When cancer and art meet
Our charity prides itself on funding stellar research from all over the world, which means we're in touch with a worldwide community of people who encounter cancer in different ways: researchers, patients, friends and family members. Recently, we became aware of 3 inspirational women in Beirut, when Ruth got in touch to tell us about her friend Lina who is undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma, and how their friendship is helping them.
"4 years ago, when I was on vacation in Dubai, I started feeling general bone aches, especially in my back and ribs. For ten days, I used painkillers regularly but the pain persisted. On my arrival to Beirut – Lebanon, I conducted multiple tests but everything was showing as normal. My case was worsening and medications were useless still. I started being sleepy most of the time, confused with lack of concentration and at that moment, the word "cancer" had never crossed my mind.
My husband, who's a doctor, sensed that something serious was going on so he committed to another batch of investigations, this time revealing a large discrepancy from the original results. Within 3 weeks, I had a dangerous amount of calcium in my blood; if left undetected, could have resulted in cardiac arrest within 48 hours. I was rushed to the hospital and only then did I hear the words “multiple myeloma” for the first time.
As Lina’s treatment began she experienced many of the side effects of cancer treatment such as hair loss but vowed that it would not change her attitude.
“Always being positive and armed with determination to fight this horrible beast, I tried to ignore the empty half of the glass and have a brighter outlook on life. Everyday I wake up is a blessing, a day free of pain is a gift and I always encourage patients around me to accept their situations, sharing my positive attitude and focusing on the brighter side of things.”
With this in mind, Lina decided to work on a unique project. With her talented friends Oxana and Ruth, she created some beautiful art, using herself as the canvas. But the art had a purpose: "to encourage and uplift those suffering with this disease. To give them strength and for them to know that they are always beautiful."
“We are women. We understand each other. We are sensitive. We can feel the pain. But we want to enjoy the little things, to use art, and to look at baldness as a hairstyle and make it attractive too”
Here I am happy, satisfied, and accepting, supported by my lovely family, my close relatives and my friends. Last but not least, thank you to all relatives and friends who stood beside me throughout my battle.”
Our thanks and best wishes go to Lina, Ruth and Oxana, and we are delighted to say that Lina continues to be well, enjoy life and inspire all of us.
Worldwide Cancer Research scientists are currently working on developing new treatments for Multiple Myeloma. Read more here.