Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Kate Project

The Kate Project was made for me by my very close girlfriends after I was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer. They managed to borrow my image files right from under my nose. I never knew of it until a client called wanting to buy some art. I was in hospital at the time and having a rough go off it. The surprise sent me sobbing with happiness as I burbbled into the phone of the three women who set this up, thanking them for loving me so well.

Since that time I've been so keen to pass the email on to all the women I know to specifically tell them to ask for the CA-125 at their yearly exam. It's a blood test to show if there are cancer cells present in the body. Anything over 35 is abnormal. Mine was 2700 at time of the surgery to remove the tumor. I never knew about it until my tumor was discovered. Ovarian cancer is virtually undetectable until you feel your jeans tightening. Mine must have been growing for over a year. I'm still amazed that I never knew it was there until it was the size of a large ham!

Now that I'm in chemo every week my numbers have come down drastically! At present my CA-125 is actually 34! I'm pretty happy about that, but I still have 12 more weeks until I'm through with chemo! The world will hear me hollow when I'm done!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Being an artist with cancer.

The revelation that its the invisible influences that have their way with us is the reminder that we are part of nature whether we're aware or not. Cancer has taught me that. I thought I would cathart about its effects on me but have been surprised to find that most of the time I don't want to think on it. It certainly has changed my life but I view it as a temporary arrangement, learning to deal with frailty and healing. Perhaps because I previously always took my body's strength for granted.

Along with the resurgence of my strength coming out of chemo I'm beginning to start thinking about what kind of art to make. One thing that fascinates me is that I want to use the fact that I'm bald in the art somewhere. How often is one bald in one's lifetime? I mean other than when you're a baby!

The chemo I am receiving shall continue for another 12 weeks.  But in the cancer community they call it 4 more rounds, sounds better and not so long.  By June of this year I expect to be shot of the chemicals that will make me ill and on a maintenance dose of Avastin, a new wonder drug.  This drug hasn't the sick side-effects and has shown lots of promise.  I'm happy to be part of the study, but will always wish to be as productive as possible while I go through this.  I define myself by the work I do.  Here's to future paintings whatever they may be.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Although I want to work in the studio during these long endless winter days to distract myself I seem to only manage as a couch weight while scribbling.  The catharsis is good to prime the pump of imagination.  There are painting I dream complete even though I haven't held a brush in my hand for months.  The creation is perfection in my head.  All I need now to to make some imperfect messy thing, so sling paint like dancing!