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, August 25, 2011

Returning to life

I've been AWOL for almost five days.  I wasn't feeling well, then classes started, then I spent an entire night in the emergency department followed by routine chemotherapy, then I attended more classes.  It's been that kind of week.  The health issue was left undiagnosed for now, but sick as I felt -- and with so much pain -- I basically decided never to eat again.  Today I'm past that, but I pick at food like a five-year-old and choose portions about that size.   I think I'm okay, unless it happens again.

In the meantime, I've been to three classes and am thrilled to be back in school.  Whenever I'm bored or at loose ends I can always count on school to get me grounded again.  The watercolor class is familiar, but I took the summer off and new members have signed up.  The really new class, for me, is Theory of Color.  It begins with painting a seven-point value scale.  I understand this concept because I've done it before - but I've never done it in black and white acrylic and I always forget to use this knowledge when I draw or paint.  Not now!  I think this time it has totally sunk in and will be information I can use.

Aside from classes, my greatest pleasure of the week was that the dwarf sunflowers that I planted from seed next to the mail box are finally beginning to bloom.  There's nothing dwarf about them - they are over three feet tall (okay, that's shorter than the usual five-to-seven feet varieties), but the heads are gigantic and so are the leaves.

Next year I'm beginning the sunflower planting in March.....


  1. Hello, dear Barbara--My heart jumped into my throat as I began to read this post of yours. I am so sorry about your pain & the emergency room visit! Have fun with your courses & take good care of yourself--xo xo

  2. Hi Rebecca - You're such a love! I think I'm okay, but I need to be more careful. Just about everything horrific was ruled out in the emergency room. I tend to forget how old my stomach is! - BB

  3. my 2nd cup of coffee has gone cold and I am still enjoying your sharing, your book reviews and your art. It has been so nice getting to know you this morning. I will have to revisit your blog, but right now I need to get dressed and start on my own day instead of smiling and reading about yours.


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