Cancer survival art at the Figge: 'I was an artist, not a cancer patient'
If you get diagnosed with breast cancer and you're treated with radiation therapy, you'll get used to the "radiation pose." You lay down on your back in a hospital gown with your hands above your head. You keep your arms still and turn your head to the side. You do this every day for six weeks or so.
"You get used to it, but you're terrified by it," said Gail Chavenelle, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. "It's scary, and it's frightening."
During her treatments, Chavenelle, a sheet metal artist, went to her studio to express those frightened feelings. She cut out a sculpture matching her 5-foot-tall frame on that hospital bed. She wasn't sure what she was looking for. And then she lifted the sculpture over on its feet."It was like, bang, it looked like a warrior," she said. "It looked like a power figure, not a helpless figure."