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!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Talk and draw

Today was a keeper.  I only walked Brix around the block, but I worked for almost five hours, mostly at Juvenile Hall.

The girls couldn't miss my too-short hair so I told them I am preparing for chemo tomorrow.  They didn't know I've actually been in chemo for almost ten years (since they were in kindergarten or so) or that I had cancer.  I told them that if they laugh at my bald head a few weeks from now I'm gonna break down and cry!  They were as loving as they could be, promised to be gentle.  Actually, I'll wear hats and wigs and such and try not to freak them out.  Several of them have grandmas and aunties who have been through chemo so they understood.

Then we settled down to the topic of the day.  It was a huge group - 10 - but went well.

Then I went to the boys' recreational art group and sort of went through the same thing.  There were only three guys this week because one is grounded and there's space for one more when someone makes it to Level Three status.

They were fun to draw with.  I brought in a handful of Live Oak acorns and practiced on those.  Live Oak leaves look sort of like those on holly trees - shiny leathery leaves with pointy, stickery edges.  They are green all year, so in the evergreen group even though they don't look like other evergreens at all.  Weird, huh?  I didn't have any leaves to draw.

I always have dinner with the boys - and have learned to eat with a spork.  One of the perks of this  group is that we always have dessert -- dessert in Juvenile Hall! -- so it's worth it to behave in order to have one dessert each week.  I also give them real 9x12 Strathmore Visual journal books to own and take wherever they go next (home, youth camp, county jail, long-term youth detention facility or a different unit in Juvenile Hall).  These are really nice books and true treasures to these kids who have to use rubber pencils in their Juvenile Hall classroom.  (This is a maximum security unit.)  I bring in a ton of contraband - counted and recounted - and they enjoy painting with paint brushes, using black ink pens, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, stencils, a nice set of real drawing pencils, you know - art supplies!  We are in a quiet room to ourselves.  But you have to be an honors level kid to get in.....

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad they all know so if you should feel ill or weak or yes, show some bald head, they will understand. I also think it helps kids learn to go for the good since it helps them realize life isn't forever. I've seen those kinds of acorns too.


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