There are a few things that occupy my thinking in this phase of my life. Family, health, and polymer clay.
In regard to family, I just celebrated my 29th wedding anniversary with the one-true-love-of-my-life – Tom. In December, we are expecting our first grand baby! I’m a mom to four children and one daughter-in-law. My three daughters all live at home while two attend universities, one serves in the Illinois Air Guard, and one runs middle school cross-country and track.
In the health department, I was diagnosed with cancer on Sept. 25th 2017. So here I am one year later celebrating a new lease on life! I’ve jumped through all the treatment hoops that were placed in front of me. I’m getting better and better every day but there are days when the big C looms in the back of my mind as a constant reminder to give life all I’ve got.
As for polymer clay, it’s been a constant part of my life since 1989. And it intersects continually with all the other parts of my life. I discovered oven baked clay jewelry on my honeymoon; I’ve raised four children in my art studio; and I was returning from the LoneStar Houston Polymer Clay Retreat when I received the Cancer call from my doctor. I’m sure I’m no different than so many artists who have their art and their creative focus intwined with every other part of their lives. That seems to be how art works.
One year ago, I had just been delivered to Houston Hobby Airport by my faithful chauffeur and newly reacquainted friend. I was standing at the gate waiting to board when my internist’s office called – I knew I had already failed the mammogram and failed the ultrasound. The current news was that I’d also failed the biopsy. My emotions were a little topsy turvy. I was coming down from the high I’d felt at having just spent a memorable and fantastic weekend with a bunch of creatives just like myself. And now facing a new project with a completely different focus – getting well from something I didn’t even know was making me sick.
The healing took place (like everything else in my life) with the help of family & friends, and polymer clay.
How Polymer Clay and Sculpting Heal
Once my support team was in place I set my focus on doing everything the medical types expected of me with the best attitude possible. I gave a hand-made polymer clay ink pen to every health provider on my journey – from registration clerks, to nurses, to lab workers, to surgeons, to volunteers… You name the health care position, they all got a gift. In return I got boat loads of smiles, and TLC, and prayers, and well wishes.
From the polymer community I was presented Bottles of Hope, and a new wardrobe of pink hand-made jewelry, and a fuzzy blankie, and cards, and social media prayers, thoughts, hopes, wishes, and encouraging texts, emails, and calls. From this experience I quickly realized that I was not alone. So many friends have gone this same route before me. So many people had just the right words to say, and kindnesses to give, and insights to share.
Whenever possible I took on contracts from Sculpey and working was very healing for me. I could escape the negative thoughts that tried to work their way in during creative hours in my studio – feeling normal, feeling creative, feeling in control.
Now I’m celebrating my one year anniversary from diagnosis. I’m looking back on this last year with thankfulness and hope for what lies ahead. My biggest hope is that I can encourage others they way I have been encouraged. With Breast Cancer Awareness Month just around the corner, I present my Pink Ribbon Project.