Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day of Art at Banner Desert Medical Center

Twenty-four hours until my tax appointment. Am I ready? Almost. Should I be working on that instead of blogging? Probably.

Yesterday I participated in the Day of Art at Banner Desert Hosp, sponsored by the oncology department. I guess they do it twice a year. The paintings done at these events line the halls of the oncology unit in the hospital. I saw them when I was hospitalized in August, and thought I could never do something sparkly and positive, but really wanted to do something.

So I did. It is a version of what I worked up on the computer.

Every painting has a story underneath it on the wall, written by the artist. Hopefully I can find where it ends up being hung, and get a picture of it framed and on the wall.

Metastasis is the unpublicized part of this breast cancer ride. it is the part for which there are no parades, no pink ribbons, no feather boas, no emotional marches.

With the Stage IV diagnosis comes the feeling that one has been de-ribboned and stripped of the title of Survivor.

This is the dirty pink underbelly; the part that exists without glamour or glitter, where the only pink ball caps are the ones dropped in the gutter, stepped on and run over.

It is a dirtier shade of before, a bit soggy and cloudy, and for some of us, the new reality.

It is a cold rain on the pink parade.

Of course, since yesterday I have thought of at least half a dozen things I'd like to change, or do differently. That lovely trait would be why I rarely actually finish projects, decide on a color to paint my walls, and why I like the computer for scrapbook pages.

At one point when I started on the umbrellas, I feared they looked like pink pumpkins, then boobs. Thank goodness they turned out umbrella-y enough.

Mostly old people there, several people I knew from the support group, several with METS also. Later in the afternoon a couple of younger people came, and it always breaks my heart to see women so young battling cancer.

It was outside, in a garden area between buildings. We had very nice weather and shade most of the day. I had some help at the end with some of the shading. The counselor who facilitates the support group took pictures of each of us with our painting when we were finished. I'm sure that's a lovely shot, after being in the breeze and working and concentrating all morning. It started at 9:00am, but I didn't make it there until about 10:00am. They had a light breakfast, and then served lunch as well (yum!) I panicked a bit midway, worrying that I wouldn't be able to finish by wrap-up time (3:00pm), but I actually finished by about 2:30pm.

I got compliments on my painting, and said to the counselor, 'yeah, they haven't read the story part yet'...haha. One of the other METS ladies understood it though. The counselor said she was glad I did it, and that it needed to be said. I agreed, and shed my only tears of the day.

It's not all rainbows and puppies and pink ribbons.

The new image I have in my mind is being piled upon by all the things I have to deal with, that keep me from focusing 100% on the last thing in the pile; having cancer and taking care of me. That might translate more universally across the cancer lines. I'll work on that idea for six months.


Sharon said...

Beautiful, Shelli. Just like you. You can do this. You ARE doing it - every day.

Anonymous said...

Your artwork is a great testimony to what you and other going through this trial are feeling. I don't think they look like boobs at all! Well maybe pointy boobies. Love Ya.