This is a series of paintings that explores self-images related to my experience with the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery associated with tonsil cancer.
In October 2001, I discovered a knot on my neck, and what was thought to be tonsil regrowth where my right tonsil had been (my tonsils were removed when I was a child). I elected to have surgery at Loyola University Medical Center (Chicago) in November 2001. The "regrowth" turned out to be a squamous cell carcinoma tumor which had spread to one lymph node.
I awakened to the disbelief of hearing that it was cancer and the shock of looking like the Bride of Frankenstein. In January 2002 I began six and a half weeks of chemo and radiation. I documented this experience through writing and photography. My husband, John, took over 75 photographs of me from December 2001 through February 2002.
I have completed a series of twelve self-portraits titled, "In Character." My goal as an artist is to allow people to experience visually some of the feelings that I have had as a cancer patient. Each painting was done in acrylic paint on a 12″ x 12″ wrapped canvas.
Medium: Acrylic on Wrapped Canvas
Dimensions: 12″ x 12″
Self Portrait – October 2001