Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Breast Pockets for Melanie

Wallowing in ones condition isn't conducive to healing, of that I am certain! When Melanie sent out a call for 1000 breast pockets I took on the challenge; a much needed one. The five pockets might have grown to a stack of at least 10, but a round of chemo a week ago had it's say and that's that. I'm learning to listen to my body.

The first person in our family to have breast cancer was my Aunt Gladys. For the last eight years she's had a clean bill of health. But even after radiation had been successful eight years ago that doesn't necessarily mean that can be counted on;  just this last year she had recurrence followed by two unsuccessful surgeries. At 89 she's made the decision to end the battle and just live day to day until it's her time. What grace! (the cancer is non-aggressive)
    My aunt's humor is so similar to that of my dad's that often when I'm talking to her it's as if I'm having a conversation with my dad who passed away 12 years ago.
   One of my aunt's favorite colors is pink and another one is golden yellow. This hand-dyed piece of fabric honors my aunt for all she's been to me and her family. A loving and caring aunt!

Nellie, of Nellie's needles, and I have been cyber friends for quite some time. We'd been out of touch for awhile until a post on FB appeared letting readers know she was doing okay after a double mastectomy. Huh? Stunned, I reread the post a number of times. I was having my own cancer event and so was someone I knew. We reconnected and now have more in common than our art. 
     I've been a huge fan of Nellie's art since I discovered her through a mutual cyber friend. Cyber friends are the best!
    The above pocket is a hand-dyed piece that shares a color combo of many of the spectacular sunsets that Nellie often shares on her blog and FB page. 

The hand-dyed fabric below also honors Nellie who is known for her use of creative embellishments in her work, thus, two copper verdigris hearts.

Mom's pocket. Last year mom had her own breast cancer event, but being that she's so deep into Alzheimer's she's never been aware of it. I continue to take care of her and am amazed at how foreign her body is to her. Where there used to be arthritis and back pain and might have been pain from a mastectomy she seems to longer  respond to pain. Alzheimer's is more than memory loss.
Mom loved denim jeans and jackets and at 87 she still looks great in them. This hand-dyed stitched piece is for mom whose strength I daily feel as I continue on my journey.
I has assumed my journey was full enough with losses and challenges but it wasn't until last April when I was faced with the largest one yet that I wondered if I had what it takes to deal with the entire package that comes with breast cancer treatment. I'm still discovering if I'm up to the challenge. But so far I've come through a mastectomy and 4 rounds of chemo better than I expected. I look forward to the day when I can say, "I'm doing great," rather than, "hanging in there."

    And so this last breast pocket is for me. A little unbalanced perhaps, but that's where
 I'm presently at.

Kudos to Melanie Testa!

Quote: what strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or done by experts who are artists. But couldn't everyone's life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life? Michel Foucault

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Breast Pockets

I never thought breast cancer would effect my family; not one member of my family had battled it, though, there were other cancers. Eight years ago my aunt had a lumpectomy and last year my mother had a mastectomy and was placed on a hormone for 5 years. And then in April with my head still buried in the sand I was told by an RN and Radiologist that I was about to take a detour. I absolutely never thought I would have cancer of any kind much less through end up with a mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and a hormone for five years. I've decided that the brutal treatments are a way of cleaning the slate, so to speak, and giving me an opportunity of building a new immune system. I'm sure that sounds hokey, but the old immune system wasn't serving me very well and chemo blasts away everything in it's path without regard to good or bad. The days are mostly gray but once in awhile the gray recedes enough that I can see down the road to a time when this will be behind me.

I joined Melanie's call for Breast Pockets. Check it out on her blog. She hopes to have 1000 pockets. I have 3 nearly done and two more planned. One for my aunt, one for my mom, one for me and two for a dear friend Nellie.
   The piece, above never went anywhere so I'm cutting some of it up for pockets.
Please join Melanie's call for 1000 breast pockets; breast cancer effects us all.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

Much to be thankful for today. Three rounds of chemo behind me, one more to go. 
Six years ago we moved into our new house; the garden is now fully grown, in fact the gardeners need a machete to keep it tame. Plants tend to grow fast here in the desert.

 Just over three years ago my guy and I were in Italy. These two images are of the Palatine adjacent to the Colosseum in Rome.

What a meal at Zi Cir La Maddalena! I can still feel the balmy air on my skin when I nearly swooned over this plate of Gnocchi; the best I've ever had.

Somewhere in Rome.

Quote: sometimes I go about with pity for myself and all the while Great
Winds are carrying me across the sky.
Ojibway saying.