the advice to just live like normal, seems possible to me. There is no normal with chemotherapy! I question why we are still using this method after all these decades. Shouldn’t there be a one pill fix by now? Where is all that research monies gathered by walk-a-thons and relays going? I suspect this cancer business has become just that. There must be a lot of funds in these multitude of drugs and treatments.

You can see my delusion building and my contempt growing as I proceed. The fear of undergoing this process again as I age is behind my disparagement of this treatment.. I’m not sure I can do this when I am even older. Once I have left this behind and moved forward, maybe my colouring of this event will change. It has spawned an idea for a large painting.I’m doing drawings now of the figures. It will basically be about the barbarism of what is a treatment to save us. Galloping snorting horses and terrible warriors chasing me and others , representing the chemotherapy , while a winged creature flies down with whips wrapping around the warriors weapons. Obviously that’s the chemo doing it’s job on the cancer cells and heroically saving us. You can tell i’ve had some interesting chemo nightmares. My husband has a few bruises from my flaying arms as he woke.

More gently, I have been working on my good days with a watercolour portrait of my husband as a gift to our son. My son is coming to visit for Christmas, from Australia, and this is my gift to him. I haven’t had the energy to prepare for Christmas and I’II leave that in my husband and daughter’s hands. I have made other sketches as well but my plans to get a lot of computer work completed has also gone by the wayside. Instead most of my plans now consist of a direction to build up my strength and stamina after chemo, and get back to work as soon as I safely am able with consideration of my chest and arms from surgery and the energy lost from chemo.

I did prepare for the Nova Scotia Studio Rally Map to which I am a member, and to my delight, did have a visitor for that weekend event. Being down in my studio again explaining what I do and showing my work gave me some enthusiasm once more for the future. I hadn’t been in my studio for some time and it still stands in mid stream as if I just walked out from the day’s work. On my bad days with chemo, I will colour with crayons, a tip given me by a friend having experienced the same. My husband bought me a colouring book and a pack of 64 crayons. Apparently one gets into the rhythm of the process and it’s ease of childhood past helps get through the rough moments.

So with my hand still lightly into the art process, I’m hoping this past session reflects on the next two chemo months, and I can celebrate the end of this year looking farther into the brighter future.