As part of our 35 year anniversary, Lymphoma Action are focussing on ‘positive mental wellbeing’. David shares his experience and explains how art and creativity became so important after his treatment for relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
'I was treated in 1995-96 with chemotherapy and am delighted to report that I have been clear of lymphoma ever since - 25 years! Looking back, it was a very difficult period of my life and I am very grateful to a lot of people; the doctors and nurses, my parents, my colleagues and students and also Lymphoma Action (Lymphoma Association back then) which was a constant source of reassurance and encouragement.
The other person by my side throughout was my future wife, Ann. She looked after me throughout my treatment, travelling to Leeds from Hull twice a week to visit me in hospital and caring for my every need when I was allowed home. We bought a house together, not knowing how long my future would be. In September 2018 we finally got married, much to the delight of family and friends.
I retired nine years ago having worked as a science teacher/lecturer. After my treatment I decided that I wanted to explore the arty side of my life: painting, sculpting, etching, making papier mache, dinosaurs with grandchildren and so on. Ann, also took the opportunity to retire and started writing children's books, which I illustrate and we self publish.
I was recently asked to produce some work for an exhibition and decided to document my cancer experience, which I called ’The Emotions of Cancer’. This is a self-reflective piece showing my facial emotions from diagnosis to remission. The faces are set on a backdrop of some treatment experiences and thoughts, all washed by mood colours.
David's art will be displayed at the St James's University Hospital, Leeds art collection.