Thursday, February 2, 2017

And Finally... I'm BACK!!!

My gosh, I can't believe it's been six months since I put art up on my blog. I'll be honest, this is the first time I've picked up a paint brush in all that time. I wanted to but I've been... well, busy doesn't even cover it. I just couldn't paint so instead I read many, many, MANY books. Let me show you my first painting of 2017 then I'll tell you why I've been away for such a long time.

(Rainbow Radishes Tied With A Bow)
As 2017 got started I had to do some serious thinking about whether I was finally gonna come clean and explain what's been going on. I couldn't make a decision because the subject matter is so personal. What I decided to do is take a page out of one of my most beloved friend's playbook and tell the truth. Several years ago Tracey Fletcher King told the blogosphere what was happening in her life and I think it helped her get through it all just because she then didn't have to use subterfuge to explain her bloggy behavior. I think sharing her situation helped her in more ways that can be expressed. So, here we go.

I found out two weeks ago that I have endometrial cancer. In the last several years I've had some serious bleeding issues but since uterine cancer usually happens to women older than me, no one was that worried so I was put on a drug to stop the bleeding until I could lose weight enough to make surgery safe.

I've had weight issues all my life and never could figure out why I couldn't lose weight. Five years ago I found out I have celiac disease and once I switched to gluten free everything I lost a huge amount of weight. But since I had been undiagnosed for 40 years, I was still terribly sick (I also had more weight to lose for surgery to be truly safe). So surgery at that point would have been dangerous. The oral medication to stop the bleeding was a stop-gap so I could improve my health and lose a little more weight. Unfortunately, losing weight on this medication was IMPOSSIBLE. In fact, I gained almost every pound I had lost all while eating about a thousand calories a day.

Six months ago I decided I had to try getting off the oral meds so I could lose weight. My Gynecologist was against it as it was a possibility that the bleeding was in fact cancer and if it was, then the medication was acting like a chemotherapy device, keeping the cancer dormant. My argument was that no matter what, I needed to lose weight, whether it was cancer or not because they can't operate without me being thinner. Since I can't lose weight on the oral medication I thought the risk was worth it I mean, I was only forty-five, my chances of cancer were low. So I stopped taking the meds and lost half of what I'd gained in the last few years.. again, lol.

But then the hemorrhaging started and it shouldn't have started so quickly after stopping the oral meds. The biopsy came back a couple weeks ago as stage one endometrial cancer. I feel very lucky that they think it's stage one except the only real treatment is surgery. They did put in a chemotherapy device when they biopsied and that should help slow the growth and prevent excess bleeding. What I have to do now is lose weight. 

So that's where I am now. I didn't want to feel alone and I knew that I had friends out there that used to like my art so I thought I'd tell the truth and feel just a little less lonely. I promise to keep you all posted, I mean, if anyone out there is hopefully still reading this, lol. I intend to do what Tracey did, paint my way through this thing to help keep my sanity. She tells me it really helps and I sure do feel better putting brush and paint to paper.

I'll be painting regularly so if you're reading this you can be sure I'll be back, no hiding anymore. I've bought some new paints that I thought I'd swatch and I know all artists love peeking in on another artist's palette, hey, paint porn! LOL. I'm so glad to be back painting, I really missed it and I missed sharing my work. Talk soon, K?

Best,

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18 comments:

  1. Hello, Jenn,
    Your post touched my heart, and I'm rooting for you! I am a cancer survivor at 63 years old; also diagnosed young (at 38) with a 99.94% chance of NOT having cancer. I'm here to tell you that talking about it, letting people know where you are in your life, not only will help YOU, but many others who are struggling as well. I wish you many wonderful days, and if the cancer treatments are hell, then I'm here to tell you that eventually you will have daily rewards--your artist's eye will find the sunshine filtering through lace curtains; your artist's ear will pick up the lilting birdsong you didn't even notice previously; your artist's heart will reach out to all kinds of people and situations that you might never have experienced--all because life is good; life is great; and you are strong. In some ways, having cancer was the best thing that could have happened to me. It woke me up.

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  2. HI Jenn, came over from Wandering Wren's blog attracted by your painting.
    So sorry to hear of your cancer diagnosis. Thankfully it's been caught in the early stages, and you will be able to get treatment soon.
    Best of luck and keep up the good spirits. I'm sure painting will help too.

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  3. you are such an inspiration,, you truly are,, I wish with every breath in me that this wasn't happening to you but it is and you will win this battle just as Tracy did, strong and proud women you both are,, I'm sending a huge hug to you,, I admire your work so much ,, take care,,

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  4. Stay strong... creative time and reading will get you through. A blessing to be in such early stages... sending lots of positive thoughts your way...

