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The Art of Palliative Medicine - 2018 Semester 1

Life’s Spectrum

I chose an oil pastel drawing to represent the reflection of my visit to Mr. X as it painted a strong positive image in my mind that I thought was best represented by a picture. "Cancer is really a spectrum", he said as initially his cancer was considered a minor inconvenience. Slight tiredness whilst working was the most it caused him, and he was back on his feet, healthy as ever and 'free' of the cancer.

A few healthy years followed, and they thought it had been 'knocked out', however, soon the other end of the spectrum hit and before he knew it the cancer had spread to a significant extent, aggressively attacking his bones leaving him with a shortened amount of time left. This spectrum is shown in the rainbow of colours in the supportive hands of the image.

The hands taught me the important of being able to "ask people for help" when someone is facing the end of their life. He had reached out and told everyone exactly what was going on and showed them how they could help. He stressed the importance of being open.

His attitude and positivity has remained strong and for this reason, I have drawn him as a flower still standing strong, although his petals wilt and fall to the ground as his time is rapidly coming to a close. Beneath the soil we see the simplified version of his complicated network of support roots, each representing the supports in his life, holding him up to live the best version of his life that he can.