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Artful Box Happiness, Feeling Strong & Walking in the Countryside.


Last November 2020, in the midst of one of our endless lockdowns, I signed up for the subscription service from Artful Box mostly because I felt like I needed something to kickstart the steady boredom I was constantly fighting while trying to be creative in my own studio practice. The first box was fantastic and all printmaking which I really enjoyed as I've always loved printmaking and it certainly served its purpose and got me out of the creative funk that lockdown had put me in.


The unexpected thing was that of course, I never expected 2021 to be part lockdown and part cancer diagnosis so the following artful boxes were a bright light in a very difficult year so I'm very glad I kept my subscription going.


Here it is June and I've just received the latest box, this time it's full of watercolours and such a huge tin of watercolours too which normally would cost a fortune in an art supply shop so I feel very pleased and excited to get started! I had intended to add some of my watercolour creations to this blog post but I've had such a busy week and weekend that after I write this blog post, I'm going to reward myself with a few hours of time to paint plus an audiobook which I'm really looking forward to.


In terms of an update for anyone wishing to learn about my ongoing cancer adventure - I'm feeling strong, healthy and very well which makes me feel a bit of a fraud as so many people who contact me seem to be under the impression that having cancer should have me in bed being weak and ill - this is a huge misconception that I had too before being diagnosed. So yes, it's possible to be fighting cancer and also feel good, strong, healthy and be positive too...again even before cancer, I was very positive and content in my life.


This coming week, I'll be having my chemo day on Wednesday 16th of June with a morning appointment for the PICC line, followed by my regular oncology meetings to review previous side effects/how it's all going/etc and then hopefully a little break for lunch followed by chemo in the afternoon accompanied by the lovely reflexology treatment which will help my side effects. This is also my last treatment for the horrible "red devil" which I'm really pleased about and following this week, I'll be waiting on another future appointment to have another scan to see how much the tumour has shrunk and to hopefully get my 2nd covid jab too (I have to make sure I get this 2nd jab after any chemo side effects have passed).


My weekend and last week have gone by in a fast blur and I've not yet caught up - I've still not replied to so many people who have sent me messages, texts, and emails so if you're one of these people who're wondering why I've yet to respond to your missive, please don't worry as I've not forgotten but it may be a few days yet!


Last week, my mum found a nice place to rent which is very near where I've been living, so she was finalising the lease and moving in this last weekend. I also taught two online classes, one on Friday evening and the other Saturday morning and then spent the rest of the weekend helping my mum move and set up her new place.


On the days before each new chemo appointment, it's always a bit of a mad rush to try to get in all the groceries, medicines and catch up with everyone before I become incapacitated for the week. The brief visits in the countryside in between all the chaos has been a much needed salve to the soul and something I really look forward to after my side effects have lessened. Definitely keeps me focused!


All in all, everything is going well and I'm looking forward to using my new watercolours and taking some time to set up more art classes which both my mother and I will share teaching in the coming months.


So far the summer is very enjoyable and fun! So onwards and upwards!


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