My Breast Cancer SoulCollage® Deck

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I spent most of 2007 in treatment of one kind or another; and I spent it crying and broken apart. I spent years trying to understand my experience, to explain it to my friends. And in the end, words were just not adequate.

Cancer is complicated. What it did to me, my identity and my life is complicated. I had lots of choices to make (surgery, chemotherapy, hormone treatment, hysterectomy) and yet none of my options were great. All of my options had major downsides to them. It sucked, but that’s cancer for you.

In 2002 I discovered SoulCollage®. The process has served me well over the years, allowing me to explore my world through imagery. SoulCollage® is what opened me up to mixed media art, a current passion of mine. I had done some SoulCollage® after breast cancer treatment, but it was in 2012 that I decided to create cards about my breast cancer journey.

Here is my Breast Cancer SoulCollage® deck. It does for me what words cannot…it expresses how I felt about my experience. It’s not linear, and it’s not complete, and that’s okay.

I am One who’s world has been torn apart. I am One who is in shock.


I am One who has been carried away against my will.


I am One who walks this path alone. I am scared.


I am One who has stepped into a world of hospitals, doctors and pills. Lots of pills. I feel like I aged 20 years in just 6 months.


I am One who is carved up. Body parts lost, scarred.


I am One who is stalked by Death. I feel the threat of violence and death all around me.

 


I am One who fights for my life.


I am One who lost my female identity along with my body parts. Who am I without my breasts? Without my uterus and ovaries?

  
I am One who feels like I am part of a bigger picture. I have found community with other breast cancer survivors. Pink Phoenix teammates are my sisters.


I am One who fights for my sisters in battle.

 

It’s been 10 years since my diagnosis, and I am still living with the consequences of breast cancer. There are more SoulCollage® cards to be made on this subject. I realize that I need to make cards expressing my gratitude for all of the love and support I have received over the years. I have also lost too many friends to cancer, and that grief is deep. Just last year my youngest daughter found a lump in her breast (it was benign) and that reopened my fear for my daughters’ health. Unfortunately cancer is a “gift” that just keeps on giving!

Thank the heavens for SoulCollage®!

 

 

 

September Challenge

I love the fall. I can’t wait for the leaves to change color and the weather to cool. And I find myself motivated to start (and sometimes finish) new projects. So it’s September 1 and I feel motivated! One of the things that has been piling up is this stack of magazines. stack of magazines2

Sigh…I love magazines, and I love to find cool magazines with interesting topics and images. But for some reason I let them pile up and I don’t read them. Not sure what that’s about, but it’s time to do something about it.

My challenge to myself is to go through this entire stack of magazines, read them and then clip all of the articles and images I want to keep. As you can see, I have my work cut out for me!

stack of magazines1
Some of my favorite magazines…Happinez, Flow, Uppercase and Cabana!

Spring Equinox, Soul Collage and Greeting Cards!

My friend, Kathryn King, is hosting a FREE Spring Equinox event this Saturday evening in Vancouver. I will be there selling my greeting cards! (Here are some of the ones available…)

card-samples

Here are the details…

March 21, 2015 A Free Community Event with East Wind Ceremonies & Friends to celebrate the Spring Equinox. Are you ready to embrace Spring and all the possibilities it offers us? Kathryn will be releasing her new CD Raven’s Light and we will have a number of other local musicians to share their music. There will be tables with local art for sale, a place to make SoulCollage® cards, as well as poetry books and readings. A special guest will be available to apply “fairy hair” for anyone who is interested (minimal cost).

6-8pm: Fairy Hair, SoulCollage®, Art for sale, local music.
7-8pm: A celebration/ceremony to welcome Spring
8-9pm: SoulCollage®, Art for sale, local music.

Location: Vancouver Unitarian Universalist Church located at 4505 E. 18th Street. (Sanctuary)

My Word for the Year: DANCE

I spent the month of December mulling over my past WORDS for the Year and generating a list of possible WORDS for 2015. I had lots of words that were weighty and important…things I should work on this year. Words like “trust,” “forgive” and “worth.” This is when I realized that I was trying too hard. I know…me, pushing things! Who could have guessed?!

So, I let go of my list and started looking at words that were juicy and playful. That’s when DANCE came to me. I love to dance…it’s the only form of exercise that I actually love. And I haven’t done much dancing in years. This is not necessarily the dancing done in front of other people. It’s more about letting music move me. I have created a playlist of dance music that I am going to keep on my phone so I will have music to move (and groove) to no matter where I am at.

And here is my SoulCollage Card for DANCE

soulcollage2015

Etymology of Dance:
From Middle English daunsen, from Anglo-Norman dancer, dauncer (“to dance”) (compare Old French dancier), from Frankish *dansōn (“to draw, pull, stretch out, gesture”) (compare Old High German dansōn (“to draw, pull”)), from Proto-Germanic *þansōną, from *þinsaną (“to draw, pull”).