Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Today is the first day of round four of eight. On our way to my last appointment with Dr. Goldberg at the John Theurer Cancer Center, we passed a display of patient artwork in the lobby. The reproductions were from cancer patients across the country, but JTCC does offer free art classes as a form of therapy. Some day, I'd like to try one. I am a believer in art therapy (Coping Through Creative Expression). Until I can fit one of the center's classes into my schedule, I've decided to do a little art therapy on my own. Below is the result of my effort this morning, before popping the first four pills, entitled ATRA Art. A mock interview follows, which was just as enjoyable to write.

Q & A with the Artist

Q: How did you prime your canvas?
A: The same way any other good leukemia patient would: with disinfectant.

Q: What inspired you to include the broken tea cup in this piece?
A: It was sitting on the dining room table next to me when I began working. The tea set is one of Katelyn's all-time favorite toys. She first became capable of imaginative play shortly after I returned from my induction hospital stay, so our first tea parties together are great memories for me. Last week, she dropped the tea cup on a tile in our kitchen. It will be glued back together. Just as these treatments have been gluing back together our happy family life.

Q: While you were working, were you worried you might sneeze and blow the design?
A: Yes. I wore a face mask from my days of no immune system.

Q: The pills all face the same direction in the deliberate lines. Was this intentional?
A: That would be one heck of a coincidence if it weren't. I wanted to create the impression of order in chaos. At one point, too late, I realized I'd placed a pill facing the wrong direction. Hopefully no one notices.

Q: Did any particular artists influence this masterpiece?
A: Vik Munz. I dig his work.

Q: Did any particular drugs influence this masterpiece?
A: Perhaps. Theoretically, it would fit my treatment timeline.

Q: Can we expect to see more greatness from you in the form of ATRA Art?
A: I can't commit at this point, but the fact that I have four more rounds to go should give you a sense.