I still remember that evening I went in for an MRI to investigate weird nerve pain and was walked over to the emergency room for further testing. The minute the radiologist said, “We found something and called in the neurosurgeon” I knew that I had cancer.
After many tests and more scans, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma with a tumor in a vertebra. I learned quickly that you get ushered into the fast pace environment of tests, appointments, needles, and treatment. I felt like I didn’t even have a chance to take a breath before I was making some pretty big decisions.
The cancer world felt like a whirlwind around me. Everything was happening so fast that I couldn’t process it.
That’s when I turned to my art. I have used art to relax and perk me up my whole life. I didn’t realize just how important my personal art journal would become on this path. I also had the synchronicity of returning to college for art therapy and was half way through my degree.
My self care through my art and learning about the therapeutic aspects of expressive art helped to keep me in a positive mindset through my treatment and stem cell transplant.
I’m going back to those days to share with you different projects, art journal pages, and altered book pages that really helped me to express my experience so you can develop your own personal art practice with a visual journal.
The reason art is so important for self expression is for you to get your feelings out. I did not want to keep the extreme emotions I had inside so that they festered. This is a scary experience but if you can face those fears and emotions they will loose their tight grip.
This journey is not easy at all but with art and a journal you will be able to face it with more clarity and more positivity.
If you’d like to follow me on my Facebook page, Your Inner Art where I post my personal art and give encouragement come on over!
I have published the “Creatively Through Cancer Workbook” on Amazon if you’d like an easy way to get started. I also have a Face Book Group, Get Creative with Cathy to accompany the workbook with discussions and help with your projects.