Caterpillar and worm eyebrow drawing adventure

It was a dark and gloomy morning and I was alone. The MOTH had flown off to work (the MOTH to the flame…or the firestation) and I was looking forward to a day of slobbing around the house with my arty farty self. However, the mild curry from the Indian restaurant the night before  confirmed the doctors wise words. Don’t eat spicy food. My stomach had given me grief all night with diarrhoea, nausea and severe burning pain along with a headache. Boo hiss… another chemo drawback.
I stumbled out of bed at 6am thinking some breakfast might help settle things but got distracted by the computer on the way. An hour later the power went out. I vaguely recollected the notice in the mail to say it would be off all day. In fact, it was off for 10 hours! So now it was cold, dark, gloomy and breakfast was not an option and neither was coffee since there was no milk in the fridge. No art for me in the dark house either as I couldn’t see! Waves of nausea and stomach pain were making me want to curl up in bed.
My pity party didn’t last long. I decided to go out and get a coffee and breakfast down at Croydon but glancing first in the mirror I was confronted by a scary sight. Erm. White face, bald head. No eyebrows or eye lashes, dark rings under the eyes and a kind if squirmish look on my face.  Oh… and blood shot eyes. So I went to work remedying it in the darkness of my ensuite mirror.

Self portrait

Self portrait

The day before I had forgotten to draw my eyebrows on twice. Once to go running and out to breakfast and once to go watch my son do a flying trapeze stunt.  Who leaves home without their eyebrows? So I did my best to draw them in the darkness and put on my other makeup and left home. At the traffic light I glanced in the mirror and discovered a horrible sight. One eyebrow was fat like a caterpillar with a surprised arch. The other one was pale and thin like a sick worm. My eyeliner was looping like it belonged on one of my art pieces. The rest was just as odd and disturbing.
I’m doing my best. Two nights previous, my daughter tried using eyebrow stencils (purchased on ebay) which resulted in much hysterics. Groucho Marx looked good in comparison.
Eyebrows. Who needs em?

Farewell to a fellow breast cancer sufferer

Josie passed away peacefully with her loving family surrounding her on Saturday. It was such a joy to know her and to watch her family fill her life with love and support.

My role in the flexible learning team at Swinburne gave me the opportunity to meet most staff across the Tafe at all campuses and Josies interest in elearning meant I got to know her quite well.  She was also one of my students in the Diploma of VET which I taught.

I wish her family all the best in the future and for this difficult week coming up. After 13 years of loving and supporting her through her battle I can’t imagine how they must feel.

Last week her husband asked me to draw a unicorn with her name on it. Knowing that she was in palliative care I went straight to work on it. I got it finished the night before she died but of course she didn’t get to see it (in the flesh). I created a little tag around his neck with her name on it.



Some of the art I’ve produced in the past 4 months have a huge emotional connection for me and this is one of them.

Those of us from Swinburne who have breast cancer right now can take the baton for Josie and run with it. Now go!

Progress photos of the unicorn drawing can be seen on my Facebook art page


  1. I wish you’d taken a photo for posterity, something to laugh at down the line. You are doing such a good job of not letting this bring you down.


  2. Have you ever seen the move The Holiday? Arthur talks to Iris about gumption. You my lovely friend, Jen are the leading lady of your own life and you my dear have lots of gumption.

    FYI, Def of gumption – demonstrating initiative, aggressiveness, resourcefulness, courage, spunk, guts.



  3. I am quite speechless… and sad at heart….BUT your sense of humor will be what saves you….mind and body are connected… your sense of fun and silliness will heal your body. I know … I am a cancer survivor. ♥xo


    1. Beautiful remarks about Josie, love the unicorn,Jen you are an inspiration the way you are tackling your illness , all our love ian, Kim karly and cal xxxxx


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