“I love drawing,” wrote Leslie Sinclair. “It feels like some of the pains migrate out my fingers onto the paper.” During her chemo and radiation treatments for breast cancer, Leslie found journaling not only therapeutic, but as she writes in excerpts from her blog below, it was her job while she was going through treatment. Here are some images (copyrighted work is posted with permission) from her blog, along with excerpts from her journal and blog.
From the journal page on the right, she writes “I have to ask myself if tears always comes from self pity. [dictionary defifition: PITIFUL: 1) compassionate, 2) deserving or arousing pity, or commiseration; b) exciting pitying contempt (as by meanness or inadequacy]. Pity from those who love you is compassion and commiseration.
Since working at an outside job was impossible during this period I felt like using my art this way was my real job. Each day that I was able I felt encouraged and eager to resume work on the journal drawings. I worked slowly and with permanent drawing pens on acid free papers.”
“By the time of the third chemo round I was all over me with jitters. I took Prednisone the night before chemo. It kept me up all night and all the next day. My normally ever so slight right arm tremor was an all out jackhammer on days like these–always in motion unless I leashed it with the left hand.
In part, the [journal] text reads: “Because of the Qur’an I became Muslim and have found the peace to get me through the cancer. I will beat the disease. I am working overtime with the miners as they push the ore cars through my veins and my whole duct system to make the lymph work for me like the tremendous water cannons.”
An excerpt from this drawing, in the words of someone significant, but mostly absent to me, reads:
– I will love you even if disease makes you ugly
– That love will bring me to comfort you unless it makes me vomit to see you
– Even if I cannot come I will telephone or write letters or cards
– I will tell you what I need to get through this together”
Do you journal or blog about your cancer experience? If so, share a link to your blog!