When I moved to Bay City, Michigan, from Beaver Island, my artist friends all over Michigan sang, practically in chorus, “Bay CITY????” A friend who grew up around here and still lives here has frequently suggested “Bingo, Beer and Bowling” as the city slogan. That works, along with Bars, Boats, and Vehicles–American, please–this is car country. And I’m happy here. It’s friendly, tolerant, inexpensive, and just fun. We have a river AND a Great Lake (Lake Huron), and we are pleasantly lagging in “progress.”
I’m up to six cards so far, and need to paint two more for a total of eight. I’ve shown them to a few people, who seem to like them just fine. I think of them as Encouragement Cards, fun colorful real art to give a little encouragement to someone going through a hard time.
It’s for a kids’ grief camp that Hospice sponsors every summer–for kids who have lost someone close to them. I was asked to do a mural that was a wall on one side that kids could cover with messages to the person they lost; the back side was supposed to be something cheerful. I worried that I got too cheerful but I guess it’s okay. I delivered it yesterday and it got a few wows.
I haven’t done much on the website lately, thanks to a general wiped-out condition that’s suddenly come over me. A week after radiation treatments were over, I suddenly got a sore throat that quickly developed into a cold. I had to cancel a road trip I’d planned to celebrate and escape “all this”. Two days of packing did me in. I even, at last, lost my appetite and still find it challenging to eat anything.
Nothing gets me side-tracked faster than a really good sale on art materials. A few days ago I happened on a sale of polymer clay for 87¢ a block instead of the usual two or three bucks. Wow. My supply was low, I had hardly any homemade beads left, so I went bananas.
I miss all those support people so well trained to deal with all of us with life-threatening conditions, and the other women who were in my boat and eager to talk about it. There’s something about breast cancer that the general population can’t seem to handle. Unlike my friends hospitalized with heart attacks or near-fatal attacks of appendicitis, the subject of cancer, especially breast cancer, is usually avoided.
So far, the worst week for me was the fifth..now as in the last two weeks, my skin is red and sore and the breast feels tender, but I’m no longer in enough pain to take Motrin or something stronger. I use aloe straight from the plant, the lotion provided by the facility, and a St. John’s Wort salve provided to me by Keewaydinoquay, a healer claiming Ojibway roots. The last two days I felt more wiped out than usual–not sick, just sleepy. I often zone out for twenty or thirty minutes while watching tv and awake to find I’ve missed the best part.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I read the pamplets I was given and I went to numerous websites, but I was in shock, too stressed even go to the library, much less check books often offering 300 pages of tech talk, small type, bad writing, and even, sometimes, a patronizing tone. Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way, because when I checked the card catalog–online these days–almost all the books were reported to be on the shelf.
Yes, I was on yet another fish painting, this one a school of Blue Stripe Snappers. How soothing it is to paint fish. I may begin an entire personal aquarium of fish. I may even venture into designing picine wardrobes.
I didn’t mind at all being lopsided all this time as long as my right breast, the “treatment area”, was bigger than the left. I thought both were pretty damn gorgeous and it really never bothered me. I didn’t mind the scars. I didn’t even mind the blue nipple or the almost purple color much of the skin has turned. But suddenly, in a matter of four days, the right breast has shrunk so that it’s noticeably smaller and I find this incredibly upsetting.