Welcome to the blog of Melanie McDonald ! I'm a professional artist, my life is divided between my home in Newquay, Cornwall and my renovation project - an 18th Century farm - in North Brittany, France. My inspiration comes from the beautiful beaches, skies and seas of Cornwall, Brittany and Scotland. This is where I share my paintings and photographs, I hope it inspires you.

October 06, 2009

Finding meaning.

Three years ago this month, our friend - an artist living in Cornwall - died suddenly from cancer.

During the drive to his funeral, R. and I made the decision to 'sell up' and move across the Channel to Brittany in France. We've been here nearly two years now. However, in February this year, our carefully constructed 'new life' changed over night when R. was diagnosed with cancer.

It's been the most stressful and traumatic time of our lives. R. has finally begun to recover from all the treatment - surgery, chemo and radio therapy - at times 'youtube' videos of football matches were his only salvation. As for me, painting got me through .... and still does, without it I would literally be lost.

Last week, R. took our van, (full of paintings for customers and galleries), over to Cornwall. Something of our old life - the life before cancer - is returning. The numbness is lifting.

I have asked myself recently, what this cancer means for our lives now. I think we both feel that we've lost something precious - our trust in life - our sense of certainty in our health and the future. It's tempting to wonder what it's all about.

Living this 'life with cancer', as opposed to the 'life before cancer', is hard. It hurts. I wake up in the middle of the night wondering what's wrong and after a moment or two I remember. It hurts when you plan to go to a wedding and know that your husband is having a PET scan the same week to see if the cancer has spread. It hurts when I think of our 'dream home' - the farm we are renovating, which won't be finished for several years. Not to mention the effect of moving to another country and having a dad develop cancer, might have on our daughter.

I don't actually want an ongoing search as to what this cancer means for us or for 'finding meaning'. I just want life to be the way it was before.

Related posts:

Paint Inspired Memories
Moving to France - 3 weeks and counting
Third Cancer Month
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