An Artist's Moment - The Migraine Sisters

Mark Winkler - Artist Moments

The Migraine Sisters

This is the one and only piece of visual art I have ever created. When I was at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center battling cancer, I took an art class ("Using the Right Side of Your Brain to Paint") and this was the result (done in colored charcoal).  Since I was suffering from migraines at the time I entitled this "The Migraine Sisters." *

Being diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was probably the most frightening moment of my life.  I had just lost Charlie (my life-long companion of 28 years) to cancer, and this disease had claimed my mother and brother.  Now I was facing that same hard path. 

Here’s how it went by the numbers:

  •     2 major surgeries
  •     166 days in the hospital
  •     7 trips to the emergency room
  •     7 spinal taps
  •     8 weeks of chemo
  •     4 weeks of radiation.

 There’s painful truth in the cancer cliché that the cure can be worse than the disease. My side effects included:

  •    blood clots in the stomach
  •    subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain)
  •    multiple infections
  •    fevers spiking up to 104 degrees
  •    colitis
  •    kidney failure
  •    neuropathy
  •    pneumonia
  •   13 hernias
  •    Kaposi's sarcoma
  •    avascular necrosis
  •    left hip replacement.

I fought hard and with the tremendous support of my close friends, I am alive today.  I broke the statistics of what was to be expected....dying of cancer at an early age.


*On an aside note, in the year 2016, a friend of mine submitted my painting for consideration to a New York literary magazine.  They chose it for the front cover. See below: