On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Six years and counting

Six years ago today I learned that I had metastatic breast cancer. Within the month I also learned that it had already spread throughout my bones and liver with lesions too numerous to count. That's why I was in so much pain. My pelvis was already fractured, with pathological breaks from bones so weak and holey that they caved in on themselves. I needed a walker. There was no point in surgery and chemotherapy was simply to add a little time, maybe enough months to get me through the year although nothing was guaranteed. Six years ago today!

At Juvenile Hall this evening I helped the boys learn how to make stick figures. I found a wonderful tutorial on the Fantasy Art Resource Project website and printed out enough copies for each kid. Some of the boys were fairly proficient but most were not and no one really shined. I acknowledged that they were all on different levels and my only goal, I said, was that in our hour together each one could kick it up a notch. I think most did achieve that and several asked to keep the tutorial so they could practice in their free time. (Okay, I just need to collect the staples!)

After Beulie's training class tonight I finally had time to work through the tutorial myself. I copied everything I could and then tried to dissect other postures from magazine photos. I think the world's assumption is that everyone and anyone can draw a stick figure. But putting one in motion is not that easy for many of us.


  1. That was a great idea to work with stick figures with your boys..this is a very nice aid to get people thinking about how things work

  2. Anonymous4:19 AM

    What an inspiration you are! Congratulations on your anniversary of the dx of metastatic disease. Love the stick figures idea and now need to go back to your entry to figure out where the tutorial came from. If you didn't post that information - would you?

  3. congratulations on 6 years! I am so happy you are sharing your art with us.

  4. I absolutely love this!

  5. Thank you so much for your comments. Stick figures, I now know, can be VERY difficult for some of us. I'm trying to use that structural understanding to go forward into more developed figures.

    Lydia and Anonymous -- You don't know how happy I am to be doing so well!!!!! - Barbara

  6. Congratulations on 6 years! That is awesome! Glad you are sharing your art with us. You are very inspirational.

  7. Thank you, Ann. - Barbara


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