The bubble burst

I never blog the bad stuff. I only like to check in here when there is something happy and creative to share. But now I have to make an exception. I've been talking a lot recently about the work that I've been doing for Festival of Quilts. Unfortunately Linda and I have had to withdraw from this years Festival. I was told on May 11th that it was 99% certain I had cancer and a week later it was confirmed. It was a huge shock as I'd been feeling quite well and the doctors suspected nothing more than Crohn's at worst. I'd asked if it could be cancer and they assured my that it would be so rare, so unlikely. But there's always one, and this time it's me.

Feeling well, I could have walked away from all the tests, but fortunately my doctor encouraged me to have just one more investigation. And there it was, a large tumour in my bowel. It's taken time to find it, but now we know it's there the action has been swift. My operation is on June 13th and my surgeon hopes to be able to remove it all, although until they get in there, it will be impossible to know exactly what they are dealing with. Only afterwards once tested will we know the full extent. Ror now my trust is in the team who are looking after me. The NHS nurses, doctors, consultants and surgeons, even the receptionist who took extra time to comfort me on the day I found out, have all been so kind, so supportive.

Linda made an announcement in our DMTV newsletter last Thursday and since then we've received such a huge outpouring of kindness, love and support. It's been quite overwhelming and I can't really put things into words very well at the moment. I just want to thank you all.

From the many messages we've received, it's clear that cancer has touched so many lives and there is much comfort in knowing I am not alone. I thought I was young, fit and well. I thought I was invincible.

I've shared this photo before of my favourite tree.

This tree is my hero. It's ancient, it must have been struck by lightning, it's been on fire, the insides are gone, hollowed out and blackened. But still it grows, still the leaves come each year, still it's strong.

With thanks and love to you all,


  1. Laura, I'm sorry that you have to cope with this. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

  2. I've never met you, but I feel I know you through many years of videos and posts. It seems we are all connected in some way. Like your old tree you too will survive and in doing so, will be stronger. Sending you many blessings.

  3. Thoughts are with you, stay positive. I had cancer at 33 and I’m now 46! You will get through it and when you look back it will have shaped your future for the better. Take time to rest and heal xx

  4. Je ne vous connais pas personnellement mais je suis de tout cœur avec vous dans cette terrible
    épreuve , ma fille vient de traverser ce passage et cela va bien j'espère que ce sera de même pour vous
    meilleurs pensées

  5. I have been following you and your mom for many years and have marveled at your amazing, artistic talents. It’s your combined works that have inspired me to develop my love of the fiber arts. Continue to trust in your team and know that there are many, many of us sending healing thoughts your way.

  6. You know that you are loved world wide and have all of our support.
    Thought you might enjoy this poem.

    I feel your strength like that of a tree
    Strong, deep`rooted and totally free
    Standing on your own never falling low
    Holding up against fierce winds that blow

    Bearing heat under the sunniest time of day
    While giving shade to children at play
    A place of shady rest for the weary of mind
    Holding your arms out for birds to find
    Protection in nesting come spring time

    I feel your battle against nature's seasons
    For each one created God has His reasons
    Winter preserves water given to the earth
    Spring for thawing living waters of rebirth
    Summer warms the earth with life of lights
    While Autumn's sights glorifies and delights

    But through it all you stand mighty and tall
    Like a tree battling forces that never falls
    I feel your strength whenever a crisis calls

    Mary Balthazar

  7. You are like that tree, strong and will survive. My son was diagnosed with cancer at 19 - far too young and devastating at the time - but he has survived and is fit and well 20 years on. You are in my thoughts and although we have never met I feel I know you through the many years of your creative inspiration.

  8. I have Crohn's but have been very lucky and avoided surgery so far. The advances in bowel surgery are immense so trust your doctors. Take time to absorb this awful shock, be gentle with yourself and know how loved you are. Most of us don't know you personally but feel as if we do. We will all be cheering you on from the sidelines. Think of us as your personal pompom squad.

