A Slightly Morbid Pattern

I really don’t know whether anyone other than me likes this slightly morbid pattern — these are the drawings I did during cancer treatment, incorporated with the poems I wrote during treatment into Perennial, the little romance story I wrote that year about a woman who’s just been diagnosed with breast cancer and the Oak Park-based Scottish-Indian florist she gets involved with.

Oof, that was a long sentence.

Some of the elements are flowers, some are dividing cancer cells, there’s one that looks like a flower but is actually the underlying structures of the breast. I wasn’t really a pink ribbon girl during my cancer treatment, and I’m not so much of a ‘fuck cancer’ person either.

My editor and I were talking about the cancer log, and she said that people found their own metaphors to help them make sense of cancer, and for me, it’d clearly been gardening and nature, and yes, that’s right. All through the years of treatment, I kept trying to make sense of cancer through my garden.

The bust up on the mantel is me, an art piece I did for the Oak Park Arts League; they had someone take a mold of my chest (post-lumpectomy), and then I got to take the mold and make art out of it. It’s layered with dried flowers from the garden, poetry, and paint.

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