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  5. Hello Jenn, hoping to see more of your painting adventures and wishing for your fast recovery, stay strong :)

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  6. Soooo happy to see you back. Wow it's been quite a season for you. I look forward to your future art and success story. One day at a time friend.💙

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  7. Glad to see you back blogging. I love your painting. I'm so sorry you are going through these health problems. I'll be thinking of you!

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  8. Oh my Goodness! This must have been such a shock! And so young (we are the exact same age btw)! So you have youth on your side and the fact that it is stage one. Thank heavens! And now you know what's what, you can concentrate on kicking Cancer up the bum, just like Tracey did! And painting your way through it is not only therapy for you, but a joy for us to see, so now you've picked up those brushes, don't stop!! Meanwhile, my Mum found out late last year that she is a coeliac... She is 70 and had no idea for all these years other than she's always had stomach issues. She HATES the gluten free food though, but she is sticking to it regardless. I love your gorgeous painting btw... And I can not wait to see more. I'm rooting for you! xx

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  9. I just posted a comment but it doesn't seem to have published... If it doesn't show by tomorrow I'll try again :0)

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  10. Okay so I think my comment disappeared in to cyber space... I was just saying that it must have been an awful shock! I am sure you are going to do as good a job of kicking cancer up the bum as Tracey did and in the meantime painting will be a great therapy... And we get to enjoy your beautiful art in the meantime! It's pants about the coeliac thing too... My Mum was diagnosed recently and she's not enjoying the gluten free diet one bit! Anyway, I'm rooting for you to be fully recovered as quickly as possible! Everything is crossed that you will be able to have the surgery soon!

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  11. Yay Jenn's back! I feel like the crowd in the Cheers Bar! (hopefully you'll know the tv programme from years ago, otherwise you'll think I've finally lost the plot) It must have taken a lot to write your post, so thank you for sharing. I think it will help having friends who care about you, keeping in touch as you sock this one right in the kisser! Your art and books will allow you to escape from reality in times of need and you'll be able to recuperate whilst the medical profession and drugs do their stuff.
    You are strong and I'm sending you huge hugs with all the positive vibes I can muster... which is mahoosive!
    It seems incidental, but your radishes are fantastic.
    Can't wait to see what's next xoxo

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  12. Thanks for sharing. Praying for weight loss, successful surgery and a new lease on life. And of course, wonderful paintings!

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  13. Hey Jenn, it truly has been a while - that I visited here, and now this shocker. I am not sure I'd be brave enough to share, so I am thanking you for doing it. But am absolutely sure that painting and creating as well as your online community will be a big help in these tough times.
    Your painting is beautiful as always.

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  14. Hello Jenn, I'm new to your blog, saw your link and have now read your story. Good for you for putting it out there. You've a wonderful attitude to what life has presented you with and I admire you and your beautiful art. Keep painting, as you would already know, it's such an emotional support.
    With warmest regards, Sue :D)

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  15. OH Jenn, I'm so sorry to hear this news but relieved to hear they have caught the cancer in the early stage.

    You may remember I had to have a hysterectomy back in 2012 due to abnormal/pre-cancerous cells in my endometrial lining which was the reason for a lot of feminine issues I was having at the time. I initially took Progesterone but it had adverse effects on my body so I had to stop it. My specialist said a Mirena device was not an option either and that a hysterectomy was the only way to go for me.

    I pray your weight drops quickly so you can get in for surgery sooner than later. I'm only an email away if you need to talk. You don't have to go through this alone.

    On a happier note, I adore your painting! I hope art will be great therapy for you, my friend. Hang in there...you can do this! xo

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  16. Thanks for stopping by my blog! So sorry to hear about your struggles....I truly hope you find the answers you are looking for to help with the weight and then the cancer.and wish I had good advice but I don't. I had cancer young, at 25, but surgery was all I needed and so far at over 25 years later I have never had a recurrence. I also believe the art does help, and your paintings are beautiful!

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  17. I found your blog this morning through Bloglovin'... and was drawn in by your painting. After reading your story I was so happy to see you are back to painting. Life gives us twists and turns... and 'the arts' keep us sane. Thanks so much for sharing your struggles, Hugs!

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  18. I'm so sorry you have to go through all this! Medications can be a mixed blessing, on the one hand, they address the issue and cure the symptoms, but the side effects can sometimes make you wonder if it's worth it all. I've had my fair share of side effects issues in the past months, including weight struggles. It's frustrating when the medications completely take over control of your body. I hope you will get through this, and I hope that your gorgeous art will help you with it. I love those radishes!

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Please leave me a comment, I've sure missed hearing from you!

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