Art of Life helps cancer survivors heal emotionally

FRESNO, Calif.

When surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are all behind a cancer survivor, the healing process is not finished.

Until they signed up for this painting project, many participating in Art of Life had never met. They have a common bond. They have battled breast cancer, and are healing from their physical scars. But deep inside, the disease has left some tender wounds.

Sally Duflot explained, "Our circumstances weren't the same, but the fear was there, the unknown is there - there is a common thread."

Duflot is a two year survivor. She begins to overcome her fear by painting a vase with flowers, each bloom representing an individual who shown her courage.

Fresno Oncologist Dr. Christopher Perkins started the Art of Life program.

"We saw a need for women who are finishing their therapy to kind of piece together all the emotions of the diagnosis, the treatment, the follow up," said Dr. Perkins. "Sometimes all of the emotions can be like scrambled eggs and we thought what better way than through art to express emotions."

The participants don't just express emotion, they process all they've been through, with paint.

Another survivor, Peggy Wilson, is painting courage lime green. But on top of the color, words, words that heal.

"You have to have some kind of hope and faith to get through it," said Wilson. "And it can be done. And you can come out a lot of times a better person."

An unveiling of the Art of Life exhibit will take place Saturday, April 6th, at California oncology. The artwork will be on display for the next year.

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