Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Ever since my uncle came home from the hospital last week he was clearly despondent. He's worried he won't be able to handle the chemo. Worried that he'll always be dependent on others to complete everyday tasks.
I've spent the past two weeks with him and my aunt helping out as best I could and had a restless craving to draw something....anything! Here is a sketch of their backyard fence.
The buckled planks. Random stones underneath in the dirt. Stray grass protruding every which way. It provided a little escape for me. My time is limited right now and I squeeze in my art when I can....which isn't often.
I've agreed to stay at my aunt and uncle's house until he gets his strength back. But for how long? A couple more weeks? A few months? Once he starts chemotherapy I'm sure he'll be weak again. Will I have to stay off and on with them indefinitely?
I'm emotionally and physically drained. Feeling worried, frustrated, trapped, and helpless. Maybe I'm being an ungrateful nephew and focusing too much on my own troubles. After all, I'm not the one battling cancer.
The two of them helped raise me when I was younger and were always there for my immediate family. And I can't give up a month or two in return? Maybe I'm just being selfish at this point.
But how much help can I be? When my uncle has his bad days and appears to give up so easily, I wonder where is the fight in him. And then I ask myself....where is the fight in me?
Who am I to encourage anyone to keep going when I often don't feel like living myself?
"I don't even know if it's worth it," my uncle weakly said. Sometimes I tell myself the exact same thing.....
Friday, September 18, 2009
I almost lost all hope. But with a little perseverance and tweaking I managed to rescue this latest self-portrait from certain doom!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I hadn't seen my cousin in nearly 15 years and almost didn't recognize her. She was near the hospital entrance when I arrived. We hugged and smiled our hellos.
"I have good news....no, great news," she said in a raised voice. "It's cancer but it's totally treatable."
At that moment, all I could think was, how is cancer good news?
My grandmother's rosary
Last week my uncle complained of stomach troubles and was taken to the hospital. Doctors found a cancerous tumor in his colon. He'll be having surgery today to remove the growth and reconstruct the damaged area. Once his body heals he'll receive chemotherapy to wipe out any last traces of the cancer.
When I visited at the hospital on Sunday he seemed optimistic yet scared. His family and close friends were there, determined to keep my uncle's spirits up. They were on a mission!
You could feel the love and support and hope in that hospital room! It was faith made tangible! I sat there like a quiet observer just soaking it all in.
My aunt and cousin have been amazing, staying with him at the hospital from 8am to 8pm every day since last week. The three of them worked together in complete harmony. Whatever my uncle needed, my aunt and cousin were right there to help. Literally functioning in tandem as a family unit.
Never having experienced that growing up at home, I was in awe, witnessing it for the first time through extended relatives. The way the three of them treated one another put my immediate family to shame.
The whole experience left me feeling anxious, sad, worried, withdrawn, and out-of-place.
There's a great sense of uncertainty and powerlessness because everything is out of our hands at this point.
In the end, all we can do is pray and hope for the best. To deal with it one day at a time and maybe most importantly....keep the faith.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I cannot believe it but I messed this up sooooo badly!!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I put this off for the longest time. Resisted, procrastinated, and just plain stopped. It's probably due to the subject matter.