  9. I would just like to add that I agree with all the other comments. I'm not very eloquent, so just want to send love and prayers for a speedy recovery. Xxx

  10. You have been and will continue to be such an inspiration.
    Holding you and your family in my thoughts. Hang in there and be as good a mom to yourself as you are to your children.

  11. That blow to the "Young and invincible" bubble is a brutal one when it smacks at you.
    I'm Cheering for you and hope you make a full and speedy recovery.

  12. I read the news from Linda and I have been in shock. And a little angry to be honest. I collapsed on 2 nd January and was rushed in to hospital, had all the tests and finally they found the cause of the bleeding as a tumour. You and I had our iron infusions at about the same time in and I had my tumour removed on 16th February. Mine turned out to be benign but it was 50/50. I have been so hoping yours was just a thing. Something to pass through. Nothing major, it would go and you’d move on. Now they tell you otherwise. That’s taken some time. I love our NHS and we are so lucky to have it. They’re all wonderful. I hope now they’ve finally put a finger on it everything moves fast and smoothly and you’re out the other side as soon as possible. I know exactly the things going through your head. Don’t hold anything back, express yourself to those around you who love you. I have everything crossed and am thinking of you my tutor, mentor and sister in Iron! XX

  13. Laura, you feel like a good friend although we've not actually met. It's clear that there are many others in that situation and together we will be wishing you well and sending you love. You are young, strong and vital and you will survive. Think only positive thoughts and know that you are an inspiration to so many of us.

  14. Sending love and best wishes. xx

  15. Dear Laura, since the newsletter arrived this week with the bad news I have wanted to send a message but can't find the right words. I guess there are no 'right' words so I just wish you the strength to stay stay strong and to get better. You have a strong and supportive community behind you wishing you well. Much love x

  16. As many have said, we've been through similar times; I myself had bowel cancer over 15 years ago, so I can confidently say, you'll get through this. Wishingyou the best surgeons, support, and care as you proceed on your journey!

  17. I have been in shock ever since I read your Mum's post, I am thinking of you and your family and really hope that everything will be fine. My friend had the same and she is back to life and quilting now xxx

  18. You have all your 'students' wrapping their arms and hearts around you! You are strong and young and you will get through this too! Hugs!

  19. Laura. You are a strong young woman and will get through this. Your DMTV team are behind you all the way whether you have met us or not. We are so lucky with our Cancer care these days. So many of my friends have come through a similar battle and are now back living life too the full.
    Consider this a blip and hang in there. xx

  20. So sorry to hear about your bad news. Wishing you all the best for your operation...

  21. Laura: You are an inspiration to all of us around the world. You and your extended family are in my prayers - next Wednesday is on my calendar for especially strong ones! I'm so grateful for you and your mom and your steadfast communications each week with such lovely ideas and amazing work to illustrate it. You've both been an inspiration to me for many years.
    God is holding you in His mighty hands. Love from Washington state, Flavia

  22. Praying for you Laura. I am so glad you have a strong family around you. Big hugs, Sandy in Bracknell

  23. I send you love and best wishes.

  24. I just "found you" as I was googling for "quilted faces" today, and I am so sad to hear your news. I wish you the very best, a successful treatment, and a return to full health. Our family has been visited by this kind of news in our past, and I have an inkling about some of the things you must feel. I will remember you in my prayers. I am grateful to have found your site and the wonderful things you share. Thank you!

  25. My thoughts are with you today 💜 Love Eva Albrektsson

  26. Your art has healed me in many ways. Now I am sending the healing back to you. Be well.

  27. Thinking of you and yours and wishing youwell!

  28. Have only just read this post after hearing about your cancer on Hilary Beattie's blog. Good luck. Remember that the recovery rates for bowel cancer are good. I used to work on the colon cancer screening project so became quite knowledgeable! Your work is wonderful so I will await your return to productivity.


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