In May of 2007, I was diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer(ductal
carcinoma in situ) in my right breast. This required a mastectomy
since the cancer was pervasive within the milk duct system. I chose to
have reconstruction surgery at the time of the mastectomy, followed by
several reconstruction surgeries during the year.
Shortly after my cancer diagnosis I started realizing that words could
not adequately express my feelings. After a particularly traumatic
incident, I came home and started a painting that depicted the shock,
fear and irony I felt. The result was the painting entitled "The Scary
Words That Came Out of the Gift Bag". I continued painting acrylic
works that expressed feelings of loss, fear, grief and anger. My art
allowed me to work through my pain eventually leading me to hope and
My relationship with God has always been important to me and God made
His loving and compassionate presence known to me even as I struggled.
I am also grateful for the love, support and prayers I received from
my husband, family, friends and church family. This is also reflected
in my art work.
I returned to the pottery studio in the fall of 2008. Although I was
healed physically by that time, I would find certain emotions
surfacing at unexpected times, ones that I thought I had left behind
me. I started executing a series of boat sculptures. Each vessel
represented an aspect of my cancer journey. Once again, art served as
a healing agent in my recovery.
Cancer has provided some beneficial aspects such as a strengthening of
my character and an appreciation for life and the day I've been given.
Before cancer I would say that my work centered on safe subject
matter. The art that I produced as I confronted cancer resulted in
works that exposed my vulnerability and pulled out of me the best that
I am. I am grateful for that.
watercolor and acrylic paintings
ceramic coiled vessels