Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Art, or metaphor, or something

When I started radiation treatment, they made a custom mask to keep my head still (so the "lasers" only hit the parts of my valuable real estate that they were supposed to). I asked whether I'd be able to take the mask home when I finished treatment, and they said yes.

This is what I did with it.

Note my lovely helper.

First we shredded paper, and added it to a flour-water glue (I used this recipe).

The first layer:

After three layers:

And now to paint! First, a coat of gesso and a background of white. And then the fun stuff.

The finished product, painted during a perfect, rainy afternoon in Gloucester, listening to birdsong and watching the river.

It turned into a cross between a Mexican wrestler mask and a superhero motif, which I guess is vaguely relevant.

The "POW!" is part-asskick and part-reference to my oncologist's observation that the only other patient he'd known with an attitude as positive as mine was a guy who'd had military training in Prisoner of War eventualities. Which says something about me, though I'm not entirely sure what.

The gold heart is where the Lump appeared.

The purple circles on the green background mark time; my treatment lasted 114 days, and each dot represents a three-day period. There are seven partitions around the top of my head for the seven weeks of radiation. (That's about as symbolic as I could get; the rest are just colors and patterns I thought were pretty.)

I've left one section blank white. I go for final CAT scans in two weeks, and after that I'll find out whether we caught all the rebellious cells, so I'm not completely finished yet. And there'll be at least a year of regular checkups, so I'm not going to declare victory until I'm completely confident.

For now, though, this is good.

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Blogger Bob Schwaller said...

Fabulous. One of the Most Creative People I Ever Knew has gone online bigtime1

11:36 AM  
Anonymous MEeEEeEeE said...

See that... that's you that is

12:04 PM  

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