Twist on Cancer: My breast cancer experience was a combination of near misses and luck. I knew the results of the initial diagnosis before my medical team. I sat with the information for a week, knowing that I wasn't fighting for my life with this diagnosis. My goal was ensuring that whatever potentially dreadful thing this could become wouldn't.
There had been a misdiagnosis at the beginning. My doctor was furious when she realized the mistake, setting the tone for my fight. Hearing another person genuinely angry - not only about the diagnosis, but the fact that I was alone when I received it - was all I needed. It was my first understanding of the emotional side that requires support as much as the physical. There were some other missteps along the way and a second diagnosis in the other breast, but I had such gratitude that my situation was not dire. I've walked away from cancer with a couple of physical scars and the knowledge that everyone's diagnosis and their reaction to it is different. I was fortunate to have friends willing to answer questions about their experiences with cancer, and I found the people who allowed me to put on a brave face or have a broken moment, depending on my needs.
Dr. Sharon Arffa
“Great woman: Serena”
Mosaic - Glass tile
4” x 7”
Artist Statement: Sharon Arffa is a mosaic and colored pencil artist. She has been involved with Brushes for about three years. This is her second experience serving as an artist for an inspiration. As her day job is as a psychologist, she enjoyed being involved with an organization that works with the well-being of those involved with cancer. The idea of creating a connection between an artist and an inspiration fulfills what so much of us need, especially in a time of vulnerability and isolation.
I so enjoyed meeting J.P. Hayes. She presented as a remarkable, no nonsense woman who I admired. She has such fortitude and resolve in her journey with cancer, most notably when her doctors got it wrong. J.P. also told me how she admired strong women. That is why I tried to create a portrait of one of her idols, Serena Williams.
This pair was generously sponsored by Har Zion Mens Club