12/12

I've finished my chemotherapy treatment plan. 12 cycles over seven months. There was no bell or fanfare of trumpets. I think I managed a weary smile at one point! It feels strange, I think I should be delighted, but I actually shed a few tears as I walked away from the hospital yesterday. The treatment, the nurses, the comforting safety net of being in the centre so often, all gone now. When you're having treatment, at least you feel as though you are doing something proactive, that you're making a difference. Now I'm done, but there's no smiling doctor saying you're cured, it's all gone, because we don't know, we just have to wait and see what happens. Chemo might have been tough, but for me, that's even harder. But, I have a big list of things to do just as soon as my PICC line is taken out and my energy levels get back to normal. Hopefully just one more weekend of feeling really rough and then I'm on the up.


I did celebrate in my own small way with the purchase of a new printing plate. I know, I know, talk about excitement, this girl knows how to live! I got a Ranger gel plate which seems to be essentially the same as a Gelli Arts plate but cheaper so I bought a large size. I've just done one session with it so far, but got really nice results. I'm using Golden Open paints and working here with a multi-layered technique, three overlaid prints in this example.


Thank you for following along with me through my chemo treatment. It's been comforting to know you're there and to read your comments both here and on Instagram

You might be wondering about progress on the stars quilt. Theoretically, treatment is finished so the quilt ought to be too right? Well no! One of the side effects of chemo for me is neuropathy and lately it's been pretty bad in my feet and fingers, grade 3 according to the docs. It manifests as pins and needles and numbness which I can live with in my feet, but makes holding a needle quite tricky. I've not been able to sew for three weeks now. Hopefully it will start to go back to normal but they advise it could take 18 months, or maybe never! It meant that I didn't have one of my drugs on Monday to limit any further damage and I think maybe I can feel an improvement already, but perhaps it's psychological. Anyway, just as soon as I stop being a clumsy oaf and can hold my tiny needle again I'll be back to those stars and I promise they'll be done.

Thank you again for all your support and kind wishes. I truly appreciate it.

Love Laura
x

Comments

  1. Laura,
    I'm sorry they just let you leave. I am having a graduation party for you here in my heart. I wish you could actually feel all the love and positive energy coming your way daily. Now you can enjoy each day, smelling the spring flowers and feeling the strengthening sun on your face and the smiles of your family.

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  3. March forward dear Laura... the worst is done and the best is yet to come. Three years out from my Chemo, the toe and foot tingles persist and that is just normal now. TAKE CARE of your hands above all. Ask for what you need and be bold. Blessings - make ART! Love the prints... Bethany

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  4. You are a warrior, Laura and have waged a successful campaign. The waiting sucks but you will work through that via your art and that will be wonderful. Onward and upward young lady. You’ve got this! Much love, patti

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  5. Oh Laura - you are going through something so tough, and yet you communicate with such generosity. Your insights, and your determination, along with your indefatigable artistry are a true gift to your readers. Thank you.

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  6. What a lovely print Laura. It reminds me of bright light at the end of a tunnel and I pray that you will go from strength to strength and lose all of the tingling eventually, but if it doesn’t “go” you may find that your brain blocks it out and you will only notice it if you start to think about it.
    Thank you for sharing your work, and also your suffering with us here. It’s good to be aware of all of these difficulties.

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  7. Fourteen years out and it feels good still to be on this side. No fanfare, and after all of it, you do want a little something to celebrate. I am celebrating for you! YAHOO! Take every bit of goodness and soak it up. Onward and upward - My Mom always used to say that so I share it with you.

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  8. Congratulations, Laura. You are, indeed, a warrior. There SHOULD be a ritual or recognition after a course of chemo. Something to think about. Perhaps a small wall quilt to commemorate the occasion. Hmmm.

    Blessings to you and your family. And thank you so much for sharing your exceptional gifts as an artist and teacher. You have been an inspiration to me in so many ways, so many times. Onward.

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  9. Congratulations! I am celebrating you in my heart (and with a decadent ginger cookie). You have traveled this path with so much grace and dignity and taught us all to listen to our body. The neuropathy sucks, to put it bluntly. A friend who just finished chemo for lymphoma was just asking for advice on Facebook this morning. My Mom has it in her feet from Parkinson's Disease. I am always on the look out for support hose that isn't ugly and cushy slippers for her.
    Your print!!! Oh my, it is glowing on my screen and I turned on the magnifier so I could enjoy every little bit of it.
    Onward and upward to new things that do not involve nurses (Saints of the medical profession), needles, or endless blood draws. I think we should all throw a celebration party for you in our studios this weekend. Sending love and hugs to all.

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  10. Congratulations Laura, What many weeks you have travelled, still creating. You are an amazing inspiration. Sending you love and hugs xx

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  11. Huge congratulations, Laura - it's an amazing milestone, and your fans near and far are celebrating with you! If you can't hear us shouting and see us smiling through your computer, just know that it's happening everywhere!
    The new monoprint is a real beauty - and a testimony to the fact you're already moving ahead creatively. Thank you for sharing, always.
    Love from Washington State in the "colonies"

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  12. Oh Laura, well done for getting through your treatment and remaining so positive - you are an inspiration and your family must be so proud of you. What a lucky girl Amelie is to have such an absolutely amazing Mum! with much love xx

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  13. Through the years I have watched and studied with you and your mother and you almost feel like family. Indeed, when friday rolls around, my hubby always asks "How is Laura going?" I am so glad you have made it whole through this milestone and hope now that it will be followed by great results and celebrations with your family.

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  14. So happy for you...now on to a wonderful, healthy 2019!!!

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  15. This does sound like a double edged sword of celebration. Your positive attitude shines through with your honesty. Enjoy what you can do. The star quilt will wait and there will be a finish for it someday.

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  16. Laur. a, I have read your blogs and news through these long and trying months, well done, hear all of us celebrating around the world. You inspire us with your honesty, and guts. Your print is awesome, like seeing a brand new day beyond the dark nights When I am weary of eye problems, I look at you, your star quilt, and your ability to try something new. If not, why not, as has been said, onwards, discovering new ways of doing things with weird fingers ! I have to use needles with huge eyes, a magnifier for my sewing machine, but the dreams of colour and fabric are still there.
    Love and blessings, Di Taylor

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  17. Dear Laura, First of all I wish you a happy and healthy year and I hope 2019 will be the year of recovery for you . You have my daughter's age and I have studied so many things from you and Linda that I feel I know you a bit ... You have been so brave up to now, that I just admire you !
    I wish you all the best and hope you will get the feeling in your fingers back very soon.
    Love
    Chantal

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