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The Art of Palliative Medicine - 2018 Semester 1

Giving Love from a Dark Situation

The aim of this creative piece is to communicate the outlook of my patient as she undergoes her palliative process. The painting shown is of a dark lower left region with a lighter upper right region. The dark on the lower left region represents the news of her receiving the news that the cancer had metastasised. “They tried the radiation”, was really difficult to hear because it represented that they tried, but it did not work. And now, there is nothing to do but wait for her death. I wrote this in the middle of the dark region to show that it is a hard situation she is in. When we visited, she was about to leave for work because as she said, “it’s not the best of days today”. Although, she said this with a smile on her face, I knew that it was very fatiguing on her body. Regardless of how hard you attempt to stay energetic and light, physiologically, cancer is a hard disease to combat.

I added koru patterns within the painting, to show that this is also a part of her identity and that the tikanga must be upheld throughout the process.

Her love to help people is highlighted when she said, “it helps me knowing I can help others.” In such a dark, hard time it is so inspiring to see that, there is still a light and enjoyment in helping others. In my painting, I try and depict this by using lighter colours on the top right to show her uplifting spirit. I have also written her words, “for me if I can help somebody, that’s a terrific day”, in that region to show how much light she still produces for others.