Sketching the worries away


Around three years ago to this day, I had freak symptoms of facial twitching and loss of speak while hiking the Appalachian Trail, only to enter the surreal world of having a “glioma”, or brain tumor. Since it was mostly removed in June, 2011, MRI checkups since then are a big deal. Now they come every 6 months, and around month 4-5 , this time I was getting a bit antsy. Little things like minor spasms in the face, much like those annoying tired twitches everyone gets, brought questions: “Is my tumor back? What will the MRI show? How will my parents handle that?”. Concerns. It’s a good time to sketch, paint and take the worries away.
This sketch (above) of Jess and Sumner was perfect timing. While recovering from an awake craniotomy in 2011 (cool experience), Jessica, a friend through family came to visit me. Although this is an extremely rare tumor, she has it too in a very similar place and had her surgery just years before me. We’ve become great friends now and she’s about to get married. As a tribute to how much her friendship means to me, I wanted to sketch her and her fiancé as something to give to them. They both encourage me in my art and to live fully (thanks Jess and Sumner!!).


The second sketch, a “plein air” sketch, is of a group at the May’s Clinic Cafe. I did this quickly before heading in to get the MRI. The person in the middle had cancer and a warm wrap on her head. It felt good to see her enjoying the simple pleasure of the sun’s warmth.

The MRI scan had good results again, showing no changes or regrowth! I’ve accepted life whichever way the results go, but a “good” result does feel like I get a new lease on life to move forward, rather than make plans to visit family and prepare to wrap things up. So, for the next six months, I’ll celebrate life drawing, painting and continue to find out who I am, and more importantly, what I can share with others.

Thanks for being a part of this blog by reading and enjoying it! Sounds weird, but even if you don’t comment, just knowing I can share this with you makes all the difference.


4 thoughts on “Sketching the worries away”

  1. Stephen, I’m unable to comment on the worldpress site; I love the sketch and appreciate the communication. Blessings- Love ya, Louise

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