I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer seven and a half years ago. The news was overwhelming. The painting depicts how I began; absorbing the shock and then going through the feelings of loss, bewilderment, and fear of the unknown.
But very quickly the practicalities take over: hospital, chemotherapy, scans. Wherever I went, whichever hospital or clinic, there was nothing but kindness, and this, together with the love and support of my family and friends, made this period not only bearable but illuminating as well.
And then, in time, everyday life (which is beyond the window in this picture) resumes. But it seems that the colors are brighter, the focus is sharper. And I have always kept in mind, like an internal beacon, lines from Robert Frost's poem: "But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep."
*Award winner (global) in the 2006 Lilly Oncology on Canvas art competition and exhibition. The global winners were announced November 3. US winners were announced December 5. The biennial competition is open to any person diagnosed with cancer; family members, friends, and caregivers; health-care professionals; plus artists and art students. Entrants are asked to express, through art and in narrative, the life-affirming changes that give their cancer journey meaning. More than 2,000 entries from 43 countries were received, including this painting by Bobbie Redemer of Berkshire, England. The program was created by Eli Lilly and Company.