Monday, March 1, 2010

Auntie and Uncle've got mail!

It's been almost two weeks since we found out the results of the CT scans.

According to the oncologist, the cancer hasn't reduced any but hasn't spread either. A stable stage.

I admit to being disappointed by the news. I'd hoped for there to be some sign the tumor was shrinking even just a little bit. But perhaps no news is the best thing for right now.

That means the chemotherapy would continue and we'd have to wait for new scans after six more treatments. This has been going on since September of last year. A part of me feels very heavy knowing this will drag on many months more....if not longer.

My aunt and uncle just seemed relieved nothing got worse. I'm sure they were disappointed by the news somewhat too.

To help boost their morale, I made them some Mail Art!

Here's the front:

Markers and ink on standard mailing envelope - 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" (NFS)

My uncle is a fan of big cats so a lion seemed like the natural choice. I wanted it to evoke power, pain, and struggle.

The backside!

On the back of the envelope I wrote all the things I've said to my uncle since I began helping both of them:

"Breathe deep. Look straight ahead. Nothing to it but to do it. One day at a time."

This arrived to them in the mail earlier today. Thank God! Now I don't have to worry about it getting lost or stolen! *whew*

Now they have a visual reminder of sorts. A piece of me on the days I'm not there to help.


Anonymous said...

What a very special thing to do. I'm sure they love it. And it's very meaningful. Best wishes to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful art work....the words and the pic, and it is a perfect reminder of the love you share with them...your a beautiful soul my friend.

Unknown said...

Aaaaaaah......that is so sweet Dean! You are just about the most creative AND thoughtful person I know! Your auntie and uncle are counting their lucky stars in having you as their nephew. It will give them comfort and courage for the time ahead.

David K Small, artist said...

Is it possible for you to be any more thoughtful or kind-hearted? Doubtful. Now Dean, care for yourself as much as you care for others and you will be happier. I am sending "shrinking thoughts" for your uncle. Bad tumor, bad, bad, bad, be gone !

Bo said...

You are definitly a great artisit...Making something for someone is the best way to show you really care...anyone could have just went to the drugstore and bought a card...I hope your family hears some good news soon.

bK said...

Aww, that's so sweet of you! That's a really cool looking lion!

Stable stage is good. Hope everything is still going well on your side. Don't over exert yourself. :)

naturgesetz said...

Too bad the news wasn't better, but good it wasn't worse.

That's certainly a striking piece of mail art — the front so powerful and the back so peaceful — a good summary of how one should deal with disease.

Dean Grey said...





That's nice of you to say!






LOL at "shrinking thoughts", David!



Yeah, I wanted it to be a one-of-a-kind thing not just a store bought card.



Stable is good but I was hoping for better news.



I didn't notice the powerful (front)/peaceful (back) aspect until you pointed it out!


I appreciate everyone's kind sentiments!


Manon said...

Ya... I think that no news is ok right now. You are so good to your Aunt and Uncle. Hopefully, the news will be better next time.
Awesome mail art!!

Aaron said...

you *are* an angel to them, Dean. you really are and there is no doubt about that. i must say all the details is impeccable.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Stable today. Let's hope and pray that maybe things will go his way when the treatment is finished. You are a godsend to them, Dean. What an amazing card! I'm in serious awe over your creativity and talent. Good for you! I never would have thought of the back side, either, like a mantra, with the double strokes of paint cris crossing....

Dolores said...

What a great mantra. It may ave given hope to the letter carrier too.

Dean Grey said...


Yes, hopefully the news will be better next time!



I'm looking for my halo now!



Glad you like the backside too! I think people often overlook the back and I just couldn't leave it blank!



That's what I love about Mail Art. It passes many hands on its way to its final destination.


Thanks to the four of you for the nice comments!


Meeko Fabulous said...

As always, your artistic skills amaze me! :)

Paul Benjamin said...

Nice pieces of art!

While i know you wanted to hear improvement, I'm very glad to hear that at least there was no regression.

Anonymous said...

That was very thoughtful of you... I wanted to let you know that I saved the words for myself to help me when I get depressed.

You touch more lives than you know.

We Blog Artists said...

stable is good...the glass is half FULL...remember that!
This is AWESOME...I love the technique used here...and yes, I think I agree...perhaps you should have used this for Scott.
There is an incredible depth which your Lion has and would look great on Scott...I wish I could see you have a Flickr account?
Have a great day Talented Soul.

Nordic Monsoon said...

Absolutely beautiful and refined, Dean.

TC said...

