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!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Night life

Last week's lunch at The Tides in Bodega Bay.
Sea lions were swimming past our window view.
I don't usually sleep on Monday nights.  The reason is obvious, it's that Juvenile Hall coffee I enjoy so late in the day.  I walk in from the parking lot, flash my badge, and head straight to the break room where I fill my commuter mug to the top leaving space for cream.  And then I sip it in front of the kids (sorry, I'm rude that way) for the next four hours.  And then, surprise, surprise, I'm still wired at bedtime and cannot sleep.

Usually it works in my favor.  I listen to an audio book while Steve and the dogs are sleeping.  Last night, with a mind whirring at top speed, I just got up.

A couple days ago I withdrew from the beginning painting class I was enjoying so much.  I have missed more classes than I've attended, I'm in fairly constant pain, the class runs until 10:00 p.m. and it's a good 45 minutes away and now I'm about to begin a new course of chemotherapy.  Topping it off, I don't even enjoy acrylic painting enough to make that sort of effort.  So I dropped out.  Mostly I feel sad about that, but in some ways it's a relief.

Last night, after I got up, I headed to my "studio" in the kitchen and cleared away the tubes of paint I had been using for homework assignments, back when I started off well and actually did the homework.  The paint is still there, it's just not all set up.  I dismantled the tabletop easel and put it in a closet.  I don't like working on easels, I prefer the stability of a table.

The truth is, I like to work with pen and ink, colored pencil, Crayola crayons, sometimes watercolor and not much else.  Acrylic paint isn't even on the list although I will probably work on my Halloween mask during the week so I have something to take in to the boys next Monday.  And once in a while I'll probably surprise myself and pull out a blank panel and paint a bird or animal portrait, something I prefer to the still lives of class.  That's no offense to the instructor - she's my favorite, I just don't enjoy that sort of work no matter how instructional or traditional it might be.

So, while I have spent zero time at my kitchen art table in the entire past month or more, I'm hoping the new setup will inspire me to tackle the botanicals I love so much and always, birds and animals.  I need to do something in that space, but, alas, class assignments it won't be.  This is the second year in a row that I've gone into her class full of enthusiasm and cancer has forced me out.


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