The first time I met Heather, she showed me a picture that sucked the air out of me completely. In it, Heather stands with her eyes closed. She holds open a pale pink robe with her bare chest exposed. Her breasts were recently removed and all that remains are two strips of medical tape covering the incisions. Ink marks show where the surgeons mapped out the procedure. Bruising blankets her skin and lines cross over her midsection where they tightly wrapped her broken body after surgery. Dark circles rim her eyes and she has no hair. I could see, without question, that this was a woman who had just endured the worst.
I spent a lot of time analyzing this photo throughout my journey with Heather. The more I looked at it, beyond the trauma, I saw a woman reborn. Henna covers her forehead and scalp. Relief plays at the curl of her lips. She had lost parts of her, but Heather makes beauty out of challenges. When I think of her, colors flood my mind from all directions. They blur, blend, and overlap, creating their own unique sections of the painting. The composition is bold, passionate, and fluid – like Heather. And just like life—sometimes the painting can get a little messy. Heather didn’t shy away from showing me her scars. It is only right her painting should be daring enough to show the same deep vulnerability.
The trauma of cancer stays with you forever. Thanks to Brushes With Cancer, I get to turn Heather's struggle into beauty.
These 11 oz ceramic mugs are microwave and dishwasher safe. Care instructions: Hand washing will ensure the design does not fade.