The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 3, 2002

Wishbone Series, Counting Days charcoal and raspberries on paper 30 x 26 inches 1995

Wishbone Series, 101 charcoal on paper 42 x 36 inches 1995

Wishbone Series, 102 charcoal on paper 42 x 36 inches 1995

Wishbone Series, Denial charcoal on paper 30 x 26 inches 1995

In May of 1994, I lost to cancer my dear friend, artist and collaborator, Lois Nowicki. It was three months from diagnosis to death for this sweet soul. This event coincided with the loss of my first pregnancy. In my struggle to reconcile these losses, I thought of the number of times we face elements of chance in our lives and how little we can control them.

I quickly went to childhood memories of wishbones: the anticipation of holding one side, not knowing if I'd break off the big part and "win" or get the little part and "lose." Sometimes I'd keep the wishbone for months before breaking it.

Wishbones are also a symbol of hope. At least before they're broken.


My Cancer Experience
by Bob Riter
October 06, 2015

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