Art Journal Update

Let me say it straight up, I’m not a daily art journaller, I’m lucky if I manage one art journal page a week. I do write in a journal every day but it is just writing with bits and bobs stuck in that remind me of the day or cards I have been sent by friends. My art journals are for experimenting in and sometimes I can start a piece and not finish it until weeks later. Anyway, here are some of my art journal pages from the last 3-4 months; they are mostly faces, and the text around them are mostly quotes or lyrics from my favourite songs. Lots of inspiration and influence from Effy Wild and Tamara Laporte…thank you ladies xxx
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Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness – 4th April 2014

Some Facts About Metastatic Breast Cancer

  1. Breast cancer can be treated but it can not be cured, despite the myth that is projected by the media. The main reason is because there is a chance (approximately 1 in 3) that it will recur (come back) and will have spread to other parts of the body. If you are lucky, it won’t come back. Unfortunately, the younger you are, the higher the chance of it recurring. It also means that finding the cancer early does not guarantee a cure or a higher chance of survival.
  2. Metastatic breast cancer is a stage of breast cancer where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It is also known as secondary breast cancer.
  3. Usually metastatic breast cancer is diagnosed some time after the primary breast cancer (the cancer that is in the breast)…that can be months or years (mine was 9 years after my first diagnosis). Sometimes it is diagnosed at the same time as the primary breast cancer or on rare occasions before the primary breast cancer has been diagnosed.
  4. There are a range of treatments for metastatic breast cancer (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery) but unlike treatments for most illnesses, which focus on making you better, treatments for metastatic breast cancer focus on managing the disease, so you can actually feel ill due to the treatment. Often it is a balancing act in order to maintain some quality of life.
  5. Only 5% of funding for breast cancer research is devoted to metastatic breast cancer, which is rather disgusting given that it is the one that kills.

Why have a separate awareness day for metastatic breast cancer? Because we are living with this disease day in, day out, going from scan to scan, usually in three-month gaps, struggling with pain, fatigue, depression and debilitating side effects of treatment, constantly hoping the current treatment will keep the disease at bay until the next breakthrough drug comes along. This is a very different reality than the one painted by the media and, to a lesser degree, the medical profession and some charities, who tend to depict breast cancer as the “good” cancer to get. Sorry, but there is no such thing as “good” cancer!

Hospital

Superficial Radiotherapy

Today I went for my first appointment for superficial radiotherapy. Superficial radiotherapy is “the use of exact, carefully measured doses of radiation to treat cancer. The treatment machine produces medium to low energy x-rays, and these x-rays are directed at the site of the tumour (cancer) in order to destroy abnormal cells”.
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Art Abandonment

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been participating in a project which involves abandoning your art in random public places. I came across the project at the end of last year and promised myself I would have a go at this as soon as I could in 2014.

Art Abandonment
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CT Scan Results

I know I have talked before about scan results…the frustration of waiting…and then the “trying to understand” the results. Today was a CT scan result day, which involved an appointment with my oncologist.

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100 Happy Days

I am taking part in the 100 Happy Days project. I’m taking a “happy” photo each day, with my iPhone or iPad, for a consecutive 100 days…my definition of “happy” may differ from yours, but that’s okay, and it covers a wide range, from having a fabulous day out to just being able to have a nap in the afternoon! My photos are being posted on Instagram and Facebook, and also here. I’m finding it quite therapeutic to do, as there is always something to feel good about or just smile at, even if the whole day is horrible!

100 Happy Days

January – Life Book 2014

My goal for this year is to keep expanding and developing my creativity, so I signed up to Life Book 2014. This is a mixed media course, organised by Tamara Laporte (Willowing Arts), which runs throughout the year and consists of weekly classes taught by a range of different artists.

Life Book 2014
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365 Project – December

Wow, I did it – a whole 365 just using my iPad and iPhone! December was a tough month but I did lots of art, my eldest came home for the holidays and I saw my best friend before the year ended. You can see the individual images here.

December

Painting Faces

The last few weeks I have been a bit preoccupied with painting faces. In the past, drawing or painting a face was always difficult for me, because I strived to make it look realistic, which was a bit dumb really…(a) I have a camera to take photos of people, and (b) since when does my other “art” look realistic?

Painting Faces
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365 Project – November

Ahhh I mixed up my day numbering this month so this compilation has taken a lot longer than it normally does! Anyhow, a mixed month of waiting for things (boo) and arty stuff (doing faces) and meeting lovely Click Collective ladies (hooray). You can see the individual images here.

November