Preparing for my 5th cancerversary, I thought for months about what art I wanted to make to celebrate. Another altarpiece like this one? A themed show? Ultimately I decided to do a #dailyartchallenge for the number of days in 2018 between the first sign something was wrong and when there was no sign, "no evidence of disease." 195 days.
Each day I post a piece on IG. Some pieces are completed start to finish the same day, others take days or weeks so I post on completion day. Along with the art, and comments on the art, I sometimes post thoughts and stories from the cancer experience. Doing so allows me to process the memories in essentially real time rather than summing everything up.
I'm sharing a lot that I didn't share during the cancer experience too. I made a choice five years ago to be a person who happened to be in cancer treatment. I didn't want cancer to be my entire world or the only thing people knew about me.
There are many cancer thrivers who blog during treatment or use sites like Caring Bridge to keep friends and family up to date. I think that is absolutely wonderful. Sharing what's happening with you is a healthy, constructive endeavor that builds support when you need it most. It can also teach and encourage others. I did share about my treatment, etc., on social media and in person, but not with the intent to inform in any consistent or comprehensive way. I didn't want the pressure to publish, and again, I didn't want my whole world to be cancer. The downside at the time was that some people who cared about me felt like they weren't included or important to me. I get that.
Five years later, it's a privilege to publish. The only pressure I'm accepting is to make art and post daily. Everything else is "as inspired".