Tuesday, 7 April 2015

I have Multiple Myeloma

#hellomynameis Michelle and I have multiple myeloma. MM is a cancer of the plasma cells in the blood and it is treatable but is incurable.  *passes the tissues*

Miss Maya
Mixed Media on Mixed Media Paper
42cm x 30cm = 16 1/2" x 12"
I have named my latest girl Maya even though myeloma is pronounced my-loma. I created her as therapy about 4 weeks ago using a burgundy colour as this is the myeloma colour and the bubble wrap represents cells.

How did I find out I had MM?

In January I went to the local doctor for a prescription repeat and asked for a blood test for menopause as I had several symptoms that needed looking at.  The blood test came back with high protein levels - this is a red flag so the doctor requested more tests to be done.  CRAB is the anacronym for blood cancer symtpoms - C - calcium levels were ok, R- renal/kidney function was good, A - anaemia - no and B is for bone pain.

On Dec 24th I put on my superhero cape and had a busy day, I walked 4kms, did 4-6 loads of washing, cleaned the house and when I started the ironing in the afternoon lower back pain started. The chiropractor and I were best friends in January trying to sort out this lower back pain which wouldn't go away....

My local doctor sent my to a haemotologist who did more tests - blood, urine, skeletal survey where they xray most of your body looking for lesions and couldn't see anything and I had a bone marrow biopsy -which came back at 30% plasma cells. Less than 5% is normal and over 10% is myeloma and 5-10% is MGUS - monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined specifications - which is what I was hoping I had - no symptoms and no treatment.  I had asymptomatic myeloma and had to have a blood test in 3 weeks and see the haemotologist in 4 weeks.

The day after having that blood test I started getting a pain in my side ribs so when I saw the haemotologist the following week he decided I should get a CT scan to check it out.  The results came back showing I had multiple lesions on my ribs, sternum and vertebrae. The cancer cells gather on the bone and excrete a chemical which makes the bones leach calcium which causes lytic lesions - these cause bone pain which can cause muscle pain.  I've been in pain for months now. The doc has me on pain meds but I should be in hospital.

I'm booked into hospital for a week on Tuesday morning for more testing and to start treatment which will include chemo.  I'm scared of the unknown but ready to get well again. This is why I have been less active in creating art and on social media. 
This has been a lot to cope with - for me and my family and close friends.  I've been very fortunate to have caught it early, many people break bones and the xrays then show the lesions and I had a month of being asymptomatic so I did my research into it which is difficult to retain at the moment.

I'm looking forward to being in remission and well enough mentally and physically to start creating again.  Right now I'm resting up and colouring in Joanna Basfords' Enchanted Garden book which a friend gave me or creating mandala/zentangle/doodles with markers in my visual diary.

Take care my friends, leave me some love in the comments below or on FB, it would be greatly appreciated. Keep well and stay safe, until next time, love, hugs and cuddlybugs, Shells xxx

PS decided I would keep my hair appointment but just get it cut and not coloured...who knows how it will look in a couple of months!!  :D

 


Friday, 3 April 2015

Meet Miss Victoria

Meet Miss Victoria sho has traveled to Beverley for the Beverley Art Exhibition this weekend.

Miss Victoria
Mixed Media on Wooden Cradled Panel
42cm x 30cm = 16 1/2" x 12"
 
This is the first girl I have created on a wooden panel and it was great.  Canvas panels have give and air bubbles can be more troublesome but the wooden panel is hard and easier to get the bubbles out of.
 
Her face and hair was created on watercolour paper using watersoluble pastel and oil crayons and acrylic paint.  The background is acid free tissue paper which has been scrunched and gelli printed.  Her clothes and hat are gelli prints too.
 
She is available for sale at the exhibition.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Meet Miss Nicole

Meet Miss Nicole - N was the next letter in line and I could only think of nickel which is gray so I've chosen some other colours for Nicole. I also tried a side on portrait this time too.

Miss Nicole
Mixed Media on Mixed Media Paper
42cm x 30cm = 16 1/2" x 12"
 

Miss Nicole was created on watercolour paper with watersoluble crayons and pencils, and acrylic paint. Her clothes and hat are made from a gelli print.

She is available to purchase through Etsy.



Saturday, 14 March 2015

Meet Miss Monica

Meet Miss Monica whose favourite gemstone is moonstone and her favourite colour is blue.
Miss Monica
Mixed Media on Mixed Media Paper
42cm x 30cm = 16 1/2" x 12"
 

Miss Monica was created on watercolour paper with watersoluble crayons and pencils, and acrylic paint. Her clothes and headdress are made from a gelli print.

She is available to purchase through Etsy.

Have you met the rest of my girls?


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Two Book Reviews

I have reviewed two books over on the Creative Klatch Blog about drawing and painting mixed media faces which is something I am focussing on creating this year.




1. Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker - Techniques for Drawing and Painting Faces  and 2. Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces - The Mixed Media Portrait Workshop with Jane Davenport are both great books and I'm enjoying learning from both of them.

Check out my review here if you are thinking of buying these books. 



Monday, 2 March 2015

Meet Miss Lapis Lazuli

Meet Miss Lapis Lazuli whose favourite colour is ultramarine blue and her favourite gemstone is lapis lazuli!

Miss Lapis Lazuli
Mixed Media on Mixed Media Paper
42cm x 30cm = 16 1/2" x 12"
 
Miss Lapis' face and hair was created on watercolour paper with watersoluble crayons and pencils, and acrylic paint. Her clothes and hat are gelli prints.  The background is mixed media paper which has been gelli printed.

She is available to purchase through my Etsy store.