Sometimes, the things that inspire us aren’t always the most pleasant. On this day, I am reminded that the same breast I suckled on for nourishment is threatened for destruction by the merciless cancer cells.
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer sometime in 2008. Before the fateful day the deadly disease was named, mom had been tortured with the symptoms for a while but we had ignorantly found solutions to individual threats not knowing they all had a singular source- the pink Cancer cells.
The first signs which often seem to go unnoticed are usually an area of thickened tissue in the breast, a lump in the breast or in an armpit. After a while these other symptoms begin to surface:
- pain in the armpits or breast that won’t go away despite the change in the monthly cycle,
- pitting or redness of the skin of the breast such that it looks like the skin of an orange,
- a rash around or on one of the nipples, a discharge from a nipple possibly containing blood,
- a sunken or inverted nipple, a change in the size or shape of the breast, peeling or flaking or scaling of the skin on the breast or nipple. All these begin to follow.
The sad thing is that, as it was with mom, most people decide to visit the doctor when it had gotten too late to salvage the breast. Next, to keep the woman alive, the breast has to be cut off after series of chemotherapy and other forms of treatment with countless drugs included.
Although researches from 2015 have posited that the death toll in men from prostate cancer is estimated as been higher in comparism with the death rate from breast cancer in women, further research has brought about a brand
new argument that “a simple death count does not really get at the destructive impact of a disease.” Breast cancer is no respecter of the age of the woman but prostate cancer is lenient enough to let the man grow older in age before ending his life (The Economist, 2018).
Their analysis is thus;
Mom’s ordeal… maybe the word experience would fit this better. So, mom’s experience inspired this work of art. But, we decided to align with the ‘A Effect’ principle propounded by the thespian Bertolt Brecht as we graphically composed this art.
The German dramatist-director Bertolt Brecht opined in this theory that techniques designed to distance the audience from emotional involvement in the play through jolting reminders of the artificiality of the theatrical performance should be imbibed in pieces of art.
Therefore, the images depict the fact that the deadly cells of breast cancer which are often pink in color do not just present a sad but deadly situation whereby they drain the life out of one breast till it is cut out, leaving an ugly scar.
The victim is thus subjected to the art of learning to accept the situation. Often times, many privileged ones draw strength and happiness from love, family and the fact that she is alive.
The core essence of this graphic body art include thus;
- I hope that one woman will make sure she checks her breast today because an early detection can save that breast.
- I hope that one man will remind his woman to check herself today too
- I hope that just one woman will not take any symptom despite its seemingly irrelevant nuisance, symptom, sign or appearance for granted.
- I hope that one woman suffering this may find hope and somehow happiness in her very existence.
- I hope that just one woman may learn to live life normally despite the tragedy of the loss of one breast.
- I hope that this year’s February 4th counts for every cancer patient around the globe.