The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 3, 2002
Stop All of This! mixed media 13 x 9 inches 1985I am an art therapist at a large pediatric oncology hematology center, and my work has been dramatically altered by my experience with children with cancer. Art has been a therapeutic way for me to release indescribable emotions.
Death is not the only frightening thing about this disease. I see what the children have to bear in their treatments; the road to a cure is such a painful one. This seven-year-old girl has leukemia. She had a lot of difficulty with procedures. We worked on her coping skills, including the use of relaxation and visualization. In one session, we wrote a fantasy letter to the doctors. I asked what she wanted to tell them. Her response, "Stop all of this!"
Together Mixed media 13 x 11.5 inches 1995
When a child I have worked with dies, I say good-bye through my art. John was a nine year old who died from acute myelogenous leukemia. He was a gifted artist and utilized art therapy sessions fully; he displayed amazing depth. I am constantly amazed at how these children cope with the journey that cancer takes them on.