Out of Commission

Waiting Room quiltI am writing this post way in advance. I do that sometimes. When I am full of energy and thinking ahead.

You might think the topic is a bit morbid for Christmas. But it is not. It is the story of survival, of treatments that work, of my mother’s win over breast cancer which has motivated my own attitude of positive change. It is a great story with a very happy ending.

When you read this I will have had my second surgery for the treatment of breast cancer.

The first was traumatic. I don’t have to tell anyone that. But the second won’t be. At least from this point-of-view, ten days in advance I don’t think it will be. Because now I am educated. I know what I want. In the eight months since my diagnosis I have taken control of my life and I feel really, really good about things.

I am eating healthy. I am exercising. I am doing the things on my bucket list. Even though breast cancer is certainly not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, it is a wake up call.

Years ago, following my mother’s breast cancer and my own fears I did a series of quilts. They were sold at the Sutter Breast Cancer auction. I miss them. I kind of wish I had never let them go. I did try to buy my favorite back, but someone outbid me at the last minute. I’m happy, because over the years folks have met me and told me they saw the quilt – “Waiting Room” –  down in the valley at an Oncology office. I wish I knew (or remembered, I think I did know) the name of the doctor who has so kindly displayed my work. I would like to visit the quilt.

“All Parts are Important” was the first breast cancer quilt I made. I used stencils and cut outs, tracing my hands, head, feet and breasts with the shadow on the wall technique. At the time I was considering prophylactic removal, because of my mother’s second round with breast cancer. I didn’t like the idea of cutting away a part of myself. If I wasn’t the sum of my parts, who was I?all parts are important


“Hospital Bed” is based on a poem written by a local woman. Over the years and because the quilt is gone I have also forgotten her name. If anyone remembers, please send to me! When I first read her poem my breath was sucked from my lungs and I knew just what it would look like – kind of morbid and emotional. It did.Hospital Bed


“Sixty Days to Live” is the first quilt I made out of credit cards. (I have made tons of stuff out of credit cards since then, later post for all that) It is also the  story which I expanded into a full short story in “Sisters in Pieces,” my second novel.Sixty Days cancer quiltDetail sixty days quilt


  1. Robin….it’s great to see the quilts again! I enjoyed reading your post as it is a hopeful not morbid piece. My favorite is still the credit card quilt for the message it portrays. Thanks for sharing! Rapid recovery dear friend!

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