2014, I hope will be my "Year of Gentle Making". I have a few things planned, but not set in stone to reflect artfully upon my experience. With a few more prayers, rest and recovery I hope soon to be back in the studio in a meaningful way. My wish is for everyone to take some time for themselves, to be in good health and have as much time with your family and friends as you possibly can.
Here are a few suggestions to the province and Alberta Health Services to avoid this in the future: Put adequate back-up plans in place to ensure no cancer patient's treatment is delayed. Zero tolerance. Empower hospital administration to adequately address emergency circumstances with patients in a timely and organized manner. "I can't tell you the secret that I know." does not help or instill confidence in the system. Deliver leadership and crisis training to address these concerns. Improve communications regarding health care in emergency situations. If chemical transport isn't possible due to hazardous material restrictions, a plan for how patients can get added to treatment rosters in Calgary or the nearest delivery site to their location.
Today, I just wanted one normal day...to cook my family some dinner and actually be able to stay up and watch them eat it...and paint. In the end, three organic pears beat chemo all to hell.
When the reality of life is too much, as human beings we have our imagination, our made-up, make-believe worlds to help us navigate the unimaginable. For artists and creatives, I can only think that we are somehow super-charged with imaginations - for the best, and for the worst. Here's how I'm navigating these days.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas, we've had a roller coaster of emotion and action in the household, combining doctor's visits, show openings, Leighton Colony residencies, tests and surgery. As the saying goes....the show must go on, and it did....on all fronts.
It's New Year's Eve day, and I should be reflecting on my past year, reviewing the accomplishments and events, inspiring others to rally and focus their talents, supporting the Fab Four and #IdleNoMore, round-dancing at a local mall, getting big canvasses moved into a Leighton Colony Residency at The Banff Centre, prepping for the Gwaii Haanas exhibition in February and being excited about CAMP, my first solo show at a public gallery.....but I can't. I have to focus on me and fight the battle of my life and advocate HARD through a government system.