In October, 2017 I had the privilege to be featured as well as my painting He Has My Back, as the cover article for breast cancer awareness in the Pebble Creek, Arizona publication. My art is more than pretty décor for a wall. As a follower of Jesus Christ, He is the only One who gives me the kind of hope that can take me through tuff situations.
On Our Cover
It was one of those cold Colorado March days in 2012 when I got the dreaded call, “Your test came back, and you have breast cancer.” I sat the rest of the evening hugging my lab puppy waiting for my husband to return. One thinks they are ready for news like that until it happens. I was also in the middle of this self-portrait displayed with this article. Before going into the hospital for the mastectomy I finished this painting and called it, “He Has My Back.”
The person standing in the middle is me and the road going from my left side into the horizon is my life journey. At some point, there is a jumping-off where I will exit this world. Cancer diagnoses brought me face to face with the reality of my mortality. The person standing behind me is the Holy Spirit, God.
At the time, I may have been a 36-year Christian veteran, but it was faith during breast cancer treatment, including losing my hair from chemo, that kept me going. Not that I sailed through valiantly. My lowest point was after the fourth treatment when I broke into a complete body rash from the top of my bald head to the tip of my big toe. I totally lost it emotionally. Faith is the kind of thing that we hang on to when that seems to be all we have left.
In my right hand is a paint brush where I am painting my life story. With every word, action, or thought I am putting another brush stroke onto my canvas of life. Everyone has their own brush stroke painting their life story. I realize breast cancer wasn’t all about me. I had friends and family watching me as I made my way through this difficult situation. The legacy I leave behind is how I travelled through my journey. Though I got the dreaded call, I now recognize have been given a second chance to continue my journey painting my canvas of life with friends, family, and acquaintances. And I do with a deeper understanding of God and how His amazing grace works.
I found a Breast Cancer Discussion Group right here in Pebble Creek that has been extremely helpful to me. I encourage others to attend the monthly meetings to gain information and enjoy the camaraderie of others going through the same journey.