Empower Me

By Jane Caminos

October 4th, 2016

I'm a 68-year-old professional, exhibiting narrative paintings of women. In November 2015, I received my diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer with 12 chemo treatments ahead. The terror that arrived threatened to keep me hiding under the covers, but I'm an artist who needs to work in the studio. In an effort to calm the fear, I began a therapeutic exploration of all that panic represented by painting this self portrait with no plan in mind, just a look to see how I was doing, and that process brought with it symbols that matched my mood. The left side contains danger, the right is lighter. I've attached an extension cord to my ankle with the plug facing you, in hope that you will attach best wishes for a return of my power. Making this portrait quieted me down, gave me strength of spirit and a resolve to be brave in the face of danger.

Afterword: I sustained eight infusions, stopping at that point because neuropathy was affecting my painting hand. Last month's cat scan and blood work brought great news: cancer 100 percent gone and the neuropathy is fading!

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