Soon we will be supporting a fund raiser for the unm/cfl Integrative Medicine Pediatric Fund. I try to make sure I have a painting to donate for a silent auction the night of the Gala and Benefit Performance by, Kids supporting kids. Isn’t that a lovely thing? Kids supporting kids? I love it. My kiddo also donates some art work he has done for the Gala. This year his piece really moved me and he’s given me permission to share it with you and since I’m bursting with pride I’m so happy he has!
Before he got sick he loved to draw, this of course made me happy that he loved something I loved. For a kid who was 5 and 6 his drawings were quite good (but of course I am partial) Being the doting mom that I am, I still have his drawings from when he was that little. Here’s one..
However, it was early in his treatment that one chemo called Vincristin began damaging his nerves. It was so extreme that every time he was given a dose, his whole back would ripple with spasms for several days after the dose. It was very painful for him. This damage was quite extensive, as his hands started to cramp and freeze into twisted shapes whenever he tried to draw or write. This went on every few weeks for the 3 years of treatment he went thru. At the time we were told that these side effects would only last while he was in treatment, that it would go away after his treatment was finished, so he stopped drawing for that period of time. However, even after treatment his pain continued and he struggled to draw. This was very frustrating for him. He continued to try but found that he could only do some graphic drawing using the computer. Here’s one he did 5 years ago.
It was about 5 years ago when the medical community finally began to recognize that the side effects from the vincristin treatment was permanent and gave it a name. Chemo induced peripheral neuropathy. It was a relief for him to be taken seriously about his pain but there aren’t many options to reduce that pain. It’s difficult for him since he’s skilled in American Sign Language, loves playing piano and loves to draw. With the help from the cfl/unm integrative medicine fund, he receives specialized massage that relieves his pain in his hands and feet. While he has had to reduce drastically, the amount of time he plays piano, speaks sign language and draws. He at least is still able to do these things he loves. Also technology has helped a great deal. He discovered that he’s able to hold the stylus for special drawing tablets that will connect to his computer. I’m so proud of him for never giving up. He kept fighting back. It’s a good skill to learn, when one way fails to work, if you really love something, find another way to do it. Because he continued to fight back, he was able to do this moving piece for the upcoming fundraiser. (I’m so in love with it)
It’s abstract, touching, sculptural and unique. I’m proud of the artist my son has become. It’s a mother holding her baby.