This is the one and only piece of visual art I have ever created. When I was in 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
- sub-dural hematoma (bleeding on the brain)
- multiple infections
- fevers spiking up to 104 degrees
- kidney failure
- 13 hernias
- Kaposi’s Sarcoma.
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.