Posts Tagged ‘beading therapy’

Beading Helped Me Survive Chemo

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

We’ve all heard the horror stories about cancer.

I also have a story to tell, but my story has a little twist to it. Not only do I have the good fortune to be able to brag about being a two-time cancer survivor, but I also get to tell you about a remarkable gift that was given to me by cancer. Sure, I have the life-altering new outlook on life that many cancer survivors have, but I also have the gift of beads and how they have changed my life.

When I was first diagnosed in 2009, I was briefed by my doctor about the different treatments I was to go through – surgery, chemo and radiation. He explained all of them to me in depth, but what kept resounding in my head as I drove home were his words about chemo. I’d have to sit in a recliner for up to five hours while I got my chemo drip every three weeks.

Five hours! I dread boredom. What was I to do for five hours? So, I went to the bookstore to see if I could find an engrossing novel that was a minimum of 3,000 pages. What I found instead was The Art of Bead Embroidery by Sherry Serafini and Heidi Kummli.

Art Deco Seed Bead Embroidery Piece by CenyaI’ve always been artsy-craftsy, and I have embroidered my fair share. I’ve loved seed beads ever since my mother bought me my first tube when I was six or seven years old (the tubes were glass then). As I leafed through the book, I found lots of beautiful beadwork and simple-to-follow directions to create each project. I bought the book, stopped by Harlequin Beads to pick out some seed beads and supplies and put everything in a bag to take to my first chemo session.

I found that I LOVED beading. During those first eight chemo sessions, I made over 125 beaded brooches and gave them all away to friends and supporters who had helped me through my treatment. Afterwards, I kept beading. I joined the Beading Circle at Harlequin and, since I was starting to feel like I had gotten quite good at it, I started selling a few of my pieces on Etsy and to friends. In the spring of 2011, I was invited to share a booth at our local Saturday Market in Eugene – a thriving microcosm of wonderful artisans.

I was selling each week and enjoying it immensely when I was hit by a return of the cancer. So, I went through more surgery and more chemo – and my beads went with me.

Featured Artist Cenya at ArtWalk 2012I just had my 6-month scan and I am cancer-free. I bead almost every day, and this year I’ve been at my Saturday Market booth every weekend. I was the guest artist at Harlequin Beads during one of Lane Arts Council’s First Friday ArtWalks. I love my connection with other local artists and the time I spend in my bead room stitching away at some little beaded something.

I feel very calm while I bead and believe that my healing was helped by it. I doubt that I would have gotten into beading if I hadn’t had cancer, because my job ate up all of my time. I would never wish cancer upon anyone, but if they were to get it, I hope that they could find a gift in it as I have.

by Cenya

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Feature at Harlequin

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Harlequin is featuring a Think Pink Bead Special to inspire you to show your support. Create some meaningful pink beaded jewelry to wear and give as gifts to those who share your hope for a cure.