The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 3, 2002
I Am Not Thirsty, I Am Only Parched monotype 20 x 22 inches 1995
My father was diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago. He had radiation and chemotherapy. Part of his esophagus was surgically removed. He was in the hospital for 40 days and 40 nights. He could not eat or drink during his stay.
I did not want to deal with my father's illness, yet I felt a strong sense of responsibility and worried constantly. There are so many things I want to say to him, yet I do not have the strength to face him. Through my art, I am able to work through these feelings. It is a way to express what is difficult and to gain perspective on my life.
My father is in the hospital. He asks me for water but I cannot give him any. There are tubes sticking in and out, draining the bad out of his body. He then asks me for a wet towel, and he tries to suck the water out of it. I have to call the nurse in. He tells me that, when he gets out, he will have a juice party. Thirty gallons of juice, every type and every flavor. I am not thirsty, I am only parched.