Cancer Experience: from Caterpillars to Butterflies
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. When I asked the surgeon what could have caused this, since there was no family history of breast cancer. The reply was, “Probably something in the environment”. A lot has been discovered in the last thirteen years, especially the relationship between HRT medication and cancer. My tumor was actually living on my daily dose of estrogen/progesterone for thirteen years! I went “cold turkey” the day I was diagnosed and experienced menopause BIG TIME. (Ladies, there is no escape.)
After selecting a new surgeon known for her in-depth cancer research, I had a lumpectomy, received chemotherapy and daily radiation (25 days). It was during my chemo treatment that I lost all my hair. What a sight in the mirror! Since I’m an artist, I can’t let any surface go without a touch of color, so my scalp was next. I remember the day I sat opposite my oncologist, a no-nonsense ex-military doctor and removed my turban. He, who had never cracked a smile in my presence, laughed so hard he nearly fell off the chair. He then paraded me and my butterflies around the facility. I brought a lot of smiles and laughter to everyone who saw me. I think life is about the joy you bring to others, which always comes back to you.
I am now in my thirteenth year of recovery. As a spiritual person, I know that the Invisible rules the visible. I am so grateful to my family and friends who supported me through the cancer experience. As a calligrapher, I have created many inspirational quotes as well as paintings incorporating positive themes. I have also created a Powerpoint about this experience. Feel free to email me for a copy.