Wow...this is spectacular, Dean....:)
I am sure your gift meant the world to them....

Mona Diane Conner said...

Dean, I'm sorry too no reduction yet, but if prayers help, my prayers are in the mix too for your uncle.

What a totally cool idea to send them this mail art! You are such a creative thinker about every last detail in this too---those pink, tan, brown strokes, the power of written word, and so forth.

jason said...

so beautiful!...the art...the idea and especially the sentiment.

stanw said...


What a great way of showing love for your uncle, and aunt, I am sure they will treasure it. Awesome artwork made by an awesome and thoughtful guy, you're a doll.

Dean Grey said...


You're such a flatterer!



Glad you like them!



Welcome to my blog!

I'm happy to hear those words touched you in some way.



Char, I agree. I'd love to have done the Cyclops illustration in markers instead of watercolor but it's too late now!




I like that!



Tracey, my aunt said she was feeling kind of down that day and when they got the Mail Art it lifted both their spirits!



Thanks for your prayers! Hopefully yours are more powerful due to all your spiritual art! LOL

Originally I planned to leave the Mail Art black and white much like the one I sent to Martha Miller. But after giving it some thought I decided to color it with markers and couldn't be happier!



Thank you!



Awww, that's sweet!


Everyone's thoughtful responses are very much appreciated!


Anonymous said...

I can say little else other than look in awe and say wow, you made my day in art. You do have such a talent and creativity my friend. I have read your blog fo a while now and always, ALWAYS look forward to reading and looking at your next cretive individuality.
Good liuck for your future. Take a breath, hold it and shake a little bit more confidence to the world. WE NEED YOU!!!!!
Brian (Northern Irelead).

robertga99 said...

LOVE IT! Great artwork and strong words of encouragement
You're so thoughtful :)

Blakenetizen said...

Now that it an awesome piece its Crazy Good!!
Im sure your Aunt and Uncle Loved it :D It was very thoughtful of You to make it for them.

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate you saying hi, Brian!



Thank you, Bob!



Your enthusiastic comment made me smile!


Thanks to the three of you for stopping by!


dominique eichi said...

I wanted to comment on your self portrait. It is very powerful and your talents is FORMIDABLE . I also wanted to say I congratulate you on your courage to share about yourself and with the help you are giving to your aunt & uncle. I have a quote I like " Never let your memories get bigger than your dreams " and there is this book that helped me tremendously
" Freedom Through Forgiveness " by Nathan Daniels hope you check it out for you and your family.

Jake said...

I really love this piece of art. You're truly talented. My aunt has colon cancer right now, and is actually going through the same thing as well. The cancer had actually cleared up, but then she went back 2 months later and found another tumor. They're working on that getting smaller, but it's only one day at a time.

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the kind words! That's a wonderful quote!

I'll read up on that book suggestion too!



I'm sorry to hear your aunt is going through the same thing as my uncle. Are you helping out as well?

Hopefully the doctors will be able shrink her newest tumor!


I appreciate hearing from both of you!


Unknown said...

This is so creative, Dean! Just love the front lion, it's fantastic!
Wish your uncle all the best. Damned illness!

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

Dean~ I wandered over here from Bob Out.
I love your art and your kind heart. What a gift you are to your aunt and uncle.
I have also known deep depression...hang in there. Mine got better when I moved to the Sunshine State.
I bookmarked your blog so I can come back again.

melanie said...

I love the lion' it is a beautiful, powerful image and wish you all, all the best for the road ahead.
I have been on that journey you are on and it was long and painful, You are a wonderful and brave soul to walk the path with them and hold there hands,my heart goes out to you all. I wish you all the love and strength you need to carry on xox

melanie said...

omigod' couldn't see the back before and now i do' May i borrow that' i so need to use that for my mantra...that's beautiful!

Dean Grey said...


I'm glad you like it!


Little Miss Sunshine State!

Thanks for saying hi!

Sorry to hear you also suffer from depression but I'm happy to know it lessened once you moved. Does that mean I should relocate to the Sunshine State too? Hmmm.....



Borrow away!


Thanks to all of you for the nice words!


Unknown said...

That is not only amazing art but so thoughtful as well!

Dean Grey said...


Thank you for that and for stopping by my blog!


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

You are such a gift to them.
Those words on the card could be said to........YOU!
You are doing great, Dean!

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate your kind comment!

Yes, I should follow my own advice and words of wisdom.


Unknown said...

I love how you combine words with art.

Dean Grey said...


I love the written word with images. That's probably why I love comic books so much.