The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: March 7, 2002

Katonah, New York

18 x 24 inches

Milkweed Pods
22 x 30 inches

I was a healthy 46-year old mother, trainer of horses and equestrians, going into the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Upon awakening from surgery my first conversation went: "Appendix?" "No." "Tumor?" "Yes." "Cancer?" "Yes." Colon cancer had been found in the secum. Back to sleep. The next dialogue was Alan's voice, not yet my husband, pouring forth his love and desire to marry. I chose to awaken long enough to answer, "Is this a proposal? What a good idea!" Back to sleep.

And so my life changed in many ways on October 31, 1992. I had chemotherapy weekly for one year. The challenge of training thoroughbreds was replaced with the challenge of healing, one week at a time. My life that year was filled with the excitement of renovating a house, planning a wedding, and healing.

It was during that time I began to think about drawing. Being an avid gardener and naturalist, I turned to the New York Botanical Gardens for instruction. I became mesmerized and addicted to drawing the natural world around me, the wonder, beauty, and vitality of it all. I draw what attracts and fascinates me, only to discover later that I am coping with the life and death issues of cancer through my drawn images.

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